Vaginal mycosis: the essential oil of Lavandula viridis puts an end to it

Vaginal yeast infections affect two out of three women during their lifetime. Research shows that the use of certain essential oils, including that of Lavandula viridis in the treatment of fungal infections proves conclusive. At least that’s what a study from the University of Coimbra published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology shows.

Lavender essential oil could be used to combat the rising incidence of fungal infections, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. This essential oil has a powerful antifungal effect against the strains of fungi responsible for common mycotic infections of the skin, nails and mucous membranes such as in the case of vaginal mycosis.

Scientists at the University of Coimbra in Portugal have successfully tested lavender oil from the shrub Lavandula viridis against a wide range of pathogenic fungi, known as dermatophytes, that cause skin fungus and various species of Candida Albicans responsible for vaginal mycoses.

Candida Albican responsible for vaginal mycoses

Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair, and nails because they use the keratin in these tissues to obtain nutrients. They can cause athlete’s foot, scalp and nail infections. Responsible for candidiasis, the species of fungi called Candida Albican, normally coexist in most healthy individuals without causing any problems, but following an upheaval in the balance of the vaginal flora, they can cause candidiasis or vaginal mycosis. In patients who are immunocompromised due to illness, fatigue, or taking certain medications, Candida species are capable of causing serious infection if fungal cells escape into the bloodstream.

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New “emergency” fungicides

Currently, there are relatively few types of antifungal drugs to treat infections but more, for the researchers responsible for the study, new fungicides are urgently needed: “In recent years, there has been an increase in the incidence of fungal diseases, especially in immunocompromised patients, there is also increasing resistance to antifungal drugs. Research shows that essential oils can be effective, inexpensive alternatives with minimal side effects. The mode of operation of these essential oils is beginning to be better and better known, they act by damaging the cell membrane of fungi until they are destroyed. Further research into the mechanisms by which Lavandula essential oil works could show significant clinical benefits over conventional antifungals, the researchers say.

Lavandula essential oils are already widely used, particularly in the food, perfumery and cosmetics industries. Other studies on biological activities suggest that Lavandula essential oil has potent sedative, antispasmodic, anti-microbial and antioxidant properties.


Mónica Zuzarte, Maria José Gonçalves: Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oils of Lavandula viridis, Journal of Medical Microbiology 60: 612-618,

Yakugaku Zasshi: Antifungal activity of essential oils and their constituents against Candida spp. and their effects on activity of amphotericin

Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan [ 130(6):895-902]


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