What Are the Different Antifungal Essential Oils?

Essential oils are very potent and should be handled with care.
Clove oil is a common herbal remedy that can be used to quickly numb a toothache.
Fennel oil is antibacterial and antifungal.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2014
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Antifungal essential oils are made from herbs that are reported to possess antifungal properties and are used to treat infections such as ringworm, jock itch, and athlete's foot. Some of the most popular antifungal essential oils include tea tree oil, cinnamon bark, and myrrh. Additional essential oils that may be used to treat fungal infections include peppermint oil, clove oil, and fennel oil. Before beginning a treatment plan with antifungal essential oils, a doctor should be consulted to discuss possible side effects or medication interaction.

Tea tree oil is among the most well-known antifungal essential oils and has been used for centuries to treat infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. As is the case with all essential oils, tea tree oil can cause skin irritation if used full-strength. A few drops of essential oil can be added to a carrier oil such as olive oil or almond oil before applying to the skin. Almond oil should not be used by those who have nut allergies. Lavender should not be used alongside tea tree oil in pre-pubescent boys due to possible hormonal disruptions.


Cinnamon bark and myrrh are often used to create antifungal essential oils. Used to kill fungus spores in the air, cinnamon bark oil should not be applied to the skin. This oil can cause severe skin irritation, even when combined with a carrier oil. Myrrh oil is thought to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of jock itch and may help to boost the immune system, further assisting the body in the elimination of the infection.

Peppermint oil is one of the more popular antifungal essential oils. When mixed with a carrier oil, peppermint oil can be applied directly to the skin lesions. This oil emits strong fumes and may cause irritation when applied too closely to mucus membranes such as the eyes or genitals. In an effort to boost the effects of peppermint oil, some people choose to drink peppermint tea a couple times each day as a way to cleanse the blood.

Clove oil or fennel may be used as antifungal essential oils in some situations. In addition to possessing antifungal properties, clove oil can be used to treat toothaches, acne, and parasites. Fennel oil is believed to provide both antibacterial and antifungal benefits and is also thought to lower the risks of developing certain forms of cancer. While fennel oil is considered safe for most people, it is not recommended for use by pregnant women due to potential estrogen-like effects.


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