Last Modified on May 22, 2016
Natural treatment options for nail fungus are numerous and range from home remedies to dietary changes and supplements. A number of natural remedies effectively treat fungal infections and act as safe fungicides, for both internal and external treatment of the body.
What Is Nail Fungus?
Toenail fungus, formally onychomycosis, is a very common fungal infection that afflicts the dark, moist environment of the feet and can be picked up just about anywhere (fingernail fungus is possible as well and can be treated in the same way, but occurs less often).
Symptoms of a toenail fungus infection are generally limited to the nail itself and begin with a white or yellow patch beneath a nail's tip. This will worsen until the affected nail thickens and/or becomes brittle, if left untreated. Other symptoms include changes in nail color and shape; eventually nails will split or even separate from the nail bed.
Toenail Fungus Home Remedies
Nail fungus is a tricky condition to treat and takes many months to see results. Many natural remedies promote soaking the nails in a solution and then applying one type of antibacterial oil or another. The key to curing this condition is to continue your treatment of choice daily and for at least 3 to 6 months!
Apple Cider Vinegar Soaks
Apple cider vinegar soaks are very popular foot fungus treatments. The treatment calls for diluting apple cider vinegar with warm water and soaking affected toes for at least 20 minutes daily.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful antifungal agent and made from the leaves of the Melaleuca plant. The oil is widely used around the world to treat not only fungal infections, but also acne, abrasions and cuts to name a few. Applying a few drops tea tree oil after showering to affected nails recommended.
Oregano oil is another popular cure for toenail fungus. Oregano oil is made by extracting by steam distillation from the oregano plant. Applying 1-2 drops of oregano oil on the affected toenail 2 to 3 times a day for 3 months minimum has been reported to be very effective for nail fungus.
One of the most important dietary changes that you can make is eliminating sugar from your diet. Additionally, using herbs and supplements that kill candida helps the body in fighting off fungal infections.
Continue reading below for hundreds of interesting reviews from our readers detailing what worked and what didn't in treating difficult nail fungus. Please let us know what worked for you!
Remedies for Toenail Fungus
The Popularity of Toenail Fungus Remedies - Full List
I think (big sigh of relief) I am finally able to report a good remedy combination for clearing nail fungus after trying many different treatments the past couple of years.
Apple Cider Vinegar
I add 1-2 tablespoons of borax to hot water, wait until it dissolves, then add equal parts of organic apple cider vinegar, water and 3% drug store peroxide (I eyeball this, might be about 1/4 cup of each). Note: it's very important that you find a dish that allows you to soak as much of the top part of the foot as possible. I soak in this concoction for 30 to 45 minutes every day (sometimes more, sometimes less)... I do take a 1 or 2 day break from time to time.
Glad to report that the nail growing in on the big toe looks perfect! I am not touching it this time! (Filing the nail down really set me back last spring)
To Bill from the Philippines... I tried your formula (borax, hydrogen peroxide and milk of magnesia in June when you mentioned it here on EC). After 1 week, the fungus turned from yellow to white, and slowly started to clear from the nail. Then one day the top of my big toe, just below the nail, started to itch like crazy, like poison ivy (but more likely athlete's foot). I must have scratched it in the middle of the night because the next morning it was raw and oozing (yuck)... Shortly after that the fungus returned to the base of my nail. I tried your formula again for another few weeks and didn't seem to be getting very far. I am theorizing that unless you apply these anti-fungal remedies to as much of the foot (and in between the toes) as possible, it is very difficult to get rid of the fungus. Fingers crossed. My nails are growing out so fast (thanks to a daily glass of homemade milk kefir and a partial raw food diet) I think my nails might be clear by December. Will report back with y'all again then.
Replied by Bill
San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines
Posted by Mountaingirl (Asheville, Nc) on 09/25/2009
This is my post from several years ago.
