Best Antifungal Essential Oils: Review, Alternative Treatments and Recipes

Fungal Infections are probably some of the most common skin diseases people can have. Even if there are pharmaceutical products available today to treat those, many prefer the antifungal essential oils to treat this type of condition.

Natural remedies vs. medical treatments

Anyone from children to the eldest can suffer from an infection of this kind at some point in their lives. Fungal infections can have many causes, and this is why preventing fungal problems is better than treating them. However, there are no ‘bulletproof’ methods to make sure you won’t be infected with fungus.

Even if you protect yourself, an infection of this kind is easily transmitted from a member of your family or your sexual partner

Good news is that most of them can be treated easily, by your doctor or even with natural treatments at home.

Natural remedies vs. medical treatments

No matter what type of fungal infection you suffer from, your doctor will probably prescribe a cream or powder based on Clotrimazole. For the yeast fungal infection, Fluconazole is also used to kill the candidiasis germ that is responsible for the infection. While those treatments are effective and easily accessible, the essential oils with antifungal properties may be just as good.

Most known essential oil treatments

Most common fungal infections are athlete’s foot, jock itches, ringworms, and yeast infections. As each one of those fungal infections has its own development and reactions, there are different treatments for those conditions. However, they all have something in common: they are provoked by a fungal germ. For this reason, an antifungal oils recipe to treat athlete’s foot may be a good way to treat yeast infection as well.

Essential oils and their healing effects against fungal infections

While choosing the best antifungal essential oil depends on the type of infection that you suffer from, some versatile oils are effective in treating or preventing any type of fungus.

  1. Clove oil – effective in treating 15 types of fungi, including candida albicans.
  2. Lemongrass Oil – mostly suited for internal infections, but just as good for athlete’s foot or jock itch. Also recommended for prevention of yeast infections.
  3. Lavender Essential Oil – reduces the risks of topical infections, by killing the candida and dermatophytes microbes.
  4. Tea Tree Oil – treats fungal infections by inhibiting the replication of the harmful cells.
  5. Cinnamon Essential Oil – best known for its anti-inflammatory properties, is also effective against fungal and candida infections.
  6. Thyme Essential Oil – very strong even against resistant bacteria, such as staphylococcus, it should be used only diluted and after being tested on a small area of the skin.
  7. Oregano Essential Oil – effective against any type of fungal infection (yeast or skin).

While all those oils and treatments are effective against many types of fungal infections, each type of disease has its own characteristics; therefore, it is important to determine which kind of essential oils recipe is good to treat your problem.

Types of fungal infections and essential oils treatments

Athlete’s Foot is one of the most common fungal infections. It causes redness and irritations of the foot’s skin, sometimes even blisters and sores. The fungus responsible for this infection develops in moisture areas, wet socks, in old shoes or on wet floors. Children are particularly vulnerable to athlete’s foot, as they can easily catch the fungus in swimming pools or locker rooms. It is impossible to prevent your child from catching this infection, as it thrives in skin peels on the floor or even on benches and toilet seats.

One way to reduce the risks of being infected is to avoid tight shoes and socks, especially during the summer. Change socks as often as possible, especially after training or activities.

Essential Oils with Antifungal Properties against Athlete’s Foot

Antifungal Properties against Athlete’s Foot

Amongst the best antifungal essential oils not only for athlete’s foot but also for fungal yeast, is the essential oil of tea tree. It works great in a combination with olive oil. Combine 10-15 ml of tea tree oil with 5 ml of olive oil and one liter of warm water, and soak the affected foot in this mixture for 20-30 minutes.

Another mixture is the one of tea tree oil (10 ml) with almond oil (5ml). Use a clean towel to rub the affected area of the foot 3-4 times a day.

Other powerful Antifungal Essential Oils Recipes for Athlete’s Foot

  1. Arrowroot proved to be effective in treating athlete’s foot for centuries, but only lately, its combination with tea tree oil was discovered as the perfect natural remedy for this fungal infection. Mix arrowroot powder (50 grams) with 40 ml of water and 40 drops of tea tree oil. Put a pair of cotton socks in this mixture and leave it to soak for 10 minutes. Put the socks on for 25-30 minutes and repeat the treatment for 4 days. If you don’t see any improvement in your condition after this treatment, consult your doctor immediately.
  2. Peppermint essential oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Add one spoon of this oil to one cup of rolled oats and 100 grams of salt. Use this scrub on the affected area by massaging it gently for 10 minutes
  3. Lemongrass and Olive oil (8 drops each) added to a liter of water will make the perfect soak blend for your feet. Dip your feet into it and relax for 30 minutes

Essential Oils treatments for jock itch

Jock itch is another common fungal infection with characteristics resembling the ones of athlete’s foot. Just as athlete’s foot, it occurs because of tight socks or wet shoes; the jock itch appears like a rash on the skin after wearing tight clothes or exercising. Jock itch can be prevented by making some changes in dieting and exercise. It is also a perquisite for candida; therefore, you should go to your doctor if the natural essential oils treatments are not effective after a few days.

