What Are the Different Antifungal Essential Oils?

Meshell Powell

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.

Essential oils are very potent and should be handled with care.
Essential oils are very potent and should be handled with care.

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.

Fennel oil is antibacterial and antifungal.
Fennel oil is antibacterial and antifungal.

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.

Clove oil is a common herbal remedy that can be used to quickly numb a toothache.
Clove oil is a common herbal remedy that can be used to quickly numb a toothache.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Women who frequently experience yeast infections should drink peppermint tea regularly. I do and I have noticed a reduction in the frequency of yeast infections. I also add some ginger to my peppermint tea. I think ginger may have antifungal properties too. It's also great for the stomach.

Another great tea to have to fight yeast is chai. I make it with black tea and milk and add fresh ginger, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Some people also add a little bit of black pepper. I love this tea. It's delicious, comforting and also beneficial.


I didn't know that cinnamon bark oil is antifungal. I use cinnamon bark essential oil all the time, but to freshen the air. I use it in my oil warmer to make the whole house smell like cinnamon. I think it has aromatherapy benefits too. I didn't even know that the oil is killing fungus spores in the air! That's great to know.

It would be nice if the oil could be used topically though. My mother sometimes suffers from a fungal infection on her big toenail. If cinnamon bark oil was safe to use topically, I'd recommend it to her. I'll just recommend tea tree or peppermint oil instea.


Tea tree oil is antiseptic in general, so it helps kill fungi, bacteria, etc. It's recommended for so many different conditions, anything from acne to scalp fungal infections. I've wanted to use it and I did try it once but unfortunately, I'm allergic. I developed a red rash all over my face from a tea tree oil face wash and never used anything with tea tree oil again.

So even though this is a highly effective oil, I urge everyone to test a little bit on their arm first to check for allergies.

Post your comments
Forgot password?