The goal when treating thrush is to rebalance your gut bacteria rather than attack the yeast.
Thrush is caused by a fungus called Candida. A small amount of this fungus lives in your mouth most of the time. It is usually kept in check by your immune system. Thrush appears as whitish, velvety sores in the mouth and on the tongue.
Why not just kill all the yeast? Yeast releases toxins into your blood circulation and breast milk when it “dies-off”. Breast milk is a detox pathway.
Avoid medicines, herbs, enzymes and detoxifying agents that kill off Candida. When you have an overgrowth of yeast, it is often related to high mercury in your system. The yeast sequesters the mercury *holding* it in your gut so it's not circulating around. Killing the yeast = releasing the toxins = toxins in your breast milk.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a natural anti-fungal and may be used topically for thrush.
- Dilute - 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to 8 oz of water.
- Use cotton swab inside of baby’s mouth with ACV rinse BEFORE nursing.
- Apply ACV rinse to nipples, with a cotton ball, AFTER nursing.
*This order will prevent your nipples from tasting bitter and potentially harming your nursing relationship.
- Coconut Oil is a natural anti-fungal and is a great way to kill yeast topically.
Apply to diaper area after each change. This is a great topical treatment for any type of yeasty rash (diaper area, face, body folds, cradle cap).
Coconut oil can also be applied to Mom’s nipples in between feedings.
- Garlic is a natural anti-fungal and works well to address Vaginal Yeast/Thrush in Mom. Thrush often occurs after antibiotic treatments.
Peel 1 clove of fresh garlic and inserting the clove into the vagina overnight. One or two nights should take care of most infections. If you need a stronger dose, peel the clove, then scratch a line with your fingernail. A stronger dose would be to cut the garlic in half so there is more raw surface area. Be careful, it can sting when scratched/cut. Remove the clove in the morning by “pushing” or pulling out.
- Whole Food Probiotics
Probiotics help control yeast by balancing your gut with good bacteria. Continue eating probiotic rich foods even after symptoms of thrush are gone (for prevention). Fermented foods, such as kefir and yogurt, are easy, inexpensive and healthy options.
- Purchase Real Kefir grains
- Buy 100% juice, organic grape works great and is delicious.
- Pour equal amounts of water and juice into a jar and add the kefir grains. Cover loosely with the lid.
- Store in a cool, dark place for 24-72 hours. (cupboard)
- Twist cap regularly to release the carbonation.
- Strain out kefir grains and store kefir in fridge. Drink a glass every day, start slowly with only 1 tablespoon. The grains can be reused several times. But, keep a back up batch of kefir grains as they won’t reproduce in juice long-term.
*It would be very beneficial to make breast milk kefir for baby. Follow same steps as above, but with breast milk instead of juice. (no added water)
- Naked time for nipples and bottoms can help eliminate thrush. Sunshine for diapers and nursing bras can help too.
- Careful hand washing after diaper changes; and clean all cloth wipes*, diapers, baby laundry and Mommy’s laundry by adding ½ cup of vinegar to the wash (white vinegar is fine for this purpose). *Avoid disposable wipes that contain alcohol
- Rinse all pump parts, bottles, bottle nipples, pacifiers with vinegar before washing. Otherwise the yeast is passed back and forth baby<---> mama.
- Epsom salt baths, avoiding wheat and dairy and sugar are important too.