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.
Before you get started learning about essential oils; consider checking out Sarah Summer’s natural yeast infection program that can get rid of an infection in about 12 hours. The book is sold by a large internet publishing company (to learn more about the company that publishes Sarah’s book, peruse this information about the U.S. based Keynetics incorporated). Sarah also guarantees her book and provides an 8 week return policy--like it or promptly get a full refund.
About Essential Oils
Whenever you look for which essential oils you will be purchasing; you may have to do some research on that particular essential oil you are considering. Thyme oil, made from Thymus vulgaris, is one example of how a plant can produce different types of oil. Thymus vulgaris can produce a wide array of chemotypes (a difference in chemical properties of a particular plant; minor genetic and epigenetic differences, that can have little or no effect on morphology, can result in a plant that produces different chemicals) depending upon the altitude, climate, and various conditions of the plant’s growth. If thyme was harvested in mid summer to early fall, the oil can contain a higher percentage of carvacrol (carvacrol content in time oil can cause the oil to be more caustic and irritating to the skin). Using low pressures and temperatures in the distillation is also essential for maintaining thyme oil’s purity and therapeutic value.
Some essential oils are manufactured with the sole purpose of getting as much oil from the plant as quickly as possible; in the pecuniary interests of the producer, of course. Some essential oils that have had chemical solvents, high pressures, high temperatures, or other rapid processing techniques employed on them can be much lower in quality. Such low quality oils will probably smell just as good and appear fine to the consumer, but cost the manufacturer less money to produce. Low quality oils can lack the chemical constituents that produce the actual therapeutic effects desired; making them undesirable to use medicinally.
How Essential Oils Work
Essential oils are lipid-soluble (able to be dissolved in fatty acids) and can penetrate the walls of cells--even cells that have become damaged and hardened due to lack of oxygen. According to the Reference Guide for Essential Oils (Abundant Health, 1998), essential oils are absorbed into the body and can affect every cell in the body in about 20 minutes after they are applied. The essential oils are then metabolized by the body just like other nutrients; making them quite safe to utilize.
As you will see in the articles about the individual oils, many essential oils have some degree of antifungal, antibacterial, or antiviral efficacy. Therefore, you can use them to treat infections and in cleaning supplies for their antiseptic capabilities. Air diffusers can also be used to circulate essential oil vapors in the air; cleansing and purifying the air in your house. There are a wide array of uses for essential oils! And, you can certainly use an essential oil or two to treat a vaginal yeast infection!
How to Use Your Essential Oils
You will likely need to dilute the oils you end up using in a carrier oil or other substance. One great idea for using essential oils is to put them in a carrier oil that has anti-yeast action. One oil, as you may know that can stop Candida, is coconut oil. Coconut oil is comprised of several fatty acids that can inhibit Candida. Aside from oil, honey makes another great substance that you can use topically to treat Candida by itself. Yes, externally honey can stop yeast from growing; so, if you mix in some powerful essential oils into your honey you will have an even better natural remedy on your hands. One caveat with honey; don’t eat honey in an attempt to reduce a gut yeast infection. Honey only works when it is not diluted much; and, in your stomach it will be mixing with liquids you drink and other gastric fluids and become a food for Candida and will be of no therapeutic value. For more information about honey or coconut oil, consider checking out the in-depth sections on Candida Hub that cover the information regarding these natural remedies:
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) Essential Oil
A well known essential oil that has been shown to be effective against Candida is lemongrass essential oil. Lemongrass, (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. Lemongrass 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.
Learn more about lemongrass essential oil for yeast infection »
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) 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.
Learn more about clove essential oil for Candida »
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.
Learn more about tea tree oil & yeast infection »
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.
Learn more about Thyme essential oil for Candida »
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.
Learn more about oregano oil for yeast infection »
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.
Learn more about cinnamon oil for Candida »
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.
Learn more about bael oil for Candida »
Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus / nardus) 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.
Learn more about citronella oil and Candida yeast »
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) 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.
Learn more about geranium oil for Candida »
Orange (Citrus sinensis) 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.
Learn more about orange essential oil for Candida »
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://dx.doi.org/10.4103%2F2231-4040.79796 -- Shah, Gagan, et al. "Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus, stapf (Lemon grass)." Journal of advanced pharmaceutical technology & research 2.1 (2011): 3. PubMed Full Text
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2FS2221-1691(14)60215-X -- Cortés-Rojas, Diego Francisco, Claudia Regina Fernandes de Souza, and Wanderley Pereira Oliveira. "Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): a precious spice." Asian Pacific journal of tropical biomedicine 4.2 (2014): 90-96. PubMed Full Text
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2012.01.045 -- Khan, Mohd Sajjad Ahmad, and Iqbal Ahmad. "Biofilm inhibition by Cymbopogon citratus and Syzygium aromaticum essential oils in the strains of Candida albicans." Journal of ethnopharmacology 140.2 (2012): 416-423. PDF Available Here
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893526 -- Pattnaik, S., V. R. Subramanyam, and C. Kole. "Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro." Microbios 86 (1996): 237-46. PDF Available Here
- http://doi.org/10.6090/jarq.37.249 -- Nakahara, Kazuhiko, et al. "Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil from Cymbopogon nardus (citronella grass)." Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly: JARQ 37.4 (2013): 249-252. PDF Available Here
- http://doi.org/10.1248/bpb.31.1501 -- Maruyama, Naho, et al. "Protective activity of geranium oil and its component, geraniol, in combination with vaginal washing against vaginal candidiasis in mice." Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 31.8 (2008): 1501-1506. PubMed
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2007.12.003 -- Viuda-Martos, M., et al. "Antifungal activity of lemon (Citrus lemon L.), mandarin (Citrus reticulata L.), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi L.) and orange (Citrus sinensis L.) essential oils." Food control 19.12 (2008): 1130-1138. orange oil kills food moulds
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/42.5.591 -- Hammer, Katherin A., Christine F. Carson, and Thomas V. Riley. "In-vitro activity of essential oils, in particular Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and tea tree oil products, against Candida spp." Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 42.5 (1998): 591-595. PDF Available Here
- http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02280052 -- Janssen, A. M., et al. "Screening for antimicrobial activity of some essential oils by the agar overlay technique." Pharmaceutisch Weekblad 8.6 (1986): 289-292. PubMed
- Google Books -- 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.
- Google Books -- Higley, Connie, and Alan Higley. Reference guide for essential oils. Abundant Health, 1998.
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