Go to the doctor to get rid of nail fungus and you’ll most likely be prescribed an anti-fungal medication. But even the doctors will tell you that it’ll hurt your liver, so you’re better off just dealing with the unsightly problem. The FDA has reported deaths due to liver failure. And it doesn’t stop there. Other adverse reactions include allergic reactions, gastrointestinal problems, changes in eye lenses and retinas, psoriasis and skin issues, taste disturbance and loss, headache, nausea, mood changes, congestive heart failure, seizures, and on and on. But many studies have shown essential oils to be true miracle workers of the natural medicine cabinet, and able to treat nail fungus with little extra damage.
Here are a few:
Thyme has been used since before the ancient Egyptians. Long praised for its antibacterial properties, it is also a strong anti-fungal. Studies from Italy to Michigan have shown how its primary component, thymol, interferes with the formation of candida, is effective in fighting toe and nail fungus, and exhibits a suppressive activity on molds. It has been shown to be as effective as some of the over the counter medications.
Clove oil has been dated back to 207 BC, where Chinese historians raved about its many uses. Today studies have shown that the eugenol contained inside kills more than 60 types of bacteria, 15 strains of fungi, candida, and other viruses. It works by disrupting the biofilms of bacteria and fungi, basically the clusters they form to create a protective shield.
Tea tree oil can also be used as an anti-fungal treatment. Clinical studies have shown results in treating athlete’s foot, nail fungus, and infections. Cinnamon oil has shown to completely stop the growth of 35 strains of fungi. And lemongrass oil, containing many antimicrobial properties, can also be helpful in treating fungal infections. It has the added bonus of numbing irritation too.
How to treat:
These oils can be used in two ways. First is to apply directly to the nails and surrounding areas. This lets the medicinal properties absorb right to the place they are most needed. If nails are thickened, try to cut and file them down if you can. This will help the absorption process. Oils can sometimes be irritating to the skin. If you notice any adverse reaction, feel free to mix the oils in a carrier oil, such as safflower, almond or even olive oil.
The second way is to make a foot bath. Fill an appropriate sized container with warm water and add a few drops of your chosen oil. Soak for at least 20 minutes at a time. You can add sea salts if you like, which can help to draw out infections.
Just like the prescribed medications, these remedies will take time. You probably won’t see a big change for at least 6 months, but if applied diligently and often, there should be noticeable differences. Make sure to use pure essential oils only, never perfume oils, and always discontinue use right away if any irritation persists.