Toenail Fungus
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Nail Fungus

Lemongrass Essential Oil

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

Posted by Carolyn (Northwest, OH) on 11/14/2008
1 out of 5 stars


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
5 out of 5 stars

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
3 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

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
5 out of 5 stars

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
5 out of 5 stars

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
5 out of 5 stars

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
5 out of 5 stars



10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 

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!

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.

Posted by Nichole (Washington, DC) on 02/02/2013
5 out of 5 stars

On both of my feet, the second toe from the big toe were discolored, as well as the other three small toes on my left foot, and two of the other toes on my right foot. This has been very distressing! I tried tea tree oil by itself with no results. After seeing that some people had used hydrogen peroxide, I planned to get that. Since I was desperate to start immediately, I used my generic whitening mouthwash listerine, which has hydrogen peroxide as its second ingredient, because I already had that. I used a cotton ball and applied it liberally on all of my toes taking care to get as much as possible below the cuticle and under the toe nail. Then I applied tea tree oil. I did this twice a day (morning at night) and followed up with vicks vapo rub at night before putting on socks. I am one week into my routine and three of my darkest nails have gone from black to 95% normal! They are pink. I am so happy. I will continue until I have totally nice and fungus free toes. I also cut off as much of the dark toe nail as I can each night or every other night as well as any surrounding flaking skin that needed to go.

Posted by Big Joe (Chicago, Il) on 10/23/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I had these ugly yellow toe nails. I hated them. I would gargle with Listerine and then afterwards put my bare feet into the sink, one at a time, and spit the Listerine on them. Then I would just let it dry on them. They went away in about 10 days.

I guess you could apply Listerine directly or tape a cotton bandage to your toes, but this is what I did and it worked. I used just the standard yellow Listerine.

Replied by Jolene
(San Diego, Ca)

My husband been suffering with embarrassment from disfigured thick distorted fungal nails for over ten years even though he faithfully applies over the counter creams every night with no results. We came across this post two days ago as a final attempt to treat it before resorting to dangerous oral medication. After reading your encouraging posts we hurried to the drug store to get supplies and try listerine and vicks for fungus ourselves. We took a nail file and filed down the thickest parts of the toenails to make it smoother and thin as possible then filled two Sandwhich baggies with a little bit of the yellow listerine and submerged his toes in it. We duct taped the bags to his feet so they can stay soaked during the duration of a movie. Took them off and let them airdry. For good measure we rubbed Vicks vapor rub in all the nails applied with q-tips before going to bed. To our disbelief the nails showed significant clarity to them the next morning!!!! Day 2 we repeated the above and saw even more improvement! His worse nails (the big toe ones) are about 70% clearer. We are on just our third day now and really excited to continue the treatment until he has clear nails. I'm too excited after the results of just two days that I had to share now! I hope everyone else will see results that we are experiencing. Thank you earth clinic for an amazing website and to everyone who shares!!!

Posted by Beth (Kirkland, Wa) on 03/24/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I've had fungus on 5 of my toenails for over 20 years. It started with injuries to my nails from running many miles and then subsequent infection. The affected nails were yellow and at least 5 times as thick as normal nails and deformed in shape. I would have to file the surfaces with a very abrasive file to get the nail thin enough to be able to hide with nail polish.

I did not want to subject my body to long treatments of meds that might harm my liver, so I decided to use Listerine at night and Vicks during the day. Be aware that this treatment can take a couple of months, but it does work!! Be patient. I had an especially stubborn fungus. The first thing I did was file nails down as thin as possible without pain, as to remove as much damaged nail as possible. Every other night before bed I would put band aids around toes with the "non-sticky/white" part facing/touching the nail. I then used a syringe to squirt some Listerine inside the bandage - this way nails would be "soaking" all night. During the treatment time remember to keep nails extra short and filed thin so that there is not as much bio burden for Listerine to work through. In the am, take bandages off and let nails dry a bit before putting a dab of Vicks Vapor Rub on the toenails - no band aids, just socks. I did this every other day for about two months. Fungus is gone and I have normal pink flat nails again!!

Posted by Ingrid (Ft Lauderdale, FL) on 12/13/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had a toe fungus on my big toe. Went to the foot doctor who had me on an antibiotic for 6 months with no results. I then spent 6 months using tree tea oil 2Xs per day, again no result. Finally soaked a cotton ball 2xS per day for 10 minutes with original Listerine--3 days later NO MORE FUNGUS! ALL GONE!!

