Toenail Fungus
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Nail Fungus

| Modified on Nov 21, 2022
Posted by Victoria (Saint Johns, Florida) on 01/24/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I suffered from toenail fungus for 15 years! It began when I moved to Virginia & needed to wear socks & closed shoes because my feet get cold very easily. Since moving to Florida 4 years ago, I thought that wearing flip flops and sandals would resolve my problem but it did not. I found out that fungus does not go away on its own. It's too hot here to wear closed shoes and it was embarrassing for me not to be able to hide my problem. I had to find a remedy where I can wear nail polish. I first started applying Tea Tree Oil twice a day for about a month. Not only did it not work, it messes up your toenail polish. Next I tried applying Vick's for about 3 months/2x's a day and although it did seem to kill the fungus, there were areas where my toe nails that did not reattach themselves to nail bed. Those areas also turned brittle and yellowish and would break off easily. I kept cutting out these parts & kept my nails as short as possible. I also found out that Vick's turns your toe nail polish dull. My mother told me that she cured my dad's problem using bleach so I decided to give that a try. Per my mother's instructions, in 1 cup, I mixed 3/4 water and 1/4 bleach. I kept this in a small, glass container with a screw top. I dipped a q-tip in it and applied day and night to my affected toes. It immediately killed the fungus and in a few weeks my toe nails reattached themselves to the nail bed. Plus, it did not mess up my nail polish. It's been 5 months now and my nails are healthy, pink and growing strong. I am still using this but only once a day just in case. I'd like to add that the bleach mix did not hurt the surrounding skin in any way. I hope this helps someone else.

Posted by Dibro (North Ms) on 02/16/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Bleach kills everything but sin. Looking back I remember when they advertised medicinal uses on the back of the label. But good Ole FDA made em stop. This nail fungus cure really worked for me! Pain in toe nails totally gone in less than a week. In my case nail bed healthy & pink in three weeks time.

Everyone has their own degree of nail fungus & also sensitivity to the mixture. So I experimented with my skin type. Started with less bleach and worked up from there. After each soak I let feet air dry. For the faint of heart. Soaking feet in bleach & water is really no different than dipping your toes in a chlorinated swimming pool. I soaked both feet in pan of hot water just deep enough to completely cover them. Using 2 parts hot water one part unscented bleach. 1x day for 20-30 minutes. For faster results I could have soaked am & pm. Every few days Trimmed carefully.

The soreness gone was the first mile marker. Then next a healthy color returned. Thank God for tender mercies!

DMSO and Lugol's Iodine
Posted by Epeach (Ga) on 04/28/2018
5 out of 5 stars

DMSO and 2% Lugol's Cured Fingernail Fungus

For about a month, I have been applying a mixture of DMSO 50%, distilled water 50%, and 1 full dropper of 2% Lugol's in a 4 oz. bottle, to all of my fingernails. My thumbnail was infected with fungus and I have tried everything (prescriptions, essential oils, Vicks, Clorox, Lugol's alone, vinegar, H2O2, you name it). This mixture killed the fungus! I did not use it everyday, just when I remembered. I trimmed away any infected area, then I use a dropper to apply under, around, and on top of all nails at bedtime. (I have heard fungus will move from nail to nail if you do not treat all of them. I do not know if it is true, I just wanted to be safe.) I am still using it periodically to make sure it does not come back. After the application, I use castor oil, as the DMSO mixture is very drying.

I have not had a normal thumbnail since 2009. Now, it looks like all of the others. Hope this helps someone:)

Posted by Frank (Thunder Bay, ON, CA) on 11/14/2021
5 out of 5 stars

About ten years ago, I had a nail fungus that had existed for about three years. I tried a number of the over the counter solutions and none of them worked. I talked to the pharmacist and keep in mind this was ten years ago and I don't know what's available now. At that time, the pharmacist said that there were pills but that they were only marginally effective, if at all, and there was considerable risk in taking these pills.

So, I started considering other ways I might get medication below the nail to treat it. At one point I even considered drilling a hole through the nail to try and introduce some kind of medication.

Then, having made wine for years, I was aware that if the primary fer-mentor became too warm/hot that the yeast would die in what's called a 'struck' fermentation. When that happens the must needs to be cooled down and new yeast needs to be introduced, to restart the fermentation.

