Types of antifungal essential oils - A brief overview

Types of antifungal essential oils - A brief overview

Different countries around the globe have been using plant derivatives for medicinal purposes. Some derivatives, such as essential oils, have benefited ancient medicine and agro-food science in combating chronic diseases.

These oils contain the chemical compounds that define and sustain the plant's life cycle. These natural substances possess potent properties. Notably, carvacrol, found within the essential oils of certain oregano and thyme chemotypes, exhibits robust antifungal activity.

However, several essential oils possess antifungal or antimicrobial properties that enable them to combat the growth of specific pathogens. Their ability to create antifungal compounds without causing side effects allows them to be linked with some synthetic ingredients and used in pharmaceutical formulations. That is the reason essential oils are gaining popularity in today’s market. This article discusses three important essential oils with antifungal properties and explores their utility in different industries.


Thyme essential oil, especially the thymol chemotype, finds utility in aromatherapy for enhancing blood circulation. It is renowned for its gut-healing properties and its ability to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Thymus vulgaris also known as garden thyme has antimicrobial effectiveness against both bacteria and fungi. Many institutes are still carrying the research to explore its potential in reducing or eliminating these microorganisms in food. Thyme oil also has its natural antiseptic qualities that are effective against various fungal strains, making it valuable in the pharmaceutical and food industries.


Peppermint oil contains an effective ingredient called “menthol”. This ingredient possesses antifungal properties. Studies have demonstrated menthol's efficacy against various fungal species. Hence you may observe most cough syrups are minty in flavor. Peppermint oil can also be applied topically or diffused to aid in preventing the spread of fungal infections.


Eucalyptus oil is widely recognized for its distinct potent aroma. This oil has been used for ages in India and it continues to grow its popularity as a remedy for individuals dealing with asthma and respiratory conditions. It also has some antimicrobial properties that make it an excellent choice for combatting the common cold and flu. A recent study has provided evidence that Eucalyptus can be effective against 22 bacterial types and 12 fungal strains.

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