Lavender oil is the most effective remedy for jock itch. Mix one part of lavender oil with 10 parts of coconut or jojoba oil for dilution and apply on the affected area. This mixture is close to the oils produced by the skin to prevent yeast infections.  Lavender oil is used to create the most effective antifungal essential oils for skin.

Other antifungal essential oils for jock itch

As jock itch and athlete’s foot have about the same causes and effects, most of the athlete’s foot essential oils recipes are just as good for treating this condition. However, the mixtures and quantities are a little different.

  1. Tea tree oil – Clean the skin on the affected area and apply 5-10 ml of oil onto the skin. Leave it there for as long as possible and put the clothes on only if the oil is perfectly impregnated in the skin
  2. Garlic compress – combine three crushed garlic cloves with olive oil in a bowl, dip a clean cotton ball or cloth and apply it on the affected area at least twice a day
  3. Vinegar – even if it is not a treatment itself, vinegar is effective in easing the pains associated with jock itch. Use it as an emergency treatment to ease your pain before using essential oils.

Yeast Infections


While athlete’s foot and jock itches are hard to prevent, the yeast infections are mostly transmitted by sexual contact or because of bad eating habits, therefore, they have a different evolution and effect. While the basic antifungal essential oils can be effective against yeast infections like candida albicans, the yeast infections and mouth ulcerations given by fungi must be approached differently.

Candida is considered a gastro-intestinal disease given by a disorder of the stomach flora. It is a common disease in our modern life. Eating many fast food products and sugar-based foods will offer a propitious environment for ‘candida albicans’ to spread and release toxins.

Candida albicans is present in many people. However, just because the microbe is present in our body, it does not mean you are aware of it. 60% of men infected with candida albicans don’t experience any symptoms, but they can transmit it through sexual intercourse or using hygiene products in common (towels, clothes). Candida and other yeast infections manifest mostly in women. If one of the family members suffers from this condition, it is recommended to take the necessary precautions for all the other people living in the house.

Best antifungal essential oils for yeast infections

Thyme oil is the most effective treatment against yeast infections. It is one of the most powerful anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory treatments. It is an essential oil with anti-fungal properties for skin, but it can be used in a mixture with honey to remove the yeast infection from the vaginal area. Mix 3-5 drops of oil mixed with 3 teaspoons of honey. Never use water or juices, as the thyme oil is soluble in those. Drink the mixture 3 times a day for 7-14 days, take a break of one week and start again. This treatment is perfect as an adjuvant to the medical treatment you are taking (fluconazole and clotrimazole).

Thyme oil can also be used for washing the vaginal area. Boil 3-4 leafs of thyme for 5 minutes, mix with lavender oil (5-10 drops) and apply it on the affected area. Not recommended for pregnant women, or for those suffering from gastric problems.

Other essential oil treatments for yeast infections

Besides candida albicans, there are many yeast infections affecting not only women (dysmenorrhea -painful menstruation, vaginitis, and adnexitis). Moreover, yeast infections can affect other parts of the body, including mouth (ulcerations).

In those cases, antifungal essential oil recipes such as the ones based on tea tree leaves, lavender or myrtle are most effective. Those are perfect to stop vaginal leaks, itches, and burns given by yeast infections in other parts of the body.

  1. Tea tree oil – 5-10 drops mixed with coconut oil (50 grams) applied on the affected area 2-3 times a day. It is anti-fungal, anti-septic and anti-bacterial, detoxifying, and disinfectant
  2. Lavender essential oil – antiseptic, calming, curative. It reduces the PMS syndrome effects, period pains, and specific problems caused by menopause, besides killing the yeast microbes at the same time.
  3. The myrtle oil can be applied easily for local washing. Boil 1 liter of water and add 6-10 drops of myrtle oil. Leave it to cool, and wash the intimate area with the mixture.

Preventing and treating fungal infections

Preventing and treating fungal infections

Even if fungal infections have many causes and they manifest themselves in many ways, they are easily treated at home in the majority of cases. It is not recommended to diagnose yourself if you spot rashes on the skin or vaginal leaks. If you have a history of fungal infections or you just don’t have time to go to the doctor, you can think about natural treatments and essential oils to treat your problem as soon as it appears.

The advantage of essential oils for skin and natural treatments for fungal infections is that they cure and prevent the re-installment of the disease. Even if you consult your doctor and you are given prescription medicines for your problem, the essential oil recipes are better for preventing other yeast infections in the future.

The antifungal essential oils were proven to be effective centuries ago, when modern medicine was not available. On the other hand, if those treatments are not effective after a while, consult your doctor immediately. However, fungal infections are common, sometimes easy to diagnose and treat even at home. They may also be the sign of severe diseases, metabolism disorders, stomach or mouth problems, and even sexually transmitted diseases. If natural treatments are not effective, consult a specialist immediately.

Sources and References

  1. NCBI Emerging fungal infections among children
  2. MedlinePlus Fungal Infections
  3. CDC Fungal Diseases

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