Toenail Fungus
Natural Remedies

Coconut Oil for Nail Fungus

| Modified: Oct 29, 2020
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If you were thinking that coconut oil could potentially be effective for treating nail fungus, then you would be correct. Coconut oil possesses a number of unique properties and characteristics that make it an effective health remedy. We've also recently discovered, though, that it is somewhat of a miracle cure for nail fungus as well. If you are suffering from unsightly nail fungus, give this remedy a try.

Are You Susceptible?

While toenail fungus may affect anyone, certain factors make you more susceptible for the condition. Runners are among the most common targets for nail fungus, as they experience more stress to the toes paired with sweaty feet and dark, closed-toed shoes.

Runners aren't the only ones susceptible to the condition, however. Additional factors that contribute to the contraction of nail fungus include sweating excessively, walking around barefoot in public places, using communal showers, visiting the salon, and using inappropriate hygiene techniques. Age and certain medical conditions may also compound the issue.

Can Coconut Oil Really Treat Fungus?

Nail fungus is often considered a particularly difficult condition to cure. Many of the over-the-counter remedies are ineffective at best, and many researchers even debate the efficacy of natural treatments. However, the anecdotal evidence proves that coconut oil is an effective treatment for nail fungus.

How coconut oil works:

Coconut oil is an effective health remedy used to treat an array of conditions. The treatment has known antibacterial as well as antifungal properties. The antifungal acids found in coconut oil are what make it so effective for treating nail fungus and infections. Plus, the oil naturally moisturizes the skin and replenishes a number of vital nutrients.

How to use coconut oil:

Treating your nails with coconut oil is quite simple. Cleanse the affected area and pat dry. Apply the oil to the toes and massage into the nail, nail bed, and surrounding skin. Repeat this process twice a day until the fungus has dissipated.

While it may seem unbelievable that such a modest treatment can eliminate such a progressive condition, it really is that simple. Keep reading below for feedback from Earth Clinic readers who have cured their nail fungus with daily applications of coconut oil. Try it for yourself and let us know how quickly it cures your nail condition!

Related Links:

Apple Cider Vinegar
Fungal Infection
Toenail Fungus
Weak Nails

19 User Reviews

Posted by Pat (New York, New York) on 05/23/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I tried over the counter and prescription remedies to cure my toe nail fungus. I read about coconut oil as a remedy and tried it. I applied organic coconut oil to all of my toe nails twice a day; bed time and in the morning. I covered my toes with socks so as not to stain my sheets. Within weeks I saw a difference in the color of my nails. Within a few months I could see new healthy nail growth. As my nails grew the discoloration disappeared. In less than 5-6 months I now have clear healthy toenails. No other product worked so well. I continue to apply coconut oil to my toes and feet as a preventative.

Posted by Ray (Atlanta, Ga) on 01/13/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I've hand a nail fungus in 6 of my fingernails for the past 15 years and realized a few months ago that the nail on one of my big toes had become infected. Over the years I have tried so many different remedies to no effect. Finally after an internet search back in Dec 2016 I found out about coconut oil as a cure and decided to try it. To my amazement, it is working as much of the fungus is gone. To say that I am happy is a complete understatement.

Replied by Rebecca
Buena Vista, Co

I am very glad I read this. I have bad toenail fungus for years. I read about coconut oil for toenail fungus, but wasn't sure how to go about applying it.
I started last month ( December, 2016).

To put my clean sock inside out over my hand, because I didn't want to touch my fungus nails with my fingers. Then I would dip the clean sock into my jar of coconut oil. ( the toe section ) And rub that on my toes, top, and try to get underneath the nail. I am glad I read this, I will try the toothbrush method. It sounds more effective than what I was doing. Thank you.

Posted by Kais (Escondido, California) on 10/18/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Initially I was skeptical that coconut oil can cure toe fungus. For thirty years my left big toe was infected with fungus. The nail was very thick and painful to cut. I started putting coconut oil on my infected toe about six months ago. I applied the oil at least twice daily. About a month ago, the old nail started to die and a clear nail was growing. I started cutting the old nail with no pain and now the old nail is almost gone. I am waiting for the remaining old nail to separate from the new nail. Coconut oil does work for the treatment of toe fungus. I am continuing the treatment by applying oil two to three times daily. I highly recommend this treatment. By the way the treatment worked on the large toe. I have two small toes with fungus and I am trying to treat them with coconut oil. I hope I can succeed with the small toes.

