Posted by Jasmine on February 17, 2011

As per study researchers, lavender oil possess anti-fungal properties that can be used against dermatophytes, a fungus known to cause nail infections, ring worm, and athletes foot.

While commenting on the new study findings, researchers’ Professor Lígia Salgueiro and Professor Eugénia Pinto, who jointly led the study, explained in their press release, "In the last few years there has been an increase in the incidence of fungal diseases, particularly among immune-compromised patients.

"Unfortunately there is also increasing resistance to antifungal drugs. Research by our group and others has shown that essential oils may be cheap, efficient alternatives that have minimal side effects."

About research
To arrive at this intriguing conclusion, researchers conducted a lab experiment on lavender oil’s constituents and how they would work against numerous pathogenic fungi.

Researchers found that lavender oil constituents, long linked with benefits such as repelling mosquitoes to calming skin rashes, proved particularly lethal to pathogenic strains called dermatophytes and range of Candida.

However, researchers still do not how essential oil constituents worked against pathogenic stains, but they believe that it could be damaging the basic structure of the disease.

Fungus from Candida species co-exist within almost every healthy individual and rarely ever cause problems, though due to this stain some people can suffer mucocutaneous candidosis/thrush.

In immune-compromised patients (e.g. cancer, AIDS, or transplant patients), Candida is known to cause serious fungal infections that can be resistant to treatment and can lead to patients' death.

In-depth research needed
Study researchers believe that an in-depth research into the subject needs to be done as they are still clueless about the inner workings of lavender constituents against fungus infection.

"Lavandula oil shows wide-spectrum antifungal activity and is highly potent. This is a good starting point for developing this oil for clinical use to manage fungal infections. What is now required is clinical trials to evaluate how our in vitro work translates in vivo," wrote study authors.

Apart from carrying out some more lab experiments on the properties of lavender oil, the researchers would also study it's working in humans.

The study results recently appeared in the ‘Journal of Medical Microbiology.’

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