05/30/2006: Melissa from Asheville, NC: "I developed toenail fungus while working in Athens, GA about 6 years ago. I would work 12 hours a day in the same shoes for over a year and used regular dress socks. The summers are very moist and humid and perfect conditions for toenail fungus. It is on both "pinky" toes but started developing on other nails though not as bad. 2 years ago it seemed to get worse and I kept my toenails manicured and polished to hide the nails. I believe, as others do, this made things even worse though my feet did look a lot prettier. This year, I got tired of trying to hide my nails and decided to try a natural remedy (Grateful Body Fungal Rx). It contains a day and night formula in convenient tubes so I could carry them with me and use discreetly. They recommend each to use at least 1x per day for at least 6 weeks. I've been using for several months and noticed a little improvement but not much. I found this site and started throwing everything I had at this issue (I figured if I didn't do it now, I'd live with it forever). My grandmother had both large toenails removed and I did not want the same to happen. My pinky toenails seemed like they were almost fused to the nail bed. They are very thick and yellow and starting to look deformed though still attached to my nail bed. I started this regimen last week and I am seeing good results. The nail seems no longer fused to the nail bed. and I can actually push the cuticle back (impossible before). The nails seem to be growing in cleaner, no ridges, normal thickness and no red streaks through the nail (as in the infected part). I am so psyched but trying no to get too hopeful. This is what I've been doing in morning AND evening, everyday: I keep a clean toothbrush for scrubbing my nails. I use a natural bar soap and scrub my nails (I use the sink because it's easier for me) with warm water. dry. I then keep a little bottle of pre mixed 3% H2O2 and ACV (5% acidity) 1/2 and 1/2 under the sink and pour this over all my toe nails (over toilet). I let this sit while I brush teeth (different toothbrush ;), wash face etc. I may add more and let sit again for a little while. I don't get much fizzing...sometimes more than others. Sometimes I get a little "pinched" feeling, but not usually. rinse. dry. I also keep a little bottle (old tincture bottle with dropper) with 25% clorox and water mixed. I then add this to nails and let sit 30 seconds or so on each foot. rinse. dry. I follow with Red Tyme oil (night) or Fungal Rx in the morning. I may add the night formula again if I go to bed late. Some people are sensitive to Red Thyme. I have very thick, oily skin and it does not bother me to use it neat. I wear sandals to work (never did before) and apply Fungal Rx several times a day while at my desk. Like I said, this really seems to be working and I am very hopeful. Once cleared up, I plan to buy more Fungal Rx and use daily for a year or so. I don't want this to come back. Also, I'll work on internal Candida... I know it runs in my family and I need to knock it out too. Thanks to this site and all the comments/feedback!!! I'll write back later in a few months to let you know if results continued."
I wanted to follow up and tell you that I was never able to fully get progess against the toe nail fungus until recently. I was able to spend most of my summer outdoors (albeit a lot of time at the pool w/moisture!) but I wore sandals all summer and allowed my feet to get full sun a good portion of the day. I also did hydrogen peroxide/cider vinegar soaks about 1x per month. The BIG difference has come from using a old glass spray bottle filled with:
2 Tbs. alcohol
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
20 drops tea tree oil
I apply this 2x per day and after getting my feet wet. At one point, my nails got very brittle and I started an application of coconut oil every once in a while. My nails are growing back completely normal and seem to be growing faster so I am able to trim them more often. There is only about 1/4 inch of "yellowed" nail reamining...which I should be able to trim off in the next 2 months. I will continue this all winter and give any updates. Good luck, don't give up!
Posted by John (Perth, Australia) on 02/08/2007
I think that alkalizing had the biggest affect on curing my nail fungus. I undertook a number of means to alkalize. That included virgin coconut oil, olive leaf extract, alkalized water, alkaline foods, zeolite, heavy metal detox, etc. I also found that wearing a poultice of zeolite powder and cayenne pepper also has good healing properties. I would often soak my feed in zeolite and acidic water. And after I put my socks on, I would soak some coconut oil and essential oils into the sock just above the nail. But I think the ultimate cause is being too acidic (I had candida too). I have now raised my pH to over 7.0 - up from less than 5.0 a few months ago. My ORP has changed from -ve 20 mV to close to -ve 200 mV. From what I have read, fungus can't exist in an alkaline body.
