What essential oils are good for toenail fungus?
A number of essential oils are often used to control this unsightly foot infection. Most aromatic oils seem to contain natural anti-microbial agents. But a few are considered especially good for fighting the crusty growths that can appear on the toenails.
Toenail fungus is a stubborn and distressing condition.People with this infection may want to hide their feet away, with socks and shoes, even in the summer.
The clinical name for toenail infection is onychomycosis. Research shows the vast majority of patients are embarrassed by the appearance of their feet. They may suffer from reduced self esteem as a result.
That’s why they want to avoid wearing sandals in the warm weather.However, closed shoes create a perfect breeding ground. Fungus thrives in darkness and moisture. Instead, your feet need fresh air and sunlight.
Unfortunately, toenail fungus is not easy to eradicate. Conventional medicine may not solve the problem. The rate of recurrence, even with prescription drugs, can be as high as 50 percent.
Thick Toenails Tee Tree Oil
Prescription toenail fungus drugs can cause side effects, some of them serious. This might be part of the reason there seems to be a lot of buzz around using essential oils to eradicate toenail fungus. (Tea tree oil from Australia is probably the most commonly recommended.)
Or, people may simply prefer a more natural approach. If so, they may want to consider using essential oils. However, people with chronic health problems will need to check with their doctor before using essential oils on their feet. That’s because it’s possible they may interact with certain drugs, including blood thinning medications.
Actually, it’s really important to work with your doctor while trying any type of home remedy for toenail infection. People with this condition tend to have lowered immunity and may suffer from diabetes. So this post should be read from an information-only standpoint. Do not use it as medical advice. Above all, do not use it as a substitute for appropriate medical care.
Essential Oils for Toenail Infections
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Currently, you can find special essential oil blends designed specifically for nail problems. Single oils are also used as well, specifically tea tree essential oil.
Toenail fungus is very common. About 15 percent of the population suffers from it, according to a New York Times health blog. It’s disfiguring and it can also be painful.
Thickened and discolored toenails can also be caused by bacteria overgrowth as well. There are various conventional treatments that may be prescribed for toenail fungus. These may include anti-fungal drugs, which, as I mentioned earlier, present health risks.
Natural Toenail Fungus Treatment
Sporonox is a drug often prescribed for toenail fungus. Some of the potential side effects can include seizures, irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulty, chest pains, joint inflammation and depression.
Lamisil is another drug for toenail fungus. It can also cause breathing problems, as well as headaches, joint pain, insomnia, visual disturbances and liver damage.
You can read and research more on the side effects of these medications at Drugs.com.
Oftentimes, especially in older people, these drugs either don’t make a difference, or the problem returns. There’s been some discussion of laser therapy. However, even lasers don’t offer much hope of eliminating nail fungus.
Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
For all of the above reasons, that’s why a natural approach makes so much sense. In recent years, a growing number of people have discovered essential oils. Essential oils have countless uses. Banishing toenail fungus seems to be one of them.
However, aromatherapy is not new. Concentrated aromatic plant extracts have been used for thousands of years to help a wide range of physical and emotional ailments.
A few companies now sell special essential oils for toenail fungus, which contain tea tree oil. Many essential oils contain natural anti-microbe agents. But tea tree oil is one of the best for killing molds and fungus.
Essential Oils Good for Toenail Fungus
Tea tree oil is often mixed with one or more aromatic oils to create a blend. In general, aromatherapists prefer using multiple oils in one formula, as the ingredients combine to create a synergy.
If you already own a number of oils, including tea tree essential oil, you can make your own toenail healing recipe. If you don’t own any oils, it’s probably easier to get a product specifically designed for ringworm, fungus and psoriasis.
Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus
One of them, known as Derma-Shield, is made by Plant Therapy, a company I trust and often purchase my oils from. This formula contains a a blend of seven oils.
The first ingredient is tea tree oil, following by lavender, lemon, cedarwood, myrrh, tagetes and oregano oil. Lavender and myrrh are powerful infection fighters. But they are also soothing and healing.
Lemon Essential Oil for Toenail Fungus
All Plant Therapy oils are thoroughly tested for purity and potency. This is one of the brands I often recommend, because of its quality. It’s also not sold by multilevel marketing distributors.
Plant Therapy Derma-Shield is designed for athletes foot, as well as for nail fungus. On its website, the company notes that it can take up to six months of treatment to see results. (With conventional treatments, including oral drugs, it can also take a number of months for the infection to clear.)
Tea Tree Oil and Nail Fungus
If you plan to use Derma-Shield to treat a skin infection, Plant Therapy also says it must first be diluted in a carrier oil, such as olive, coconut or grapeseed oil. A standard dilution suggestion is one of two drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil.
I also spoke with one of Plant Therapy’s aromatherapists about using Derma-Shield on just your toenails. In that case, a 25 percent dilution would be okay. This would be 1 part of essential oil to 3 parts carrier oil. A good choice for carrier oil is fractionated coconut oil. That’s because coconut oil contains its own infection-fighting agents.
However, because this is stronger than the normally recommended essential oil dilution for skin. So I’d be careful not to put this only on a toenail. Try to avoid the skin. One thing you could do is to put a layer of coconut oil, as a buffer, on the skin surrounding the toenail.
Essential Oil for Nail Fungus
Please understand that I’m not a healthcare professional. So I can’t give medical advice. All treatment decisions should be made in conjunction with your doctor. All I’m doing is sharing the fact that tea tree essential oil is often suggested as a home remedy for toenail fungus.
Other aromatics often used for nail infections include:
If you have a collection of essential oils, chances are you already have a tea tree oil on hand. This is one of the first oils usually included in a typical toenail fungus recipe, like the one below.
Coat the skin around your toenails with a thick layer of coconut oil, to protect it from the lightly diluted essential oils. A 25 percent dilution (1 drop of essential oil to 3 drops of carrier) is much more potent than the normal 2 to 3 percent for skin massage.
How To Control Toenail Fungus Naturally
The very best way to treat toenail fungus is to prevent it. The Mayo Clinic recommends frequent cleaning of the hands and feet, as well as wearing shoes that aren’t likely to become moist.
Frequent changing of socks may also make more difficult for fungus to thrive. Since these infections are contagious, you should be careful not to walk barefoot in public places, such as public showers and locker rooms.
You may also want to give up getting pedicures at nail salons. Fungus can grow under artificial nails and polish, which block air and light.
However, if you do go to a nail salon, make sure it’s reputable operation. All equipment should be sterilized, and don’t be afraid to ask if it is before it’s used on your feet.
Home Remedies for Nail Fungus
One of my very favorite online natural health experts is Dr. Josh Axe, DC. He has also published a post on how to get rid of toenail fungus. Basically, he recommends getting rid of it from the inside out. This involves holistic lifestyle changes that make it less likely toenail fungus will grow in the first place.
Some of his suggestions include:
- Reducing your intake of sugar, which feeds the pathogens that attack your toenails.
- Replenishing healthy digestive bacteria with fermented foods.
- Upgrade your diet. This would mean eating primarily real food, instead of heavily processed food.
- Take good probiotics
- Consider olive leaf extract This herbal remedy is well known for its ability to kill pathogens. (However, as with anything you read about on this page, check with your healthcare provider before using it.
- Dr. Axe also recommends two specific essential oils – tea tree and oregano.
- Read his article in the link above for the full picture.
If you’re a diabetic or you have other chronic health conditions, talk with your doctor first before you start using essential oils for toenail fungus. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use aromatherapy unless directed to do so by a healthcare provider.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.