I wondered, if heat can kill yeast, perhaps it could also kill fungus. So, here's what I did.


I took a piece of congregated cardboard about six inches square and made a hole about a half inch in diameter in the centre. For those using metric, this would be about 15 cm and the hole would be about 1.3 cm. If you are treating multiple nails you should consider making multiple templates with different size centre holes commensurate with the size of the nail to be treated. The hole should always be smaller than the size of the nail being treated. The purpose of the cardboard is to protect the skin surrounding the nail, so that only the nail receives the treatment. One further thing I needed was a handheld electric hairdryer.

Treatment: So, each morning after I had my shower, I would hold the cardboard over the nail that needed treatment, and direct the heat of the hair dryer through to hole in the cardboard to treat the nail underneath until I felt a minor pinch. I would then wait about twenty seconds or so for it to cool down, and then do this two more times. I originally intended to do this for seven days, but in the end, just to be sure, I did this for a total of ten days.

I then just allowed the nail to grow out. The nail grew back and there was no more fungus. That was ten years ago and the fungus has not returned.

I hope this is of help to anyone out there that's needing this solution.



Castor Oil
Posted by Twinkytoze (Nerja, Spain) on 06/09/2018
5 out of 5 stars

A long dark winter in heavy socks and vinyl boots gave me a case of toenail fungus.

I was reading through the remedies here, and something that occurred to me was that fungus needs three things in order to flourish: moisture, darkness and oxygen. I figured if I can remove two of those conditions then I would be all set.

Night before last I slathered my toe in castor oil, wrapped it in a bandage, and went to bed. I felt tingling under the nail early in the morning, and then when I looked at it, the patch of discoloration and inflammation had reduced by about 30% in area.

I put on sandals, hit the area with 415nm blue light (acne pen) for about 12 minutes, then applied more castor oil. Went around barefoot all day, with castor oil all over the toe. I went to bed last night with another plaster and woke up this AM with about 50% reduction in area and discoloration of the nail.

Castor oil appears to work very well in starving the fungus of oxygen because it is very sticky and viscous, but also it gets into all the crevices where the fungus might retreat to in order to seek an oxygen source.

Fungus is very clever and very patient. If it detects that conditions aren't ideal for it to flourish, it will retreat into spore form and wait for conditions to improve. Spores can survive for years, which is why you have to keep on with a course of treatment for a long time, and why the infection can crop up again.

This is also why blue light exposure can help because it interrupts the sequencing of the DNA of the organism.

So far so good. If I hit a snag I will report back, but for now it looks like this thing is on the run.

Castor Oil
Posted by Mary (Port Orchard, WA) on 11/30/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I hurt my foot and as a last resort applied Edgar Cayces castor oil remedy. I put castor oil on flannel enough to cause the flannel to be wet but not dripping. I then wrapped my foot. Had left it on for 3 or 4 days when I needed to go to my acupuncture appointment. As he was applying the needles he exclaimed my toe fungus was gone. All except one small spot. I then asked my Dr if my toe fungus was gone a week later and he also said one small spot. My toe nails are beautiful white and healthy looking. I now have done both feet. I am still wearing the castor oil for the pain in my foot. I did use organic castor oil. And I am lucky enough to be able to wear the castor oil about 20 hours a day.

Posted by Tammy B. (Anderson, Sc) on 04/07/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Coconut oil for sinuses, ginger root for nail fungus

I am a dog groomer-8 years I've breathed dog dander/hair/nail dust, etc.. and have kept a perpetual sinus infection, and eye infections off and on..I constantly worry about the constant use of allergy pills and decongestants, and finally on a whim tried the coconut oil in my nose, hanging my head upside down... The results have been unbelievable!! Worried I might be making a mistake, I googled "what if I etc", and got your info... Such a relief!! (I used the oil in my eye, also, and the results are just unbelievable) So far, all GOOD! Also, groomers keep wet feet and are often plagued w/ foot fungus.. I also had nail fungus, and first tried c. oil mixed with baking soda, which kept it from spreading, but that was it...

