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15 All-Natural Antifungal Essential Oils

12 All-Natural Antifungal Essential Oils, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Whatever fungal concern you're trying to stay protected from, using natural antifungal essential oils is almost always a safer first option. While essential oils aren't meant to "cure" anything, they can often help your body stay healthy before moving onto bigger attempts.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: None of the health topics presented on Sustainable Baby Steps have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not replace personal judgment nor medical treatment when indicated, nor are they intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always talk to your naturopathic physician about the use of these or any other complimentary modalities. Reading this website denotes your understanding and agreement to our full disclaimer.

Did you know that research has shown the side effects of over-the-counter antifungal creams could include:

  • irritation
  • inflammation
  • rash
  • blisters
  • numbness and tingling
  • liver damage
  • and more?1

However, the effectiveness and safety of essential oils as antifungal treatments depends solely on the quality of oil.

I've used many antifungal essential oils that have given me similar side effects to the common OTCs (!!!), or had no impact at all. Melaleuca (tea tree) is a good example of this. A poor quality melaleuca oil is not only ineffective, it can cause severe reactions which worsen the original condition, since many melaleuca oils are distilled in a way that increases their irritation to the skin.

It's easy to find poor quality essential oils in grocery stores, drugstores, even natural health stores. It's important that you're looking for essential oils that undergo rigorous testing for purity and are sourced only from their indigenous regions. If your essential oils aren't sourced from their natural home, you simply won't have as healthy a plant or as potent an oil, and if the quality is not there, you may have some unfortunate additives, fillers, or contaminants instead. Learn what to look for in your essential oil company here.

The 17 Best Antifungal Essential Oils

Each of the following essential oils have been found to have natural antifungal properties to varying degrees. The oils marked with * are the most commonly known, widely used, and generally found to be strongest. Just remember that these are complimentary and are not meant to take the place of your doctor's care when indicated. There's a time and place for essential oils, and a time and place for a doctor's appointment. Be sure to visit your doctor and use your own best judgment when using any alternative remedies.

Arborvitae Essential Oil

Arborvitae is antibacterial, antiseptic, insect repellant, and more. It can be used topically (diluted for sensitive skin) or in household cleaning. My husband even uses it as deodorant.
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Cassia Essential Oil

Cassia's other properties, besides antifungal, are antibacterial and antiviral. It must be diluted (1 drop of cassia to a minimum of 3+ drops of carrier oil) and can be massaged into reflex points or over areas of concern.
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Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood is also anti-infectious, antiseptic, and can be soothing to irritated skin. Sensitive skin should dilute, diffusing is also a good idea, but it's not an oil suitable for internal use.
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Cilantro Essential Oil

Cilantro is also antibacterial, and commonly used for supporting the body's detoxification efforts. It's generally safe to use without diluting for most skin types, and can also be diffused or used internally with the right precautions.
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Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon has many properties, including antibacterial, anti-infectious (especially urinary and intestinal), antiseptic and many more which aid and assist this and other natural antifungal essential oils. It is strong, so be sure to dilute it (1 drop of cinnamon to a minimum 3+ drops of carrier), but you can cook, bake or even make candy with it for flus and colds.
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Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary sage is not only antifungal, it's also a nerve tonic, astringent, soothing and calming, and more. It generally doesn't need dilution and potentially may be taken internally thru the use of capsules if you know the proper precautions.
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Clove Essential Oil*

This potent oil is a strong antiseptic, as well as antifungal oil. Great for cleaning and diffusing, and is also antibacterial, disinfectant, and even antitumor. It can be used topically, diluted equally with a carrier oil, or taken internally with the right precautions.
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Coriander Essential Oil

Coriander is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and a stimulant. It blends well with other "spice" oils, can usually be applied without dilution, and can be used internally, such as in cooking.
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Lavender Essential Oil*

Lavender oil is not only an antifungal, it is also anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and more. It's alo a great oil for soothing irritated skin. And it's calming and great to use at night (best night of sleep ever!). It can be used topically, generally with or without dilution.
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Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon oil is also an antioxidant, antiseptic, even anticancer! It's great for cleaning, can be used internally (dropped in water), or topically, although sensitive skin may want to dilute, and you should avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after topical use.
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Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Essential Oil*

Melaleuca is widely known for its anti-everything properties: antifungal, antibacterial, anit-infectious, antiparasitic, antiviral, and more, including tissue regenerative and neurotonic. Sensitive skin might find they need to dilute (but not always), and its a great household cleaner.
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Oregano Essential Oil*