Replied by Julian
(Phoenix, Arizona)
5 out of 5 stars

Take a soft bristle tooth brush, soak in listerine, and brush nails daily before bed. File down thick nfected nails, make sure to disinfect brush and file.

Posted by Megan (Jacksonville, FL) on 10/24/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I tried soaking my feet in Listerine after seeing a posting about toe nail fungus. It not only works on toe nails, but will get rid of athlete's foot issues very quickly. And this is much easier than pressing onion, etc. I love this site! I found it looking for Ted's Mange Cure, which is fabulous. Thanks!

Replied by Karen
(Maryland Hts, Mo)

How many days do is the Listerine soak needed to cure athletes foot fungus? How many times a day did you soak? What about the type of fungus that causes the really thick, cracked heels that hurt very badly? My husband has this problem and his terribly rough feet wear holes in our fitted bed sheets. I have to replace or repair the sheets every 6 months or less. His heel callouses are about 1-1&1/2" thick. Please advise.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Karen,

My guess is that this could take a while to heal. I would try soaking once or twice a day for a month for 20 minutes and see if there is any improvement. If there is, continue on. It could take 6 months.

A solution that is 1/2 vinegar (white distilled) and 1/2 water is also good for fungus. Or a gallon of water with 1/4 cup borax as a soak.

You could also try putting a mixture of castor oil and coconut oil (1/2 and 1/2) on his callouses and covering them with socks at night. Castor oil and coconut oil are healing and softening. This would also protect the sheets.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile, Tn)

HI U KAREN,,,,,,,,,,, listerine is a weak sister compared to Dr Tichenor's liniment that he developed in the War Between the States. He treated all wounds with this. It is made in New Orleans and few stores carry it, so I now buy mine via the internet. It is too strong to be used directly and must be diluted. Here is the URL.

It will cure all the things you are addressing.


Posted by Michelle Fitzpatrick (Jacksonville, Florida-USA) on 07/30/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I worked for a spa that used no harsh chemicals in their mani/pedi's. I learned that spraying listerine mouthwash on your feet will disinfect them. Keeps fungus away. I also learned that rubbing alchohol is a good and sanitary cleaner for your tub so you can prevent and kill fungus and bacteria from re-occuring.

p.s. Rubbing alchohol can be used all over house as cleaner & disinfectant!!

Replied by Jill

I've read that rubbing alcohol is damaging to the liver, I use cheap vodka instead.

Posted by Sally (Annapolis, MD) on 11/22/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I've had severe toe fungus for 20 or more years. I got a bottle of Listerine (it had been mentioned on your site when I looked at it a few months back) and thought what the heck, I'll try it. I got makeup remover pads (not the cotton balls) and soak it in Listerine in the morning, positioned it over my big toe (the worse one) and keep it in place while I put my sock on. In just 3-4 weeks about the bottom 1/3 - 1/2 of the nail is clear I'm going to start using it on all of my nails on that foot. In the spirit of adventure, I'm going to try something else - peroxide or bleach on the left foot. My husband has used Penlac for years and periodically they have had to remove his nail.

Replied by Edward
(San Juan, Pr)
5 out of 5 stars

If this is so effective, why isn't it out there? so said I 2 weeks ago. Nothing to lose; here we go.

Took pictures (closeups) of toe nails, that were covered white with fungus. Started Listerine in AM with metal nail file, midday and before bedtime. Fungus is gone. KAPUT! A little trace on big toe. The other toes all have 1/2 new mail growth and are a real nice pink. YEAH! Will continue routine until ALL toes have new growth. Could be 2 months for the big toes.

Well worth the FREE and effortless process. Used an eye dropper and poured some Listerine in a small discarded pill vial to make it easier and travel with it for midday application. 5 minutes in the rest room and good to go.

Asked a doctor what would he recommend for nail fungus and his look of "Oh boy" said it all. 6 month treatment, dangerous drug with side effects, etc. So I asked him: "What would you say if I got rid of it in 2 weeks?"
"No way. How?"
"Nay. Never mind. You won't believe me. Would have to show you the pictures I took before because if I show you my toes right now, you will not believe I had nail fungus 2 weeks ago."
"OK. With Listerine."
"NO WAY! Listerine? The stuff to kill...oh...wait a minute...yeah, that sort of makes sense. Really? In two weeks?"
Had to take my shoes and socks off to show him and then emailed the before photos. He is stupefied.

For the Folks here that may believe this is nonsense, try it. You have nothing to lose; no contribution, no email, nothing...just the nail fungus.

I did.

Replied by Skye
(Kansas City, Missouri)

One of the main ingredients of Listerine is thyme oil, which is known to be anti fungal.