There are many popular natural remedies for toenail fungus, though the efficacy of using them is sometimes unclear with results varied; yet many people seek alternatives in their quest for a cure by choosing natural remedies. This article is intended to briefly summarize a sampling of the most popular and presumably effective methods praised by alternative healthcare practitioners and patients alike.
Note that before beginning any treatment, it is important to correct the causes by keeping the affected areas clean and dry, and by wearing clean socks. Although there is speculation regarding the effectiveness of various methods, and although scientific research is still inconclusive, here are the most popular of them.
1) Tea tree oil has wonderful natural antiseptic properties and is very useful, probably topping the list of natural remedies for toenail fungus. Being an essential oil derived from the Australian tea tree by distillation, in clinical trials has proven itself as effective as antifungal drugs. Do not take it internally though, as even in small doses, it can be toxic. It should be avoided by young children, nursing mothers, pregnant women, or those having hormone sensitive cancers. Just dilute with another oil, like olive oil, and apply 3 times daily with a cotton swab.
2) Oil of oregano is another effective substance, which scientific studies reveal it is extremely effective at combating bacteria, viruses and fungi. Like other essential oils, oil of oregano is rich in terpenes, which interfere with the cell membranes of both fungal and bacterial cells, and therefore destroys fungi colonies and bacteria in short order. Because it is a very potent and also expensive, it should be diluted by adding only 2 or 3 drops into another oil, like olive oil. Apply this mixture to the affected area with a cotton ball 3 times per day.
3) Mouthwash is used by many people to treat fungus, many of whom prefer using the original, yellow formula Listerine which containing 4 active ingredients: methyl salicylate, thymol, eucalyptus and menthol; all these ingredients are considered particularly effective in controlling toenail fungus. Just soak the infected part in the mouthwash solution for 15 to 20 minutes twice per day remembering to dry your feet thoroughly afterwards.
4) Apple cider vinegar is yet another popular method to be added to the arsenal of natural remedies for toenail fungus. It is safe, though it can take upwards of a year to yield any results, and not everyone will see the same improvement. Mix together apple cider vinegar and warm water in equal parts and soak the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times per day, remembering to dry off well afterwards.
5) The use of probiotics is often overlooked, even though GI tract imbalances can make one susceptible to yeast infections, which many practitioners think can then lead to toenail fungus. Therefore, eat foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kefir, in addition to using your chosen topical treatment.