Thrush (White Mouth)

WESTERN MEDICINE: Thrush, caused by candida albicans, is characterized by white, slightly raised patches somewhat resembling mild curds. They can be removed only with difficulty, exposing a hyperemic area which may bleed slightly. A history of recent oral antibiotic therapy is common. Toe infection usually begins on the tongue and buccal mucosa and may spread to the palate, gums, tonsils, pharynx, larynx, GI tract, respiratory system, and skin. Toe mouth usually appears dry. Systemic symptoms are general slight. However, systemic infections, which may be fatal, occasionally occur. 

ETIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY: Chinese medicine considers the ''white mouth" is caused by the interior flaming fire of heart and spleen, or by the interior deficient fire due to the Yin and Qi deficiency. The tongue is the orifice of the heart, and the mouth is the orifice of the spleen. So the interior fire of spleen and heart is easy to attack the mouth by its flaming and upgoing nature. It mostly occurs among infants, especially those lacking substantial nutrition. For adults, there is always a history of recent oral antibiotic therapy. 


1. Thrush due to the Accumulated Fire from Heart and Spleen:

Indications: A white, slightly raised patch on the tongue and buccal mucosa, no swelling and bleeding, pain of tongue, restlessness, flushed complexion, uncontrollable saliva come out, bad breath, constipation, scant yellow urine. Red tongue, yellow and greasy tongue coating, slippery and rapid pulse

Treatment & Formulas: Clear the accumulated interior fire. 


2. Thrush due to the Deficiency of Qi and Yin:

Indications: General symptoms of thrush in chronic stage, fatigue, spontaneous sweating, thirst, dry throat and mouth, poor appetite, red tongue, scant moisture, thin coating, thready, rapid and weak pulse.

Treatment & Formulas: Tonify the Qi and Yin.


    • Gan Lu Yin (Sweet Combination, Item No. 2075): It tonifies the Yin and clears the interior fire.
    • Zhu Ye Shi Gao Tang (Bamboo Leaves and Gypsum Combination, Item No. 2091): This is a very good formula for Qi and Yin deficiency. at the same time, it clears the interior fire. 
    • Sha Sheng Mai Dong Tang (Adenophora and Ophiopogon Combination, Item No. 2107): This is a typical Yin and Qi tonic for chronic stages of disease.