(NaturalNews) New research out of Portugal has found that lavender oil is a powerful antifungal agent that fights and prevents skin and nail infections, including Candida albicans. Published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, the study found that lavender essential oil exhibits amazing protection against a wide range of pathogenic fungi -- and it works better than all known antifungal drugs at doing so.
"In the last few years there has been an increase in the incidence of fungal diseases, particularly among immunocompromised patients," said professors Ligia Salgueiro and Eugenia Pinto from the University of Coimbra , authors of the study. "Unfortunately there is also increasing resistance to antifungal drugs. Research by our group and others has shown that essential oils may be cheap, efficient alternatives that have minimal side effects."
The team observed in tests that lavender oil effectively killed fungi that cause a wide range of infections on skin, hair, and nails, including those categorized as Athlete's food, ringworm, and Candida albicans. Not only was lavender oil more effective than antifungal drugs, many of which no longer work on mutated fungi that have grown resistance to them, but lavender oil use does not cause negative side effects.
"Lavandula oil shows wide-spectrum antifungal activity and is highly potent," added the researchers. "This is a good starting point for developing this oil for clinical use to manage fungal infections."
The research adds to the growing body of evidence concerning the many medicinal benefits of lavender oil. Previous research has identified lavender oil as a powerful antimicrobial, and studies have shown it also works well as an antispasmodic treatment. As part of various herbal blends, lavender oil can also be used to treat coughs and colds, influenza, headaches, fatigue, and stress (http://www.naturalnews.com/030753_seasonal_f...).