Oral thrush is a skin condition that causes white lesions to appear on the inner cheeks, tongue or lining of the mouth. This is caused by the Candida albicans fungus. When it is irritated, the lesions could bleed and be painful. Babies, adults on corticosteroids, those who wear dentures or anyone with a weakened immune system could contract oral thrush. Sometimes severe infection could affect the esophagus and this causes difficulty in swallowing. Treatment depends on the age and health of the individual.
Cinnamon Benefits for Oral Thrush
Many people may not realize that apart from being a flavoring agent for different foods, beverages and used as a spice, cinnamon also offers many health benefits. It has been used as a remedy in traditional medicine to treat skin conditions, bronchitis, influenza, gastric problems and more. Cinnamon powders, capsules and other extracts are got from two varieties – Cassia cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon.
Some preliminary studies have found that cinnamon has anti-parasitic, antifungal and antibacterial benefits and therefore effective in controlling Candida albicans – the fungus that causes vaginal yeast infections and oral thrush. Further double-blinded human studies are required to establish its effectiveness.
Studies also found that that bark of the cinnamon tree was more effective in treating Candida that was resistant to fluconazole when compared to commercial cinnamon powder. Patients with HIV who were infected by Candida were given cinnamon for a week and there was improvement in oral candidiasis.
Cinnamon oil contains cinnamaldehyde and eugenol. These possess strong antifungal properties. Patients with AIDS who had oral thrush were given cinnamon oil to use as a topical application and it was found effective in treating this condition.
There are various other studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of using cinnamon to treat various occurrences of Candida albicans. In a 2012 Chinese study, cinnamon oil was used to treat patients with intestinal Candida. After treatment it was found that their condition improved. Another group with intestinal Candida who had digestive problems was given a combination of an Asian herb pogostemon and cinnamon oil capsules for 14 days. Out of the 60 patients, 28% had a reduction in symptoms and in 72% patients, candida albicans fungus completely disappeared.
Candida infections are becoming common among patients with weakened immune systems. When such patients were administered various essential oils, it was found that cinnamon essential oil offered the best results against Candida fungus.
Use of cinnamon as a food spice and in limited medicinal dosages usually does not cause any side effects - the general dose of ground cinnamon being 1-4g a day. However, higher dosages of both cinnamon supplements and cinnamon oil may cause some side effects. For example, cassia cinnamon contains coumarin that could cause kidney and liver damage when taken in higher doses. Pregnant women are also advised against using cinnamon bark or oil in high doses. Always consult a doctor when using cinnamon for oral thrush for it could interact with certain medications.