Ringworm. Tinea versicolor. Candidiasis. Athlete’s foot. Jock itch.
These are just a small handful of common fungal infections of the skin. Caused by the overgrowth of yeast on the skin, fungal infections are not very much fun.
My husband has had a mysterious rash on his neck and chest ever since I’ve known him — over 13 years. For the first eight or so years of our marriage, we always wondered what it was, but never really tried to figure out what exactly it was or how to treat it. Our best guess was ringworm, so we bought some over-the-counter cream … which ended up being a waste of money because it did nothing at all.
We mostly ignored the rash because it didn’t itch or bother him at all. It wasn’t spreading to anyone else in the family, so we didn’t think much about it for a long time.
For the past few years, however, it really bothered me. We began learning about gut health and started adding words to our vocabulary like “candida”, “probiotics”, and “leaky gut”. A light bulb came on one day: the rash on his skin HAD to be an outward manifestation of compromised gut health! My best guess was some type of yeast overgrowth.
I knew the first order of business was to try to get my sugar-addicted sweetie to reduce his sugar intake. Even though all my treats are made with natural sugars like raw honey and coconut sugar, they still feed harmful yeasts in the gut. I also made sure he was getting extra gut-healing foods like coconut oil and bone broth.
I wanted to go at this infection with every tool in my arsenal and treat it from the inside and the outside. But I couldn’t find anything on a store shelf or online that wasn’t full of harmful fungicides or other chemicals.
Necessity is the mother of invention, so it was time to take matters into my own hands — a homemade anti-fungal that utilized the healing powers of essential oils!
The Oils I Chose
I decided to create a blend of various anti-fungal essential oils. I researched oils carefully, and these made the cut:
With its rich and earthy scent, patchouli is most well-known as the scent of the hippies. It can be used undiluted topically for a variety of skin complaints, including acne, dandruff, and even stretch marks! It’s a potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal as well.
Probably the most popular essential oil to fight against fungi, tea tree oil’s use as an anti-fungal was recognized back in the 1930s. Applied directly to toenail fungus and athlete’s foot, the appearance of infection can begin to dissipate in as little as five days. Tea tree oil helps regenerate tissue, and may be effective in new skin growth and scar healing as fungal infections clear up.
Lavender is lethal to infection-causing yeasts on the skin. In a 2005 study, lavender oil eradicated 100% of Candida albicans in 15 minutes (source)! Lavender is also very soothing and can help provide relief from itching or burning caused by fungal infections.
Clove oil has long been known for its anti-fungal properties, especially for athlete’s foot, candida, and ringworm. Clove is a potent anti-septic as well, and may help ward off bacteria that can creep into infections that may be opened up from scratching.
I like to add a bit of peppermint oil to just about all of my homemade blends, if only because it lightens a heavy-smelling blend and adds a pleasant scent. Peppermint oil is not without benefits of its own, however. Emotionally, it is awakening and uplifting. It is also anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral.
DIY Anti-Fungal Roll-On Blend
- 30 drops of carrier oil — either almond oil or fractionated coconut oil
- 10 drops patchouli essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops clove essential oil
- 5 to 8 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
Combine oils in a 10mL roller bottle. Shake well before each use. Roll on to the affected areas up to three times per day. Continue application up to one week after visible rash, scales, or sores are gone. Keep away from eyes.
Remember that any skin issues (acne, eczema, fungal infections, etc.) are almost always an outward symptom of what’s happening in the gut. This anti-fungal blend is meant to be used in conjunction with a gut-healing diet that is low in sugar and rich in probiotic foods, healthy fats, and bone broth.
*If you are unfamiliar with essential oils, it is wise to consult someone who is knowledgeable in the use and safety of essential oils before attempting this blend or any other oil uses.