Then I tried ginger.. Fresh ginger root, smushed up under my toenails, as well as on the surface... Believe it or not, IT IS KILLING THE NAIL FUNGUS! In just 6 weeks I have almost brand new toe nail.. Almost completely gone!

Posted by Ron (Manila) on 04/01/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I had some toe fungus in my two big toe nails for about ten years. I tried many cures but with minimal results. The fungus was very deep under the nail. then by accident I found a cure that killed the fungus fast.

Here is how it happed. I always wear flip flops and with one black pair that I wear my feet get real dirty black and it is hard to remove. One night I decided to try socking my feet in a solution of bleach and water to get rid of the black color on my feet. it didn't work that well in getting rid of the black, but the next week I noticed there was a lot of space under my big toe nails as if the fungus had died. I soaked my feet again and the fungus seemed dead and easy to remove. a month later there was lots of space under the nails indicating that most of the fungus was gone. I socked my feet again and at least once a month for the next four mounts as a precaution to make sure the fungus was gone for good. the fungus is gone now.

here is what I used:

bleach, sodium hypochlorite, known here in the Philippines as zonrox.

I used one half cup of bleach in half gallon of water. I soaked my feet for about 45 min. I did it twice the first week then once a month after that till there was no trace of fungus

It was so fast and easy compared to all the other home remedies that I tried. and best of all it worked.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Kristina (Evergreen, Co) on 05/19/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I've had toenail fungus for years but was slow on the uptake. At first my last two nails on each foot grew in deformed and separated from the nailbed, growing upward. Eventually my big toenails grew in ribbed and discolored. They also began to separate from the nailbed and developed white patches. I also developed my first Ingrown nail. After a lot of research I began using tea tree oil along with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and ACV. Two months in my nails are growing in clear and smooth!

Here's the regimen that works for me: (I keep the nails trimmed very short. I clean my tools regularly as well. ) In my morning shower I scrub my nails with a designated toothbrush and Dr. Bronners peppermint oil soap. Before I step out of the tub, I spray my toes with hydrogen peroxide. ( It comes in spray bottles at my local drug store)

Next, I swab my nails with alcohol on a cotton ball, then with ACV on a cotton ball, then I paint my nails and cuticles with a qtip and tea tree oil. I follow the same regimen at night. From other posts I've learned I've got to keep this up long after it appears the fungus is gone. I use this regimen because it's easy, cheap and I can sustain it over time. And it's working! It took only a few days for the white patches to disappear and of course the whole nail needs to grow in to see results.

I also have begun drinking lemon water to alkalize. Don't know which is helping the most but I suspect it's the tea tree oil given that's what I use the most of. These items are inexpensive and I'm grateful I didn't try medication as my friend did. Her fungus has cleared up but she's concerned about liver problems.

As an added bonus... My feet are always clean and I feel I am nurturing myself every time I take care of them.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Neverenough (Baltimore, Maryland) on 09/21/2012
5 out of 5 stars

The problem with Athlete's Foot and Toe nail Fungus is that it is coming from your insides out. Your body flushes toxins out of your system through the sweat of your feet, pits, etc....

When you allow a build up of toxins in your systems and don't replenish the good stuff; you become prone to anything and everything under the sun.

It took me years to discover this even though most of this is explained to us when we are in high school. But you believe you are invisble and your body will always function the same way as when you were 19. Not so.

I decided to take my health more seriously recently after having bouts of all kinds of aliments. Which are really too numberous to post. But let's just say, I was a fully functional adult and was becoming dependent on those around me. I had been diagnosed with all kinds of issues and most were immune disfunctions.

I had been on every medication you could possible put someone on, for the side effects of this I had to take that-it was a vicious cycle. I was on an EXTREMELY high dose of pain killers as well and becoming more and more depressed as the months wore on.

I decided to stop the madness and quit everything I was being perscribed. I even quit going to the doctor's office because I was so sick of nothing working or if it did, it was only temorary.

I got myself on a daily regimen of vitamins, anti oxidants, Omega 3s, anything I figured I was lacking. With great success, I am pain free and so much more independent. I also noticed that the "things I was diagnosed with" were becoming less of an issue. We all feel that we are truly getting our daily intake of vitamins from the foods we eat, yet every story on the news is how these things are truly poisoning us.

I have noticed that by putting the good stuff back into my system the problems I was having have become less of "problems" and by minimal amount of application, the nail fungus and athlete's foot are gone. It is a problem #1 With the immune system and #2 With not putting back into your body what is taken out on a daily basis to run our hectic lives and #3 Taking more time to be good to ourselves and less time stressing because something isn't as we would like it to be.

My over all health has improved drastically since I began to refuel my body to do it's miraculous job of keeping me healthy. Think about this; where did the fungus come from? And for some, why does it come back so quick? You need to boost your immune system and boost your anti-oxidants and let your body do what it does best, fight the bad stuff. You can certainly help it along with treatments, but the most important is to fix it from the inside to take care of the outside.

It has worked for me and I am so thankful I paid attention to my body. It really does tell you what you need.

Posted by Barb (Suwanee, Ga Usa) on 09/26/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Tried everything to save a gross toenail on husband's big toe - he was about to lose the whole nail to fungus. Very thick, woody, yellow and lifted up... Ugh. We put Clorox or Purex bleach (full strength) into a small basin and he put just his toes into it and soaked for about 10 min. Wiggling the toes so the skin would allow bleach underneth the toenail. You will see yellow dusty-looking stuff start coming out from under the toenail going into the bleach, and after probably 5 or so minutes, we took the foot out and dried it with a towel (it kind of ruins the towel, so use one you don't care about... We used paper towels). The next day there is more of a healthy pinkness to the nail, and we repeated this procedure in about 4-5 days. This totally got rid of the fungus, and now his toes are all perfect. About every 1-10 months, we do a fingernail that looks yellow, or whatever needs doing. Usually, drs. will tell you this fungus stuff comes with age, but we feel we solved it. Don't do it too long or too often because the bleach will feel like it is burning. Pills for fungus are quite hard on the liver, so be careful of those prescriptions...

Posted by Kodiakstar (Broomall, Pa) on 04/13/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Listerine mouth wash for nail fungus. Actually, I've used the store brand of Listerine and it works great for both nail fungus and athletes foot. Both my big toe nails had a fungus infection for many years. I tried everything, but nothing worked until I tried soaking in a Listerine type mouthwash. I soaked my feet in it for 1 hour, 3 days in a row and the ugly yellow fungus color was gone and hasn't returned for over 25 years. Good luck!

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Tom Winegar (Hakalau, HI) on 02/02/2009
5 out of 5 stars

hydrogen peroxide for toenail fungus -YEA

i tried Lamisil but it was too expensive.

i tried Vinegar, and it made the skin on my feet feel great (baby smooth), so no more foot fungus - but it didnt help my toenails.

I tried Vapor Rub but it was stinky and sticky and didnt work well, but maybe helped a bit.

Then i tried Hyrogen Peroxide. It worked! I went on daily foot baths with Hyrogen Peroxide and I am winning the fungus battle. I was diluting too much. Now I use straight 3% and soak as long as I can.

There is no increasing infection, there is only spreading PINK nail health. My 'good' nails look great. My bad nails are improving slowly.

I highly recommend Hydrogen Peroxide for toenail fungus.

I was so happy to find something that worked, the doctors had no good solution.

I want to have pink toenails by the time I am 50!

Posted by Robert (Naples, Florida) on 01/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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:

Revised Formula
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.

Posted by Dave (Virginia) on 07/25/2021

The easiest way to alkalize is to use baking soda 1 teaspoon in a large glass of water once a day for 2-5 times a week depending on ur situation. Baking soda alkalizes you and helps to clear up all kinds of things in your body. We are way too acidic from the food we eat. This causes many physical problems. Don't buy expensive alkalized water. Baking soda is cheap and it is used in many foods . It is harmless unless like anything else u use way too much too much of anything is not good. GOD BLESS ALL WHO READ THIS.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by John (Pahoa, HI 96778) on 05/20/2021 4 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I recently began treatment with hydrogen peroxide after having lived with chronic toenail fungus for over 20 years. I used 6% H202 to soak my feet for 20 minutes each night for a month. As the fungus was killed off the damaged part of the nail softened and peeled off painlessly. I switched to borax soaks, and the nails are thinner and clearing. I still soak on alternate days and apply Kerasal and now the nails are normal except for the length in only 2 months!