(NaturalNews) Oral thrush is a condition in which the yeast-like fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of the mouth. The white 'cottage cheese-like' lumps are actually present on the inside of the lips, cheeks and/or tongue. This fungus is normally present in our bodies, but certain circumstances such as stress, poor diet, a weakened immune system and/or use of antibiotics may alter its balance, causing rapid reproduction and a yeast infection to develop. For babies, thrush can also be passed to them through their mother's nipples during breastfeeding.
Before using antibiotics and potentially worsening the underlying issue, why not try the following natural home remedies.
Probiotic rich foods (i.e.: raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and yogurt) and/or probiotic supplements can help mothers maintain balance of healthy bacterial flora and create an environment that is inhospitable to Candida. A supplement containing lactobacillus acidophilus is great for mommy, while baby should be taking lactobacillus bifidus.
In order to ensure a strong immune system in mommy and baby, make sure your diet is rich in natural, wholesome foods and free of refined grains and sugars. Candida can also be a result of food allergies. Take note of any food intolerances or go for food allergy testing. Milk is currently the top allergen in the U.S.
The caprylic acid found in pure, raw virgin coconut oil is a natural and very potent antifungal. Pure coconut oil is perfectly safe for babies; in fact, the medium chain fatty acids found in it are very easily digested and are actually good for them. Apply coconut oil to your nipples and to your baby's mouth to help prevent passing the yeast back and forth.
Garlic is a natural and powerful antibiotic for mothers. Use fresh garlic in your meals or take a garlic supplement.
Grapefruit seed extract
Grapefruit seed extract is a safe antifungal. When diluted in water, it can be wiped on the inside of your baby's mouth. It may not be a pleasant experience for your baby, as it does taste bitter, but you should see results after the first treatment. Grapefruit seed extract can also be used as a disinfected when washing everything your baby puts in their mouth and anything that comes into contact with your nipples (i.e. toys, bottle nipples, pump parts, towels, wash cloths, bras, etc).
Apple cider vinegar
Yeast and vinegar do not coexist well. If you can endure a few tears, add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to your nipples before a feeding which will help to keep thrush at bay. Otherwise, add to your nipples after each feeding.
Sunlight and fresh air
Yeasts thrive in dark, moist environments. For nipple thrush, expose your breasts to a few minutes of sunlight each day. Avoid tight clothing and go braless as often as possible.
Note: With natural remedies, always read warning labels and check with your natural health practitioner for dosages and to see if it is safe for your child.
Prevention is key
A strong immune system and adequate healthy bacterial flora will go a long way in preventing thrush. Be sure to stay hydrated, stick to a balanced, probiotic rich, whole foods diet and get adequate rest.
Note: Antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria in our intestines which allow plenty of room for thrush to grow out of control very quickly. If you take antibiotics, it is especially important to include a probiotic supplement in your daily diet to help re-populate your inner ecosystem.
About the author: Jordan and Kyla are passionate about health; together, they have overcome many illnesses through dietary / lifestyle changes, and the art of practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and is currently studying to become a Reiki Master, and Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist. You may visit http://www.guidinginstincts.com for more information.