Use a Natural Remedy to Cure Toenail Fungus

Updated on October 19, 2017
macteacher profile image

My sister and I have both successfully used oil of oregano to treat toenail fungus. Here I share our experiences.

A Personal Experience With Nail Fungus

I waited for seven months to write this piece. I’ve written several articles about the curative powers of oil of oregano, but this time I wanted some anecdotal evidence to prove it works better than other remedies, including pharmaceuticals. I’ve written about using this oil to get rid of colds and flu and to relieve the symptoms of skin ailments such as eczema. For the purpose of this article, I set out to prove it works on nail fungus.

I used oil of oregano myself for a toenail problem two years ago, and I have not had a recurrence. When my sister developed the same problem a few months ago, I decided to break out the camera. I took a photo every couple of months until the fungus was gone. For just a few pennies a day, a stubborn case of toenail fungus was eliminated forever.

The Start of Nail Fungus

We took pictures at the beginning to document her case.
We took pictures at the beginning to document her case. | Source

How Do Toes Get Infected so Easily?

Few widespread physical ailments elicit the ick factor more than toenail infections. It’s unsightly for both men and women and can frequently cause pain in cases where the toenail gets so infected it separates from the nail bed.

For women who enjoy pedicures and wearing sandals, both are off limits with nail fungus. The condition causes a lot of embarrassment because the toenails really do look awful once the infection takes over the nail.

Fingernails can also get infected from a fungal infection, but the toenails seem to be a more common place for these infections to set up shop. Our toes are encased in a warm, damp environment for most of the day, which is a breeding ground for fungus. Letting your feet breathe as much as possible is an excellent way to prevent a fungus from setting up a permanent home on your feet.

Some Tips for Prevention

Sleeping barefoot, wearing open-toe slippers and cotton socks gives your feet and toes much-needed ventilation. Wearing shoes that fit well and don’t cramp your toes is equally important. Unfortunately, even these measures are not always effective in preventing toenail fungus, and additional prevention and treatment is needed.

A toenail fungal infection is usually a sign of a systemic overgrowth of yeast. Eating probiotics is the best way to prevent recurrences of yeast and fungus and to get rid of a current imbalance. A cup of yogurt daily is excellent protection and it gives your body more of the healthy bacteria it needs to function properly.

If you hate yogurt, then taking a probiotic supplement daily will work just as well. I used to struggle with yeast infections in other parts of my body. I also had an imbalance in my digestive tract that me me a prime candidate for yeast infections.

Since I started taking the NOW probiotics, the digestive issues and the yeast infections have gone away. I like the NOW brand because it works, and because it is less expensive than some of the other brands that claim they are better. Most probiotics work well. It is not necessary to spend a fortune. But choosing a brand is also a matter of personal preference.

If you are doing all of these things and you are still getting fungal infections on your toenails then it’s time to seek out alternatives that will clear up the problem naturally.

What Causes the Infection?

A little known fact about toenail fungal infections is that most come from a type of fungus that invades the nail bed called Dermatophytes. Toenail fungal infections can also be caused by a variety of molds and fungi although Dermatophytes are the most common culprit. The official medical term for the condition is Onychomycosis. No matter what it’s called, nail fungus is a miserable condition to live with.

Doctors today have an arsenal of products to combat nail fungus, however many of these medications can have dangerous side effects, including liver problems. It’s always better to treat a condition with a natural, holistic substance because holistic remedies don’t have long term side effects.

Natural remedies attack the source without compromising any major organs. It can never hurt to consult with a doctor if you experience symptoms of nail fungus, but educating yourself about treatment options can be done without medical intervention.

How Do You Know You Have It?

The symptoms are pretty easy to spot and include a thickening and discoloration of the toenails. It may start with one nail and spread to the others over an extended period of time. Not only are our toes close together, they are also confined throughout the day inside socks and shoes. This is how fungal infections like nail fungus and athlete’s foot spread quickly to all the toes.

Like any infection, the earlier it gets treated the better. The best time to treat an infection is at the first sighting of a white stripe or discoloration of the infected toenail. However, even if you've had it for awhile and it covers the whole toenail, it can still be treated.

Treating With Oil of Oregano

Oil of oregano is an excellent, inexpensive, natural remedy that gets rid of the underlying problem on the nail bed and keeps the nail infection from returning. It is possible to get rid of nail fungus permanently without the use of toxic medications.

An excellent treatment with no side effects is the application of oil of oregano directly to the toenails. This oil has an ancient history dating back for millennium and has been used with great success to treat all kinds of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections long before modern medicine came up with dangerous chemical compounds that carry side effects.

Treating toenail fungus is easy with this oil. It’s a good idea to try the oil at the first signs of nail problems. A drop or two of the oil should be massaged into the affected nail twice a day as well as the surrounding nails to prevent further infection. As the nail grows out, the fungal infection should grow out with it. The new nail should look normal and clear. The earlier a fungal infection is treated with the oil, the better. If you see a large section of a toenail become discolored, that is probably the beginning of a nail infection. Begin rubbing the oil on your toes every day.