Replied by Michael
New Zealand

Hi Kais, Your experience was interesting. I have persisted with Tea Tree Oil for the same problem as yours and did so consistently every night before bed time for three months. It worked only after three months. What I should have done all along was to MAKE SURE that the little crevices on either side of the big toes, where the nail meets the flesh, got a proper drying after showering every time and used a separate towel solely for that purpose.. It's all very well to do what Mummy told you to do all those years ago and "Remember to dry between your toes Darling! " but she should have cautioned you to dry around the nails also I reckon. Fungus is so difficult to fix and seemingly takes forever. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure as Grandpa used to say. In addition, a dedicated tooth brush (preferably not the one you use for teeth cleaning! ) could be gainfully employed to work those (soft) bristles into those hard to reach cracks and clean them out as the fungus loosens its grip. A bit of Bicarb. would not go amiss too I reckon. I should mention that I also do Coconut Oil Pulling and ingesting, so that may have helped too. However, the Tea Tree Oil came up trumps once again in this instance. Hurray!

Cheers, Michael

Posted by Kristbjörg (Reykjavik, Iceland) on 10/15/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I have had toenail fungus for 28-30 years. I have tried so many things to get rid of the fungus. Using tee tree oil 2-3 times a day for many months I could see it affected the fungus, it got dry hard and still more yellow but still stuck to the nailbed. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda, chlorine. Soaking my feet for 30 min every night in vinegar and salt or vinegar and baking soda. Too times I have taken terbinafine for many months at a time. This fungus medication is bad for you and each time the fungus was back in 2-3 months. Name it I think I have tried it all.

I had not heard anything about coconut oil regarding toenail fungus but I had heard about that it had some effect on fungus and I had used coconut oil in my scalp for some years because of dandruff and that seemed to be the only thing that worked.

I thought I had discovered something totally new with the coconut oil ;) that people did not know about. Why had nobody told me about this?

I started my treatment by cutting my nails as short as I could, all parts that were loose, then I took a new toothbrush (soft and dense type), brushed coconut oil over the nail and nailbed, every morning and evening. I think it was only about a week that I could see differense; the thick part under my nail was diminishing. Now its 5-6 months since I started with the coconut oil and my nails are without fungus plus they are smooth!

Posted by Reneemaried (New York) on 09/22/2016
5 out of 5 stars

A couple days I have been using coconut oil on my toes and I already see a big difference! I have had it for 2 years and tried every rememdy on the planet. I started wanting to fix it after it started spreading to my other toes. Even tried laser removal and that did nothing! I had one toe that was completely yellow and the nail was coming apart from my toe, its almost completely reattached! It was starting to get soft and fall off, now it's starting to get hard and lighter! My other toes that weren't so bad are also are turning back to normal! I am so excited I don't have to be so paranoid about my feet! I have been putting cocounut oil on my toes twice a day morning and night. I also just bought supplements to take so I can speed up the process! Definitely recommend!

Posted by Kat (Los Angeles, Ca) on 01/20/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I have been ingesting coconut oil for 4 months and to my surprise my nails no longer have a fungus, are no longer thick, yellow or split. I am shocked how they have grown back as pink, thin and straight as my nails on my fingers! I did not have to rub coconut oil on my feet or nails directly, rather I simply ingested a 1-2 tablespoons 3x a week for the last 4 months. Now that I am a firm believer in the miracle of coconut oil I am going to start using it on my feet as well just to stay moisturized and help keep any fungal or bacterial infections away!

Side note: When I feel a sore throat coming on I will swish around a teaspoon of coconut oil in my mouth twice a day for 5-10 minutes. Each time no sore throat has developed, and my husband who has the same symptoms doesn't believe in the treatment so has refused and gets a full blown sore throat and cold, while I have no other symptoms.

Posted by Migrog67 (Santa Monica, Ca) on 05/08/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have had athletes foot for nearly 50 years and a fungus on my left big toe for more than 35 years. The nail of the toe was completely black and the skin underneath the nail was hardened. The nail grew, but could not connect to the nail bed. I've had the nail completely taken off by a podiatrist as I was told that was necesary to start a new growth. Over these many years, I have tried one remedy after another and was told the only sure cure might also damage my liver. I opted to just wear closed toe shoes for the rest of my life rather that risk death due to a damaged liver.

