Toenail Fungus
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Nail Fungus


12 User Reviews
5 star (9) 
1 star (3) 

Posted by Brent (Pine City, Minnesota) on 07/19/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have had toenail fungus for at least 15+ years on my big toe and the one next to it. I had heard that hydrogen peroxide would get rid of it. It did nothing for my toe fungus after using a bottle over a course of three months. I then heard from a couple friends that they cleared their fungus up with vicks vapor rub; so I tried it for two days and I can already see a dramatic improvement. You can get a generic brand also which is a lot cheaper. I bought a chest rub brand made by Target and I compared the active ingredients and percentages to Vicks and it was exactly the same mixture at a way cheaper price. It works great. I can't believe it took me so long to improve my toenails. I was always wearing socks with my sandals because I was so embarrassed of my fungus but not anymore.

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.

Replied by Ellen
(Redwood Shores, CA)

To Robert, Thank you for sharing your research with us. It is fascinating! I no doubt transferred my toenail fungus to my face and I also have Rosacea--do you? I did read somewhere recently that the oils are the best remedies and it certainly sounds like they are, judging from your research. Regarding your recipe, I do have a question. With coconut oil being a solid, how do I mix it with the other liquid oils? Thanks again for sharing! I am hopeful to see the line of demarcation, too!

Replied by Robert
(Naples, Florida)

Coconut Oil melts at 80 degrees F. If it's solid, just run the container under warm water. The essential oils, when added, lower the melting point to below room temperature.

Regarding Rosacea, the following information may be helpful from internet research: "The Rosacea diagnosis includes a range of inflammatory events in facial skin. The range is so broad that it is reasonable to ask if Rosacea is too fuzzy a term that can apply to diverse immune-mediated events in the skin with different causes.... Seborrhea is a related condition that involves the hair-bearing skin of the scalp and face, all expressions of infection with the fungus, pityriasis ovale. Seborrhea can involve the central forehead, skin under the eyebrows and beard and may contribute to or be confused with Rosacea."

Hope this helps.

Replied by @nnie
(Durban, South Africa)

Olalla ~ You're an awesome mine of usefull information Robert! THANKS!

Ellen ~ I found that a GOOD AntiDandruff Shampoo diluted with approx. 12 parts of water & put into a liquid soap dispenser, works brilliantly for Rosacea.

I wash my face with this solution each morning in the shower. (Not the cheap supermarket shampoo, but a decent Pharmaceutical one.) A good AntiDandruff shampoo can also be applied neat to those white fungal blotches/spots on the skin. Apply to the actual 'spot', leave on for about 5mins & then rinse off & pat dry with a paper towel. You may have to repeat this about 3x (once a day for 3 days or so!) GOOD LUCK!

Replied by Laura
(Lodi, Ca)

How or where can I get oregano juice?

Replied by Nikki

Beautiful... I totally agree!!!

Posted by Don (Lakeland, FL) on 01/13/2008
1 out of 5 stars

Vicks on finernail fungus. About a year ago I shoved a wooden splinter up my left index finger, about 1/2 way down. It never healed and my wife thought I had a fungus under it. I read that Vicks would cure this. Here's what I did, which didn't work!! I bought finger cots, put Vicks in it and rolled it onto the index finger every night for the last couple of months. It didn't change anything with respect to the nail growth or fungus removal. I'm going to try your vinegar/hydro peroxide treatment. I clipped my nail 1/2 way down, getting rid of most all of the fungus part of the nail.

Posted by Robert (Naples, Florida) on 01/05/2008

The question of whether Vick's Vapo-Rub works on toenail fungus was the subject of a University of Michigan study about a decade ago. Their conclusion was positive; they isolated the specific ingredients that worked, and received U.S. Patent 6,361,785 (look it up to see the results of the research).

Also note that 90% of toenail fungus is caused by four dermatophytes that are the same culprits in athlete's foot and jock itch. (Therefore, to prevent re-infection, one must get the fungi everywhere -- nails, feet, & crotch. Also change towels regularly, and don't dry your feet first, then transfer the fungus to another place.)

The formula (based on the research study, (which I've adapted for a more natural cure) is:
1 part Menthol oil
1 part Thymol oil
1 part Camphor oil
1 part Lemon Eucalyptus oil
1 part Tea Tree Oil
5 parts DMSO
5 parts Aloe Vera
5 parts Rubbing Alcohol
(the oils can be bought on e-bay, DMSO in a health store)

Apply twice a day to nails and feet. I've suffered from this vexing problem for 40 years, as did my mother and grandmother. It works.