I was introduced to Oil of Oregano by a friend who gave me a bottle of the North American Herb and Spice Oreganol. It has one of the highest concentrations of the active ingredient carvacol - at least 85%. I've tried several brands over the years, but this brand is my favorite. This was also the brand I gave my sister. Since it worked for both of us, it's my brand of choice. You may like something different, and I recommend trying different brands until you find your favorite.

Midway Through the Oregano Treatment

After applying the oil religiously for 3 months, the infected part of the nail fell off.
After applying the oil religiously for 3 months, the infected part of the nail fell off. | Source

It's Important to Be Patient and Consistent

In addition to applying the oil right to the toes, it helps treat any infection inside your body as well. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper dilution of oil of oregano if taken orally. For people who cannot tolerate the unpleasant taste, it’s available in capsule form which works just as well. It is best to consult with a medical professional before incorporating a new supplement into your daily diet especially if already on a medication, pregnant or nursing.

I primarily keep the drops for external use for skin problems. I also like to have it in case I get a recurring case of the nail fungus - so far so good. It hasn't returned.

Now I prefer the pill form, and I use the caplets from the same company, North American Herb and Spice. I primarily take the pills when I feel a cold virus coming on. It gets rid of viruses right away. I have several friends who take it every day - I prefer to wait until I have a problem.

Many people are aware of the health benefits of this oil to prevent systemic fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. The pills are a much higher dose. Again, it is a personal preference as to when and how much to take.

A note of caution: Oregano Oil is a very strong herbal remedy. It can lead to an upset stomach when you take the pills.

When I need to take the pill, I make sure I eat at that same time and don't take them on an empty stomach.

It’s important with any natural remedy to stick to a treatment routine and not skip applications. Patience is required when eradicating nail fungus as it can take three to four weeks for the old nail to grow out and the fungus to die off. A nail infection that has been present for years may not be as easy to get rid of, but use of the oil in many cases can improve even the most stubborn nail fungus. It’s worth trying for at least a couple of months.

Oil of oregano is inexpensive and readily available online. Its curative powers are well documented and its powerful preventative properties make it a worthwhile addition to any home remedy collection. It’s a powerful force in the fight against all kinds of systemic fungal infections including toenail fungus.

The New Toenail

After six months, she was back to wearing nail polish on a new, clear nail.  It has not returned.
After six months, she was back to wearing nail polish on a new, clear nail. It has not returned. | Source

The Proof Is in the Anecdotal Evidence

As you can see from the photos, my sister was developing a nasty case of toenail fungus that could have progressed and covered all of her toenails. My sister was skeptical at first, but she wanted to avoid a doctor visit if at all possible.

With my encouragement, and a gift of a bottle of oil of oregano, she stuck to a regime of applying the oil to her foot every morning and every evening for months. She also swallowed a couple of drops every day. It paid off. At first nothing happened, but when the infected part of the nail fell off she became hopeful.

As the new section of nail grew in and she could see that it was healthy and clear of fungus, she was thrilled. She can now go back to wearing sandals without feeling self-conscious. I was happy to help her with my little secret remedy. If you’re experiencing the same problem, I hope this article helps you get rid of a very unpleasant, but easily treatable condition.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Wendy Golden


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        21 months ago from New York

        Hello Criss,

        Unless the skin is broken you really don't have to worry. Oregano Oil already comes mixed with olive oil or grapeseed oil. If you still find it to be overwhelming, you can mix it with a tiny bit of water. But remember if you over dilute it - it may not be as effective in eliminating the fungus.

      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        22 months ago from New York

        Renee - Oil of Oregano is normally sold already mixed with grapeseed oil or olive oil - it's rarely any other way. Check the ingredients or contact the company you bought it from. It should be fine to apply it by itself as long as there is no broken skin.

        Shivani - You can take Oil of Oregano however you like. It won't affect it's healing properties. Adding it to a smoothie is a good idea.

      • profile image


        22 months ago

        As an alternative to taking the oregano oil by itself orally, would adding a couple drops to a smoothie work?

      • profile image


        22 months ago

        I have oil of oregano capsules (oregano leaf supercritical extract 230 mg). Should I apply this directly? Should I mix with tea tree oil or olive oil or??? Thank you

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        I tried oregano oil on my toe fungus about a year ago. In the first week i saw some improvement, but in the second week my toe became irritated and sore. Then i started itching all over and especially around insect bites. I think i developed hives from using the oregano oil. I have been told that you develope hives when something in affecting your liver. Had to stop the treatment. Has anyone else had this problem?

