December 25, 2023
Oral candidiasis is an opportunistic infection that affects the oral mucosa; the majority of cases are caused by Candida albicans yeast. It causes creamy white lesions to form on the tongue and inner cheeks and may spread to other areas of the oral cavity. Although, C. albicans is normally found in the mouth, people with compromised immune systems (babies, the elderly, and people who take certain medications or have certain conditions) may experience overgrowth of the fungus causing candidiasis.
Candida albicans is resistant to commercial antifungal agents. Therefore, it is desirable to use material derived from natural sources as an antifungal agent. Essential oil from Citrus limon peel is able to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans in vitro.
Aside from this oil being readily available and inexpensive, the terpenoid content in this essential oil is particularly high. Terpenoids are known to have high antifungal properties and significant levels of coumarin, flavonoids, linalool and carotene and terpenoids have been widely studied and developed as natural antimicrobial and antioxidant agents.
Application of lemon essential oil in gel form (1.56%) twice daily for two days inhibited Candida albicans in a preclinical model of oral candidiasis in immunocompromised subjects. Based on the results, the researchers concluded that lemon essential oil could be used to manage oral candidiasis.
Add 2 drops of lemon essential oil to a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (or half teaspoon each of ACV and water) and swish with this mixture for 30 seconds before spitting out, two to three times daily, to promote oral cleanliness.