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The Top 5 Antifungal Essential Oils for Skin, Scalp and Nails

Many essential oils have antifungal properties, meaning that they act as a natural fungicide. This makes essential oils a powerful natural remedy for conditions such as ringworm, athlete's foot and toenail fungus.

But which are the best essential oils for treating fungal conditions, and how do you go about using them?

In this article, we'll talk you through five of the most powerful antifungal essential oils, as well as discussing how each of these can be used on your skin, scalp and nails.

Content/Quick links

  • The 5 best antifungal essential oils
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Clove essential oil
  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • Antifungal essential oil recipes
  • Essential oil for toenail fungus
  • Essential oil for ringworm
  • Essential oil for athlete's foot
  • Essential oil for scalp fungus
  • In summary

The 5 best antifungal essential oils

1. Tea tree essential oil

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is one of the most well-known and widely used antifungal essential oils. It has a long history of use in Australia for treating skin conditions and is now popular all over the world.

Tea tree oil is a common ingredient in shampoos, and the reason for this is because scalp itching and dandruff are often caused by minor fungal infections of the scalp.

Tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol, the main compound responsible for its antifungal properties. It is effective against a wide range of fungi including:

  • Candida albicans: the most common cause of fungal infections in people and causes most cases yeast infections, thrush and systemic Candidiasis infections
  • Trichophyton rubrum: colonizes superficial dead skin cells and causes most cases of athlete’s foot, toenail infections, jock itch and ringworm
  • Aspergillus niger: the most common type of black mold found on food and in the house

A recent review of studies found that tea tree oil was equally as effective as benzoyl peroxide in reducing the symptoms of acne. Another study found that combining tea tree oil with aloe vera and propolis further improved the symptoms of acne. This makes tea tree oil a promising treatment when it comes to acne.

But the benefits of tea tree essential oil don't stop there. Another study showed a 25-50% solution of tea tree oil to be more effective than a placebo in curing athlete's foot. In fact, 64% of cases in the study were cured with tea tree oil compared to just 31% with the placebo. This demonstrates the effectiveness of tea tree oil as a natural remedy for fungal skin infections like athlete's foot.

Another well-designed study found that tea tree oil was as effective as a topical antifungal medication in resolving toenail fungus, making it a safe, natural alternative.

Tea tree oil can be used on its own or in combination with other essential oils. It is best applied topically to the affected area. Before doing this, you will need to dilute your tea tree oil with a carrier oil to reduce the chances of skin irritation.

volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
tea tree
volant organic tea tree essential oil bottle packaging for hair and skin
volant white diffuser using organic tea tree essential oil for aromatherapy

Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil

13 €

2. Oregano essential oil

Many people swear by oil of oregano to treat all sorts of immunity-related issues. Oregano oil is another popular essential oil for treating fungal conditions. It contains both carvacrol and thymol, which have some impressive antifungal and antibacterial properties.

A study in 2015 showed that thymol, one of the compounds in oregano oil, is effective against the Candida strain of fungus. This makes oregano essential oil effective in treating yeast infections and may help with some cases of infected toenails and athlete's foot.

To use oregano oil on a fungal infection, mix a few drops of oregano essential oil with a carrier oil and dab it onto the affected area. But be sure to start small - thymol is very strong, and oregano essential oil is very concentrated and can burn or irritate the skin. Remember: a little goes a long way!

This oil can also be combined with other essential oils to maximize the benefits.

3. Lavender essential oil

The most popular essential oil in the world, lavender essential oil is renowned for its relaxing properties. Luckily, this essential oil is also effective in treating skin conditions, making your purchase even more worthwhile! This is because lavender essential oil contains linalool, which is responsible for its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Lavender essential oil has been proven effective against a range of fungi including dermatophytes (fungi that grow in the skin, hair and nails) as well as various species of Candida. More research needs to be done, but this makes lavender essential oil worth a try when looking for safe, natural alternatives to many of the common fungal infections already mentioned.

To use lavender essential oil to treat fungal conditions, mix a few drops of the essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil. Then, apply the solution to the affected area.