Replied by Rula
Los Angeles, California
Replied by Carol
Replied by Debbie
Replied by Maria
Posted by Pr (Texas, Usa) on 01/07/2016
Had my toe nails done in salon 3 times in a row and ended up with a horrible case of toe nail fungus on both big toes. So of course did my research and was using a combination of essential oils to kill the fungus. It was a very slow kill and turned my toe nails an ugly brown. Oh and I also used Grapefruit seed extract. I will have to say these were not working so well so went to doctor. He prescribed the toxic cream and also recommend getting aloe Vera leaf, real whole leaf, not in a bottle or tube. He said to wrap a piece of it around each toe and sleep with it. I will have to say this worked. I was very amazed at how quickly too. After the first initial sleeping with the leaf on toes I applied the gel from the leaf twice a day a.m. and p.m. It has been a month now and I am still applying the aloe Vera mainly because I have it growing in my yard abundantly and for precaution. Really don't need to. While I am at it I put some on my face and complexion is looking very nice. I hadn't realized how hard it was to get rid of toe nail fungus if it really set in. I had always dealt with it when it was just starting and easy to get rid of with essential oils. So grateful for the aloe Vera leaf and the doctor who recommended it.
Posted by Andre (London, UK) on 07/28/2008
Ailment: Nail Fungus infection
Condition: semi-advanced (bed nail of two of my toes is partially damaged)
Treatment stage: beginning (started 4 days ago)
Diet: I completely eliminated refined sugars and started eating more fruits and vegetables.
Remedy used: on the 1st day, I applied (every 2 hours) a mix of the following: apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil on cotton pads.
Noticed some slight improvement, but when I stepped out, there still was an annoying itch.
On the 2nd day, I added Vicks Vaporub and poured some urine on the infected area. Applying Vicks before wearing socks and shoes got rid of the itching.
On the 3rd day, I added honey (applied topically for 20 minutes) followed by washing the feet with antibacterial soap under very hot water (as hot as I could bear) followed by alternate applications of hydrogen peroxide (pharmacy only had 6% solution), lavender, cinnamon leaf and Eucalyptus essential oils (diluted with apple cider vinegar on cotton pads). I also started drinking 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in 1 cup of water (on an empty stomach last night before sleeping and this morning upon waking up).
I am glad to say the annoying itching is completely gone. The color of my two infected nails are yellowish. The only place still itching this morning was on the lower part of my toes (bottom part that touches the floor when I walk) - which is the only place I did not concentrate any treatment as it was much easier to keep the cotton pads on the top part of my foot when seating on the couch and watching tv than the bottom part. So what I did this morning was spread a generous amount of Thai Red Curry Paste on all the infected area and keep everything sealed with transparent plastic food wrap. It seems to be working great. The itching is completely gone.
Today, I will start applying virgin coconut oil (as well as eating 2 tea spoons daily) + peppermint and rosemary essential oils applied topically.
I will also start a detox program along with a gentle exercise program in order to strengthen my immune system.
I'll keep you guys updated on my progress :)
Replied by Andre
Replied by Sadesta
Dale City, Va
Apple cider vinegar is the most effective way to get rid of toenail fungus, according to Earth Clinic posters. If you've been trying to get rid of your toenail fungus for a while, trying this treatment and then that one, you're not alone - 5% of all people have nail fungus. Commercial nail fungus treatments are harsh and often don't work. The older people get, the more likely they are to have this problem - over half of all those over 70 are afflicted with toenail fungus.
Posted by Debbie (Melbourne, Australia ) on 12/14/2011
I had a bad fungus in one big toe and it was starting in my other big toe. All I did was drink ACV with bicarb soda each day (twice a day). In 3 months the nail with the fungus gradually grew out and I just kept cutting the bad nail off. I put nothing on the nail. It had been there for over 5 years and I had taken something in the past which did not work.
