Posted by Robert (Naples, Florida) on 01/20/2008
Robert's Fungus Saga'-- Vicks Update
Part One: Feet
Q. Do the ingredients (camphor, eucalyptus, thymol, menthol) work?
A. I've applied the solution on my nails as well as to my entire foot to get rid of all the fungus that might eventually cause a reoccurrence. The results were obvious after 4-5 days: first, the athlete's foot symptoms between my toes rapidly got better and were healed in about a week. Then, at the seven-day point lots of skin started sloughing off all over my feet where the fungus was obviously in hiding -- including the heal callus. I was surprised to see so much sloughing of the skin around the base, sides and top of the toe nails -- this area apparently had been deeply affected by the fungus, but just looked like tough skin that I had become accustomed to expect. Within 2-3 weeks the unaffected new toe nails could be seen at the cuticle. Now, several months later, there is a clear line of demarcation between the old fungal nail, and the new clear nail. I expect that it will be 3-4 more months before all the old nail has grown out and gone.
Q. Is the formulation the right one?
A. After much research and playing kitchen chemist, I learned that coconut oil is a good anti-fungal as well as a great emollient. DMSO doesn't need to be at 25% concentration. 10-15% is sufficient. Oregano Oil is composed of Thymol and University of Western Australia research proved tea tree oil's anti-fungal capability, so I added it as well. The essential oil amounts are at least or a little more than what bio-chemists call the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). The formulation I like and use now is:
1 part Menthol oil
1 part Thymol oil or Oregano oil
1 part Camphor oil
1 part Lemon Eucalyptus oil
2 parts Tea Tree Oil
2 parts DMSO
12 parts Virgin Coconut Oil
There is probably a synergistic (i.e. harmonious working together) effect of anti-fungal herbs, which has been demonstrated in several studies. In one test of ten plant species whose oils were anti-fungal, researchers noted that "combinations of the anti-fungal essential oils increased their activity remarkably." In a similar study, researchers stated that "in all the oil combinations, the anti-fungal potency was found to increase over individual oils."
Part Two: Adult "Acne"
This is where the "saga" starts to get interesting. After my adolescent acne should have cleared up 35 years ago, it got slowly worse. All over the bearded part of my face, what appeared to be sacs of hardened oil under the surface of the skin had been forming nodules. These didn't get infected, each just grew larger. Over the years I've seen dermatologists who said, because of my otherwise great health, "you're just a middle aged adolescent," blaming it on high testosterone, etc. The apparent acne problem continued and worsened.
I've seen doctors, dermatologists, pharmacists, herbalists, laser specialists, and spiritual healers. I've bought every acne ointment known to man. I took pills, vitamins, and herbs. I changed diet. I get plenty of exercise. Nothing worked. I had extensive surgery to correct the problem three years ago, and within 18 months it looked just as bad as before. As a public speaker and author in my profession, the skin condition was emotionally upsetting and stressful.
Having conquered toe nails, I started researching down the path that maybe the acne was caused by a fungus (although the symptoms didn't look like my feet). Was I surprised when I found:
"Tinea barbae is a superficial dermatophyte infection that is limited to the bearded areas of the face and neck and occurs almost exclusively in older adolescent and adult males. Symptoms include inflammatory, deep, kerion-like plaques and noninflammatory superficial patches and lumps resembling bacterial folliculitis. The hair breaks off below the skin surface. It is caused by several dermatophytes. Trichophyton species are most common. Infection of bearded skin may be the result of autoinoculation from tinea pedis or onychomycosis."
In other words, the mess on my face that had caused me so much grief and been misdiagnosed for decades was caused by the same fungus that gave my feet a problem. Apparently the dermatophytes enter the hair follicle (nails and hair are similar biological structures), then attack the sebaceous gland, feeding off the body oil; then the body's immune system reacts with scaring and hardening the facial oil, leaving an oil nodule. The dermatophytes then migrate to the next follicle, and eventually dozens of affected follicles link as a nodule the size of a pea.
Now it became obvious what had happened: The athlete's foot I got as a teenager went to my toe nails, and, because I was ignorant of the relationship of using a towel on my face that might have been used on my feet or crotch, the fungus got transferred.
Not a single dermatologist who examined my face ever bothered to ask the question: "Do you have toe nail fungus or athlete's foot!"
Using the same solution on my facial outbreaks as on my toe nails (the revised formula with coconut oil), the facial condition is clearing up. Just like with my feet, skin is sloughing off and the nodules are beginning to eject. This is the best result I've seen in years. I expect it will take a few months for the problem to be cured, as the fungus is down below the level of the base of the hair follicle in the sebaceous gland.
Part Three: Chronic Sinusitis
For the last 15 years I've had chronic sinusitis, post nasal drip, clogged nose, etc. I was constantly clearing my throat, and sometimes coughing. I snored a lot, which my wife didn't appreciate, and the snoring actually would wake me up in the middle of the night, leaving me tired in the morning. I seemed to catch colds more easily than before, but I attributed this to my very frequent plane travel.
Doctors prescribed antibiotics, but I they did not fully cure the problem and when I stopped the treatment, every symptom returned. (And I just don't like unnatural treatments.) Others said it was allergies.
I wondered: Could my sinusitis be a fungal problem? More exploring on the internet found the answer:
In 1999 Mayo Clinic researchers found the cause of most chronic sinus infections to be an immune system response to fungus, and that this may kick off a secondary bacteriological infection. It is not an allergic reaction, but an immune reaction.
Again, I felt betrayed by the medical profession. Why hadn't anyone told me this?
I went to the health and vitamin store to look for an anti-fungal nasal spray, and nothing met my requirements or budget ($10-15 for a one ounce bottle of ingredients seemed way out of line.) Here's the formula I "invented":
1. Rinse out a 1 ounce nasal spray bottle
2. Add one eye-dropper (approximately 1 ML) of Oregano Juice (NOT Oregano Oil -- it's too strong and will not dissolve in water)
3. Add a pinch of salt (approximately 1 ML) (Iodized salt is OK -- iodine is a good anti-fungal)
4. Fill the rest of the sprayer with distilled water, and shake well until the salt is dissolved.
Spray as frequently as once an hour until symptoms subside. For me, this solution began working within an hour; most symptoms were gone in three days. And the price of the ingredients per bottle is just a few pennies.
If the oregano/saline solution is too strong for you, dilute in half with water. If you want, you can add a drop of eucalyptus oil with 1/2 ML of glycerin, (which will bond the oil to water). I now spray once or twice a day, just to prevent any recurrence.
A very dear friend, who is 75, has had awful sinusitis for years. He heavily cleared his throat every minute or two. I told him of this simple formula, and two days later he called me to say it was working. He then said with amazement: "I don't believe it, we've been talking for over 15 minutes and I haven't had to clear my throat once!"
There are articles and books that claim that some cancers are caused by fungus. If this is true, taking action on fungus early may be very beneficial in the long run. It's time we gave fungus a deeper analysis.