Our Top Recommendation
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme oil contains a powerful antifungal compound called Thymol. You can find Thymol as a main ingredient in vapor rubs, which a study published by the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine have found is effective at treating toenail fungus. Two other studies, in 2007 and 2008, showed that a 1% solution of Thyme oil was able to destroy skin-based fungus in animals within 37 days. Not only is it effective, but it’s also one the more affordable essential oils, which is a big reason it’s our top pick.
Why Use Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus?
If you’ve ever been self conscious of showing your toes because of discolored, thick and brittle toenails… then you came to the right place.
Some essential oils are powerful, natural anti-fungal remedies that will clear up those toenails. If you’re reading this, then you probably know it can be embarrassing to show those toesies in public.
It may be even more embarrassing if you call them “toesies” in public, so.. you probably shouldn’t.
When summer time hits, and flip-flops and open toed shoes are a welcome relief from the heat, the last thing you want is to be stuck in shoes (a.k.a “foot prisons”) – that’s where essential oils for toenail fungus come in.
My experience with using essential oils for toenail fungus first began after trying an over-the-counter anti-fungals with no results.
I was extremely embarrassed with my yellow and cracking toenails. I wouldn’t wear flip-flips to the beach or pool, and it didn’t help that I’d gotten a few comments on how my toenails looks.
After over-the-counter chemicals didn’t help, someone suggested that I try essential oils for my toenails. So, thus began my research into what essential oils had anti-fungal properties, and can they work for toenail fungus?
After much research I’ve compiled this list of anti-fungal and nourishing essential oils for toenail fungus – just follow the application tips and blend recipes and you’ll be ready to show those toes in public.
Pass this information on to a friend you know who is suffering too, and help spread the knowledge!
What Causes Toe Nail Fungus?
Nail fungus is an infection by fungi called dermatophytes, and occasionally yeasts and non-dermtophytes. Generally these fungi thrive in damp, dark places… as most fungi do.
Due to sweat and darkness, this makes shoes the perfect breeding ground for toenail fungus and cause to its commonly recurrence. Preventative measures, which are explained further in this article, will help you from having to revisit these treatments.
There are other reasons for what causes toenail fungus as well, such as:
- Poor circulation
- Weakened immunity
If you weren’t already sure you had toenail fungus, these symptoms are clear symptoms of an infection:
- Thickening of the nail
- Brittle or flaky nails
- Yellow or cloudy white discoloration
- Distortion of shape
Even if you are still unsure if you have a fungal infection, you can use essential oils for toenail fungus prevention – some are even beneficial to general skin and nail health; an added bonus!
Another reason you may have toenail fungus is an imbalance of bad to good bacteria in your gut.
You may, or may not, be surprised at how much our skin, hair, and nail health is directly related too our diet and intestinal health. That’s because a high level of bad bacteria – yeasts and fungi – create toxic by products that we eliminate through our sweat and sebum – the natural oils our skin produces.
That means that much of your skin and nail health relies on your internal health as well.
Two ways to remedy this are:
- a healthy diet
Probiotics will replace the bad bacteria in your body with beneficial bacteria that help balance everything out.
A healthy diet means you’ll want to cut out:
Ok, now I’m sure you’re saying: I can’t cut all of that out of my diet!
It’s hard! I know!
I totally miss coffee, and especially cream in my coffee. But it’s worth it, even if it’s only while you’re trying to remedy an issue, such as toenail fungus.
Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get onto the list of essential oils you’ll want to use to clear up that nail fungus.
List of Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
1. Thieves Oil (Blend)
Thieves essential oil is a blend of 4-5 essential oils usually consisting of
It’s various properties included anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic. it was concocted by a group of grave robbers during an outbreak of the Bubonic plague in the 14th – 15th century. It’s purpose was to allow them to rob the dead while avoiding contracting the deadly plague by preventing infection.
Now it is used for a slew of purposes, including toenail fungus home remedies, thanks to it’s strong anti-fungal ability – You can even mix 5-8 drops with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol, in a spray bottle, for getting rid of toxic mold in your home.