After a long, hard day of work wearing sweaty shoes, or after a workout, not only will a lavender foot massage relieve stress, feel great and help you sleep, it will also help ward off pesky foot fungus!

You can also add this solution to your bathwater for a relaxing soak that also reduces the risk of fungal infections.

volant organic lavender essential oil that promotes relaxation and better sleep
volant organic lavender essential oil that promotes relaxation and better sleep
organic lavender
volant organic lavender essential oil bottle packaging that promotes relaxation and better sleep
volant white diffuser using organic lavender essential oil promoting relaxation and better sleep

Organic Lavender Essential Oil

13 €

4. Clove essential oil

Clove oil is a popular essential oil for treating dental conditions. It contains eugenol, which is responsible for its antibacterial properties. However, clove oil also has some impressive antifungal properties, meaning that it is useful for treating a wide range of fungal conditions.

Clove oil has been proven to be effective against a range of fungi including Microsporum audouinii, Epidermophyton floccosum, Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.

For this reason, clove oil may be an effective natural remedy for fungal infections including skin infections, toenail fungus and athlete's foot.

Clove oil (as well as oil of oregano) has also been shown promising in cases of thrush, and oral fungal infection caused by Candida.

According to a recent study, diffusing clove oil can also help improve your indoor air quality by reducing the growth of environmental fungi!

Clove oil can be used on its own or in combination with other essential oils. It is best applied topically to the affected area but can also be used in a diffuser or added to your bathwater.

5. Lemongrass essential oil

Bright, citrusy, happiness-inducing lemongrass essential oil is also a popular essential oil for cleaning as well as treating skin conditions. It contains citral, which is responsible for its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

A study in 1996 demonstrated that a cream containing a minimum of 2.5% lemongrass essential oil had fungicidal effects on a range of fungi. More recently, lemongrass has shown antifungal activity against both Candida and Aspergillus niger.

This makes lemongrass essential oil promising for a range of fungal conditions. So if you already love lemongrass, now you know of even more helpful ways to use it!

To use lemongrass essential oil for a fungal infection, mix 3 drops of the essential oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Apply the solution topically to the affected area. You can also add this solution to your bathwater or diffuse it in your home.

volant organic lemongrass essential oil to repel insects
volant organic lemongrass essential oil to repel insects
organic lemongrass
volant organic lemongrass essential oil bottle packaging with antibacterial properties
volant grey diffuser using organic lemongrass essential oil to repel insects

Organic Lemongrass Essential Oil

12 €

Antifungal essential oil recipes

Essential oils are powerful natural extracts, and that power can be further intensified by combining different essential oils together to harness their benefits. Here are some of our favorite essential oils recipes for various fungal conditions.

Essential oil for toenail fungus

Toenail fungus is a painful condition that can quickly worsen if not treated. If you're looking for a natural remedy for toenail fungus, essential oils are an easy option. Here is one of our favorite recipes for treating toenail fungus:

  • 20 drops clove oil
  • 20 drops lemongrass oil
  • 10 drops cinnamon oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 5 drops rosemary oil

Blend these oils with 100 ml of your favorite carrier oil. We recommend jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. You can then apply this mixture twice a day onto your toenail fungus.

However, it's essential that you seek medical advice regarding your toenail fungus, especially if you notice the symptoms worsening or if you have any concerns over the condition.

volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil for your hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil packaging. best for hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil rich with the beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E, making it holistically great for your body.

Jojoba Carrier Oil

18 €
volant organic eucalyptus essential oil to relieve nasal congestion
volant organic eucalyptus essential oil to relieve nasal congestion
organic eucalyptus leaves
volant organic eucalyptus essential oil bottle packaging to relieve nasal congestion
volant white diffuser using organic eucalyptus essential oil to relieve nasal congestion

Organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil

13 €
volant organic rosemary essential oil for hair growth
volant organic rosemary essential oil for hair growth
organic rosemary leaves
volant organic rosemary essential oil bottle packaging for hair growth
volant grey diffuser using organic rosemary essential oil to relieve stress and relax

Organic Rosemary Essential Oil

14 €

Essential oil for ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes a red, itchy rash. If you're looking for a natural remedy for ringworm, try essential oils. Here is one of our favorite recipes:

  • 10 drops lavender oil
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 5 drops thyme oil
  • 5 drops oregano oil

Blend these oils with 100 ml of your favorite carrier oil. We recommend jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. You can then apply this mixture twice a day onto your toenail fungus.

