Fungal infections are one of the most common diseases known to humanity. Since prehistoric times, humans have struggled with fungal infections and have relied on herbs for their treatment and prevention. Nowadays, with the presence of modern medicine, there are now innumerable over-the-counter treatments for fungal infections. However, these gels, creams and ointments tend to possess unwanted side effects which often result in exacerbation more than cure.
In spite of often being considered somewhat dated, herbs still continue to be used as “alternative” remedies for fungal infections of all sorts, and, unlike synthetic drugs which often cause allergic reactions or other unwanted side effects, herbs provide a safe, readily accessible, affordable and reliable way to treat fungal diseases.
Here are the top five antifungal herbs that you should always have in your kitchen cupboard.
Perhaps the oldest and most well-known anti-fungal herb, garlic is also a highly popular culinary additive. Garlic possesses potent antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties, thanks in part due to the chemical compounds ajoene and allicin. When using garlic as an antifungal remedy, the bulbs can be used freshly crushed and applied to affected areas as a warm poultice, or otherwise infused in oil in its dry state, and the subsequent product applied topically to affected areas.
Another well-known spice and culinary additive, cloves contain the active compound eugenol, which is not only an excellent pain-reliever but also a great antifungal agent. Cloves help relieve toothaches and are commonly employed as a home-remedy for oral aches and pain, but they are also a great antiseptic, antifungal mouthwash, and a hygienic wash that fights fungi such as Candida, athlete’s foot and other yeast infections.
The leaf of the oregano plant is a well-known culinary herb, but a strong decoction of the leaves or a potent extract of its essential oil is also an excellent remedy for run-of-the-mill fungal infections which cause dandruff, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. Oregano contains two powerful compounds, carvacrol and thymol, which not only combat fungal and bacterial infections, but, if taken orally, help to boost the immune system as well.
Better known as a Spanish or pot marigold, Calendula, with its unmistakable yellow-hued flower is also a very powerful antifungal herb. Commonly made into oil by soaking fresh or slightly dried plant parts in one’s choice of base oil, it can be applied topically to relieve all sorts of fungal infections.
Perhaps the most well known, and probably the best of the top five antifungal herbs antifungal remedy there is, tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of a relative of the mint family and possesses potent antifungal properties. Because of its concentrated nature, it is often diluted in base oil and applied to affected areas. It is known to treat a number of fungal infections and even skin inflammation.