Have you been recently introduced to the world of essential oils; or are you a veteran practitioner and have been around the block when it comes to using natural oils? If you are curious about whether or not you can use an essential oil to stymie and heal a yeast infection, the answer is “of course!” There are several different types of oils you can employ to fight off nearly any kind of yeast infection. Most of the antifungal oils will be discussed here, so take some time to get informed on these oils; feel free to consult the sources at the end of an article for further learning. It won’t take long before you know enough to start using essential oils for yeast infection treatment.
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Lemongrass Essential Oil
A well known essential oil that has been shown to be effective against Candida is lemon grass essential oil. Lemon grass, (also known by its scientific taxonomy ‘Cymbopogon citratus’) is a plant that thrives in tropical climates. This herb is especially popular in Southeast Asia. Some of the chemical constituents of lemongrass include terpenes, alcohols, aldehyde, and ketones. Scientific studies done on lemongrass indicate that this tropical herb possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Lemon grass is indeed a potent herbal remedy that could allay many different types of health maladies. Keep reading for more information about using this herb as an essential oil for yeast infection.
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Clove Essential Oil
Clove oil is another essential oil to add to your arsenal when you want to terminate yeast. Clove (also known by the scientific taxonomy of Syzygium aromaticum) oil contains eugenol and carvacrol; these two chemical constituents of the herb have been shown to have potential for treating vaginal yeast infections. Consequently, this is one oil to include in your assortment of essential oils for yeast infections.
When clove oil was used in tandem with lemongrass oil, researchers found that these essential oils were able to fight against the biofilm produced by Candida. By effectively fighting biofilm produced by yeast as it grows in the body, problems with drug resistance and recurrent infection could be ameliorated. This finding could make using these oils especially helpful for women who suffer from recurrent yeast infections. Case in point, in a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Volume 140, Issue 2, 27 March 2012, Pages 416–423); researchers found that Candida with preformed biofilm was sometimes 1024 times as resistant to conventional antifungal drugs.
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Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is a very powerful substance and can effectively fight a yeast infection. There is a lot of research that indicates tea tree oil is an effective remedy for Candida albicans. One study, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, found that small concentrations of this oil were able to inhibit several different species of Candida.
One caveat when using tea tree oil–make sure you are careful to not poison yourself. Ingesting even a small amount of tea tree oil can make you sick; a little bit more and you can die. This oil is indeed powerful, but it can be dangerous. Try diluting this oil in other oils when you use it. It may also be wise to consult a knowledgeable apothecary or doctor before you start using this essential oil.
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Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil has been shown to be perhaps one of the best essential oils to use to treat a yeast infection. It should be included in your arsenal of remedies for this purpose. One study showed that oil from Thymus vulgaris was the second best inhibitor of Candida albicans; the best oil was oregano oil. Consider this oil if you plan on mixing different essential oils together for a more comprehensive natural cure.
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Oregano (Origanum sp.) Essential Oil
Essential oil from the Origanum species (several species of Origanum are sold as oregano) has shown even stronger antifungal efficacy than even thyme oil. This is therefore one of the best essential oils to use for a yeast infection. If you plan on using only one essential oil to treat your yeast infection, oregano oil would be a great choice.
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Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Essential Oil
Cinnamon essential oil is a great oil to cook with and is also a potent killer of Candida albicans–the fungus responsible for most vaginal yeast infections. Cinnamon oil is a proven natural remedy for yeast infections and should be an oil you use. Cinnamon oil is easy to procure and makes a great natural cure to keep on hand for other reasons besides vaginitis. If you can, take some time to learn more about this powerful medicinal tool provided by nature.
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Bael (Aegle marmelos) Essential Oil
Another essential oil for yeast infection elimination is bael or Bengal quince (binomial name: Aegle marmelos). This oil is from a tree native to India and is currently present throughout Southeast Asia. In a study conducted by Pattnaik S1, Subramanyam VR, Kole C. aegle oil was found to inhibit 12 different fungi. Practitioners of Ayurveda in India use different elements of the bael plant for treating a wide variety of ailments. You may wish to add this oil to other oils to create a synergistic yeast killing effect. Dr. James A. Duke recommends mixing herbs together to enhance a natural remedy. This may be a prudent course of action when working with essential oils. There seems to be a limited amount of research available on Aegle marmelos; consequently, you may wish to consult a knowledgeable herbalist or medical doctor before you try using this oil to cure a yeast infection.
