> Toenail Fungus

Toenail Fungus

I've had personal experience on how to treat and get rid of a toenail fungus infection (and athlete's foot). I will share my experience using alternative medicine with you, not as a medical professional, which I'm not (as always, check with your doctor), but as a person who had the problem and was able to make it go away.

Probiotics for toenail fungus

My big toenail was yellow and brown where the problem was, and it was spreading. I thought it was toenail fungus (which is also called onychomycosis).

Note: Later I found out from an M.D. that part of the problem was that my shoes were too small. The techniques below made most of the yellow and brown on my toe go away, but it was only when I started wearing bigger shoes that it all went away. So, the BIG TOE problem (not the athlete's foot) was probably part toenail fungus and part too-small shoes.

Anyway, I got a promotional piece in the mail for a product called Flora Source (now called Golden Health Probiotics). The product was promoted for digestive problems, but one line caught my eye; it said it would help toenail fungus--actually just about any kind of fungus problem. I also had a severe case of athlete's foot, which is a fungus, so I was eager to try it.

I thought maybe this was the toenail fungus home remedy I was looking for, so I bought it and started taking it according to the directions, two a day for two weeks and then one a day thereafter.

Before reading any further,
see our medical disclaimer.

As a result of using this alternative treatment, the fungus stopped spreading, and some stomach problems also went away. Note: Flora Source is out of business. Other good probiotics will have a similar effect. Ask your doctor specializing in alternative medicine for the names of other products.

My athlete's foot disappeared, but the brown and yellow discoloration on my big toe did not disappear right away. That vanishes only when the toenail grows out, and I discovered that my toenails grow very slowly. It seemed like a year before the nail finally grew out all the way. Now, my big toenail is normal as a result of using this alternative treatment.

Probiotics are a mixture of good bacteria normally found in a healthy stomach. As we age, we make less of these good guys and may have to supplement by mouth. I take probiotics all the time to prevent these problems--as a fungus remedy and also to prevent athlete's foot. For me, probiotics are a toenail fungus natural cure, as long as I keep taking them.

Tonail Fungus photo

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a natural and very effective anti-fungal. For use on skin, I read that I should cut it with alcohol, three parts tea tree oil to one part alcohol. I use vodka. Shake well before each use.

It also works for athlete's foot. I spread the solution (shake well) on top, underneath and between my toes, and on the bottoms of my feet (to keep my shoes from smelling).

The use of tea tree oil for toenail fungus is confirmed by Andrew Weil, M.D. in the July 2014 issue of Prevention Magazine, p. 126. He says: "Dab the oil on nails that have a white or yellow fungus twice a day for at least two months. The nail has to grow out for the fungus to be eradicated, so you might not see results for a year." Another alternative remedy he recommends is grapefruit seed extract applied to the nail. He also says eating garlic will help, as garlic is a natural antifungal.

I also put a tablespoon of tea tree oil in the washing machine water with my towels or with my shower curtain when they have mildew, which is a fungus, and that kills it.

If my dishwasher smells, I sprinkle some tea tree oil inside the empty dishwasher and then immediately start it on the "Rinse Only" cycle.

If my garbage can stinks, I put tea tree oil in the plastic bag to kill the bacteria that cause the odor.  If the can itself smells bad, I wipe it down with the tea tree oil solution.

Tea tree oil kills fungus, no doubt about it.

Ozonated olive oil

A three-month study of 400 patients showed that ozonated olive oil works better for toenail fungus than the prescription drug ketoconazole. Half were treated with the special olive oil twice a day and the other half got ketoconazole cream 2%. The ozone group responded quicker and better to treatment. After a year, only 2.8% of those treated with ozonated olive oil had a recurrence, compared to 44.4 % of the drug group. You can find ozonated olive oil on the Internet.

Source: Second Opinion newsletter, January 2015, by Frank Shallenberger, M.D.

More toenail fungus treatments

  • Vicks Vaporub For Toenail Fungus
    According to Peter H. Gott, M.D. and newspaper columnist, Treating toenail fungus with Vicks Vaporub or a similar store brand product has worked for his readers. It takes several months. Columnist Dr. Anthony Komaroff also mentions Vicks for tonail fungus. He says a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine showed that applying Vicks daily for 12 weeks eliminated the fungus in five of 18 people and reduced it in 10 others.
  • Vinegar
    Some people have used vinegar successfully as a home treatment, says Dr. Gott, who describes soaking the foot, one to two times a week, in a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water for 20 minutes. Rinse and dry the foot. Continue until the problem is gone.

    Vinegar and Vick's Vaporub are also mentioned by Julian Whitaker, M.D. in the April 2013 issue of his newsletter, as well as thyme oil and grapefruit seed extract. He also relates making a foot soak using diluted bleach, 1/8 cup bleach to 2 quarts of warm water.
  • Miranel Cream
    Dr. Gott recommends an over-the-counter product called Miranel as a natural cure. It contains some of the same ingredients as Vicks Vaporub, some tea tree oil, and another antifungal called miconazole nitrate. Test results show "astonishing success," he says. The source for Dr. Gott's column is The Press, Hagadone News Network, March 9, 2008.
  • DMSO And Potassium Iodide
    Here’s another treatment option to try, from the May 2008 issue of Health & Healing newsletter, by Julian Whitaker, M.D. and also in the April 2013 issue.  Mix a 50-50 solution of DMSO and SSKI, which is a saturated solution of potassium iodide. DMSO is a sulfur compound that helps other substances (such as the SSKI) penetrate the skin, or, in this case, the nail. You can get them at your health food store. Rub it around and under your nail a couple of times a day.  Side effects: The iodide may stain your nails and socks, and the DMSO smells bad. Iodide, if taken internally (not the case here) can affect your thyroid, so, as always, check with your doctor first.

  • High Intensity Laser
    High intensity laser is a relatively new (in 2015) and popular treatment for onychomycosis. However, as of mid-2014 no scientifically-designed studies have proven its effectiveness. If you like to read, check out this long article from the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research on studies of the effectiveness of high intensity laser for toenail fungus treatment.


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