I highly recommend having this oil on hand for its many many purposes, get it here
2. Cinnamon Oil (Cinnamomun verum)
Cinnamon essential oil is another anti-fungal essential oil that works wonders for treating toenail fungus. Cinnamon is rich in the constituent Eugenol, an extremely potent anti-fungal.
For thousands of years, cinnamon has been used to treat digestion issues, and that’s because Eugenol is extremely effective remedy against candida, which can contribute to the growth toenail fungus. So it may also benefit you to make a habit of adding organic ground cinnamon to your meals, or enjoying a delicious cup of cinnamon tea.
3. Ocotea Oil (Ocotea bullata)
Ocotea essential oil is not a widely used essential oil, mostly due to is rarity, but its medicinal effects are vast and powerful – and that includes its effectiveness as an essential oil for toenail fungus. This is thanks to its main constituent – Asaricin – and the addition of Cinnamaldehyde, both being extremely powerful and proven fungicides.
Ocotea isn’t the easiest oil to find but it is well worth the effort for not only its toenail fungus treatment ability, but also for skin inflammation, hair health, and it can even help regulate blood sugar and food cravings
4. Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Tea Tree essential oil (also called Melaleuca) is a favorite among EO users. A lot of beginner essential oil users start with Tea Tree oil – I started my EO knowledge by using Tea Tree oil – and it is one of many “go-to” essential oil for toenail fungus, among many other skin ailments.
It’s benefits are vast, but for the sake of this article it is important to note Tea Tree’s anti-fungal and astringent capabilities as a natural home remedy for toenail fungus.
5. Lemon Oil (Citrus x limon )
Lemon essential oil is an especially strong anti-fungal, and is extremely effective at treating toenail fungus. Citrus derived essential oils are anti-fungal in general, but lemon is especially effective at penetrating the nail bed to fight deep fungal infections. It is a thick viscosity, so it won’t evaporate as quickly as some other EOs and will stay on the affected area longer.
You can find Lemon essential oil here
6. Thyme Oil (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme essential oil is proven to be effective at killing mold and other fungi, and it’s recommended for use as a topical fungicide, including toenail fungus treatment. However, when it comes to purchasing Thyme essential oil, things can get a little confusing…
Thyme essential oil comes in two flavors – red and white. Red Thyme essential oil is a more crude version, and white thyme EO is refined from the red. Phenols are the constituent compound responsible – in this case – for Thymes anti-fungal ability, and they are much higher in the red version, making it a more effective essential oil for toenail fungus, but it may cause irritation because it is harsher on skin. It’s recommended you try White Thyme essential oil, especially if you are a beginner user of essential oils.
If that doesn’t work for you, you can try the stronger Red Thyme essential oil, and you may see better/faster results.
7. Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender essential oil, like tea tree oil, is a go-to essential oil for toenail fungus. This is probably because lavender and tea tree oils are among the most popular essential oils used on the market. In the case of Lavender essential oil, it has been found combat fungal skin infections that are resistant to traditional medicines.
Since you’ll be using lavender for EVERYTHING try this large 30ml bottle
8. Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint essential oil – being anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral – is a triple threat that will clear up most anything that is ailing you. You’ll find that especially true when using it as a home remedy for toenail fungus due to its menthol content, a main constituent to the mint family.
My favorite peppermint oil is this one
9. Oregano Oil (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano essential oil for toenail fungus is one of many uses for this powerful herb and essential oil. Often it is used to combat internal disease due to it’s anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-viral abilities, but it’s also an extremely effective topical anti-fungal. This is an often recommended essential oil for nail fungus and I definitely support that recommendation.
Begin your fungus free lifestyle by trying out this brand of Oregano EO
10. Clove Oil (Syzygium aromaticum)
Clove essential oil, like cinnamon essential oil, has high levels of Euganol. So, as you already know from the cinnamon listing, this is a powerful anti-fungal. Either one of these is interchangeable, and really depends on your preference. Traditionally, clove essential oils has been used to treat a myriad of fungal issues, from athelete’s foot to jock itch, so it should come as no surprise that its a great essential oil for toenail fungus as well.
