(NaturalNews) Recent studies have shown that lavender oil may be more effective in combating fungal infections than conventional anti-fungal medication. Athlete's foot, ringworm and other fungal infections may effectively be treated using this inexpensive, natural oil.
Lavender has always been a popular oil for aromatherapy, but it may become widely accepted medically. New research published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology indicates that the pure essential oil of Lavandula viridis not only stops the growth of fungi, but also kills fungal infections such as Athlete's foot, ringworm and candida albicans.
Prescription medication and conventional drugs used to treat these conditions generally come with harmful side effects, especially if used in the long term. Lavender oil, which has been shown to kill harmful bacteria and stop fungal infections of the skin, hair and nails, comes with no harmful side effects and benefits overall feelings of well-being. Lavender helps to modulate anxiety and stress and has been used traditionally for hundreds of years as a multi-purpose cure for a variety of ailments.
The authors of the study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology indicate that anti-fungal drugs commonly prescribed to sufferers are losing their effectiveness as infections continue to develop resistance. Conversely, lavender oil is readily available, inexpensive and easy to administer.
Its multiple uses include remedies for sleep disorders, depression, panic attacks and stress related problems, and it may even help alleviate pain from minor ailments such as insect bites. Acne sufferers and adults suffering from rosacea have found pure lavender oil beneficial.
Caution needs to be exercised when purchasing lavender oil, since lavender is a commonly synthesized aroma, and it is not as easy as one may think to find lavender as a pure essential oil that is safe for medicinal use. Many oils sold in stores have been adulterated with chemicals, and some contain unwanted byproducts from plants not grown organically. These ingredients can be toxic and may worsen fungal infections.
Purchase only therapeutic grade, pure essential oil and avoid cheaper oils, which may smell similar but do not have the same positive effects on health. Be wary of creams and other personal care products, which claim to have lavender oil added, since these may also contain toxic ingredients.
It is always wise to consult a medical professional for chronic skin conditions. Pregnant women also need to exercise caution when using essential oils.
Zuzarte M et al, "Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oils of Lavandula viridis L'Her," Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2011 May;60(Pt 5):612-8. Epub 2011 Feb 14.
Hui et al, "Chemical composition of lavender essential oil and its antioxidant activity and inhibition against rhinitis-related bacteria," African Journal of Microbiology Research, 2010 February, 309-13.
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.