Coriander Oil Treats Vigorous Athlete’s Feet Between the Toes

coriander oil and athletes feet

Photo by Thangaraj Kumaravel


By Case Adams, Naturopath

Researchers from Germany’s University of Hamburg Medical Center have confirmed in a clinical study that coriander oil treats the most vigorous type of athlete’s feet.

The researchers tested 40 people who were infected with interdigital tinea pedis – which means athlete’s feet that has developed between the toes.

The researchers randomized and separated the patients into two groups and gave them each an ointment to rub on their feet and in between the toes for 28 days.

The researchers took specimens and analyzed the infections initially, at 14 days and at 28 days.

The researchers measured populations of Candida species, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton rubrum. The Candida species are not typically known to cause athlete’s feet. The Trichophyton fungi, however, are often the central agents at the root of athlete’s feet.

At 14 days, those treated with the Coriander oil ointment had significantly fewer colonies of the Trichophyton fungi, and had significantly better signs of infection.

At 28 days, their improvement continued. About 75% of the coriander oil group had no clinical signs of athlete’s feet after 28 days, compared to about 10% among the placebo group. Meanwhile, none of the coriander group had marked or severe signs of athlete’s feet, while 40% had marked signs and 5% had severe signs at the beginning of the study.

In their microbial analysis, the coriander group went from 42% infection rate to 11% infection rate – a drop of 31% during the 28 weeks.

More about Coriander

The ointment contained 6% coriander oil. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is also referred to as cilantro – a relative of parsley. Cilantro is actually Spanish for Coriander, and Cilantro is most famous as an ingredient in the Mexican dish, salsa.

Coriander is also referred to as Chinese Parsley, or yán qiàn in Chinese medicine.

Coriander oil is derived from the seeds or fruits of the Cilantro plant.

Meanwhile the fresh Coriander or Cilantro used in Mexican and other cuisines is typically harvested fairly young, before the plant goes to seed. At this young stage, Cilantro has a very mild flavor. The seeds and the older plant have a much stronger, aromatic odor. The dried seeds become more fragrant over time.

Other research has found that Coriander oil is significantly antibiotic. Researchers from Germany’s University of Freiburg found that Coriander oil significantly inhibited Streptococcus pyogenes – the typical cause of strep throat and other infections. They also determined that Coriander oil inhibited methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), in concentrations as low as 0.04%

The researchers also tested 40 human volunteers with the application of 1% Coriander oil directly onto the skin. None of the subjects showed any sensitivity to the application of the oil on the skin.

Central constituents of Coriander include linalool, pinene, terpinene, geranylacetate, camphor and geraniol.

Coriander is considered by Ayurvedic herbalists as carminative (relieves gas), tonic (stimulates immunity), stomachic (eases digestion) and diuretic (stimulates urine flow). Fresh coriander leaves, meanwhile, have liver purifying and detoxifying properties according to traditional herbalist uses.

Coriander is typically used either in oil form, as fresh leaves or as a tea. Coriander tinctures are also now available.

Other Natural Athlete’s Feet Strategies

Other herbs that have been suggested by herbalists for the treatment of Athlete’s feet including Tea tree oil (from Melaleuca alternifolia leaves), grapefruit seed extract and garlic.

Each of these herbs have shown antifungal properties in the research. University of Concepción researchers found that tea tree oil inhibited Candida albicans, for example. Researchers from Germany’s Ernst Moritz Arndt University found that grapefruit seed extract inhibited E. coli, S. aureas and several other bacteria, as well as Candida maltosa.

Numerous studies show that fresh garlic oil is a potent antifungal, inhibiting a number of different yeasts as well as bacteria and other microbes.

Learn how to safely boost immunity.


Beikert FC, Anastasiadou Z, Fritzen B, Frank U, Augustin M. Topical treatment of tinea pedis using 6% coriander oil in unguentum leniens: a randomized, controlled, comparative pilot study. Dermatology. 2013;226(1):47-51. doi: 10.1159/000346641.

Casetti F, Bartelke S, Biehler K, Augustin M, Schempp CM, Frank U. Antimicrobial activity against bacteria with dermatological relevance and skin tolerance of the essential oil from Coriandrum sativum L. fruits. Phytother Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):420-4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3571.

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Catalán A, Pacheco JG, Martínez A, Mondaca MA. In vitro and in vivo activity of Melaleuca alternifolia mixed with tissue conditioner on Candida albicans. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2008 Mar;105(3):327-32. doi: 10.1016/j.tripleo.2007.08.025.

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Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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