Oregano is a highly potent antifungal and antiviral essential oil. It's also very strong, meaning you should never apply it without diluting first. But you can cook with it! Great for very persistant funkiness, too. Did you know it's being studied for its effectiveness against MRSA?
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Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli oil is also anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antiseptic, among many other properties. It can usually be used without dilution and applied directly over any area of concern.
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Protective Immune Blends*

Protective/immune boosting blends are our go-to oil for immune support. These blends contain a mix of essential oils, most from this list, and are powerfully effective at getting us through cold and flu season (or just cleaning toilets, ha).
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Purifying Blends*

Purifying blends are especially created to be cleansing - for the body or the home. They contain multiple essential oils, many of which are antiviral, antibacterial, and even energizing. Great to use when the whole house has a cold or flu, topically or otherwise.
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Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is a natural antifungal, but also is known for its anticancer, anti-infectious, antioxidant, and other properties. It usually requires no dilution and can be applied topically to the area of concern, as well as used in cooking or taken internally.
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Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme is said to be highly antibacterial, as well as antiviral, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. It makes a great defense against many issues, although it should always be diluted (1 drop thyme to a minimum 4+ drops carrier oil). It can be cooked with, as can most other "spice" oils.
Learn More

Many other blends that contain these oils may have the same antiviral properties. You can check out more blends based on your needs here.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: None of the health topics presented on Sustainable Baby Steps have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not replace personal judgment nor medical treatment when indicated, nor are they intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always talk to your naturopathic physician about the use of these or any other complimentary modalities. Reading this website denotes your understanding and agreement to our full disclaimer.

Natural Antifungal Products and Uses

Green Your Clean

Natural Antifungal Cream
First choose a carrier. Beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, or something of the like works best. If nothing else is handy you can use a lotion, but be aware that it can counteract with the oils, make the condition worse, or simply not blend with your essential oils. For every tablespoon of carrier, add 1-2 drops of your preferred oils. Make small batches, as they go far, and store in small glass jars (such as a small mason jar).

Natural Antifungal Foot Soak
Fill a large bowl, cake pan, or other small tub with warm water (or as hot as you can tolerate, if you prefer). Optionally, add 1/4 cup of epsom salt or baking soda. Add a total of 5-10 drops of your preferred antifungal essential oils. Some "hot" oils may need to be diluted in a carrier oil first so that they don't come in direct contact with your sensitive skin.

Natural Antifungal Shampoo
In addition to the recommendations we have here for dandruff home remedies, my first recommendation would be to forego shampoo altogether and allow your scalp to adjust to using water or baking soda (it will overproduce oils at first, since it is accustomed to the shampoo stripping your scalp of oils, but this usually corrects itself in a few weeks). If you feel you need soap, try Dr. Bronners or some other gentle castille soap. You can make your own shampoo by adding 10-12 oz of water, 1 teaspoon of liquid Dr. Bronners, and up to 10-15 drops of natural antifungal essential oils to a bottle, shake well before each use and wash with the mixture. You can also add the oils of your choice to your current shampoo bottle (2-4 drops per ounce of bottle) and shake/mix VERY well. I recommend making small batches at a time and storing them in glass or stainless steel jars or containers. Check out more homemade shampoo recipes here.

Natural Antifungal Spray
The type of spray you wish to create depends on its use. You can add distilled water or aloe vera juice with 1-3 drops per ounce for personal use. If you wish to make a natural cleaning product, try using white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide diluted with water (up to 50%) and adding 2-4 drops per ounce. Store in a glass of stainless jar, preferably, and shake before use. If you're using it topically on your body, I'd avoid any "hot" oils that may irritate sensitive skin.

Natural Antifungal Powder
Baking soda is going to be the best base here. It helps to eliminate odors, which often come with along fungus. Add 1-3 drops of any essential oils or blends of oils to every ounce of baking soda, shake very well to evenly distribute the oils throughout the baking soda and sprinkle in shoes, on carpets, in closets, over tubs and sinks, etc. (I suggest making smaller amounts at a time to keep the oils at their most potent, or else they'll evaporate too quickly. Store any extra in a glass jar.)

What other ways do you use natural antifungal essential oils? Add your own ideas to the comments below!

IMPORTANT INFO: Due to government regulations, I can either share information on health and wellness, or share my favorite companies to buy from. I am not allowed to do both, despite my constitutional rights. Therefore, I apologize, but I cannot make product recommendations on where to buy essential oils. Please do not share your own product recommendations in the comments of this article as these too can end our access to information, and so I'll have to delete them.

Also, please remember to get involved in your local, state, and national government elections, and vote, not just at the ballot, but with your dollar and your voice to change regulations that limit a consumers right to information.

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1. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Antifungal-drugs/Pages/Side-effects.aspx