Which essential oils kill toenail fungus?
What is the best home remedy for nail fungus?
These are two of the questions I’ll answer today.
You might be surprised to know that essential oils are proven to be as effective, or even more valuable, than over-the-counter remedies.
The different types of fungi that cause nail infections aren’t resistant to essential oils like they are to some medications. They also don’t have distressing side effects.
But as you may already know, there is no fast and easy cure for toenail fungus.
- How Long Does It Take to Cure Toenail Fungus with Essential Oils?
- What Is Nail Fungus?
- Scientific Studies Show That Essential Oils Are Effective Against Fungi
- How to Use Essential Oils to Treat Fungal Nail Infections
- The Top Essential Oils to Treat Nail Fungus
- Fungus Killer Recipe Blend
- Best-smelling Antifungal Nail Treatment
- Edens Garden Clove Bud Undiluted Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil
- NOW Essential Oils, Cinnamon Bark Oil
- Plant Therapy Oregano Organic Essential Oil
- NZ Country 100% Manuka Oil, Natural Anti-Fungal
- Organica Wellness Nail Guardian
- Rocky Mountain Oils – The Essentials Kit
- 3-Pack Variety of NOW Essential Oils: Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender
- Simple Toenail Fungus Remedy
- What about Vicks Vaporub for Nail Fungus?
How Long Does It Take to Cure Toenail Fungus with Essential Oils?
Whether you use tea tree, peppermint, or a blend of different oils, you need to apply it at least twice a day.
With that said, how long does tea tree oil take to work on toenail fungus?
You’ll need to stick with it for weeks or even months until your nails grow in healthy.
On the bright side, you won’t need to spend extra money. These oils are useful for more than just one purpose.
Many of the best essential oils for toenail fungus are also the best for treating acne and other skin conditions.
Now, here’s a quick summary explaining nail fungus before we move on to the reviews.
What Is Nail Fungus?
Different types of fungi and yeast cause nail infections. They flourish when your skin is damp and in the dark, like in your shoes.
If you notice that your nails are thicker than normal, yellowish, warped, or fragile, you might have a fungal infection. It’s smart to visit your doctor to get a diagnosis even if you don’t want to try oral medication, commercial creams, or nail polishes to treat it.
The main reason for getting a diagnosis is to make sure the problem is caused by onychomycosis and not by psoriasis, eczema, or something else.
People with athlete’s foot, diabetes, or a weakened immune system are more likely to get toenail fungus.
Scientific Studies Show That Essential Oils Are Effective Against Fungi
In vitro studies done with microorganisms in glass dishes show that tea tree oil causes fungi and yeast cells to die (1, 2). Therefore, it’s a useful treatment for Candida infections, ringworm, dermatitis, and more.
Tea tree oil even kills microbes that are resistant to traditional medical treatments (like -azole medications). Topical creams like clotrimazole are only effective about 15% of the time anyway.
The active ingredient in tea tree essential oil appears to be Terpinen-4-ol, which is potent against harmful microbes including fungi, bacteria, viruses, and protozoans (3).
Next, eucalyptus essential oil also works as an antifungal (4).
The most powerful essential oils (besides tea tree oil) according to one study, inhibited the growth of twelve different types of fungi.
These include citronella, lemongrass, geranium, orange, patchouli, and palmarosa.
Meanwhile, peppermint and eucalyptus oils were effective against eleven types of fungi (6).
And essential oils derived from spices and herbs like thyme, cinnamon, clove all have potent antimicrobial properties (7).
How to Use Essential Oils to Treat Fungal Nail Infections
One of the toughest challenges in treating nail infections is delivering the antifungal agent to the root of the problem.
It’s crucial to trim your nails and file them to remove as much of the excess as possible before applying the essential oils.
Be sure to sterilize clippers and scissors and files before and after.
Once you dab on a few drops of the oil, let the nails air dry. Repeat the process morning and night.
Then, throughout the treatment, keep your nails short and your feet dry. Bring along an extra pair of socks or different shoes to change into when your feet are sweaty.
Let those toes air out whenever possible. Expose them to a little sunshine, too.
If you’re curious about the best carrier oil for treating toenail fungus, I’d recommend coconut. Coconut oil is naturally antifungal and antibacterial. Plus, it absorbs quickly.
