Today we’re talking about something that no one wants to talk about: fungus. Nasty. But this is a judgement free zone, and sometimes fungus is something that even the most unexpecting of us have to deal with. So if you don’t want to call in a prescription for a fungus related issue, just use powerful antifungal essential oils instead. Nobody needs to know (;

Essential oils are natural alternatives for synthetic fungicides that can treat body fungus in a variety of ways. Different oils treat certain fungus types or regions of the body. And when I say treat, I mean eliminate.

According to research, essential oils “represent one of the most promising natural products for fungal inhibition” (1). Many oils offer antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which help you fight off pathogens that are harmful to your health. Only they don’t come with the same negative side effects as many synthetic bacteria and fungus fighters sold over-the-counter today.

The oil you choose, however, may depend on who plan’s to use the oil and what purpose the oil must serve (or where you plan to apply it). Use the following information as a guide to help you safely navigate using antifungal essential oils.

The Best Antifungal Essential Oils

In general, if you have these oils one or two of these oils on hand and aren’t interested in waiting for another to come in the mail, then that’s totally fine – these are the best antifungal essential oils. Taking a drop or two internally (always add to capsule and dilute with food grade oil), or diluting and applying to the infected area will be our methods of attack. Keep reading to find specific how-to’s for your concern.

  • Tea tree
  • Cedarwood
  • Myrrh
  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon
  • Arborvitae
  • doTERRA skin clearing blend and cellular complex blend

The Best Antifungal Oil for Common Ailments

Fungus is the cause of common issues like ringworm, athlete’s foot, and more. Essential oils have antiseptic, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties that can counteract fungal infections. Some oils even stimulate new cell growth.

However, not every oil is effective against every type of fungi and some work better than others.

Important Note * When taking essential oils internally it is important to follow these rules: 1. Make sure you are getting your essential oils from a high-quality, trustworthy company who is transparent about testing results. 2. Never take essential oils by themselves in water because they are not water-soluble 3. The most appropriate way to take essential oils internally is to place them in a veggie capsule and dilute with a food-grade oil like EVOO. Other acceptable options include mixing with honey or blending in smoothie.

Candida and Yeast

Candida or yeast infections can present themselves in three different ways: orally, vaginally, or in the bloodstream.

Vaginal yeast infections are one of the most common reasons women go to the doctor, and essential oils can help both internally and externally. You can also treat invasive overgrowth orally by adding a single drop of an essential oil like peppermint or cinnamon to your toothbrush.

Antifungal essential oils for yeast infection:
  • Tea tree: dilute with carrier oil like jojoba and apply to the affected area.
  • Thyme: Take 1-2 drops in a capsule internally. Or diffuse/inhale straight from the bottle.
  • Oregano: Eliminates and prevents fungus and candida yeast. For a urinary infection take 1-2 drops internally with lemongrass in a capsule. For athlete’s food, ringworm and candida apply 1-2 drops with a carrier oil to the area of concern. Or take it internally.
  • Cedarwood: dilue 1-2 drops and apply to lower abdomen for support
  • Myrrh: dilute and apply 1-2 drops to the bottom of the feet or take 1-2 drops in a capsule
  • Geranium: Research shows geranium doesn’t combat vaginal infections alone, but it helps in combination with vaginal washing treatments to prevent spreading (7). Massage a drop of essential oil with a carrier like evening primrose or coconut oil on the region after showering.
  • Peppermint: A single drop can cleanse your mouth of oral thrush.
  • Lavender: Mix lavender with tea tree or peppermint to help oral infections.


A highly contagious and seriously itchy skin condition, ringworm is caused by several types of fungus at once. Sometimes it even appears on the scalp, feet, or groin.