I began using coconut oil in my food and on my skin for health reasons about 3 years ago, but just this past week, I read that it was also beneficial for nail fungus and decided to give it a try. Lo and behold, after only three days of use - morning and night, I can't believe that the color has begun to come back to my nail! I was so surprised that I decided to take a picture of the nail so that I could show its progress and put it on YouTube. I wish I had taken a picture the first night because no one would believe what it looked like just 3 days ago. Obviously I have a long way to go. The hard calcification under the nail is still there, but for only three days use, I didn't really expect it to. I also didn't expect that the color would have begun to return either. What a blessing and pleasant surprise. I will write again in a couple weeks to update my progress.

Replied by Judy Jones
West Virginia

I'm questioning the coconut oil healing finger and toenail fungus? My son has nail fungus on his finger and toenails he has it really bad..How long do you think it will take the coconut oil to heal the fungus if he was to put it on his nails and take a couple tablespoons a day..I believe in oils I have been doing Essential Oils and coconut oil for about 6 months now and I also defuse the oils for different things...Love my oils and I dilute them with coconut oil.

Replied by Nat

Did you apply directly to the nail or took it orally? Or both?

Posted by Kevin (Virginia, US) on 03/26/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Unrefined Organic Coconut oil completely cured my toenail fungus! I couldn't believe how well it worked and how easy it was. I had fungus on my right big toe for about 5 years and I tried everything I knew of to get rid of it. I had a little success with citricidal but it only improved the condition and didn't cure it.

My procedure was as follows: I first cleaned the affected area thoroughly with cuticle scissors, careful to remove absolutely every bit of affected nail and tissue that I could; I did this on a regular basis. In the mornings, I put a little dab of unrefined organic coconut oil on the affected area and covered it with a flexible fabric bandaid so that the area could breathe while keeping the oil in place. In the evenings, before bed, I rubbed a little oil into the affected area and did not apply a bandaid. I don't know how long it took to clear up but it wasn't very long, maybe a couple of weeks. Amazing!

Posted by Stienster (Europe) on 03/05/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Organic Coconut oil has cured my toenail fungus. I used it once daily on all toes and in between toes (started using it to stop athlethes foot fungus between toes). I no longer have calcified nails! They are now oddly straight- they were NEVER straight. No more deformed yellow ingrown nails and I no longer have any incidence of athletes foot fungus. It took two years for the nails to be noticably healed, and I will continue to use the oil daily after showering. I only swipe at my toes really- not doing any special massage or involved application procedure. I just make sure my oily fingers first contact all nails then go in between toes. Thats it! Persistance pays off in this case.

Replied by Jody
Melbourne, Fl

Do you have to continue to use it forever to keep it gone?

Posted by Caitlin (Austin Texas) on 01/10/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I can totally believe this! I had a toenail that I noticed had become detached and was hanging on only at the base. The area under the toenail was raw & uncomfortable.. I'd never had this happen before -- an entire toenail detaching! So I researched on-line and discovered that this could be caused by a fungus that occurs when thick layers of toenail polish are consistently used . The fungus thrives under the toenail particularly when enclosed by socks and shoes. Having read about Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) for foot fungus, I first took off the polish on both feet, thoroughly washed them and applied VCO to them. I did not take the dislodged toenail complete off, I simply put extra VCO under it and closed it. I then slept with socks on that night. Low and behold, when I checked it the next morning, the sem-unattached toenail had come off, but, a new toenail had already begun in its place" It was soft and pink and almost fully formed, looking, compared to the rest of my toes, like the toenail of a younger me. Now, I no longer wear thick nail polish on my nails now that I know that it can cause a fungus that can harm them. Live and Learn! CAT

Replied by Calvin
5 out of 5 stars

Toes were black now are clearing. 1 month of coconut on toes.

Replied by Korah
Dayton, Oh
5 out of 5 stars

Thank so much for this post on coconut oil!! I used to polish my toe nails all the time, mostly because of the yellow discoloration. I decided to go au natural, remove the polish and get rid of the yellow staining once and for all. I ran across this post thread and I gotta tell you, I am a believer! I've been using organic virgin coconut oil (unrefined) on my toe nails for two days and wow what an improvement! The yellow has faded by about 50 percent. The best part is that it is good for you (unless you're allergic to coconut, then maybe avoid it). I gotta say, I'm impressed. Thank you so much for writing this post.