Posted by Becky (San Diego, CA) on 11/15/2006

My Dr. (at a very well know medical organization), he asked that I not tell anyone that he told me to try this instead of the prescription he could have given. Apparently the prescription stuff takes just as long to work approx. 3mos and cost a lot more and has bad side effects on other organs in your body. The Vicks Vapor Rub every night before bed rubbed on toes, covered with socks and WOW! What a find... Renewed my faith in my Doctor as well.

EC: We have long suspected that many of these emails are from the manufacturer (or their PR firm). We post them here for your reading enjoyment.

Replied by Connie
(New Haven, Connecticut)

My podiatrist cut off the infected part of my big toenails which had disconnected from the bed and told me to keep my feet dry and apply Vicks (or cheaper store brand) to my toes twice a day. At night I put on white socks and as I am a barefoot person anyway, I did not need socks in the day. It did not take long for the new nails to fill in and they were healhy. It has been over seven years now but lately, sinceI have taking to walking with sneakers and my feet sweat, I noticed the same thing beginning to happen. For the last two days I have been using the Vicks and have not seen results yet but believe they will be the same.

Replied by Mazza
(Wellington, New Zealand)

I too have had great success with Vicks (and a cheaper version). My toe nails are growing normally from the nail bed and I have been able to remove the thick "horns" at the top of my nails and hope in a couple of months to show my nails again after wearing shoes and socks for years. I read that fungus loves dark, and therefore painting toe nails is a no-no.

I enjoy this site and have used it to clear many a problem but I do take exception to the EC comment that these comments are from the Vicks manufacturer and are just posted for our enjoyment. I do not work for the company or own shares - I just have used a product that works.

Posted by Eric (Houston) on 10/10/2006
1 out of 5 stars

Vics = nothing, but bleach toenail fungus if it could penetrate the nail (See below). I have fungus -- 3 toes on one foot, and two on another and I tried the vapor rub fairly diligently with no success for several months. I gave up and wasn't putting anything on it for a while then the big toe nail got bumped on a couch and came completely off, so I tried some bleach on all toes for several months. The big toe is about 80% grown in looking healthy, while the others nails don't look any better. I concluded that the bleach absolutely works, but doesn't penetrate the nails well. So I think the next step will be to file off as much of the other nails as I possibly can and see what that does.

Vicks, Garlic

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by K.Lynn (Mt Healthy, Ohio) on 01/13/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Not too long ago I found a remedy for toenail fungus-storebrand vapo rub-. My whole toenail was black/purple and when I cut back the toenail as far as I could and squeezed the toe alot of pus came out at first. Then I put the vapo-rub (idea from this site) and the pus stopped, idid this every night and it slowly got lighter and smaller. But after parusing (spellugh) this site I decided to kick it up a notch and add crushed (in a bowl with a spoon) fresh garlic w/ vapo rub. I put it on my toenail(big glob) and wrapped it w/ loose gauze and first aid tape(hypoallergenic) the fungus was gone in 2 days! NEEDS FRESH APPLICATION EVERY NIGHT BEFORE BED. thankyou earthclinic, God Bless you.


1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Clare (Shotteswell, Oxfordshire, England) on 05/07/2013
4 out of 5 stars

Vinegar: This really works and I am amazed. I have tried expensive fungus treatments and they have also worked, but at a cost. Now thanks to Earth Clinic I have found a treatment that works for a cost of pence. I can see a good sized band of new nail on every toe. I bought myself a dropper bottle for easy application. I didn't want to write a review until I was really sure vinegar worked, but as nearly half of my big toenails are clear in colour instead of brown I feel I can add my review. I am not the best at doing it twice a day as recommended, but always do it at least once a day.

Vinegar, H202, OTC

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Trinh (Houston, TX) on 08/25/2008
5 out of 5 stars

1. Soak both feet (to get rid of the fungus on my big toe as well as preventing other toes from being infected) with distilled vinegar everyday for 30 minutes.
2. Rinse with water and use paper towels to dry feet.
3. Soak cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and dab it on all toes.
4. Blow dry feet.
5. Apply fungus cream on feet.
6. Wait for about 30 minutes and apply Penlac on all toes.
7. I wore only open toe shoes, and I don't even cover my feet with a blanket at night!

I did the above steps everyday and my big toenail looked beautiful in only 3 months! As you can see, I used vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, antifungal cream, and Penlac. My theory is that if one doesn't work, then at least the other will, or the combination of all 4 is just too powerful for the fungus to survive.