Posted by Gail (Florida) on 06/16/2006
I have had a nail fungus in my big toe for about 2 years. I didn't even know it was a fungus until someone told me of their nail fungus problem. Originally I thought I had damaged the nail by injury. My toe nail had a white streak in it, but wasn't all that noticeable. I usually never colored polish on my toes, but for two months, I was using dark colors. In between polishes, I noticed that half the nail was white! I freaked out and mentioned it to a few people who confirmed it was a fungus. I cant believe how the fungus took off so fast because of being covered by the polish! I had created a dark comfy breeding place without even realizing what I was doing. I began researching the web for natural remedies and I have been using the ACV, white vinegar and bleach for about 2 weeks now. The yellowing has disappeared. The affected area is very white. I clipped away most of the fungus, not too short though. Then, I filed the top of the nail so that the solutions that I use would penetrate more easily. The other day, I mentioned my problem to my cousin and she said that a friend of hers had a very bad nail fungus in 2 toes and began using (don't laugh) the generic brand for Monostat 7! She said that she applied it daily and at night she would get a Q-tip and apply under the nail as well as over the nail. She wore a sock to bed too. She did this for a few months until the nail grew out. It worked for her. With all my research, I have never heard of anyone mention this remedy? Any feedback or thoughts on this method? it kind of makes sense since it is a antifungal creme and is used internally. I just started using it tonight. I'm also going to try vicks. Maybe I will alternate between the vicks and the monostat and cleanse twice daily with the ACV and bleach solution. I'll keep you posted on my progress and appreciate any feedback about the Monostat cream. ThanksReplied by Eric
06/24/2008Replied by Gris
06/27/2008Replied by Jill
08/18/2009Replied by Elizabeth
05/06/2011Replied by Mari
New York, Ny, Usa
06/06/2011Replied by Lady22599
08/31/2011Replied by Bettertoknow
New York, Ny
Posted by Reasoningforum (Vancouver , Bc, Canada) on 12/23/2010
Mix some vinegar with baking soda (soda bicarb) and dip your fingers into the brew (dilute if you wish with filtered water) - and see how the fungus runs away! Might be a solution for athlete's feet - just an idea.
Posted by Suzie (Huntington Beach, CA) on 09/17/2007
Well, I am not positive, however, all I can tell you is that after years of fungus on my two big toes... It's now gone!!! You name it I tried it... I thought it was from salon pedicures, then, I thought damage to my nail beds from running and maybe my toes hitting the top of my shoes... Well, needless to say... I just couldn't get the fungus to go away!!! Then my life was changed by this site! I started taking ACV (Apple Cider Vineger) and VCO and I am now fungus free! I was taking the coconut oil orally ( 3 t. a day) and it made me bloated so I didn't take it for more than a month I'd say... However, I did use it as a moisterizer every night after my shower and I would specifically rub it around and under my toe nails... I cannot believe that the fungus is gone!!! Honestly! I share my story every where I go! Nail shops really need this information to pass onto their clients... Fungus makes you feel so dirty... My beautiful toe's have returned! Thank you! Earth clinic and friends!Replied by Sue
02/06/2011Replied by Pete
Fort Collins, Colorado
Posted by Liz (Stuttgart, Germany) on 07/06/2008
i mix 40 ml of cider vinegar with 20 grams of copper sulphate into a one liter spray bottle..top with water and it makes the most effective wound spray i have ever used (been using on it on my horses for over 20 years) .. it works equally as well on skin conditions .. copper sulphate prevents proud flesh and kills all skin fungus.
EC: Copper Sulphate is used for its blue coloring in fireworks and paints.
List of sources:
Local plant supply shops
Science Supply Shops
Posted by Tammy (London, Uk) on 05/31/2012
I have had left big toe nail fungus for over 20 years and not keen on surgery I soldiered on. While browsing through the posts I cam across the ACV with the 'mother' and hydrogen peroxide (I had 6% in the house diluted it to 3%). Soaked the toe for three days while trimming and filing afterwards. 3/4 of this very thick unsightly nail just amazingly painlessly came off after all these years. I am mighty ecstatic cant stop looking at my, emerging new nail will continue to soak and file until the whole nail is pink and healthy.
