Treating Toenail Fungus With Essential Oils

Treating Toenail Fungus With Essential Oils
Treating Toenail Fungus With Essential Oils

While there are more frustrating and debilitating things that can happen to the human body, that's no reason to ignore toenail fungus. What may begin as a mild discoloration of the nail can spread deeper into the nail bed causing thickening and crumbling of the nails, becoming a potentially very painful problem.

Prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs can be costly, toxic and ineffective, leading to returning infections that can become harder to treat. Turning to potent, natural essential oils to treat nail fungus can rid you of the nuisance without any of the harsh chemicals. Your body won't build an immunity to the oils and, they smell fantastic!

Read more about how to use essential oils

Tea tree oil, also known as the Melaleuca anternifolia plant is native to Australia. Its leaves are fragrant with the potent essential oil known for successfully treating skin conditions including nail fungus. Tea tree contains terpinen-4-ol which is a terpenoid known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties including the ability to kill dermatophytes. This is the main cause of nail fungal infections.

When applied to the skin or nails, tea tree oil forms a bond with the body's natural oils and a barrier of sorts on the skin or nail. This barrier prevents the further growth of nail fungus and other microorganisms. It also seeps deep into the nail to fight the fungus at its root, something most pharmaceutical topical ointments and treatment products can't do.

Other oils that can effectively be used either in conjunction with tea tree or on they're own include oil of oregano [try P-73, from Naturally Savvy's partner North American Herb & Spice] and lemongrass. You can also mix in a bit of lavender oil as well. Always select therapeutic grade essential oils which can be found at most health-minded stores in the personal care section.

To use:  First, clean the infected area well with soap and water and dry lightly with a towel. If using only tea tree oil drop a few drops directly on the affected area. If using a blend of several oils mix five drops of each in a small, shallow dish and use a cotton swab or Q-tip to apply the oil. Do this two to three times per day for at least one week or until the infection disappears.

Essential oils are strong and for some, can irritate the skin. However, when dealing with a fungus, you may want a stronger effect. But if you do wish to dilute your oil use a carrier oil, such as jojoba, sesame or almond oil. Add 5-10 drops of tea tree to an ounce of carrier oil.

READ MORE: The Ugly Side of Manicures and Pedicures

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Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist and marketing specialist primarily focused on the organic and natural industries, she bridges her love for changing the food system with her lifelong passion for writing and connecting people in their shared values. You can connect with Jill on Twitter and Instagram.