The Top Essential Oils to Treat Nail Fungus
Let me show you the essential oils that work against fungal infections. We’ll begin with the top choice.
Plant Therapy Tea Tree Essential Oil
Plant Therapy creates tea tree essential oil from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. They emphasize that this potent oil should be diluted before you apply it to your skin. Never ingest it.
All of this company’s essential oils are tested by third-party laboratories for purity. The public is welcome to view the results.
Aura Cacia Discover Essential Oil Lavender
Since tea tree oil sometimes causes adverse reactions for some people, you can also try lavender.
Aura Cacia’s lavender essential oil is steam-distilled from the Lavandula angustifolia plant.
As I’m sure you’re aware, lavender is one of the best essential oils for relieving stress and anxiety.
Moreover, a study published in 2015 compared the effects of lavender essential oil and clotrimazole on Candida (that causes yeast infections and toenail fungus).
Guess what the results were?
When the scientists counted fungal cells twenty-four hours after applying the treatment, lavender had worked better than clotrimazole (8).
Now Peppermint Essential Oil
The next anti-fungal powerhouse is peppermint essential oil.
NOW Foods steam-distills the aerial parts of the Piperita mentha plant to make their oil. They perform extensive in-house testing to ensure its quality and purity.
They are a family-owned business based in North America. Many of their products are available at reasonable prices.
I’ve linked here to a large bottle of peppermint oil since it’s also one of the best treatments for mosquito bites.
Majestic Pure Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Majestic Pure’s eucalyptus oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of the plant. It’s packaged with a glass dropper.
They recommend that you take care to dilute the oil before using it on your skin. Keep it away from pets and small children.
Fungus Killer Recipe Blend
This blend is good for treating fungal nail infections on both fingers and toes.
Add the following essential oils to ½ cup fractionated coconut oil.
- 20 drops tea tree
- 15 drops peppermint
- 15 drops eucalyptus
- 10 drops lemongrass
- 10 drops thyme
- 5 drops cinnamon
- 5 drops clove
Be sure to mix it well before each application. Store it in a cool, dark place.
Geranium 100% Pure, Undiluted Essential Oil by Fabulous Frannie
Geranium has an appealing sweet floral scent. It’s excellent for skin care, and its aroma can uplift your mood.
Some evidence indicates that geranium is useful for treating fungal infections.
Fabulous Frannie offers pure oil derived from the Pelargonium graveolens plant. It’s packaged in amber glass with a Euro dropper cap.
Now Essential Oils, Patchouli Oil
Exotic patchouli blends well with many essential oils. The musky fragrance promotes calm feelings and gives a little boost to romance, too.
Now steam-distills the dried leaves of the plant to make this oil.
Artizen Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Artizen sells sweet orange essential oil with a lifetime guarantee. They will give you a refund if you’re not satisfied.
Aura Cacia Essential Oil, Inspiring Lemongrass
Aura Cacia’s lemongrass essential oil is a natural astringent and also a mosquito repellent. It comes from the Cymbopogon flexuosus plant.
Palmarosa 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil by Edens Garden
Edens Garden recommends palmarosa for inspiring confidence and dealing with grief. It has a citrusy, floral aroma that helps with sleep.
This woman-owned company sells direct to the public. They donate 10% of the proceeds.
Plant Therapy Thyme Thymol Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil comes from the same plant you use to season your food. Plant Therapy derives it from the Thymus vulgaris plant.
Best-smelling Antifungal Nail Treatment
If you’re not a fan of the medicinal smell of tea tree oil, try this recipe instead.
In a ½ cup of fractionated coconut oil, add the following:
- 20 drops lemongrass
- 20 drops palmarosa
- 10 drops thyme
- 10 drops orange
- 5 drops patchouli
- 5 drops geranium
Stir or shake well before you apply it with a cotton swab or paintbrush.
Keep it in a dark, cool place.
Edens Garden Clove Bud Undiluted Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil
Clove oil is a remedy for toothaches, difficulty breathing, and fungal infections. But clove is very potent, and a little goes a long way. Please always dilute clove oil before you use it on your skin or nails.