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        Apple Cider vinegar works better and faster. That is the only thing that helped me get rid of my toenail fungus. Apply it morning and night on the affected making sure it penetrates very well. Be patient as it might take some days or weeks.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        I am 25 years old and have had embarrassing toenail fungus since I was about 7. I tried every over-the-counter remedy at the drugstore and prescription topical treatment with no success. I was afraid to try oral prescription meds because of the side effects. I decided to test oil of oregano on one toe only to see the results... After 6 months of applying oil of oregano 2x a day, my big toe is clear for the first time in about 18 years. I will now be trying it on ALL my toes. I can vouch that this works!

      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        2 years ago from New York

        Hi Rose,

        I tried orthotics and they didn't work. I wear those very thick rubber sandals in the house- the ones the sneaker companies make, like Nike or Adidas. It helps the plantar fasciitis a lot. I imagine any of the anti fungal foot powders they sell in the stores would work in your shoes.

        As long as the skin is not broken, you can use oregano oil on you skin, just a drop or two. It comes in a mixture with olive oil or grapeseed oil. It might sting for a couple of minutes, but then it stops. You might want to check with a foot doctor just to be on the safe side. Good luck!

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        I have a fungus problem on my large toes, one is progressing down the top of the nail and I also have some fungus on skin that is somewhat loosening from the nail on the top corner. It is sore when I wear closed shoes. I have plantar faciitis and have been wearing shoes almost all the time with my orthotics. I recently bought slippers so hopefully this will be better now. I had also used coconut oil or castor oil and also tea tree oil, but not consistently. I had read another website where he suggested 3 drops of oregano and 2 drops of tea tree oil together, but then he made another comment about not using the oregano oil on your skin. But the drops will get onto the skin anyway? What would i use on my skin - maybe I should mix some drops with a carrier oil and use that directly on the skin and only the oil directly on the nails. I work from home a lot so I will be wearing the slippers, but how do you clean shoes to keep them free of the fungus - slippers or closed leather shoes - any suggestions on a solution to use on them to clean them? thanks for your help

      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        2 years ago from New York

        Hi Sylvie,

        I rub it into my toenail in the morning before I put socks on. Then I rub it in again about a half hour before bed time. If you stick to this schedule it should clear up in a few weeks. Thanks for stopping by.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        Im going to buy ....1oz Oil of Oregano, Super Strenght 83-85% Carvacol, Pharmaceutical Grade. Wild Oregano From Greek Mountains

        by Teliaoils, its states that I should dilute it with olive or coconut oil before using, I would be grateful if you would clarify how best to use on my infected toe nail. many thanks

      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        3 years ago from New York

        It depends on the strength of the oregano oil. You have to use a high quality brand. The active ingredient carvacrol should be at least 85% for the right potency. Good luck!

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        I heve used oregano oil mix olive oil but dount have hed result. I heve toenail fungus and athlete's foot. What I do?

      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        4 years ago from New York

        Thanks for stopping by Patricia. You are right Oil of Oregano is one of the best natural remedies. :-)

      • profile image

        Patricia Peloquin 

        4 years ago

        Oil of oregano is great for colds, congestion, flu, teeth pain and gum inflammation! I had what I thought was tooth pain and went to the dentist before a trip, who said it was gum inflammation and prescribed antibiotics and they took several days to work. When I came back the pain started again and I didn't want to get more and remembered I had read about oil of oregano and tooth pain. I had the O of O in my frig and rubbed some on my gums--the paint stopped ON CONTACT!! Amazing.

      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        4 years ago from New York

        Ologsinquito thanks for stopping by and thanks for the kudos. My sister is happy, the fungus never returned. You are right - no house should be without Oil of Oregano - it's amazing stuff. :-) I appreciate the great feedback.

      • ologsinquito profile image


        4 years ago from USA

        This is amazing. I love how you have before and after pictures. Every house should have oil of oregano. I'd never want to be without it. Voted up, shared and pinned.

      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        4 years ago from New York

        Hi Alayne,

        I'm sure this will help, and yes it does take some patience, but once it goes away it should stay away. Taking a few drops every day for prevention is also a good idea. If the taste is too much for her, you can order the capsules. Good luck! Thanks for stopping by.

      • Alayne is Writing profile image

        Alayne Merenstein 

        4 years ago from Luling

        Thank you for this information. My elderly mother-in-law has had a toenail fungus and the beginnings of fungus on one of her fingernails. I'm going to get her on this Oil of Oregano treatment. Also thanks for explaining that patience is needed. I would otherwise give up after a couple weeks had I not known that more time is needed.

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        Thanks! Pray for me.. :)

      • macteacher profile imageAUTHOR

        Wendy Golden 

        5 years ago from New York


        I"m a practicing Buddhist, I chant. I"m really hoping between Allah and the Buddha this stuff works for you. I'm going to chant for your success. :-)

      • profile image


        5 years ago

        I'm really impressed to read this..eagerly waiting to use this product!

        I'm getting hope to read your hubs. If Allah wants, by the grace of Allah this oil will help me I think ..


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)