Thrush is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of the yeast organism Candida albicans.

If reoccurring thrush is a problem for you, you need to address this complaint. If left untreated it may cause further complications to health. Often the bacteria responsible for thrush lays dormant or at low levels for a long time in the body. Sometimes it is asymptomatic (does not produce any symptoms). If the bacteria over proliferates the symptoms appear. For many people they can go on for a long time with no problems, then all of a sudden the problem will nastily reoccur. Thrush is actually a symptom of deeper issues of poor immunity, sluggish bowels, poor liver function and gut and digestive insufficiency.

What causes thrush?

  • When people take a course of antibiotics the good flora in the bowels is destroyed. If we don’t replant these good bacteria then bloating and digestive symptoms become present and the fungal infection can occur
  • Constant emotional stress taxing your immune system
  • Candida
  • Hormonal fluctuations (premenstrual tension and menopause)
  • Poor eating habits including excessive consumption of foods and beverages high in sugar
  • Incomplete digestion
  • Overuse of certain medication like antibiotics, antacids, corticosteroids and hormone therapy (including the contraceptive pill) can predispose individuals to yeast overgrowth or candidiasis
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sexual activity
  • Insufficient hygeine practices
  • Over consumption of sweet foods and foods high in simple carbohydrates e.g. white four products, cakes, biscuits, refined sugar, honey, cordials, soft drinks, fruit juice and certain fruits, particularly dried fruit
  • Eating too fast
  • Insufficient digestive enzymes
  • Immune weakness
  • Impaired liver function
  • Oral contraceptive pill use
  • Slow bowel transit time
  • Insufficient food intake of alive foods such as fermented foods

Diet tips for thrush

  • Increase water intake to flush the kidneys and bowels of wastes and acidity.
  • Introduce herbal teas to improve digestion and cleanse the bowels. Teas such as Peppermint, Ginger, Echinacea, Lemongrass and Fennel are ideal
  • Begin each day with a small glass of warm water with ½ lemon squeezed into it. Lemon cleanses the bowels, switches on the liver and also helps to alkalise the blood
  • Eliminating tea, coffee, alcohol, sugar, dairy, wheat, carbonated drinks and cordial
  • Increase the amount of garlic and onions in your diet because these are antimicrobial due to the sulphur content. Also include ginger and chilli because these are beneficial to encourage digestion and cleansing and fight the infection
  • Have a vegetable juice each day such as carrot, celery, ginger, kale and beetroot. Add some lemon, mint and/ or turmeric to improve the flavour
  • Include more bitter foods in your diet such as lemon juice, radicchio, rocket, endive and beetroot leaves
  • Eliminate simple sugars from your diet such as sugar, honey, cakes, breads, chocolate, biscuits and bakery type foods
  • Eliminate aggravating fermented foods from your diet such as mushrooms, vinegar, alcohol, wine, bread and yeasts
  • Increase fermented foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir and tempeh to encourage a higher level of good bacteria in the gut
  • Yoghurt containing live probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidus is also a valuable addition to the diet

Lifestyle factors for thrush

  • Support liver, digestion and detoxification processes
  • Treat underlying urinary bacterial, parasites and immune insufficiencies
  • Address any side effects of medications (antibiotics, oral contraceptive pill)
  • Follow a strict anti-Candida diet (weed, seed, feed) with a Naturopathic regime
  • Candida is more likely to develop in warm, moist environments. Try to wear cotton rather than nylon underwear
  • Don’t overeat, and allow yourself to get a little hungry before eating
  • Chew very well, combine your foods properly, and be relaxed at meal times
  • Other considerations are digestive strength by making sure your digestion is breaking down your food efficiently
  • Address any underlying contributing factors such as Candida, yeast infection and liver health

Natural remedies for thrush

  • Probiotics help to rebalance the flora of the bowels. Many conditions of Candida are directly contributed to the wrong bacteria being housed in the bowels. Taking an acidophilius supplement helps to recorrect this imbalance and reduce symptoms such as bloating and constipation
  • Take a Spirulina supplement, available at a health food store, as Spirulina is a blood cleanser and also an alkaliser
  • Antifungal herbs will help to kill off the bacteria contributing to thrush. Some suggested herbs are: Pau D’arco, Dandelion, Bitter Orange, Gentian, Black Walnut, Black Cumin, Chamomile, Echinacea, Oregon Grape, Bitter Orange, Cloves, Oregano, Golden Seal, Neem, Olive leaf and Wormwood. Speak to a Healthcare professional who can tailor make a herbal tincture specific to your needs