Increasingly, fungal infections are becoming resistant to anti-fungal medications. This is a concern because fungal skin and nail infections are common in people. Luckily, lavender essential oil has shown strong anti-fungal effects that don’t trigger resistance.
How Fungal Infections Affect People
There are a range of fungal infections, including athlete’s foot and ringworm, that affect many people at various times in their lives. Candida species, which can cause thrush and other conditions are also widespread.
There are not very many antifungal medications currently available to treat these and other fungal infections, and scientists are starting to see resistance to them among the world’s population. Not only that, but the current medications also carry risks of serious side effects, especially in young, old, or immunocompromised people.
Could Lavender Essential Oil Be an Alternative Fungal Treatment?
Researchers in Portugal recently tested the effectiveness of lavender essential oil against dermatophyte and Candida fungal agents and found it to be very effective at killing them. Lavender oil combats the fungi by damaging their cell walls (Microbiology, 2011).
According to the study, clinical trials should be done next to better determine lavender’s usefulness in treating fungal infections.
Can You Use Lavender Oil at Home for Fungal Infections?
Before using any home remedy for a medical condition, you should always check with your doctor. First, the condition must be properly diagnosed because if it is not, wrong treatment could make it worse. Next, any reasons that you shouldn’t use the lavender or should consider another treatment will be pointed out by your medical professional.
If your doctor does OK your use of lavender oil for your fungal infection, be sure you are using an oil that is pure, without the addition of fragrances or other chemicals. Before applying it to your skin or nails, you can dilute it in coconut oil, which also has anti-fungal properties and will help decrease any potential side effects that you might experience from using the oil “neat,” or directly on your skin.
Potential side effects of lavender oil include skin rash or irritation and allergy, which can result in local or systemic reactions, potentially even including anaphylaxis. Use on children and pregnant and nursing women should be avoided unless specifically recommended by a doctor.
New Frontiers for Medications
The research into lavender oil’s usefulness against fungal infections is a step toward developing new medications and treatments that are more natural and have fewer potential side effects. As we face a world where organisms are becoming dangerously resistant to medications, more such solutions must be sought after and developed.
- Microbiology, S. f. (2011, Feb. 16). Lavender oil has potent antifungal effect. Retrieved from sciencedaily.com.