Candida infections are incredibly common, with millions of people suffering from Candida overgrowth every year—and many who don’t even know it.
Since the symptoms of Candida infections often resemble symptoms of other conditions, they can also be difficult to diagnose.
Candida infections can cause digestive issues, rashes, skin conditions, painful joints, brain fog, fatigue and much more.
To get rid of Candida, it is necessary to follow a Candida detox protocol. A Candida detox protocol is a several step process that involves starving the Candida of their primary food source (sugar), eliminating Candida overgrowth with antifungal herbs, and restoring the gut with beneficial bacteria and gut repairing nutrients.
However, there are some additional remedies that can help eliminate Candida in addition to a complete Candida detox protocol, and using high quality food grade essential oils can be one of them.
Numerous plant essential oils that have antifungal properties. You can take these alongside your Candida cleanse protocol to enhance its effectiveness even further. In this article, we are going to explore these essential oils in depth. As with any new herbal product, it is recommended to consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. When using essential oils internally, take extra care to ensure that they are food grade, as not all essential oils are—in fact, most essential oils are not made for internal consumption.
What Is Candida?
Candida is a type of yeast or fungus that lives on and inside the human body. There are many different species of Candida, and some are more likely to affect our health than others. Small amounts of the Candida fungus typically exist on the skin, and inside the mouth, vagina, and gut. In small amounts, Candida are harmless and cause no symptoms. In fact, they may even play a necessary role in our body’s microbiome (the community of trillions of microorganisms that live on and inside the body, and that help to regulate our health and immunity).
Typically, the bacteria living on and in the body, combined with the efforts of the immune system, help to keep Candida populations under control. However, certain factors can cause this fungus to multiply out of control, resulting in a Candida infection, which is called “candidiasis.” If you would like to learn more about this fungal infection, read our blog “What Is Candida?”
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are plant extracts that are created by steaming or pressing different parts of a plant to extract the compounds that produce a scent. It often requires a lot of plant material to produce a bottle of essential oil. In addition to producing a fragrance, essential oils often contain very concentrated amounts of certain medicinal plant compounds—which is why some can be used so effectively for medical uses like killing Candida.
Best Essential Oils for Candida Overgrowth
Some of the best essential oils for Candida overgrowth are:
- Tea Tree
We’ll go a bit deeper into each one and why they could be a great addition to a Candida detox protocol.
Tea tree oil is widely known for its antifungal properties and is one of the best essential oils for Candida overgrowth.
One of the keys to successfully getting rid of Candida is to break down the biofilm that Candida use to protect themselves and stay hidden from your immune system. Tea tree oil may disrupt biofilm, and may also improve immune system response to Candida as well.
A study on tea tree oil performed in 2003 observed its use as a treatment for Candida, and even included 14 drug-resistant derivatives of Candida yeast. During the study, they found that tea tree oil was effective against killing all strains.
An additional study observed the same effect in rats and found that tea tree oil was able to kill drug-resistant Candida infections in rats after three weeks of treatment, while the rats treated with standard antifungals still remained infected.
These studies show just how powerful tea tree really is as an antifungal.
Oregano essential oil is a powerful essential oil that can be used to kill a number of pathogenic organisms, including Candida. It is loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that have many proven health benefits. There is a difference in oregano oil and oregano essential oil.
Oregano oil is the extract, usually extracted in a carrier oil like olive oil, while oregano essential oil is the actual essential oil and is much more potent. Both oregano oil and oregano essential oil have powerful antibiotic, anti-parasitic and antifungal properties, and may also help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol levels.
Oregano essential oil contains numerous powerful plant compounds. Two of these really stand out when it comes to the primary benefits that oregano essential oil offers. Carvacrol, the main active compound in oregano oil, is a type of antioxidant called a phenol. Thymol, another powerful compound, helps protect against toxins and fights fungal and parasitic infections.
One way that oregano essential oil kills Candida is by preventing them from producing biofilm. Microorganisms produce biofilms to protect themselves from our immune system and to form into a larger community, which comes with many benefits to the microorganisms. Properties in oregano essential oil can prevent Candida from forming these biofilms which significantly weakens the strength of their population. This allows them to be more easily recognized and eliminated by our immune system.
While thyme is not related to oregano, it does have a similar taste and has similar medicinal properties to oregano. It is also native to the same region in the Mediterranean, and contains the same two bioactive compounds—carvacrol and thyme.
It should come as no surprise then that thyme is, like oregano, powerfully antifungal. The essential oil of thyme is also one of the most helpful essential oils for getting rid of Candida. Thyme may help to increase nitric oxide, which can help to inhibit the growth of Candida and help to eliminate them.
Clove is another powerful herb with many medicinal properties, including antifungal properties that may help kill Candida yeast.
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, researchers studied the effects of clove and clove oil on several different pathogenic fungi, including Candida albicans, Epidermophyton floccosum, Microsporum audouinii, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Trichophyton rubrum.
During the study, the researchers observed that “Both clove essential oil and its volatile vapour strongly inhibit spore germination and mycelial growth of the dermatophytic fungi tested. The volatile vapour of clove essential oil showed fungistatic activity whereas direct application of clove essential oil showed fungicidal activity.”
Ginger is a common spice used in many culinary dishes. It is also commonly used for various stomach ailments. A lesser known use of ginger is that it helps to kill yeast overgrowth. We actually use ginger in our Candida Cleanse Tonic because of these powerful antifungal properties.
Ginger essential oil may be useful as well for killing Candida. Ginger contains antifungal compounds called gingerol and shagelol as well as potent anti-inflammatory agents. Studies show that ginger can inhibit the growth of the common Candida albicans strain. In one study, an antifungal cream containing ginger was more effective at relieving yeast infections than the antifungal cream without ginger. Another study showed that Ginger extract successfully inhibited biofilm formation by A. baumannii, B. cereus, Candida krusei, and Candida albicans.
Peppermint essential oil is an aromatic oil that is commonly used for soothing muscle aches and digestive upset. It also has antifungal properties that may be helpful for treating Candida infections.
According to research, menthol was found to be the active constituent in peppermint essential oil responsible for its antifungal properties.
One research study on various essential oils and their antifungal properties stated that, “Essential oils of peppermint, orange or lemongrass kill most strains of fungal and bacterial infections.” Which brings us to our next top essential oil for Candida…
As mentioned above, one research study claimed that lemongrass essential oil (as well as peppermint and orange oil) kill most strains of fungal and bacterial infections.
Another study involving 10 essential oils—including these 3—found that “lemongrass and orange oils completely inhibited 12 fungi, while peppermint oil eliminated 11 out of 12.” Suggesting that lemongrass essential oil (as well as orange essential oil) appeared to be slightly more effective than peppermint essential oil for killing Candida.
Candida infections are incredibly common, and can cause digestive issues, rashes, skin conditions, painful joints, brain fog, fatigue, and many more uncomfortable symptoms.
Numerous plant essential oils that have antifungal properties. You can take these alongside a Candida cleanse protocol to enhance its effectiveness even further. The essential oils mentioned in this article are among the best essential oils for Candida overgrowth.
When using essential oils internally, take extra care to ensure that they are food grade, as not all essential oils are—in fact, most essential oils are not made for internal consumption.
As with any new herbal product, it is recommended to consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications.