Toenail Fungus
Natural Remedies

Natural Nail Fungus Treatments: Effective Home Remedies

Iodine, ACV, H2O2

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ryan (Sidney, Ohio) on 06/04/2006

Yellow Toe Fungi" has many names and affects different people different ways. One of the more common forms of the fungi is, "hermaphrodite" (careful, a simple misuse of Google(R) yields very "different" results). Whatever the name of the parasite, it will generally fall under the category of, "dermatophytes". These creatures are indigenous to dark, warm & moist areas - which is why the foot is a lovely place for these critters.

The "cure" depends greatly on the person and WHERE the critters are located. Because the dermatophytes have to work "under cover" or under the nail - the further back they can get the safer they are. Some infections may be close to the tip and others may be back at the root. This is usually determined by how long the infection has existed.

There are 2 top-level treatment options for an infected person - internal & external. The external option is generally safer but takes longer to cure or possibly renders no result if the infection is not reachable externally. We can take advantage of osmosis in these cases though. The internal option often yields a higher success rate but generally isn't as good for the body. The reason being is that the chemicals/solutions/items that you ingest for the nail fungi aren't so great for the rest of the body - primarily the liver. I usually recommend an external option before resorting to an internal option.

1.) Twice a day (or every bathing session) rigorously was the toes/fingers with soap and water(stop if cracking or drying of the skin occurs). We do this to help keep any new infections away cause these infectious critters don't need any help.
2.) Spend time outdoors in the sun barefoot. You don't have to walk or anything, just let your feet/hands be exposed to the sun. We do this because these infectious critters HATE the light.
3.) Twice a day submerge your toes/fingers in a 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar & Hydrogen Peroxide solution for 30-45 minutes. After done soaking let your fingers/toes AIR DRY in the sun preferably. We do this because the vinegar helps to normalize PH and the Hydrogen Peroxide helps oxygenate the affected area. Infections HATE alkaline & oxygen rich environments.
4.) Twice a day apply to dry fingers/toes DECOLORIZED iodine, completely covering the "free edge", cuticle, top area of nail & sides of the nail bed. We do this to better assist the normalization of body PH. Use iodine after consulting a licensed medical doctor as some individuals are allergic (which is a whole other topic).
5.) Before bed time each night, apply a "Vapor Rub" in liberal portions to all the areas mentioned in step 4. The Vapor Rub doesn't HAVE to be the Vicks(R) brand. You can go generic here. The MAIN ingredient your looking for in whatever you use is "eucalyptus oil". After application cover with a sock (even if it's the hand) to prevent smearing and removal.
6.) You'll need to reduce or eliminate your intake of acidic based refreshments (soda, soft drinks or pop). These type of refreshments support an acidic body PH which can decrease blood circulation (a key element to the healing process). If nothing else, your liver will thank you.
7.) Don't trim your nails too close to the nail bed(wait until AFTER you have reduced the current infection to start this practice). It's not unhygienic to have a small amount of nail overhang and it makes it harder for NEW infections to enter. The total healing time depends on the type/amount/length of infection & whether you take preventative measures to ward off a relapse. Generally speaking you should see some type of an improvement within 7 days if you follow the above instructions.

INTERNAL OPTIONS: Internal options are generally pharmaceutical options but there are some homeopathic internal options.

1.) Ingesting Apple Cider Vinegar is said to have positive effects with toe fungi. I recommend doing your own research on ACV gestation because I have never taken it internally myself and I'm not sure about quantities or dosing.

2.) Ingesting 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda every 3-4 days for 1 month. I personally have never tried this but I do know that taking baking soda in the amount/interval shown above will have wondrous affects on the body's PH balance (it brings acidic PH to alkaline and Vice a Versa). With an alkaline body PH the body is in the best possible position to fight off ALL foreign bodies and parasites.

I would strongly recommend attempting the External options I have listed first. *It is important to note that I AM NOT a licensed medical doctor and that my statements here HAVE NOT been reviewed by ANY licensed medical doctor from ANY country. My statements here are intended for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and I am not telling you to apply or undergo any medical treatments / procedures / applications.

Iodine, Epsom Salts

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Clark (Highland, Indiana) on 05/23/2007

I just wanted to say that this website is great. I searched and searched but never found any real life usefull feedback on remedy's. Iv had a nail infection for 7 years now, started with one toe nail and it spread i guess to my hands. I usually have 5 of my fingers infected at a time, some get better, than the good ones go bad. A few years ago i had 2 toe nails that were like the claws of a terridactal but they healed up in time. My fingers however are not so easy. I read about natural cures but they say to buy like 10 different things and all this stuff to cure the infection but your site has real people who cured there problems with simplicity so i am here to say iv been soaking my fingers in epsom salt and i use iodine 2 times a day and in the morning i dip them in listerine, well i belive the iodine and epson salt ( in super hot water) are really helping. My right hand middle fingers nail and digit tip was super red and looked like it was gonna burst, very swollen. Since iv been doing the remedy the redness and the constant i mean constant swelling pressure is gone. I can actually see the swelling is starting to go down and the goofy nail is starting to repair but just needs to go, lol. I am so happy i found this site and ill keep you posted. As of now I have 2 large thumbs and a still large middle finger tip, lol that sounds so gross.

Replied by Mel
(Orlando, FL)

I was wondering if you had good progress/results with the iodine and salts? I've had tremendous progress with vinegar applied by q-tip in the a.m. and iodine by q-tip in the afternoon. I dry my nails with a blow dryer after a shower, and re-apply iodine for the night. How's it going for you?

Iodine, Hydrogen Peroxide, Colloidal Silver

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Hippocrates (Odin, Missouri, USA) on 04/29/2012 9 posts

Hello all, Many years ago, I went to Hawaii. I walked on the beach barefoot, it was fun. I am unsure if this was the cause but, I came back home, and one toe nail started to get thick and brittle a few months later. It got so thick, toe nail clippers won't go over it to cut it, so I have to hack away at it to get it cut. The others have been totally unaffected.

One day, I decided to cut it, but then went outside and sanded it down to a slightly less-than-normal thickness out of frustration. I noticed that the outside looked normal-ish, but inside it was pithy, like old dead wood, small hollow pockets with brown streaks.

So, I mixed up some iodine I had, some hydrogen peroxide, and some 500 ppm colloidial silver. It was 60% iodine, 20% hydrogen peroxide, 20% colloidial silver. I would paint it on in the morning a few times so that it soaked in nicely, then put on a bandage over the nail or a "finger cot" (like a condom for your finger), then take it off in a few hours. Then, when I got home, I would paint it on several times again, but let it air dry.

The nail started to grow back normally from the base of it, but I moved and was unable to continue to the current living arrangement for a year. It reverted back to the old thick nail by the end.

I am now able to continue my earlier treatments, but didnt figure that you would want to wait a year or two to find out how it goes. It takes about a year for a nail ripped off to grow completely back in (dont ask me how I know ;), so if you do this, I would continue for 2 years to make sure that it was completely gone, then a periodic treatment, once a week or twice a month or so, to make sure that it doesnt come back. If it is thick, even possibly not, make sure to sand it down quite a bit, so that it can absorb down into the nail bed better, since nails arent the most porous of substances. The key is to get it into the nail, as if you put it on and then put on socks that absorb the liquid, it wont go into the nail. That is why I used something to keep the solution from drying out and not soaking in.

Lavender Oil

Posted by Happy Nail (Whitefish, Montana) on 08/22/2009

After my immune system was lowered during recovery from surgery, a fungal infection took off in my big toenail. It started as a white mark and progressed into a nasty condition very quickly. I went to a foot doctor and he thought it was not recoverable and was getting ready to do some surgery. However, I opted first to try the medicated nail varnish. This didn't seem to do very much, so in addition to filing the surface of the nail to make it thinner and using the penlac, I started adding a few drops of lavendar oil on a fabric bandaid and would place this on my toenail every day. Very soon I could clearly see new nail starting to grow. This cured the problem! It took a long time, but the bandaid with lavendar oil was quick to do in the morning, and after the months it took for the nail to grow out, it worked and I now have a healthy toenail again :)

Lavender Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Erica (Los Angeles, CA)

I have has toe nail fungus for about 4 years and it has now destroyed my toe nail on my left foot. I found a natural cure on the internet and have used it for about 3 weeks now. The cure involves adding 1 litter of water, 5 drops of lavender and half a cup of apple cider vinegar. I always soak my feet in this for about 45 minutes, each foot. After this, I put australian tee tree oil to all my nail three times a day, I also NEVER wear shoes around my house. I have noticed that this had decreased my nail growth. It also has cured the itch and softness of my feet, except for the nail fungus on my toe, my feet look great!!! This is a good cure but the main thing we need to have to cure this is PATIENCE!

Lemongrass Essential Oil

9 User Reviews
5 star (6) 
3 star (1) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by John B (Pahoa, HI 96778) on 10/21/2021

I used lemongrass oil after beginning a probiotic a month earlier. The lemongrass oil killed the fungus and infected nails. I used it until it irritated the surrounding skin. Two months after taking the probiotics I can see new healthy nail growth at the cuticle, the old dead nails are like scabs. I expect the combination is the answer as I had an appendectomy in 1970 and the fungal symptoms started in the mid 1990's.

