Recommended Ayurvedic diet for fungal infection on skin

By Dr. Sharda Ayurveda In Skin

As per Ayurvedic literature, every skin disorder is classified under the category of ‘Kushtha’, where the fungal infection on skin is termed as ‘Dadru’. Fungal infections are categorised as a result of imbalances in the doshas of the body, particularly Kapha Dosha, which is associated with earth and water elements.
According to Ayurvedic principles, an excess of Kapha dosha can create a damp and cool environment in the body, providing an ideal breeding ground for fungi. Various factors, including poor hygiene, improper diet, and weakened immunity can influence this imbalance. Fungal infections become common in people when the fungus invades the body and takes control of it. In addition, rashes, skin discoloration, and generalised itching are brought on by the illness. This correspondingly leads to weak functioning of the immune system. 
The main causative agent behind fungal infection is a microorganism called fungi. This feeds on decaying keratin, a protein that builds up our skin, hair, and nails. Different types of fungi produce different types of fungal illnesses. Ringworm, intertrigo, nail infections, Athlete’s foot, and other fungal skin infections are widespread. When the infection is mild, it shows superficial symptoms but when it affects internally it can become chronic.

Role of diet for fungal infection

Fungal infections are mostly controlled by diet, and Ayurveda says that choosing the right food is essential to reestablishing the body's equilibrium and avoiding the recurrence of such conditions.
Adopting a diet that combats the damp and cold features associated with the Kapha dosha is particularly important for dealing with fungal overgrowth. Individuals are recommended to avoid eating too many cold, sugary, or heavy meals that might aggravate the Kapha imbalance and instead stick to warm, dry, and readily digested foods.
As suggested by Ayurveda, including anti-fungal and immune-stimulating spices and herbs into one's regular diet, such as neem, turmeric, and ginger, may assist in curing and avoiding fungal infections. These ingredients are thought to possess properties that aid in fighting fungal overgrowth and strengthening the body's natural defences.
Another important component of diet for fungal infection management is staying hydrated. Warm water or herbal teas are recommended to keep the body warm and aid in detoxifying. Following is the list given for what to eat and avoid for fungal infection. 

What to eat in Fungal Infection?

To accelerate an individual's general well-being, Ayurveda advises to include foods and herbs with warming effects. These will assist in maintaining a balance between all the doshas of the body and provide harmony between the body, mind, and soul. Therefore, the spices or herbs that one needs to add to their diet for fungal infection on the skin include:

  • Ginger

With a long history of medical usage, this plant is considered versatile and has the ability to cure fungal infections. The active compounds in ginger exhibit powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to addressing fungal overgrowth, redness, and itchiness. Due to the properties Ginger possesses such as promoting digestion, boosting the circulatory system, and improving immune response, it is frequently used as a key component in herbal products.  

Usage: The usage of ginger in treating fungal infections often involves incorporating it into the diet, either in its fresh form, as a spice in cooking, or as warm ginger tea.

  • Garlic

It is a strong plant, popular for its medicinal capabilities in treating fungal diseases. Its active compound ‘allicin’ is known for its strong antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Allicin contributes to the aromatic characteristics when the garlic is chopped or crushed. Its medicinal efficacy facilitates in treating fungal conditions such as ringworm and athlete's foot. As well, garlic boosts the functioning of the immune system, which helps its performance in fighting against any illness and its ability to reduce inflammation. 

Usage: One can incorporate raw or lightly cooked garlic in their meals, preserving its active compounds.

  • Turmeric

Due to its antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant characteristics, which help inhibit the growth of fungus and also reduce symptoms like redness and itching, turmeric is a potent natural treatment for fungal infections. This is all because turmeric contains a special compound called curcumin. 

Usage: It can be used either by directly applying it to affected areas or adding it to the diet. It may be consumed as a spice when cooking or mixed into warm milk or water. A paste made up of turmeric and water can be directly applied to the problematic areas. 

  • Aloe vera

The plant's leaves are used to make a gel that includes bioactive substances with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. These properties work together to inhibit fungi growth and soothe skin irritation. Aloe vera's natural cooling and moisturizing effects can alleviate discomfort from fungal infections, promoting healing. Beyond its ability to fight the growth of fungal infections, it inherits hydrating qualities that leave the skin feeling nourished and hydrated. Its antioxidant content promotes tissue healing and the body's defensive systems. 

Usage: Adding aloe vera gel to smoothies, drinks, or different dishes is a way to add to diets. Apply the gel directly to the skin's affected region. Aloe vera gel is proven to relieve itching, redness, and pain when applied to fungal illnesses like ringworm or athlete's foot.

  • Coconut oil

It has gained appealing popularity in the field of treating fungal infections due to its high concentration of medium-chain fatty acids, particularly lauric acid. Lauric acid has proved to damage the lipid membranes of fungi, reducing its growth and reproduction. The oil also supports the immune system that contributes to overall health. Moreover, coconut oil aids in digestion and nutrient absorption, promoting a healthy gut environment. A balanced and well-functioning digestive system is crucial for preventing the overgrowth of fungi.

Usage: Using coconut oil in cooking or straight consumption is how it is used in the diet. Including coconut oil in the diet can be a therapeutic method. It can also be applied straight to the regions that are affected.