Also, like cinnamon, you can add organic powdered clove, or organic whole cloves to your meals to help balance intestinal yeast and bacteria – which will, in turn, support healthier nail, skin and hair growth.
11. Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
Eucalyptus essential oil is a powerful antifungal. You can find it over the counter medications like throat lozenges and antifungal ointments.
Eucalyptus oil is especially effective against nail fungus because it’s basically a three wave attack. It’s a strong antiseptic, which sterilizes and prevents the growth of fungus and bacteria. it attacks and kills fungi and bacteria that are already present. Last, but not least, Eucalyptus stimulates the immune system, including the circulatory system, helping to rid fungus beyond where this oil is applied.
Older people are more likely to suffer from nail fungus. However, eucalyptus oil helps counter that by stimulating more blood flow to those areas, helping the body to more effectively fight off the infection.
How to Apply Essential Oils to Toenails
Single Oil Topical Application
There are two methods for applying a single oil topically. The first is using a dab of pure essential oil, called neat application, but for many oils this is too potent and my cause mild to severe irritation. The second application method is to use a carrier oil. These are mostly inert or supportive oils that you can mix with your essential oil to dilute it for a more practical application regiment.
Quality carrier oils include:
- Jojoba Oil
- Grape Seed Oil
- Almond Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Peach Kernel Oil
- Apricot Kernel Oil
When using a carrier oil, for single or blended applications of essential oils for toenail fungus, I recommend using coconut oil.
- Coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids that work as natural fungicides.
- Contains lauric acid and caprylic acid – two very effective fungicides.
- Contains additional nutrients for skin health to prevent fungal infections.
- Moisturizes, making nails softer and shinier.
When mixing together your carrier oil and your essential oil the recommended dilution ratio is 12 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of carrier oil.
Essential oils for toenail fungus can take between a few weeks to a few months to fully cure your condition, depending on the severity of your fungal infection and the effectiveness of your essential oil(s) as a fungicide.
- Apply a few drops of essential oil to a organic cotton swab or organic cotton ball
- Wipe nails and cuticles thoroughly with swab/ball
- Re-apply oil/use a new cotton swab or ball as necessary
- repeat 2-3 times daily, results in 1 -2 months
Note: if you don’t see results within 2 months then see a doctor to determine a proper solution to your condition.
Essential Oil Blend Recipes for Toenail Fungus
Combine essential oils in a 2 oz. dropper bottle and fill to the top with a carrier oil. Apply twice daily. May take up to 6 weeks for results, depending on the severity of your condition.
Foot Bath Instructions and Blend Recipe:
You can make a foot bath for toenail fungus treatment and prevention. Try it daily or whenever you feel like a refreshing foot cleanse.
- 3 tablespoons epsom salt
- 10 drops Ocotea EO
- 10 drops Tea Tree EO
- 5 drops Peppermint EO
Add epsom salt and essential oils to luke-warm water in your foot soaking tub, and soak for about 20 minutes at a time.
How To Prevent Toenail Fungus
- Good Hygiene – Washing your hands and feet with soapy water will wash away fungus before it can become a problem, especially when touching an already infected nail – toenail fungus can be transmitted from nail to nail.
- Proper Nail Care – Trim your nails straight across, keepcuticles clean, and hangnails to a minimum.
- Wear Absorbent Socks – Wear clean socks made of wool, nylon or polypropylene to wick away moisture.
- Shoes That Breathe – If moisture and sweating is a problem, make sure to wear shoes that air can flow through, and avoid shoes that are too tight.
- Throw Away Old Shoes – Old shoes, especially ones you wore during a fungal infection, may harbor fungi and could cause a reinfection. You can try an anti-fungal treatment with essential oils or powders.
- Public Places – Avoid going barefoot in public places. Wear sandals or flip-flops when at the pool, showers, etc.
- Beware of Nail Salons – Many nail salons are great and reputable! However, horror stories about infections from nail salons are plentiful.
- Go Natural – Fake nails and nail polish can damage the cuticles and even trap moisture against the nail, creating an ideal place for fungus to breed.