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Posted by Cc (Slc, Utah ) on 02/01/2015

Two years ago I tried Lemongrass oil on my toe nail fungus and all it did was to make my nail color go black. It never worked. I had a black nail for months also the nail was curved due to the amount of fungus under the nail.

I finally got it to clear up by using Iodine and Castor Oil applied to the nail and over time the new nail grew in clear and the problem has not come back.

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Posted by Carolyn (Northwest, OH) on 11/14/2008


There seems to be a lot of confusion about using Lemongrass oil for nail fungus. I too decided to try it last summer. I had never used essential oils before and was ignorant about proper dilutions. I applied the oil straight out of the bottle to all my nails on both fingers and toes. I applied it twice a day for less than a month. Then I started to have a reaction: I got a very bad rash and had degloving of my fingertips. I was very discouraged because I saw my nails growing out healthy. I stopped that treatment and am now using a diluted blend of different oils (will report back if this new blend works--so far so good).

However, if you wish to try Lemongrass oil, here is how to Properly Dilute the Essential Oil:

Pick a carrier oil such as coconut or grapeseed oil. Measure out one ounce (30 mL) of your carrier oil and add 12 drops only of the essential oil. This will make a 2% dilution.

Never apply undiluted essential oils to the skin until you are sure you will not have a reaction. For nail fungus, it is common to continue applying the oil treatment until the nail is completely grown out: up to a year. So be sure you are not allergic to the oil before you commit to using it!

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Posted by Melissa (Staten Island, New York) on 04/25/2007

Lemongrass Oil. Wow...Turned Black overnight. However, I am curious, do you keep applying 2x daily and just wait for it to grow out? I'm so happy that it looks like it's dying. It does mean it's dying when it turns black right? I've also adjusted my diet and included flaxseed-Oil and Evening Primose caplets and have been drinking 2 oz Unsweetned (not Sugar free but Knudsens sugar free) Cranberry juice diluted with water. 64 oz a day. I will take your advice Ted and begin to cleanse my bloodstream with the baking soda, Citric Acid and water mix. Just need this to be at least half way gone for Sandal season.

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Posted by Danette (San Jose, California) on 04/23/2007


4/22/07 Maddi, I have been applying the lemongrass oil on my toe nail fungus for about a week now. Yes, it did change color over night, not quite black (mostly brown). When will I see a completely clear nail? I am assuming the nail with fungus has to grown out and be cut off. Is this correct? The nail at the base is white with a tinge of yellow. Any suggestions?

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Posted by Suzanne (San Jose, CA) on 04/21/2007

I used lemongrass oil for my toenail fungus. Obviously works but what do I do now? Do I apply daily? Is it better to use at night or is it ok to apply then wear shoes? Any help from successful users would be really appreciated.

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Posted by Joan (Stony Brook, US) on 03/24/2007

I tried lemongrass on my toe fungus, and yes, it turned black overnight. My question is, what next? I used it full strength with no ill effect so far. Do I continue to use it, if so, how often and for how long? Thanks so much.

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Posted by AJ (Los Angeles, CA) on 01/09/2007

I have tried three application of lemongrass oil and I am making WONDERFUL progress. I have had serious to moderate toe nail infections for the past 3 years. Nothing I have tried has worked until now. I have applied lemongrass oil to all infected nails. The infected portion of each nail turn black within 24 hours of application. New nail that is healthy looking is just peeking in from the base and I am I very excited. I think this remedy with an essential oil will work for some. Also, the oil smells great!

Lemongrass Essential Oil
Posted by Maddi (USA) on 12/28/2006



10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 

Posted by Kodiakstar (Broomall, Pa) on 04/13/2013

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!

Replied by Andrea C
(Cardiff, Wales)

Listerine has got 'TRICLOSAN' in it. Go Google Triclosan.

Replied by Andre
(Petaluma, Ca)

I used a Swedish mouthwash called Vademecum with great success. I applied it on the nail twice a day for a month and it completely disappeared? I ordered it online through I had tried all prescription medications before with no results. Nice to know that Listerine works too.

Replied by Lajaun
(Seattle, Wa)

How much Listerine did you use.

Replied by Joylie
(Solana Beach)

I googled, "Triclosan" as someone suggested. It is BAD for your health. Google and see...

Replied by Dolores
(New Jersey)

Listerine is also great for dandruff...I have used this remedy for dandruff in the past (about 15 years ago) when the only Listerine available was when it was sold in the brown bag like cover. Tingles but worth the try.

Replied by Ava
(Toronto, On)

Listerine products are Triclosan free.