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Toenail fungus is not a pleasant thing. It happens when moisture gets trapped in areas where there's a lack of circulation. Socks, shoes, and boots create a perfect environment for this to occur. So, here I’m offering you the best natural remedies for toenail fungus. While topical applications, oral anti-fungal drugs, or surgical removal of the affected toenail are standard treatment options, they come with side effects, and sometimes natural remedies work better.
If one way is better than another, that you may be sure is Nature's way. ~Aristotle,
More than 75% of all people in the U.S. have some sort of feet problems at some time in their life… So a total foot care routine can reduce your chances of being one of them. Our feet are our center of energy. Healthy feet hold us up, balance our bodies and take us where we want to go in life.
Take care of your feet and they will take care of you ~ Melanie Sachs
Causes of Fungal Nail Infection
Nail fungus is a sign of an imbalance of the digestive flora that can lead to Candida. Sometimes Candida is associated with too much sugar in the blood. The growth of fungi within, on, or beneath the toenail(s) can trigger infection. While fingernails are also prone to this disorder, the toenails are extremely susceptible because of:
- Warm, damp environments trapped in your shoes or boots
- Lesser blood flow, and poor circulation which lowers the immune system’s power to prevent and cure the infection
There are other factors that risk of an infection, including:
- Aging, due to a decrease in circulation
- Excessive perspiration
- Working in an environment where your toenails are in warm, moist environments for prolonged period
- Having a family history of toenail fungus
- Continuously wearing shoes and socks
- Walking without proper footing in damp areas
- Pre-existence of skin infections, including athlete’s foot or psoriasis
- Circulation issues
- Overconsumption of sugar
- Incomplete digestion
- Weakened immunity
- Down’s syndrome
- Lack of hygiene
Signs and Symptoms of Toe Nail Fungus
The fungus begins with a tiny yellowish-white spot on your nail’s tip. Then the nails begin to slowly thicken, become darker in color, and crumble. They also lose their shape. In worst case scenarios, the affected toenail separates from its bed. This can lead to a painful condition called onycholysis.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of onychomycosis include:
- Scaling beneath the nail(s)
- Yellowish white spots
- White flaky area atop the toenails
- The tip of the toenail or the corner starts crumbling
- Bad odor from the infected toenail
- Thick, brittle nails
- Distorted nail with a dull color
- Loss of nail after separating from the nail bed
These natural remedies are safe to manage and prevent toenail fungal infection. Yet, it could take weeks or even months to see noticeable changes. So, please be patient with yourself! But, if you feel that you're unable to manage the condition with these natural solutions, please visit your physician… Especially if you have any other underlying conditions.
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Natural Remedies For Toe Nail Fungus
Lifestyle Remedies and Preventive Measures
A few changes to your lifestyle could help to prevent a nail fungus:
- Trim your nails and keep them clean
- Keep the skin around your toenails clean and safe by preventing injuries. If the area is injured, make sure you take care of it to prevent infection.
- Choose the right shoes or boots if you are going to be in damp environments for any length of time.
- Wash your socks regularly
- Dry your feet well after taking a shower
- Get a pedicure only from trusted salons. It is ideal to own your personal pedicure kit
- Do not walk barefoot in public places
- Go barefoot at home
- Don't use nail polish regularly. Give your nails a break and let them breathe in the winter. (Besides nail polish has known endocrine disruptors that are dangerous for women and teenage girls.
Home Remedies for Toe Nail Fungus
You can use either Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. Vinegar is mildly acidic and helps to prevent toenail fungus from spreading. Simultaneously, it all kills the bacteria and other organisms. Mix vinegar and water in 1:1 ratio and soak your infected toenail in this solution for 30 minutes daily. Dab dry the nail using a soft, clean cloth. You can repeat the process until your infection disappears.
Apple cider vinegar mixed with rice flour is a powerful antifungal scrub. Cleanse your toe with lukewarm saline water and apply this paste on the affected area. Scrub off the region in gentle circular motions. You can do it 4 times a week to help your nail heal faster. You can also warm a mixture of rice flour with turmeric powder and a little coconut oil. Apply the mixture on the affected area and bandage the nail using a clean cloth. Keep changing the pack every 24 hours. The infection could vanish within 48 hours.
According to a study that appeared in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine in 2011, using over-the-counter mentholated ointment offered relief from toenail fungus. Just apply a generous amount of the ointment on the nail after cleaning and dabbing it dry. Leave on! It is advisable to do it in the night. But if you are applying it in the morning, do not forget to secure it using a sterile cloth bandage.
A powerful anti-microbial solution Listerine can help to heal a fungal infection. Mix about 2 TBS of this alcohol-infused mouthwash with an adequate amount of lukewarm water. Soak for 15 minutes daily.
Rub Vitamin E oil gently into the affected toenail to eliminate the fungus. You can mix vitamin E oil with a little powdered turmeric to boost the former’s anti-fungal merits.
It is one of the most tested and tried natural remedies for toenail fungus. Add 3 tbsp 3% hydrogen peroxide to one cup water and soak the infected nail for 25 minutes. You can slowly increase the quantity of the peroxide solution if you feel the mentioned proportion is very mild for you.
7. Coconut Oil
This healing oil has anti-fungal properties with a full infusion of healthy, healing sources of fats. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid which is a strong antimicrobial and antibacterial fatty acid. Just apply it topically on the affected area and include it in your diet to see noticeable differences.
8. Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is one of the best antidotes for a yeast-triggered toenail infection. Include two glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice in your diet for quicker recovery.
