Toenail fungal infections (onychomycosis) cause fragile and broken nails and also discoloration of the nail bed.
Toenail infections can be caused by Athlete’s foot (foot fungus) and can spread from affected nails to other nails.
If you have an active fungal nail infection then be sure to disinfect your nail clippers after each use to prevent infection spread.
Standard treatments usually include OTC (over-the-counter) antifungal drugs like Fluconazole (Diflucan) and Terbinafine (Lamisil) and medicated nail polish or creams.
The downside of these treatment options is that they can cause skin irritation and ingrown nails.
This is why many people opt to first try natural solutions like essential oils to treat or cure toenail fungus.
Essential Oils As Home Remedies
Although there isn’t much research on the effectiveness of essential oils for toenail fungus, we do know that many oils contain antifungal properties that protect and can help with yeast infections like candida.
Essential oils (EOs) are highly concentrated plant extracts sourced from tree bark and resin, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, nuts, seeds, and even fruit.
Research shows EOs can help with health and well-being:
- Boosting the immune system
- Decreasing stress and anxiety
- Improving sleep
- Relieving pain and discomfort
- Soothing eczema and other skin conditions
- Treating colds, coughs, sinus infections, and sore throats
- Addressing allergy symptoms
- Soothing headaches and migraines
- Decreasing inflammation
- Treating warts
- Healing bug bites
- Treating hemorrhoids
- Soothing arthritis symptoms
- Helping sunburns and skin burns
- Providing constipation relief
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that includes the use of essential oils for healing purposes.
The 7 Best Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
Oregano oil (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano essential oil is considered a strong and natural antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal due to its high content of carvacrol and thymol.
Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Tea tree essential oil is a powerful antiseptic that can prevent infections and accelerate wound healing.
Peppermint oil (Mentha Piperita)
Peppermint essential oil is an antifungal and also acts as a potent pain reliever that, thanks to its high content of menthol, provides a cooling and soothing effect that can help relieve itching.
Cinnamon oil (Cinnamomum verum)
Cinnamon essential oil is rich in eugenol and cinnamaldehyde.
These healing compounds make it a potent antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial.
Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender essential oil is one of the most well-known essential oils on the market.
It’s rich in linalool and linalyl acetate, which makes it very helpful for fungal skin conditions and wound healing.
Lemon oil (Citrus limon)
Lemon essential oil is a powerful antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory.
Clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum)
Due to its high content of eugenol, clove oil is a powerful antifungal that can also fight parasites and promote good blood circulation.
Always choose high-quality, certified organic, and therapeutic grade products to avoid diluted products and potentially toxic chemicals.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not regulate EOs, so it’s crucial to only use the highest-quality products for medicinal purposes.
EOs usually offer little to no negative side effects when administered with caution and care.
When used topically for toenail fungus, EOs must always be diluted in a carrier oil to prevent skin irritation and reactions.
It’s advisable to perform a patch test on a non-affected area of the skin and wait 24 hours to confirm that there is no allergic reaction.
If you experience any negative reaction to any oil, discontinue use immediately and consult your healthcare provider.
Be aware of the contraindications for each oil you use as some EOs aren’t suitable for young children or pregnant or nursing women.
How To Use EOs for Toenail Fungus
As mentioned, always dilute EOs in a carrier oil like jojoba, coconut oil, or olive oil.
Stick to a ratio of 2-3 drops of EO per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.
For best results, apply to the infected nail or nails at least twice a day.
You can also create a warm water soak with oils and salts and soak your feet in at least once a day for 15-20 minutes.
A DIY Healing Essential Oil Blend (Natural Nail Fungus Treatment)
Use a clean cotton ball or cotton swab to apply:
- 1 drop tea tree oil
- 1 drop oregano oil
- 1 drop clove oil
- 1 drop lemon oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon of coconut oil
Mix the oils with the coconut oil and apply it to the affected area at least twice a day.
How long does it take to see results?
If you’re going the natural route be prepared to be consistent and patient.
It can take anywhere from several weeks to months to completely recover from toenail fungus.
Don’t skip any treatments or applications.
If your toenail fungus is causing you discomfort, you can pair EOs with over-the-counter medications.