Replied by Ms. M

I too have toenail fungus. I saw what you are using to treat yours, I'm going to do the same for a month and see if I get results like yours. I've never tried vinegar before, but I'm sure it's better than having liver failure d/t the poison these doctors try to push down your throat.

I'll keep you all posted. Fingers crossed.

Vitamin E Oil

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Jamberry (Usa) on 06/29/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Vitamin E oil works for me. Of the top ten nail fungus remedies, I have tried all but bleach and garlic (and I already eat an anti-candida diet). When I remembered reading about vitamin E oil, I added that to my nightly routine. Get a cheap bottle with lots of capsules. Pierce one with a safety pin then squeeze onto toe nail as described above. (The oil comes out easier if the capsule has been left on the counter for a while.) I do this twice a day when I am home and wearing sandals all day. If need to wear socks when going out, I put more oil on after I get home and back into sandals. At night I wear moisture-wicking socks (not cotton) and try to keep my feet out from under the covers so no moisture builds up on my toes. One-third of one toe is perfectly clear, and one-fourth of the other big toe is perfectly clear, after four months of treatment. I use Vicks under a bandaid if I must be in socks for several hours or more.

Replied by Jamberry
5 out of 5 stars

Update to my original post:

The nails cleared up. I persisted in using Vit. E oil for two years, once a day, then stopped. The fungus has NEVER returned!

Vitamin E Oil
Posted by Boonie (Waukesha, Wi) on 03/11/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Vitamin E oil for fungus nails: use a Q tip or cotton ball to massage in to your nails on both sides after your bath or shower. It may take a year to do this every day but the nail will grow out clear. It takes about a year for the new nail to grow out completely. Trim regularily and continue to oil your toe nails every day as needed. Oil all the way to the cuticle to top of the nail and underneath nail surface as much as you can.

Walk on Wet Grass in the Morning

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Kristina (Chicago, Il) on 09/05/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I haven't used this myself, but a lot of guys swear this works. This way to cure foot fungus was used in soviet army. Early in the morning take a walk on a grass while it is still wet, barefoot, and do this for a week. Fungus will be gone. This works on early stages of fungus. Scientific explanation for this is simple: As the water evaporates, a part of it makes ozone, which fights fungus.

Replied by Tami
(Kibbutz Hazorea, Israel)
5 out of 5 stars

The mention of ozone gave me the idea to try Ozonol, a Canadian ointment I've been using for scrapes, cuts and burns since childhood (a long long time ago :-). After showering I applied it on the toe nails that had been discolored by fungus for years. Within 3 days all the discoloration (and soreness) disappeared in the lesser affected nail and within a week the nail that was more affected was cured also. The active ingredients in Ozonol are Phenol and zinc oxide (what they have to do with ozone I don't know, but it works!).

White Vinegar

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Allyson (Colorado Springs) on 02/27/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I cannot stand the smell of ACV, plain old white vinegar works just as well, I would spray it on the 3 toes 2x a day, waited til the entire toenail bed grew out, no more toenail fungus, rah! Just put the white vinegar in a glass bottle so no plastic uglies leach into the vinegar. It really, really works!!

White Vinegar
Posted by Joy (Greer, Sc) on 05/14/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I, too, have had success with vinegar for toenail fungus, even after previously battling a very advanced case for 10 years, although I still have it in one stubborn toenail. I used white vinegar. It was recommended to me to spray it on twice a day, which I think is the fastest and easiest thing to do. I used a 2 oz sprayer found in the travel toiletries section. Wasn't told to soak, but it occurred to me just a few weeks ago that maybe I should soak and saturate that nail, and it is now much improved. Hasn't come back in the other nails, either. Am so happy about this safe, easy and inexpensive treatment.

White Vinegar, OTC

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Suzanne (Norman Ok) on 03/17/2014
5 out of 5 stars

This is what worked for me regarding nail fungus. I had a fungus which ate away almost my entire fingernail until I discovered soaking it in white vinegar killed it in two days. I would soak for 15 minutes in undiluted white vinegar. I also had fungus affecting both big toenails. I had been soaking my toes in undiluted white vinegar for 15 minutes, then applying a mixture of coconut oil, OTC athlete's foot cream and vapor rub to my toes. That was slowly working but when I added a monostat cream to the mix the fungus was gone within a week. My toenails are clear for the first time in 10 years. Good luck to all!