According to a study in 2003, Olive leaf has powerful antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate yeast within your system. The powerful compounds found in olive leaves destroy invading organisms and promote faster recovery.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Toe Nail Fungus
Ayurveda teaches you Nature's great principles of health and natural living. If you're new to Ayurveda, start here: What is Ayurveda About? The emphasis in Ayurveda is on self-care, taking responsibility for your health, preparing your own food, appropriate exercise, eating seasonally, and keeping a positive state of mind. Ayurveda treats the person, not the disease…
So get to know yourself, learn what combination of qualities you have in your body and mind. When you know which elements make up the majority of your constitution, you will know which conditions you thrive in.
According to Ayurveda the finger and toenails are a by-product of the bones. This means that the condition of the nails reflects the condition of all other body tissues. So the solutions for problems with the nails need to address the nourishment of the whole body.
Ayurveda and Digestion
Digestion has prime importance in Ayurveda. The complete digestion and assimilation of nutrients make up the building blocks of your body. Good digestion results in a glowing, healthy body and that includes hair, skin, and nails. Paying attention to how well you are digesting is the single most important thing you can do to maintain the health and beauty of your nails naturally.
Dietary Modifications for Toe Nail Fungus
Here are a few food rules that will help in curing and preventing fungal infection:
- Eliminate sugar in your diet. You can get the sweet taste from rice, legumes, nuts, seeds, carrots, sweet potatoes, dates, figs, prunes, bananas, and mangos.
- Eat and drink fermented foods and dairy products as they are rich in probiotics that help prevent fungus.
- Don't drink alcohol
- Keep your diet alkaline, high in bitter taste and low in sweet taste. The bowels should be kept clean.
Eat seasonally, considering your constitution. One of the Ayurvedic sloka (ancient writings of Ayurveda) says “food is medicine when consumed properly.” So avoid processed foods, genetically modified foods, foods with preservatives or other synthetic chemicals. Include plenty of colorful fruits and veggies to replenish your gut health and revamp your immunity levels. Probiotics, boost your immunity. So eat non-sweetened yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, or kimchi in your diet to maintain good gut bacteria which fight infection.
A powerful antiseptic herb known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial power. Add some water to 1 tbsp Turmeric powder and prepare a paste. Apply it on the affected nail after cleansing the area with lukewarm saline water. Wash off the application after the paste completely dries. You can repeat this twice or thrice a day till the infection completely heals.
Garlic has antifungal compounds making it one of the most potent natural remedies for toenail fungus. Prepare garlic oil by simmering 10 cloves of freshly crushed, peeled garlic in half a cup coconut oil on low heat. Store the oil in an airtight container after it cools. Mix 1 tsp garlic oil with 1 tsp white vinegar and apply on the affected toenail. Cover the area with a clean cloth bandage and leave on overnight. You can repeat this application daily for 2 weeks. A mixture of 1 tbsp garlic juice and turmeric powder can also be used as an antifungal cream.
The juice of lemon has rich antiseptic and antifungal properties. In addition, it also curbs the infection from spreading to the affected area. Use lemon juice alone as a topical natural solution for the fungal infection or mix it with equal amounts of sesame oil to be applied on infected nail. You need to use it at least for 4 weeks to see positive changes.
One of the most powerful anti-fungal plant extracts in Ayurvedic medicine. Use it in the form of neem oil. Soak the nail in Neem oil for about 20 minutes to ease the pain, inflammation, and infection.
A highly potent anti-fungal herb. It can be used in the form of a tea. Boil 1 tbsp dried licorice in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Strain, cool, and sip this tea two times a day for effective healing. You can also make a paste of licorice, turmeric, and yogurt can be applied topically to the toenail to ward off the infection. Alternatively, you can prepare a rinse by steeping 3 tbsp powdered licorice in 1 cup water for 20 minutes. Soak your nail in this concoction for quick relief.
Packed with 20-plus antifungal constituents, ginger is a wonderful natural toenail fungus remedy. Steep 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger in 1 cup boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain, sweeten with honey and sip 3 x a day to eliminate your fungus. Alternatively, dip a cotton cloth in the tea and apply topically on the affected nail.
Essential Oils for Toe Nail Fungus
Packed with antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, making it an effective treatment for toenail fungus. Add 6 drops oregano oil to 2 tsp olive oil. Rub into the affected area and washing and drying the area. Wait for half an hour before rinsing off with saline water and drying your nails. Repeat twice a week for 3 to 4 weeks to see the changes.
Well-known for its fungicidal properties, tea tree properties is a great antidote for nail fungus. Cleanse the area and then apply the oil without diluting using a clean cotton. Wait for 10 minutes before scrubbing with a soft toothbrush. You can also use coconut oil or olive oil as a carrier oil if your skin is very sensitive. Repeat twice a day for three to four weeks for complete recovery and to prevent recurrence.
Yet another anti-fungal essential oil which can be mixed with tea tree oil to be used as a topical toenail fungal antidote. Just make sure that you do a patch test to avoid allergic reactions. You can also add a few drops of orange oil to lukewarm water and soak your feet in this concoction for 15 minutes.
Last, but not the least in this list is lavender oil whose anti-fungal properties is beyond words. Mix 5 drops of lavender oil to half a teaspoon vitamin E oil and rub into the affected nail after cleaning and drying the area. Wear a pair of socks to allow the skin to absorb the oil. Repeat daily for 3 weeks.
I've given you many natural remedies for toe nail fungus here so please bookmark for future reference. Treat toe nail fungus as soon as you notice it to prevent it from becoming a serious problem. Natural solutions are very effective, but do keep in mind it may take some time and persistence to see results. So, please be patient with the process. Please promise me one more thing… You won’t hesitate to ask me questions in the comment area below. I’m here to help you out and I would love nothing more than for you to be the healthiest and happiest version of yourself possible. Let me know if you need anything and I will be sure to get back within “hours” most of the time.