Treating oral thrush in HIV/AIDS patients

Researchers at Tshwane University of Technology, in Pretoria, South Africa compared lemon grass, lemon juice, and gentian violet.

First, the details.

  • 90 HIV-positive hospice patients with a diagnosis of oral thrush were randomly assigned to a treatment for 11 days.
    • Gentian violet aqueous solution 0.5%
    • Lemon juice
    • Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)

And, the results.

  • Among those who completed the study, lemon juice and lemon grass showed significantly better results than gentian violet.

The bottom line?
The authors tell us that at the Moretele Hospice, due to financial constraints, the usual treatment for oral thrush is lemon juice directly or a lemon grass infusion made from lemon grass grown and dried at the hospice.

Gentian violet is considered first line treatment for oral thrush in South Africa. But it’s not preferred by patients due to the visible purple stain, which stigmatizes them as HIV-positive.

Lemon juice and lemon grass provide an alternative treatment.

3/19/09 19:48 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.