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Citronella Essential Oil
Another essential oil that was shown to inhibit the growth of fungus was citronella oil. In a Japanese study, researchers discovered this oil indeed had powerful antifungal abilities. However, the study also used another terpene (a chemical produced by plants which are often quite aromatic) called linalool. By using citronella essential oil and linalool in conjunction, the researchers saw that fungus was effectively inhibited. According to the study’s abstract:
Citronellal and linalool completely inhibited the growth of all tested fungal strains at a dose of 112 mg/L. Their minimum inhibitory doses ranged from 14 to 56 mg/L. The α- and β- pinenes showed an inhibitory activity against some fungi, whereas the other 8 volatile compounds lacked this property.https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jarq/37/4/37_249/_pdf
You may be wondering where you can get linalool. Linalool is a chemical constituent of another essential oil–coriander seed essential oil contains linalool. It may be very prudent to acquire both of these oils and use them in conjunction to treat a yeast infection. Another proof that Dr. Duke was correct in proposing mixing herbal treatments together creates a synergistic therapeutic effect.
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Geranium Essential Oil
This essential oil is perhaps not the best choice for fighting a yeast infection. One study found that using geranium oil by itself to treat Candida albicans did not reduce the number of yeast cells present in the vaginas of mice. However, when used with vaginal washing, some reduction in vaginal yeast was seen. This could likely be a spurious correlation as the vaginal washing by itself could have been the only treatment which helped allay vaginal yeast. The study could only estimate that geranium essential oil played a part in healing a yeast infection.
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Orange Essential Oil
Currently there are perhaps not many widely available studies showing if orange essential oil treats a yeast infection. A study published in the journal Food Control did show that orange oil was able to kill all the moulds it was tested on. This study’s aim was to understand how essential citrus oils could be used to preserve foods; however, this strong activity against moulds could suggest that orange oil would also work against Candida albicans.
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Cautions About Essential Oils
- Concentration of the Oil — Essential oils can be manufactured differently depending on who makes the oil. Sometimes oils are changed by the addition of other similar essential oils or via synthetic chemicals. The oil could also be diluted with other inert oils such as olive oil. Make sure your product lists the concentration of actual essential oil so that you know how potent your oil truly is. If it is heavily diluted, and is not 100% pure, you may not see the expected results from using a weak concentration.
- Amount to Use — Every oil is different and contains different chemicals. Some essential oils used in large amounts that are unsafe can cause negative effects on the body. Make sure you understand what a safe dose is before you use an essential oil for yeast infection.
- Type of Use — Each essential oil may have methods of use that are safe and some that are certainly unsafe. Tea tree oil can be used safely externally on the skin, but can be fatal if ingested. Many citrus oils have phototoxicity and can cause burns on the skin if exposed to sunlight after application. Make sure you know the proper procedure for utilizing an essential oil before starting your treatment regimen.
- Plant Parts Used — Different plant parts can be used to create oils from the same species that have different chemical compositions; and thus different competencies. Make sure you understand if there are varying ways for a certain type of oil to be made. Some oils may always be made from the same plant elements so there may not always be this concern.
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/ — lemon grass information
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819475/ — clove oil constituents are antifungal
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S037887411200058X — anti-biofilm activity
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893526 — essential oils active against fungi
- https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jarq/37/4/37_249/_pdf — Japanese study on citronella oil
- https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/31/8/31_8_1501/_article — geranium oil and Candida
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713507002629 — orange oil kills food moulds
- http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/42/5/591.short — tea tree oil’s effects against Candida species
- http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02280052 — thyme and origanum oil are capable Candicidals
- Duke, J. A. (1997). The green pharmacy: New discoveries in herbal remedies for common diseases and conditions from the world’s foremost authority on healing herbs. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press.