Antifungal effect of plant extract and essential oil

Chin J Integr Med. 2017 Mar;23(3):233-239. doi: 10.1007/s11655-016-2524-z. Epub 2016 Sep 3.


The advancement of phytochemical and phytopharmacological sciences has enabled elucidation of the composition and biological activities of several medicinal plant products including plant extract and essential oils. These products have been widely used around the world since ancient times for the treatment of various disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, peptic ulcer disease, microbial infection, sexual disorder and many more. Its popularity in the modern system of medicine is mainly due to their availability and fewer adverse reactions compared to synthetic drugs. Various scientifific investigations have been conducted to look for the potential of the extract from the plant or isolated compounds for the continued use of these products in the treatment and prevention of various kinds of human diseases. It is evident from the available literature and scientifific investigations that many plant species possess potential for use as a benefificial therapeutic remedy with multiple pharmacological actions such as analgesic, anti-inflflammatory, antipyretic, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, antimicrobial, antiulcer and anticonvulsant activities. The present review aims to provide relevant updated information about certain plant products, its composition, preparation and its fungicidal or fungistatic effects on different species of fungus as evaluated by studies done in the past. It introduces six medicinal plants that have been studied for their antifungal property and are found to be effective. The overall objective is to provide comprehensive information about the use of plant extract and essential oil for treating fungal infections and to explore the evidence supporting its effectiveness in treating fungal diseases without causing any serious adverse reactions.

Keywords: essential oil; fungal infection; plant extract.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils