Myrrh essential oil is a natural remedy for skin fungal infections

Cutaneous fungal infections, which are noninvasive infections of the skin, hair, or nails, may be treated using myrrh (Commiphora molmol). A study published in Pharmaceutical Biology confirmed that myrrh is an effective treatment for skin fungal infections. Myrrh, a resin obtained from the cracked stem of thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora, has been traditionally used as a poultice for treating fungal skin infections.

For the study, researchers in Iran used ethanol extract and essential oil from myrrh. The researchers looked at the antifungal activity of both against skin dermatophytes Trichophyton rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis, M. gypseum, and T. verrucosum. In addition, they analyzed the chemical composition of myrrh ethanol extract and myrrh essential oil.

The results of the study showed that both myrrh ethanol extract and essential oil have the ability to kill fungi. However, myrrh essential oil is a more potent anti-fungal than myrrh ethanol extract. Both myrrh essential oil and ethanol extract also exhibited good anti-elastase activity. These outcomes suggest that topically applying myrrh could reduce the inflammation of the infected skin and bring it back to its normal state.

With these findings, the researchers concluded that myrrh is an effective topical treatment for cutaneous fungal infections, particularly skin fungal infections.

More on myrrh

Scientists are starting to find evidence suggesting that myrrh may offer some health benefits. Here are some of them:

  • Antioxidant benefits: One study published in the journalĀ Food and Chemical Toxicology concluded that myrrh emulsion is a potent antioxidant that can protect the liver from lead-induced liver toxicity. It works by reducing lipid peroxidation and enhancing the antioxidant and immune defense mechanisms of the body.
  • Potential anticancer agent: The extracts and compounds in myrrh may be effective against human gynecologic cancer cells, according to a study published in theĀ Journal of Medicinal Plants Research.
  • Pain relief: A 2017 study suggested that myrrh and frankincense might help relieve neuropathic pain. This was the finding of the study’s authors after they treated pain in mice with a water extract of frankincense and myrrh. (Related: Studies show the health benefits of frankincense and myrrh.)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: In some parts of Asia, myrrh has been used traditionally as a treatment for inflammatory diseases. In 2015, a study on mice suggested that it may help treat inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Myrrh is also used for non-medical purposes. It is widely used as a fragrance, as a flavoring to food products, and for embalming.

Other natural treatments for fungal infections

In case myrrh is not available, there are other natural ways you can treat fungal infections. Here are some ingredients you can easily find at home to treat fungal infections:

  • Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar, which is rich in antimicrobials, is a popular treatment for any fungal infection. Consuming diluted apple cider vinegar may help destroy infections. At the same time, it prevents infections from spreading, which increases recovery time.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil may help kill species of yeast, according to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Its antifungal effect comes from its fatty acids that act as fungicides. Applying coconut oil on the affected skin area can kill the infection.
  • Cranberry juice: Cranberry juice can also treat yeast infections because of its substance that prevents bacteria from sticking to mucous membranes.
  • Garlic: Garlic is rich in antibacterial properties that can treat skin infections in any area. To use, apply crushed garlic on the affected area. Garlic can also help speed up the healing period because it also acts as an antibiotic.
  • Plain yogurt: Plain yogurt contains live cultures that can stop fungi growth.

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