For the skin, you can use a topical application. Antifungal essential oils ringworm:

  • Myrrh: dilute and apply 1-2 drops to the bottom of the feet or take 1-2 drops in a capsule
  • Petitgrain: apply 2 drops to shampoo, lather, soak, and rinse. You can also take 1-2 drops internally in a capsule.
  • Tea tree: Dilute with coconut oil based on your age and apply directly tea tree oil onto the area using a cotton ball at least twice daily.
  • Oregano: Mix two drops with a carrier like a coconut or olive oil and apply three times daily.
  • Lavender: Add a few drops to your bubble bath and soak in the tub. This will help soothe skin.

Or, if your scalp is affected, you can add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner. The best antifungal essential oils for scalp use include:

  • Tea tree
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint

Jock Itch

Don’t let the common name of this condition fool you, it doesn’t just happen to jocks (or men). This fungus can spread from one person to another quickly, and it’s often a symptom of candida that’s closely related to ringworm.

Jock itch grows in warm areas of the body where sweat tends to collect, like the genitals and bottom. Use coconut or neem oil as a carrier. Consider mixing it with apple cider vinegar as well, which is a potent antifungal (8).

Essential oils for jock itch:
  • Tea tree
  • Cedarwood
  • Thyme
  • Patchouli
  • Myrrh

Nail Fungus

Nail fungus most commonly affects the toes, making them appear yellow or discolored. The condition, known as “onychomycosis”, affects around 20% of the population – commonly athletes (5). However, nail fungus can appear on the hands as well. It’s stubborn and hard to get rid of, even after a full week of treatment.

Antifungal essential oils for nails:
  •  Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme

The Best Natural Antifungal for Feet

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a fungal skin infection on your foot. It’s highly contagious and tends to grow on the top outer layer of the foot or between the toes, where the air doesn’t fully dry moisture.

When it comes to great antifungal essential oils for athlete’s foot or toe-related fungus, look no further than oregano oil for athlete’s foot and mix it with tea tree oil for a solution that relieves inflammation.

If the issue has moved to your nails, consider adding clove into the mix. The best essential oil for toe fungus is clove. In 2007, a study showed that clove offers the best antifungal properties to destroy toenail fungus and prevent it from returning (6).

You can also try a Doterra essential oil for athlete’s foot, such as xEO Mega, or other skin-boosting essential oils like clary sage to soothe your skin or hair. They also have a full Athlete’s Kit to support a healthy active lifestyle.

How to Use Essential Oils for Candida and Fungus

To use antifungal essential oils for overgrowths of fungi on your skin, try the topical application. Mix two or three of the oils above with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, neem oil, jojoba oil, or even olive oill.

Use a clean and sterile cotton ball or cloth to apply the mixture to your skin in the affected area. Only touch the skin with fungus to avoid spreading it to healthy pores. Apply the oils two or three times each day for around a week for the best results.

Essential oils are powerful treatments for fungal infections, but it may take several applications before you begin to see results.

If a topical application isn’t the ideal method for you, try diffusing a couple of drops of the oil in a vapor diffuser at home. Antifungal essential oils can improve the air quality inside your house by killing off the fungi that sometimes grows in air vents.

Now I want to hear from you. Do you have a success story when you used essential oils to kill a fungal infection? What oils do you swear by and what was your method of attack? Drop a comment below! 


  1.  Muchembied, J., Deweer, C., Sahmer K., and Halama P. (2018). Antifungal activity of essential oils on two Venturia inaequalis strains with different sensitivities to tebuconazole. Retrieved from:
  2.  Cleveland Clinic. (2017). Toenail Fungus. Retrieved from:
  3. Hee Youn Chee and Min Hee Lee. (2007). Antifungal Activity of Clove Essential Oil and its Volatile Vapour Against Dermatophytic Fungi. Retrieved from:
  4. Maruyama, N, et al. (2008). Protective activity of geranium oil and its component, geraniol, in combination with vaginal washing against vaginal candidiasis in mice. Retrieved from:
  5. Mota, A.C., et al. (2015). Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis. Retrieved from:

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