Within certain limits, fungus and yeast are usually present in our body and pose no health risk. The healthy bacteria present in our body are responsible for keeping their activities in check. However, when the body’s immunity weakens, or a tip in fungi-bacteria balance occurs, fungal infections may arise.
Fungal infections include:
- Athlete’s foot
- Onychomycosis (toenail fungus)
- Candida Albicans (yeast infection, affecting the vagina, mouth, stomach and urinary tract)
- Fungal keratitis (corneal infection)
- Jock itch
100% therapeutic grade essential oils have antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Although most antifungal essential oils are effective; the following oils are the most potent essential oils for fungal infections and have been proven scientifically. We made a short list of the best essential oils to use for fungus infections.
The Best Essential Oils for fungal infections
1. Lavender Oil
Scientific research has shown that Lavender Oil is fatal to some fungal strains, including candida and dermatophytes, two known causes of the nail, hair, and skin infections. Lavender Oil is extracted from Lavandula genus of Lavender plant and has been in use for centuries due to its alluring aroma. It is a common component of perfumes and skin care products. Lavender oil has potent antifungal properties that can prove effective against stubborn antifungal infections.
Its mechanism of action is by disrupting the fungi cell walls, with similar action applying to bacteria and viruses. If you have experienced any side effect from using antibiotics (particularly those with fluoroquinolone), you will find Lavender oil an outstanding alternative for combating super germs. Also, it has sedative, antispasmodic, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Aside from being an antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral oil, Lavender oil can also be used to boost immunity, induce sleep, relieve stress, and combat urinary and digestive disorders.
How to use Lavender Oil For Fungus Infections?
Dilute Lavender oil with a suitable carrier like coconut or olive oil before applying topically on the affected area.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Through the steam distillation of the twigs and leaves of the Melaleuca plant, Tea Tree oil is extracted. Tea Tree Oil is commonly used around the world as a natural remedy for many health conditions.
Therapeutic Properties of Tea Tree oil
Antifungal Properties: Tea Tree Oil Antifungal activities were scientifically established in a study conducted in 2008. The oil was found to inhibit the replication of Candida cells and can be potentially used for treating candida infections. Tea tree contains Terpenoid, an antifungal component, and can be used against other fungal infections like ringworm, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, dermatitis, and jock itch.
Cicatrizing Properties: In the tropics, tea tree oil is used to cure many serious infections. When used for cuts and abrasions, it heals up the wound and prevents scarring. Its antiviral properties work efficiently against viral infections like pox, common cold, measles, and influenza.
Antimicrobial Properties: Tea Tree oil hampers the activities of microbes, making it unconducive for them to thrive.
Antiseptic Properties: Wounds are susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections if open and untreated. Using Tea Tree oil ensures the wound stays free from germs and further infections.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil For Fungus Infections?
Topical Application: Tea tree is a potent oil and should never be used raw, especially on sensitive skins to prevent skin irritation. To use Tea Tree Oil for yeast infection, dilute the Oil with Olive Oil (a carrier oil and a yeast inhibitor) and rub the mixture on the fungal infected area at least thrice daily. Continue application until the infection clears out. Avoid contact with ears, nose, or eyes.
3. Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass is gotten by steam distillation of dried lemongrass. The primary components of the oil are Myrcene, Geranyl Acetate, Citronellal, Nerol, Neral, Geraniol, Limonene, and Citral. Lemongrass has outstanding therapeutic properties, which make it a preferred remedy for many health conditions. It works efficiently against both internal infections like ringworm and external infections like athlete’s foot and jock itch. Lemongrass oil is the best essential oil for toenail fungus.
Research conducted in 2014 evaluated the antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties of Lemongrass oil. The evaluation included pitching the oil against some pathogenic fungi and yeast through diffusion procedure. Lemon grass was found to work against the replication of Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Aspergillus niger fungal strains. In the same study, the anti-inflammatory properties of Lemongrass oil were also established.
Lemongrass is also an excellent antibacterial agent and can inhibit the activities of bacteria and microbes in the body.