However, it's essential that you seek medical advice regarding your toenail fungus, especially if you notice the symptoms worsening or if you have any concerns over the condition.

volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil for your hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil packaging. best for hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil rich with the beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E, making it holistically great for your body.

Jojoba Carrier Oil

18 €
volant organic lavender essential oil that promotes relaxation and better sleep
volant organic lavender essential oil that promotes relaxation and better sleep
organic lavender
volant organic lavender essential oil bottle packaging that promotes relaxation and better sleep
volant white diffuser using organic lavender essential oil promoting relaxation and better sleep

Organic Lavender Essential Oil

13 €
volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
tea tree
volant organic tea tree essential oil bottle packaging for hair and skin
volant white diffuser using organic tea tree essential oil for aromatherapy

Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil

13 €

Essential oil for athlete's foot

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that affects the feet, mostly the skin between the toes. If you're looking for a natural remedy for athlete's foot, you may want to try essential oils. Here is one of our favorite recipes:

  • 15 drops clove oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 5 drops oregano oil

Add these essential oils to 100 ml of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. Apply this mixture twice a day to the affected area.

It's important to seek medical advice if you have any concerns over your athlete's foot infection.

volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil for your hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil packaging. best for hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil rich with the beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E, making it holistically great for your body.

Jojoba Carrier Oil

18 €
volant organic lavender essential oil that promotes relaxation and better sleep
volant organic lavender essential oil that promotes relaxation and better sleep
organic lavender
volant organic lavender essential oil bottle packaging that promotes relaxation and better sleep
volant white diffuser using organic lavender essential oil promoting relaxation and better sleep

Organic Lavender Essential Oil

13 €
volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
tea tree
volant organic tea tree essential oil bottle packaging for hair and skin
volant white diffuser using organic tea tree essential oil for aromatherapy

Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil

13 €

Essential oil for scalp fungus

Scalp fungus is a common fungal infection that can cause dandruff, itching and hair loss. If you're looking for a natural remedy for scalp fungus, you may want to try essential oils. Here is one of our favorite recipes:

  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops peppermint oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil

Add these essential oils to a clean bottle along with 100 ml of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or sweet almond oil, and mix well. You can then apply this mixture once or even twice a day to the affected area. Of course, you may need to wash it out later to keep your hair from getting too oily!

It's important to note that you should seek medical advice if you have any concerns over your scalp fungus infection.

volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil for your hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil packaging. best for hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil rich with the beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E, making it holistically great for your body.

Jojoba Carrier Oil

18 €
volant organic eucalyptus essential oil to relieve nasal congestion
volant organic eucalyptus essential oil to relieve nasal congestion
organic eucalyptus leaves
volant organic eucalyptus essential oil bottle packaging to relieve nasal congestion
volant white diffuser using organic eucalyptus essential oil to relieve nasal congestion

Organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil

13 €
volant organic peppermint essential oil to keep mosquitoes away
volant organic peppermint essential oil to keep mosquitoes away
organic peppermint leaves
volant organic peppermint essential oil bottle packaging to keep mosquitoes away
volant white diffuser using organic peppermint essential oil to keep mosquitoes away

Organic Peppermint Essential Oil

14 €

In summary

Each of these essential oils has powerful antifungal properties, has been used in traditional medicines and can be used for a range of fungal conditions.

They can be used on their own or in combination with other essential oils, depending on your needs. They can be used both topically and in your diffuser, and not only will you benefit physically, but you’ll enjoy their scents and mental effects too! Why not try blending different antifungal essential oils together to create a blend tailored to your needs?

While essential oils are a powerful natural remedy for a range of conditions, it's important that you seek medical advice if you have any concerns, or if your symptoms worsen.

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