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Lavender Oil has Potent Antifungal Effect

March 11, 2011 | 106,840 views
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LavenderLavender oil could be a weapon in the fight against antifungal-resistant infections. The essential oil shows a potent effect against fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections.

Scientists tested lavender oil and found it to be lethal to a range of skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida. Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails, and Candida species can cause mucocutaneous candidosis, also known as thrush.

Science Daily reports:

"Currently, there are relatively few types of antifungal drugs to treat infections and those that are available often have side effects ... Essential oils distilled from the Lavandula genus of lavender plants are already used widely, particularly in the food, perfume and cosmetic industries. Studies of the biological activities of these oils suggest Lavandula oils have sedative and antispasmodic properties as well being potent antimicrobials and antioxidants."

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Lavender oil has been harvested for centuries due to its pleasing smell, and is often used as a key component in perfumes. But new research shows this pleasantly fragrant oil may be a powerful ally in the fight against a range of skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida.

According to the study

"Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails as they use the keratin within these tissues to obtain nutrients. They are responsible for conditions such as Athletes' foot, ringworm and can also lead to scalp and nail infections.

Candida species coexist with most healthy individuals without causing problems but may cause mucocutaneous candidosis -- or thrush -- in some people. In immunocompromised patients, Candida species are able to cause serious infection if the fungal cells escape into the blood stream."

This discovery may not only help to treat opportunistic fungal infections that frequently invade people with compromised immune systems, like chemotherapy patients, transplant recipients receiving immunosuppressive drugs, and people suffering from AIDS.

But it also may provide an answer so far lacking in scientific literature about what to do about the rise of so-called supergerms. A number of essential oils and herbs, including lavender, have been found to have antibacterial and anti-viral properties, and can be beneficial for boosting your immune system. The most potent upside of essential oils is that they do not cause resistance like drugs do.

Lavender as a Weapon against Fungi

The research from the study above focused specifically on fungi classified as dermatophytes and candida, but may apply to other fungi as well. The study cites the mechanism for action being the disruption of fungi cell walls, which could also apply to bacteria and viruses.

This is great news because just as we've seen with antibiotic resistant bacteria and viruses, various fungi are also becoming tougher to treat. Already, there are relatively few antifungal drugs, and they oftentimes have side effects. The rise of anti-microbial resistant strains of bacteria, fungi and viruses has become a widespread problem due to the overuse of antibiotics in both animals and humans.

Lavender oil providing benefits against supergerms is also great news for anyone who has experienced any side effect from taking antibiotics, especially those containing flouride. In fact, many antibiotics containing fluoroquinolone (flouride) have been removed from the marketplace due to their horrific side effects. Omniflox, Raxar, Trovan, Zagam, and Tequin have now all been banned. However, Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, and Floxin continue to be prescribed for a variety of infections, both major and minor. Cipro and Levaquin are by far the favorites, and my advice to you is to avoid them.

Time and time again medical science comes back to the age old truth that simple, holistic remedies like lavender oil provide benefits where the drug companies cannot, and with few or no side effects. If more people knew the truth about how easy it is to maintain your health naturally without the so-called "help" of the pharmaceutical industry, the US might be able to escape the failed paradigm of "sickness management" that now passes for US health care.

Other Uses for Lavender Oil

Lavender has many other health benefits besides its ability to fight fungi, bacteria and viruses, such as these uses listed on organicfacts.net:

Nervous System: Lavender essential oil has a calming scent, making it an excellent tonic for the nerves. Therefore, it helps in treating migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress.
Sleep: Lavender essential oil induces sleep and hence it is often recommended for insomnia.
Pain Relief: Lavender essential oil is also an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago. A regular massage with lavender oil provides relief from pain in the joints.
Urine Flow: Lavender essential oil is good for urinary disorders as it stimulates urine production. It helps in restoring hormonal balance and reduces cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces any associated cramps.
Respiratory Disorders: Lavender oil is extensively used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The oil is either used in the form of vapour or applied on the skin of neck, chest and back. It is also added in many vaporizers and inhalers used for cold and coughs.
Skin Care: The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns rapidly as it aids in the formation of scar tissues. Lavender oil is added to chamomile to treat eczema.
Hair Care: Lavender essential oil is useful for the hair as it can be very effective on lice and lice eggs or nits.
Blood Circulation: Lavender essential oil is also good for improving blood circulation. It lowers blood pressure and is used for hypertension.
Digestion: Lavender oil is useful for digestion as it increases the mobility of the intestine. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile and thus aids in treating indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Immunity: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to diseases.
Other health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to treat leucorrhoea. It is also effective against insect bites. The oil is also used to repel mosquitoes and moths. You will find many mosquito repellents containing lavender oil as one of the ingredients.

As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender essential oil.

Make Your Body Less Hospitable to Fungus

As your body attempts to destroy an invading fungus, your immune system can damage your cell membranes, which causes the inflammation, as with the symptoms of sinusitis. To combat the fungus and prevent your immune system's damaging reaction, you'll need to create an environment inside your body that makes it more difficult for fungus, including intestinal candida, to thrive. Here are some top ways to do this:

  • Avoid Sugar or Grains Fungus feeds on sugar and grains (which break down to sugar in your body), so reducing or eliminating these foods is necessary to keep fungus under control. If you suffer from recurrent yeast infections it is also imperative to remove all fruits from your diet as they tend to make it very difficult to clear the infection.
  • Consume Animal Based Omega-3 Fats Like Krill Oil Consume a high quality krill oil every day. The high order omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA are essential to maintaining and improving your immune system.
  • Eat Coconut Oil Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. However, be careful with which oil you choose, as many coconut oils contain fungal toxins. This is because they are commonly made with copras, or dried coconuts, which are often contaminated with mycotoxins.
  • Avoid Eating the Top 10 MYCO-toxic Foods Here's a list of the top 10 foods that are contaminated with mycotoxins (fungal toxins) that need to be avoided.
  • Get Plenty of Good Bacteria -- You will want to increase your probiotic (good bacteria) intake with a high-quality probiotic supplement or by eating cultured and fermented foods, such as natto.
  • Avoiding Exposure to Chemicals -- Paints, household cleaners, perfumes and scents may cause allergic reactions, and chemical sensitivities are very common in people with yeast overgrowth.
  • Addressing Emotional and Psychological Issues -- Food cravings, especially those for sweets, often are exacerbated by emotional dependencies. Tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can help you to overcome unhealthy food cravings and other emotional hurdles.

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