If you’re looking for natural relief from fungal infections, a blend of therapeutic-grade essential oils may help. The best antifungal essential oils are even backed by some scientific research to have helpful benefits when it comes to fighting annoyances like toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, dandruff, and swimmer's ear, and they come pre-blended with at least two oils for maximum results. (But remember: If you have pain or anything more severe than irritation, you may want to check in with your physician.)
According to research, certain essential oils have antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Citronella, lemongrass, palmarosa, orange, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree are a few options which have been studied, and according to Healthline, you'll want to blend at least two to three different essential oils together for maximum effectiveness. To save money and for convenience, you can buy pre-mixed blends, instead of buying each one on separately.
When choosing an essential oil for fungus on skin, you’ll want to consider the application process. Some of these options are 100% pure, so before applying, you should mix them with a carrier oil to prevent potential irritation. Then, use a sterile cotton pad to apply — this will prevent you from touching the fungus and potentially spreading it to other areas. On the other hand, some blends come pre-diluted for extra convenience, and essential oils for toenail fungus often come with an easy-to-use applicator brush. And if you're dealing with dandruff, which, yep, can be caused by a fungus — you may want to opt for a premixed tea tree oil shampoo. Keep in mind that with any essential oil, it's a good idea to do a patch test before full application to make sure it won't irritate your skin.
While research has shown the antifungal properties of these essential oils, it's always a good idea to check in with your doctor when it comes to personal health matters — especially if they are more than just mild irritation and last for a long time. Whichever method is easiest for you, these are the best antifungal essential oils on Amazon that can help relieve itchy and uncomfortable fungal symptoms on your skin, nails, and scalp.
1. The Overall Best
The Purify essential oil blend from Rocky Mountain Oils contains three great oils with antifungal properties — lemongrass, citronella, and tea tree — so it’s a good overall pick for relief from common minor fungal infections. The 100% pure essential oil blend also contains myrtle, which has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, along with rosemary and lavender — both great for reducing feelings of stress and tension. Blend this with a carrier oil and apply to affected areas, and if you want to reap the relaxation benefits, add a few drops to an essential oil diffuser.
According to a reviewer: “The purify eo has worked wonders on a rash on my arm that I have had for months. Although it is not gone, it is much lighter in color and the itching is better.”
2. A Popular Blend With Clove & Lemon
This blend is commonly known as "thieves oil" and contains antifungal lemon, eucalyptus, and cinnamon, along with clove, which may help relieve some irritation and stomach upset, and rosemary, which may help ease stress and prevent mental fatigue. And according to anecdotal evidence, thieves oil may even help boost immune function, although more scientific research is needed. The 100% pure essential oil blend should be mixed with a carrier oil before applying to skin.
According to a reviewer: “I use this for swimmers ear ( and prevention) - just a drop on my pinky then set it on outside of canal. I use it to cure athletes foot. I use it on hands and under nasal before and after being around tons of people .... especially during flu / cold seasons."”
3. An Easy-To-Apply Nail Fungus Treatment
If you’ve got a fungal infection on your toenails or fingernails, consider this fungus treatment that comes with a brush that makes application a breeze. The treatment contains 10 organic essential oils, including antifungal peppermint, tea tree, and lemongrass, and it's pre-diluted with almond and olive oils, which also work to hydrate dry, brittle nails. And it's versatile too — you can also use the blend on the skin to combat mild infections like ringworm and athlete's foot. Keep in mind: For best results, it may be a good idea to disinfect the brush between uses.
According to a reviewer: “Excellent product! I’d had issues with toenail fungus for years, and it improved in less than a week using this.”
4. A Tea Tree Shampoo For Dandruff
Tea tree oil is one of nature's best weapons when it comes to fighting dandruff, and this tea tree oil shampoo makes it easy to apply to your scalp. It's packed with other great ingredients too, like rosemary and lavender, both of which may help promote hair growth, and aloe and argan oil to moisturize a dry, itchy scalp. For the best results, apply it to the scalp and let it absorb for two to three minutes before rinsing.
According to a reviewer: "I bought this product for dandruff. I've tried every possible dandruff shampoo and this is the first one that has worked for me, and has a great scent. I also love that it's all natural
Also Great: A Carrier Oil
This USDA-certified organic fractionated coconut oil is lightweight, colorless, and fragrance-free, so it’s a popular carrier oil for blending with pure essential oils. Combine three to six drops of essential oil with 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil before applying to your skin. Plus, you can also use it to moisturize skin and hair and create DIY beauty blends.
According to a reviewer: “I LOVE this oil to use with my essential oil mixtures- it's always my "go to." I have other carrier oils but this is my favorite one."
Pattnaik, S., Subramanyam, V.R., Kole, C. (1996). Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8893526/
Nenoff, P., Hausetin, U.F., Brandt, W. (1996). Antifungal activity of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) against pathogenic fungi in vitro. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9055360/
Aleksic, V., Knezevic, P. (2014). Antimicrobial and antioxidative activity of extracts and essential oils of Myrtus communis L. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944501313001766