Top 10 Antifungal Essential Oils To Treat Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are some of the peskiest types of infections.

It is hard to get rid of a fungal infection because once the infection finds a host, it is more likely to stick around for the long haul [1].

One of the factors contributing to fungal infections is diet.

And that means when you consume foods high in sugar, yeast will overgrow.

Therefore, one of the first things you need to do if you have fungal infection is to change your diet.

But there are also other things that help you get rid of fungal infections [2].

One of those is using antifungal essential oils.

You can reap the health benefits, and treat your infection in a natural way.

What are some fungal infections?

The most common fungal infections include the following:

  • Jock itch
  • Ringworm
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Yeast infection

It is important that not all men and women present fungal overgrowth in the same way.

Some of the common symptoms of a fungal infection include:

  • Change in body odor
  • Fatigue
  • Leaky gut
  • Insomnia
  • Low sex drive
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Sugar cravings

The problem is most people do not see these symptoms as fungal-related [3].

They think it is a symptom that will pass by on its own.

And that rarely happens.

It is worth mentioning that there are number of risk factors that can contribute to a person suffering from a fungal infection.

Here are some risk factors:

  • Unprotected sex
  • High acidic and high sugar diet
  • Diabetes
  • Being immune-compromised
  • Constant use of antibiotics

In most fungal infections cases, the cause is a fungi that co-exist in your body.

But when your immune system is compromised or the environment of your body changes, fungi can grow.

Why not use conventional treatment

Antifungal essential oils are considered a natural treatment for fungal infections.

Yes, many people opt for the traditional and conventional treatment.

That includes antibiotics and antifungal drugs.

What happens is your body becomes resistant to antifungal drugs because of overuse.

And not to mention, these drugs and antibiotics are dangerous.

Even the FDA has issued a warning against using drugs for uncomplicated infections [4].

Antibiotics cover a broad-spectrum of diseases, as they can kill bacteria and fungi.

However, they also kill the healthy microorganisms in your body as well.

Antibiotics and antifungal medications can lead to nasty side effects, which is why the natural way is always better.

Precautions with essential oils

Before we take a look at the antifungal essential oils, let’s take a look at some of the precautions for using essential oils.

Yes, while essential oils are safe and secure, there are some precautions.

Call them safety notes if you like

  • Be careful when using essential oils, and make sure to always dilute the oil. The maximum you can go is 1-5 percent of essential oil, and the rest is carrier oil
  • Use gentler oils on sensitive skin areas, like genitals and underarms. In this cases, no more than 1% of essential oils in the mixture should be used
  • While essential oils can be consumed to treat fungal infection, you should always consult with a health care professional before you try it
  • For culinary use of essential oils, do not use more than 1-2 drops per recipe
  • If you want to combat oral thrush, oil pulling with essential oils is safe, as long as the oil is diluted

Now that we know the precautions, let’s take a look at some of the best and most effective antifungal essential oils.

Best essential oils for fungal infection

antifungal essential oils

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils.

Most of us have it as the go-to essential oil for skin care, sleep issues, and stress relief.

Lavender is used in many different blends [5].

In terms of fungal infection, lavender needs some time to work.

Studies show that lavender will not yield immediate results.

Instead, using lavender oil on fungal infections will yield results after the first 48 hours.

But, we all know natural remedies are not the fastest therapy, but their slow and steady approach is much more efficient.

Thyme

Another popular oil used widely in aromatherapy, thyme can promote blood circulation.

Most common uses of thyme include battling antibiotic resistant bacteria, which is why it is useful for fungal infections [6].

Some studies even try to investigate its effect in reducing bacteria in food.

Thyme can be applied topically for best results.

Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil has a long history.

It is one of the most recognizable antifungal essential oils.

In addition to treating fungal infections, peppermint can help with upset stomach, mental focus, and headaches.

Clinical studies have shown that peppermint is effective against 22 strains of bacteria and 12 strains of fungi [7].

Tea tree oil

Derived from a plant native to Australia, tea tree oil has a variety of health benefits.

Aboriginal Australians have used it to treat illnesses for centuries [8].

Lately, studies help increase the popularity of the oil in the Western World.

Some studies show it can effectively treat candida.

Geranium

Geranium makes its money in the world of skin care, where the essential oil is one of the most sought products.

But it can also play a role in balancing hormonal levels in menopausal women.

In terms of fungal infections, studies have shown geranium is one of the essential oils that can inhibit the growth of fungus [9].

Bitter almond

This oil should  be administered with extreme caution.

Unlike other antifungal essential oils, bitter almond is safe only via inhalation [10].

Yes, the aroma is lovely.

Gardeners even use it as a antifungal pesticide.

Black pepper

Black pepper is something we all recognize as a condiment.

But its antioxidant effectiveness can boost our circulatory system and help reduce anxiety.

Because of the richness in antioxidants, black pepper essential oil is also effective against fungal infections [11].

Lemongrass

There is a reason why lemongrass is so popular.

The essential oil has many healing properties. In terms of fungal infections, it can be used both internal infections like ringworm, and external infections like jock itch and athlete’s foot [12].

In addition to treating infections, lemongrass has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, further improving your overall health.

Cinnamon

This spice has a long history of medical use.

Cinnamon works best as antiviral treatment, and cinnamon essential oil can be used to stimulate your immune system.

Being that low immune system is the root of fungal infections, studies show that cinnamon can solve the source of the problem [13].

Clove

Another spice that is popular for its medicinal qualities as well, clove can be used to treat acne and other skin parasites.

You can even use it as a dental treatment for reducing gum diseases.

For fungal infections, clove works best against candida strains.

If used for a long time, it can reduce the fungi to near zero levels [14].

How to use antifungal essential oils

As mentioned previously, there are a couple of precautions you need to follow regarding use of essential oils.

You can use them topically to treat overgrowth of fungi on your skin.

You can use antifungal essential oils on their own, or in a blend.

No matter whether you use one, two, or three essential oils, always mix with a carrier oil for best results.

Never apply potent essential oils on your skin without diluting them beforehand.

Mix two or three drops of each essential oil with 20 drops of carrier oil for best results.

Apply on your skin using clean and disposable cotton gauze pad.

Only touch the area of your skin that is affected by fungus, so that you do not spread the infection over healthy skin.

Repeat the treatment two to three times per day over a period of several week to see results.

Unlike antibiotics, antifungal essential oils do not provide relief within 24 or 48 hours, but they are much safer and secure option.

Sources:

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/fungalinfections.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17352722
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4001330/
  4. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm500143.htm
  5. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110214201842.htm
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17209812
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893526
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9055360
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893526
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037700/
  11. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.1863
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18553017
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19589904

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