How to use Lemongrass Oil For Fungus Infections?
Although Lemongrass is a mild oil, diluting with a carrier oil makes it safer to use. Dilute three drops of Lemongrass oil with one tablespoon of carrier oil before applying topically on the affected area. Repeat application every 2 hours. If you feel skin irritation, dilute further with the carrier oil. It will not reduce its potency. Do not use during pregnancy.
4. Cinnamon Bark Oil
The aroma and therapeutic properties of this oil are somewhat similar to cassia oil. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties that can prove fatal to fungal infections, including those instigated by Staphylococcus strains. It is not just an antifungal oil; it also helps to the body’s immunity to infections.
How To Use Cinnamon Bark Oil For Fungus Infections?
Cinnamon Bark oil is very potent and should never be used undiluted or inhaled directly from the bottle. Ensure you dilute sufficiently with a carrier oil before applying topically. Many have reported cases of nasal passage irritation after diffusing cinnamon bark oil. If you must diffuse, dilute with distilled water.
5. Clove Oil
This is one of the best essential oils for candida and yeast infections. According to research, clove oil was discovered to inhibit the activities of up to 15 different strains of fungi, including Candida albicans. Another study conducted in 2010 found that eugenol, the primary component of clove oil works effectively against candida. Clove oil can also be used for oral health conditions like tooth infection.
How To Use Clove Oil For Fungus Infections?
Before topically applying this oil, ensure you dilute the oil with a suitable carrier oil. Apply on the affected area multiple times daily.
Although not as common as the essential oil for fungal infections above, Manuka oil works wonders as a natural antimicrobial essential oil. Manuka oil is gotten from the manuka tree, a plant native to East Cape of New Zealand, and is known by its scientific name Leptospermum scoparium.
Studies have shown that manuka oil has potent antimicrobial and antifungal properties that work efficiently for treating many health conditions. A British study done in 2010 compared the therapeutic activities of manuka oil with tea tree oil and kanuka oil. Its antifungal effects were lower, compared to that of tea tree oil. However, manuka oil had the most potent antibacterial and antioxidant properties of the three oils compared.
How To Use Manuka Oil For Fungus Infections?
Manuka Oil can be used to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot, candida, toenail fungus, and dandruff.
Based on use, you can dilute Manuka oil with shampoo, water or carrier oil before rubbing on the affected areas.
Coconut oil is more of a carrier oil than an essential oil, but it contains antifungal properties meaning you can use coconut oil for yeast infections. It also acts as an antiseptic and can help fight further infections. Coconut oil’s antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties stem from having lauric acid as one of its primary components. Apply the oil directly on the infection or mix with other essential oil. Ensure you buy only fractionated coconut oil.
Other antifungal oils include Oregano, Thyme, Geranium, Cassia, Lemon, Clary Sage, Frankincense, and Davana Oils.
Inhibiting Fungus survival in the body
Your body’s immunity system is responsible for fighting off infection-causing agents like fungi and bacteria. As the immune system tries to fight the fungus, cell membranes are sometimes damaged, leading to inflammations and symptoms similar to sinusitis. To fight these infections successfully, your body has to be less hospitable and inconvenient for the fungus to thrive. The following can help:
- Avoid sugar or grains: Fungus thrives on sugar and grains (degrades to sugar in the body). Reducing consumption will make your body unconducive for fungus. Also, removing fruits from your diet can help you manage persistent yeast infestations.
- Eat more of probiotics: You can get Probiotics (good bacteria) from quality probiotics supplement or by consuming cultured and fermented foods like natto.
- Eat more of Animal-based omega-3 fats like krill oil. This will help boost your immune system.
- Avoid eating MYCO-toxic foods
- Avoid contact with chemicals: Yeast overgrowth and allergic reactions can be triggered by exposure to chemicals like paint, perfumes, household cleaners and scent.
Essential Oils are more potent than most over-the-counter antifungal drugs or lotions. They heal fungal infections faster and pose no side effects. Ensure you buy only therapeutic grade oil and dilute with a suitable carrier oil before topical application.