Lavender oil is revealed to be the fragrant way to give athlete's foot the bootBy Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:43 AM on 15th February 2011
Tests showed that even at low concentrations, lavender oil had ‘highly potent’ anti-fungal properties.
Tests on the constituents of the essential oil, which is already used to aid sleep and repel moths, showed the effects were mainly due to a compound called alpha-pinene, also found in rosemary and turpentine.
It was not clear how it worked, but it could be by damaging the structure of disease.
Professor Ligia Salgueiro, one of the scientists behind the research at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, said: ‘In the last few years there has been an increase in the incidence of fungal diseases.
'Unfortunately, there is also increasing resistance to anti-fungal drugs used to treat them.
‘Research by our group and others has shown that essential oils may be cheap, efficient alternatives that have minimal side-effects.
‘This is a good starting point for developing this oil for clinical use to manage fungal infections.’
The research, reported in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, was conducted in the lab and the scientists pointed out that real proof would come from testing lavender oil on people, which Professor Salgueiro hopes to start soon.
Conditions such as athlete’s foot are painful, unsightly and hard to treat, often requiring repeated applications of ointments and creams.
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