A culture of Aspergillus niger. Source: Proquence at en.wikipedia

A culture of Aspergillus niger. Source: Proquence at en.wikipedia

One of the often overlooked properties of essential oils are their anti-fungal capabilities. Fungal infections can be as serious as any viral or bacterial infections, even resulting in death. We all have fungi and yeast to some extent – in our stomachs, our skin and pretty much everywhere in our environment – they feed on dead tissue and material. As they are kept under control, fungi in our bodies present no problems as they digest what we no longer need.

Causes
The problems start when we have too many simple sugars in our diet. Simple sugars are things like refined sugar, syrups, candy, soda pops, soft drinks and fruit. These are foods that are absorbed and digested very quickly. Complex sugars (or carbohydrates) are foods like vegetables, legumes and grains. So when we have too much of the simple sugars (or carbs) in our diet, fungal cultures can grow out of control and invade the blood and gastrointestinal tract. An example of this is Candida (Candidiasis).  Candida excretes large quantities of toxins that end up in the liver. From there, they are usually eliminated from the body. However if there is too much of these toxins, it will eventually overload the liver and there will be flow on effect to the rest of the body’s tissues and organs, possibly resulting in diseases such as cancer and arteriosclerosis.

So in the case of candida, the first thing you need to do is cut or eliminate the simple sugars from your diet. Antibiotics and alchohol are also a no-no if you have a fungal or yeast infection. You also need to ensure you have a sufficient in-take of minerals like potassium, magnesium and zinc. My next step would then be to use essential oils.

Using essential oils
A 2006 study tested 75 essential oils and found what are supposed to be the most potent anti-fungal agents among these.[1] These are cinnamon bark, cassia, clove, bay laurel, basil, lemongrass, geranium and thyme. In fact the first 6 of these essential oils were found to be superior to the anti-fungal drug – Hexaconazole. Other essential oils that are effective against fungal infections are Melaleuca (M. ericifolia), blue cypress, lavender, mountain savory and melissa. Among the blends, possibly the best would Thieves™, which is well known for its ability to eliminate toxic black mould. Young Living have incorporated Thieves™ into various cleaning products (which I might add are also safe for the environment). Thieves™ oil blend includes clove and cinnamon bark oil. The latter has been found to effective against at least 35 different fungi.

Cinnamon oil against fungi

Clove oil has been found to be effective against at least 15 different types of fungi, including Candida Albicans.

When applying any of these oils topically, you may wish to dilute them with a vegetable oil (50/50) as some of them (e.g. Cinnamon and Clove) are quite strong. If taking internally, I would use a gelatin or vegetable capsule and start with a few drops initially and then build up the dose. Always use pure, therapeutic grade quality essential oils.

If you would like more information on this topic or would like to obtain any of the essential oils referred to in this post, please contact us.

Till next time
Cheers

Anthony

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

Further reading

For more information on Thieves, check out my post Getting ready for the next Flu season. Part Two

Sources:
[1]  Pawar VC, Thaker VS. In vitro efficacy of 75 essential oils against Aspergillus niger. Mycoses. 2006 Jul;49(4):316-23