What to avoid in fungal infection

Certain foods can exacerbate fungal growth and compromise the body's ability to combat infections. Individuals undergoing treatment for fungal infections can improve the efficiency of their medical regimens and create a better internal environment by avoiding the following dietary offenders:                                                                                                                                        

  • Sugar

Fungi thrive on sugar, as it provides a ready source of energy for their growth and multiplication. When there is an excess intake of sugar, it can create an environment conducive to fungal overgrowth, especially in individuals with compromised immunity or imbalances in the doshas of their body. In the context of Ayurveda, the sweet taste is associated with the Kapha dosha. Therefore, individuals dealing with fungal infections are often advised to limit or eliminate sugar from their diet.

  • Fruit juices

Avoiding fruit juices is often recommended in the treatment of fungal infections. For example when an individual Consumes fruit juices, it can cause high levels of glucose in the blood and produce an environment that encourages fungus expansion. This is particularly relevant in the case of candida infections, as the candida yeast feeds on sugars. Moreover, the cooling nature of many fruits can further contribute to the damp and cold qualities associated with Kapha dosha. Therefore, Individuals with fungal infections may be recommended to take warm water and herbal teas instead of fruit juices.

  • Sweets

Sweets are considered to have heavy, cold, and moist qualities, which align with the characteristics of Kapha. It is a main source of energy for many forms of fungus, therefore consuming more sweets can worsen fungal overgrowth. By avoiding sweets and opting for a diet that is more heating and drying in nature, one can aim to make the body's internal environment less favorable for the growth of fungi. 

  • Gluten

Gluten avoidance is recommended as a comprehensive strategy by Ayurveda. Cereals high in gluten, such as wheat, barley, and rye, can encourage the spread of fungi by retaining moisture and producing more mucus. In addition to lowering inflammation, a gluten-free diet may help with the body's detoxification and improvement in digestive tract health,  which is very crucial for proper immune functioning.

  • Starchy Vegetables

Ayurveda advises avoiding starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, since they are related with Kapha dosha. Overeating starchy meals may create a wet environment that is favourable for the growth of fungus. To correct this imbalance, it is advised that lighter, dryer and warmer meals be included. Non-starchy diets, anti-fungal herbs, and spices such as neem, turmeric, broccoli, and other bitter green vegetables are also advised. Because Carbohydrates in starchy foods can feed fungus, which can be damaging to fungal illnesses. 

Some additional tips to manage fungal infection

Ayurvedic treatment for fungal infection aims to balance the body's doshas (energetic forces), enhance immunity, and address the root cause of the infection. 

  • Choose breathable clothing

Fabric selection plays an important role in sustaining ideal skin health conditions. Breathable textiles, such as cotton and linen, facilitate air circulation, avoiding moisture buildup and producing a less suitable environment for fungal development. Breathable clothing also lowers friction on the afflicted area, reducing irritation and pain.

  • Maintain personal Hygiene

Proper hygiene is crucial in preventing and managing fungal infections. Regular bathing, and keeping the affected areas clean and dry help create an environment less conducive to fungal growth. Lastly, maintain good overall hygiene practices, such as trimming nails regularly and practicing proper handwashing, to minimize the risk of spreading the infection. 

  • Practice Stress Management

Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and contribute to imbalances in the body. Incorporating stress-reducing practices such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can support overall health and help manage fungal infections. It's a holistic approach that not only targets the external symptoms but also addresses the internal factors contributing to skin health, fostering a more comprehensive and effective strategy for managing fungal infections.

  • Regular sleep schedule

To promote the body's natural healing processes, aim for 7-9 hours of excellent sleep every night. As adequate and consistent sleep supports the body's immune system, which is essential in preventing fungal overgrowth. A consistent sleep schedule ensures that the body undertakes necessary repair and regeneration activities during the night, contributing to general health and resistance to illnesses.

  • Incorporate antifungal herbs

Antifungal herbs have qualities that can battle fungus overgrowth and alleviate related symptoms. Herbs like neem, turmeric, and garlic can be helpful. Depending on the type of infection, they can be consumed by adding in one's diet or used topically.

  • Stay Active

Regular physical activity enhances blood circulation, which is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. A robust immune response is vital for the body to combat and resist fungal infections effectively. Additionally, sweating when exercising aids in the body's detoxification, lowering the likelihood of fungus spread.

  • Stay hydrated

Maintaining skin health and strengthening the body's defensive mechanisms both heavily depend on hydration. Getting enough water into your body will assist remove the waste products that could be contributing to the persistence of fungal infections by flushing out toxins from the body. Warm water should be consumed throughout the day to aid with detoxifying and digesting.


Read more to learn additional Ayurvedic Remedies and Tips


To treat fungal skin infections, Ayurveda focuses on restoring dosha equilibrium, particularly Kapha dosha. Aloe vera, coconut oil, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and other warming herbs can aid in the battle against fungal infection. To balance Kapha dosha and prevent fungal infections, avoid sugar, fruit juices, sweets, gluten, and starchy vegetables. To address fungal infections and enhance general well-being, Dr. Sharda Ayurveda Hospital provides tailored treatment regimens and nutritional suggestions.

Article By:

Dr. Sharda Ayurveda

At Dr. Sharda Ayurveda emphasis is made on treating the patients with the power of Ayurveda and traveling along with them in the path of natural and safe healing. The satisfaction and recovery of our patients is our utmost priority.