Posted by Gavin (Manganui, Northland, New Zealand) on 06/12/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Re the fungal toe.. Just keep rubbing coconut oil into it. It should clear in no time.

Posted by Kduby66 (Charles Town, West Virginia) on 09/29/2009
4 out of 5 stars

Coconut oil and toenail fungus

I have been taking Extra Virgin coconut oil topically and orally for about 4 or 5 months now. My two big toenails have had fungus for over 20 years. After cutting them back and applying the oil and taking it orally, my toenails are finally turning clear again!! There is a tiny bit of roughness still on the tip but i'm sure after regrowth it will be gone. :)

Replied by Had
White River Jct, Vermont

I've added borax to my bath water( high PH kills bact/ etc), then coconut oil as all over body moisturizer after, my toe nails, and hands for that matter, have 'french manicure' WHITE nails..... EVCO is an amazing gift from God. Also helps w/ ingrown hairs

Replied by Maximac
Trussville, Alabama, Usa

I determined yesterday that I had a fungus on my toe nails when all along I believed it was just calcium deposits. YUK! I get pedicures regularly and it was never brought to my attention. I've been without polish or pedis for over a month now, just allowing the nails to breathe. So this morning I cleaned my nails with Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide then before I put on my shoes to go out the door, I generously rubbed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil over and around the nails and toes. By lunchtime, I can tell a significant difference in the appearance of the discoloration and spots. I will continue to do this to see if it will rid of the rest of the fungus. I am greatly encouraged!

Posted by KT (Irvine, California, USA) on 04/12/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Coconut Oil is a miracle when it comes to SPEEDY cures. Keep this organic oil in your pantry at all times. It not only gets me rid of fungus within days (less than a week) but also got me rid of harsh toenail horizontal ridges and I could see the difference the very nexttt dayyy, a 60% visible reduction in those ridges, all gone within a week! I was totally bowled over. Applying coconut oil to my toenails was a total guesswork since I read that it's an antibacterial & antifungal agent when it comes to colon-cleansing. So I thought why not try it on toenails. Make this your # 1 choice for nail fungus, you'd be pleasantly surprised.

Replied by Vali
5 out of 5 stars

This is very true, I am just applying coconut oil for only three days now but the improvement is so unbelievable. Thanks to all the info I've from the net.

Posted by Michael (Elizabeth, NJ) on 12/31/2007
5 out of 5 stars

For the last 4 tears or so I have had a fungus on both big toes. The nail becomes thick and discolored with rough edges. Not an attractive sight. I have been using coconut oil now for about 9 months and can honestly say it has made a difference in the appearance of my toenails. One of the many properties of CO is antifungal. I can"t say enough about this tropical oil. I eat at least 3 Tbls a day I have more energy, have lost weight, no change in my cholesterol and love its taste. Try it and you will never go back to the other veggie oils.

Replied by Cindy
Texas, US

How do you take your coconut oil? How long did it take to see a difference in fungus and weight?

Replied by Jeanann
West Lafayette, Indiana

How do I use coconut oil? Fry and salute any and everything in it, put a huge heaping tablespoon of it in smoothies and also in my coffee. My fave result has been memory improvement. I can hardly believe the things I am remembering. Good thing I've had a pleasant life! LOL! Had no idea that it was good for toenail fungus so hello toes! Here comes the CO!

Posted by Annabelle (Victoria, Australia) on 08/17/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I had toenail fungus for 5yrs. started using virgin coconut oil applied topically with amazing results. Used loceryl lacquer for 3yrs did not get rid of it. Used some oxygenated melaluca cream which helped & may have cured it but smelled so bad it really wasn't practical. I read about coconut oil on internet & gave it a go, i didn't think it would seriously work. I massaged it into top of nail & all around it & made sure it was under toenail which was easy as it is liquid (hardens in cold weather but melts on contact with skin). Now 1 big toenail totally cured, other toenail is almost gone but it was much worse and was first to be infected. Absolutely amazing and i don't even apply it everyday!!! Doesn't smell. I rub it into all my other toenails (hoping this will prevent them from getting it in them). I bought a brand from my local health food shop and made sure it was 100% virgin and this one was cold pressed-don't know if that means anything but i'm sure other brands would work, I am just thrilled with results and grateful that i gave it a go