(RxWiki News) Fungal infections that cannot be treated with anti-fungals because they have become reistant to them may be treated effectively with lavender oil, according to a new study from the University of Coimbra in Portugal.
Scientists distilled lavender oil from the Lavandula viridis L'Hér shrub, native to Portugal, and tested the distillation against a host of pathogenic fungi (dermatophytes). (Dermatophytes cause skin, hair and nail conditions/infections, including athlete's foot and ringworm.) There are currently relatively few effective treatments against dermatophytes, and drugs that are available often have side effects.
The Portuguese scientists demonstrated the lavender oils destroy fungal cells by damaging the cell membrane.
Professor Lígia Salgueiro said lavender oil's potent qualities and antifungal properties mark a good starting point for developing the oil for clinical use in managing fungal infections.
Lavender extracts are commonly used in food, perfume and cosmetics. The oils have also been shown to have sedative and antispasmodic properties as well as possess potent antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. And they smell good.