Thank you All for the very helpful contributions, there make a big and cheap difference in enhancing we stay health and keep up the good work. I feel blessed since the day I stumbled on to this site.Replied by Jc
Columbus, Ga, Us
Posted by Mary Moore (Memphis, Tn) on 02/02/2011
If people feet are not getting better they need to change there shoes. PEROXIDE AND VINEGAR ARE SOME OF THE BEST ANTISEPTICS. THE VINEGARS SOFTENS THE TOENAILS SO U CAN CUT THEM. THE VICKS SAS WILL STOP THE WORST FUNGUS ON YOUR FEET AND TOES AND CUT THE TOENAILS SHORT. PROBABLY NEED TO TAKE SOMETHING BY MOUTH IF THE FUNGUS HAVE GOTTEN UNDER THE TOENAIL. THE ACID LEVEL IS PROBABLY TO HIGH.
Posted by Jane (Worcester, Massachsetts/usa) on 08/31/2010
About 10 mos. ago I developed a fungus in one of my large toenails. I never had that before so I didn't know what it was. My nail started turning yellowish brown in color and it spread across most of the nail. I was freaking out. I went to see a podiatrist who told me the bad news and told me this might never go away and could spread to my other nails! He sold me an expensive tube of cream. I saw him a few more times and he basically did nothing to help the problem. I applied the cream for 7 months and saw no improvement. I spent the summer trying to hide my feet and avoiding the beach and pools. I love wearing pretty sandals in the summer. The doctor told me not to try home remedies that I might read about because they don't work. But I didn't listen to him. I decided to try the apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide solution I read about. I mixed it half and half in a small bottle and started applying it on and under my toenail at least twice a day. I keep my toes exposed to the air as much as possible at home and only cover up when I go out. It's been less than a week and it's like a miracle! I noticed improvement the very next day! The fungus has stopped spreading and the new growth looks nice and healthy! Hopefully it continues that way and by next Spring I can wear pretty sandals again and end the embarrassment! So for those of you who are ready to give up.... There is hope! Maybe this will work for you!
Posted by Floridagirl (Sunny, Fl) on 04/21/2013
Apple Cider Vinegar for nail fungus. It worked for me! :)
I think I had an injury to my thumb nail that caused the nail to lift a little, and well that's when I got nail fungus. It started in the corner and at first was just kind of a dark spot, and then the following couple of days started turning into a white-yellow half circle and was growing. When I would touch the nail or skin around it, it was tender. I thought maybe it was an infection, but it sounded more like a fungus.
Remedy I used:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
What I did:
Clipped my nail back a little just in the affected corner. Just enough to show a little bit of the underlying skin. I did this to relieve a little pressure, because the skin was a little inflamed and was hurting. Also, I thought it would be easier for the medicines to reach the area.
I mixed a cap full of apple cider vinegar & peroxide together. Dipped a q-tip in the mixture and rubbed it on, around, and under the affected area. It will fizz a little, but it does not hurt. You will get some pain relief with in a short time, if your fingernail was hurting before!
I rubbed this mixture on my finger nail 3 times a day.
During the day time, I would rub some antibiotic ointment on the area with NO bandaid. Of course, I had to re-apply frequently when my hands would get wet. At night I put Vick's vapor rub AND a bandaid on my thumb. I made sure the bandaid was not too tight, but also that it would not fall off.
I did all of this for 4 days.
On day two, I noticed that it seemed to start going away (shrinking), and by day 4 it looked like it was completely gone. Just keep applying everything until it is completely gone. I'm so happy it worked!!
Posted by Bia (Lahore, Pakistan) on 08/29/2011
I would like to share success of cure fungal nails. My daughter aged 7yrs since she was goign through this acute fungal nails which she got it from making bubbles out of liquid dishwasher.
After seeing several doctors, applying medicines, homoepathic, etc.
Finally after great research I applied apple vinegar for 2 years and vitamin E oil cap and manicure them regulary and vitamin D-3 suspension 1tsp at night worked like magic and I want eveyone who are suffering from this should start applying these and see how they vanish as they never existed.