Clove is an important ingredient in Thieves’ Oil, a spicy, aromatic blend that you can use to treat toenail fungus.
NOW Essential Oils, Cinnamon Bark Oil
Cinnamon bark oil is more powerful than cinnamon leaf oil. It’s steam-distilled from the tree’s inner bark.
The fragrance of cinnamon can energize your mind and body. When added to massage oil, it’s warming and relaxing.
Plant Therapy Oregano Organic Essential Oil
The organic oregano essential oil made by Plant Therapy comes from the Mediterranean. It’s steam-distilled from dried parts.
Best of all, this is food-grade Origanum vulgare. Besides treating nail fungus with it, you can use it to flavor your food. It’s rich in thymol which has benefits for the whole body.
But be warned, this is powerful stuff. Dilute it to no more than 1% concentration, or one drop per teaspoon of carrier oil.
NZ Country 100% Manuka Oil, Natural Anti-Fungal
NZ Country says that their manuka oil is stronger than tea tree oil. It’s made from the Leptospermum scoparium plant that grows in New Zealand.
It’s antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal. You can use it to treat cuts, rashes, and more. It stops the itching and promotes healing.
Some people add it to pet shampoo to keep ticks off their dogs.
A handful of trials tested manuka oil against yeast and fungi, but it’s not as well-studied as other essential oils (9).
Organica Wellness Nail Guardian
Instead of making a homemade recipe to clear up nail fungus, you can benefit from this premade blend. It combines tea tree, lavender, jasmine, clove, lemongrass, calendula, and eucalyptus for maximum effect.
Furthermore, this American-made product comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. You have 30 days to try it and see what you think.
Rocky Mountain Oils – The Essentials Kit
On the other hand, use this inexpensive kit to make a DIY nail fungus treatment.
It includes lavender, orange, peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, and lemon essential oils in compact 5mL bottles.
3-Pack Variety of NOW Essential Oils: Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender
Stick to the basics and save money with this 3-pack of the best antifungal essential oils.
Each oil has its own individual benefits.
For example, tea tree fights acne as well as fungal infections.
Next, eucalyptus is handy for breathing easier when you have a cold.
Finally, lavender can soothe you to sleep and keep biting insects away.
Simple Toenail Fungus Remedy
For each teaspoon of carrier oil, add:
- 2 drops tea tree
- 2 drops lavender
- 1 drop eucalyptus
Brush or dab this on the nail in the skin around the nail every morning and night.
What about Vicks Vaporub for Nail Fungus?
Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s possible to use mentholated rub to treat nail fungus. It works because Vicks VapoRub has eucalyptus and menthol (mint) in it.
Fifteen of eighteen people who applied VapoRub to an infected nail saw improvement after 48 weeks. Five of them were completely cured (10).
A fungal infection can happen to anyone. But the best essential oils for toenail fungus can clear it up naturally.
I hope my article today helped you discover what you need to get rid of nail fungus. With a few weeks of persistent effort, hopefully, you’ll have healthy nails once more.
Have you had experience using essential oils to treat skin problems? What worked for you? Let me know in the comments below.
1. https://www.podiatrytoday.com/blogged/tea-tree-oil-onychomycosis-does-it-work by Kristine Hoffman, published August 30, 2016, accessed July 8, 2019
2. https://www.consumerreports.org/health/does-tea-tree-oil-work/ by Lauren Cooper, published April 01, 2016, accessed July 8, 2019
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998411 by N Pazyar, et al., published July 2013, accessed July 8, 2019
4. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/otc-home-remedies-foot-fungus#1 published November 12, 2017, accessed July 8, 2019
5. https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oil-for-toenail-fungus by Scott Frothingham, published June 11, 2018, accessed July 8, 2020
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893526/ by S Pattnaik, et al., published in 1996, accessed July 8, 2020
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12678685 by D Kalemba, et al., published May 2003, accessed July 8, 2020
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621348/ by Feresteh Behmanesh, et al., published October 13, 2015, accessed July 8, 2020
9. https://www.drugs.com/npp/manuka-oil.html published February 11, 2019, accessed July 8, 2020
10. https://www.jabfm.org/content/24/1/69.full by Richard Derby, et al., published January 2011, accessed July 8, 2020