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Essential Oils for Fungal Infections: Treat Skin, Nails, Feet, and More

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Essential oils for fungal infections.

Essential oils for fungal infections.

Natural Fungal Treatment With Aromatherapy

One of the simplest ways to get rid of fungi and infections entailed with it is to keep your body clean. Focus on specific areas of the body that are known to be the most likely breeding ground for fungi. Sometimes, however, general hygiene is not enough to keep fungal infections at bay. Another option for natural treatment for these infections is the use of essential oils in aromatherapy. Several essential oils contain antifungal properties, which effectively combat the effects of the fungal presence in your body to prevent its spread and the development of other diseases.

Not only is this treatment approach known to be effective, but experts also recommend it due to the lack of side effects. The effectiveness of the treatment using aromatherapy hinges on two aspects: (1) it eliminates fungi that are causing the infection and prevents it from further spreading, and (2) it helps restore the natural condition of the specific area of the body affected by the fungal infection.

Best Oils for Fighting Fungus

Again, when deciding on essential oils to use in treating fungal infections, you need to go for those containing antifungal properties. This will ensure you of an effective method for treating skin conditions that could arise from the presence of certain types of fungi in the body. And since most fungal infections affect the superficial sites of the body such as skin, nails, and hair, the use of topical application would work best in treating these conditions.

3 Essential Oils for Skin Fungus

  1. Oregano Essential Oil
  2. Patchouli Essential Oil
  3. Tea Tree Essential Oil

1. Oregano Essential Oil

This essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the oregano plant, which is known to be one of the most effective oils to use in treating fungal infections. It is derived from a perennial herb known as Origanum vulgare, which produces a strong aromatic essence. Many aromatherapy experts deem this as one of the best antifungal oils around. But this is much stronger compared to other types of oils recommended for treating fungal infections, so you need to be cautious about your method of applying this oil for fungal infection treatment.

According to a report titled Antifungal Activity of Oregano and Thyme Essential Oils, scientists studied the effects of various oils on wet wheat grains.

Of the four materials investigated, only oregano essential oil exhibited fungicidal activity and, following 24 h exposure to 20 μl/L, a significant reduction in the percent of infested grain was observed even after 5 days of incubation on potato dextrose agar. A reduction in the germinability of the grains was evident following exposure to the materials tested.

Aside from the antifungal properties of oregano oil, it is also a great source of anti-parasitical properties, both of which effectively fight against fungi and its effect on the body. You can use it to manage and control symptoms of fungal infection, such as pain and inflammation. If you have highly sensitive skin, then you might have to seek professional advice before opting to use oregano oil for treating fungal infections. To prevent this from happening, it would be best to use oregano oil in combination with other essential oils such as olive or aloe oil. You can also try using natural solvents to enable the properties of oregano oil to penetrate deeply into the skin or nails.

2. Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli is one of many floral essential oils. But more than just offering a sweet fragrance, this oil also makes a powerful treatment against fungal infection. In addition to being utilized as one of the top perfume oils, patchouli oil is a good source of antifungal properties that help effectively treat athlete's foot or foot fungus.

In a study conducted on the Antifungal and Cytotoxic Activities of Sixty Commercially-Available Essential Oils, patchouli essential oil showed "notable antifungal activity" against several well-known types of fungus. In the 60 oils that were tested, patchouli was in the top ten fungal inhibitors.

3. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil is known as one of the best essential oils to use for fungal infections. It acts as a natural antibiotic, which explains why it is best recommended for treating fungal infections, particularly nail fungus. It is derived from the native Australian tree known as Melaleuca Alternifolia. It also contains antiseptic and antifungal properties that work best in killing fungi that cause infections and other diseases.

Furthermore, tea tree oil helps to disinfect your skin, nails, and nail beds for effective fungal infection treatment. Just make sure that you are using pure tea tree oil to be ensured these results. To use tea tree oil for fungal infections, you must apply it directly on the affected nails 2-3 times daily. When curing nail fungus, it can take up to 6 months for it to be completely cured.

Bonus: Olive Oil

This item is a bonus because it doesn't technically fall into the "essential" oil category. Olive oil is a vegetable oil; unlike the oils above that are concentrated extracts from a plant, olive oil is made of mostly unsaturated fat.

Olive oil is most famous for its culinary purposes. Despite being native to the Mediterranean region, it is now cultivated in various parts of the world, mostly due to its wide application in cooking. The oil is derived from the ripe olive fruit, which can yield up to 20 percent of volatile oil. The oil is then used for various aromatherapy applications, which include treatment for fungus infection.

Olive oil is best used for nail fungal infections. But aside from combating fungi that are the leading cause of the infection, it also helps in restoring the health of your skin. To optimize results, you need to apply the olive oil directly to the affected area 2 to 3 times daily.

Practical Tips for Treating Fungal Infections

In order to fully overcome problems with fungus, you need to take different practical measures. This is especially true when using essential oils that can be optimized for the best results. Here are some tips to consider:

  • The topical method of application is considered the best method to use in treating fungal infections with essential oils. But make sure to perform a sensitivity test before applying the essential oil directly on your skin to avoid developing irritation.
  • For your own safety, always combine essential oils with a base or carrier oil prior to using them on your skin. This will enable you to avoid the possibility of developing skin irritations and sensitivities.
  • Never ingest essential oils unless specifically instructed by an expert physician or aromatherapist.

Information About Fungal Infections

The two most commonly recognized fungal infections are nail and foot fungus. These are caused by microorganisms that thrive in various places on the human body. While microorganisms can often serve beneficial purposes, they can also be a source of disease.

Some of the most common areas of the body affected by fungal infections are the hair, skin, or nails. These are all, of course, external parts of the body, but fungi can also affect and debilitate the immune system. When this happens, the body becomes incapable of protecting itself against various other diseases.

Nail fungus is an infection affecting one or more nails due to the presence of certain types of fungi. At the outset of this infection, you will notice the presence of either a yellow or white spot beneath your nails. Once the infection spreads deeper into your nail, you will notice the nail starts to discolor, with the edges starting to crumble. Not only is it unsightly, but this can also be painful as well.

On the other hand, there is foot fungus that is more commonly referred to as athlete's foot. It typically affects the skin on your feet or between each toe. One of the most common ways to acquire athlete's foot is through walking barefoot on moist floors that might serve as a breeding ground for fungi that cause such infection. Some of the most common symptoms of foot fungus include reddening, swelling, or itching of the skin.

Good Luck!

Studies have shown that several different essential oils can be helpful in aiding fungal infections. If you try these methods, remember to do so under the recommendation of your doctor and by using proper preparation techniques. If you have any tips or other suggestions, let us know in the comments below!

Sources and Further Reading

  • Goel, Nidhi, et al. “Antifungal Activity of Cinnamon Oil and Olive Oil against Candida Spp.. Isolated from Blood Stream Infections.” Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, JCDR Research and Publications (P) Limited, Aug. 2016
  • Seladi-Schulman, Jill. “Patchouli Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 26 Mar. 2019,
  • Square, Adelaide. “Fungal Infections of the Hair, Skin or Nails - Including Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention: Sa Health.” Fungal Infections - Hair, Skin or Nails
  • Watson, Kathryn. “Antifungal Essential Oils: How to Use for Skin and Fungal Conditions.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2 Mar. 2018,

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.