Researchers have been studying the effects of the herb, thyme, on curing toenail fungus�a condition that, while not normally harmful, affects about 15% of Americans. The over the counter medications for eliminating nail fungus are plagued with drawbacks. They're expensive, don't have great results, and have a whole slew of side effects. Here's what The New York Times had to say about the research surrounding the use of herbal remedies such as Thyme instead:
In one study, scientists tested the antifungal effects of the ingredients in a generic medicated chest rub. Of the seven ingredients, thymol was among the most effective at inhibiting the growth of dermatophytes that cause nail fungus. Other studies in animals have also shown thymol oil to be effective against dermatophytes. And studies have also shown that thymol oil destroys another cause of nail fungus, Candida, by disrupting its cell membranes and metabolism.
You can purchase Thyme oil at health/natural food stores, or if you want to take the VapoRub route (the cream contains Thymol, a thyme derivative) instead.
Toenail fungus usually gains entry to the toenail bed when there has been an injury to the nail, such as a crack or a split. Once the fungus has entered, the warm, dark environment that it finds in the shoes and socks encourages it to grow and spread. According to the Foot Health Network, the standard treatment for toenail fungus involves prescription medication or partial to full nail removal. Many people want to avoid harsh medications and painful treatment and are turning to a remedy for toenail fungus you may not suspect: Vicks VapoRub.
1. Vicks VapoRub
It seems as though Vicks VapoRub has been a cure for almost everything, from coughs to chest congestion to stuffy noses. Now Vicks is emerging as a cure for nail fungus. What may have started as an accidental home remedy now has a medical study to back it up. Researchers at Michigan State University studied the effects of Meijer medicated chest rub on toenail fungus and found the ratio of camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol to be effective in treating the fungus. While the brand was Meijer, it has the exact same ratio of ingredients that Vicks VapoRub has, which explains why people are having so much success with Vicks.
2. Cover coated nail with adhesive bandage
To treat toenail fungus with Vicks VapoRub, clean and trim your toenails. Wash them well and make sure they are completely dry. Coat the toenail with the Vicks, and be sure to get the gel deep into the sides of the nail and as far underneath as possible. If you have any cracks in your nail, rub deeply into them. Once the nail is covered, then wrap a light gauze bandage or adhesive bandage around the nail to protect the Vicks from rubbing off on to socks or something else. Leave it on and let the gel absorb into the nail. Repeat daily. The time it takes to notice results can be anywhere from 10 days to six weeks, depending upon how deep your fungus is.
Mabye, but any treatment is going to take a long time
I was a pharmacy tech for over five years. I worked with people and saw several customers who swore that they have used this technique and that it works. I have never tested it myself, but I have a few comments:
1. Commercial Nail Fungus Products are expensive, and vaporub is WAY cheaper. (including prescription, but you're going to need great insurance)
2. Anything that is going to cure nail fungus is going to take a very long time to work, even the best or most expensive methods. The fungus has already gotten into the nail, and it is going to have to grow out before you see any benefits.
I stubbed my right big toe last year, and the nail finally turned black and fell off. It's been growing out with a strange texture for months and months. It finally started coming in normal, but of course the distal end of the nail still shows the weird texture of the old nail.
This has taken almost a YEAR, so anything that you're doing to nail fungus isn't really going to show up until the nail grows out. You can't just use xxxxx product and expect that it will be looking better in two weeks. It will likely take months to see any change.
Just something to keep in mind before either dismissing it as "not working" or saying that you've tried "everything" and they "don't work" because you've only used the products for a week.
I wanted to mention a few remedies I haven't seen on this thread.
First, oftentimes nail fungus is an outward manifesting symptom of candidiasis (overpopulation of candida albicans). Candidiasis is very common, a product of rampant overuse of prescription drugs, particularly antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off all bacteria in the gut, the beneficial intestinal microflora included, and this encourages candida to overpopulate. Once candida gets overpopulated, it goes systemic (throughout your body) and behaves like a fungus.
From there, the candida roots itself into the gut lining and/or vascular linings. This forms myriad holes in the gut and bloodstream and further perpetuates the systemic spread of the candida. This can cause leaky gut syndrome and many other gut problems.
Ways to tell if you may have candidiasis are intense sugar cravings, consistent foggy-headedness, white coating on tongue, itchiness in warm and moist parts of your body (jock itch or athletes foot), recurring yeast infection, belly bloat, and constipation. If you have some or all of these symptoms, it is a good likelihood you have candidiasis.
Improvements to diet are usually necessary to rebalance. Massive reduction of refined carbohydrates and refined sugar are the most important steps. I can't stress this enough. American agricultural practices store grains in huge silos and vats. This is a total fungus factory. Bugs, fungus, mold, and rodent feces are present in huge quantities in most commodity crops. It doesn't take a degree to figure out that is a recipe for ill health. Refined sugar is pretty much poisonous. I would greatly encourage everyone to massively reduce their intake of refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Refined grains and refined sugars greatly increase blood sugar which feeds the fungus.
At the same time you reduce your consumption of refined grains and refined sugars, start eating more high fiber vegetables, cultured foods, and taking a high potency (10 billion organisms or more) probiotic. The fiber will help to flush dead and dying candida from the gut while the probiotics will rebalance the dysbiosis (imbalance of beneficial flora to non-beneficial flora). Plan on making these dietary changes permanent. Otherwise, the candida will come back. You should also plan on taking the probiotic for at least 3-6 months.
I would also encourage you to consume herbs known to reduce candida. Some of my favorite choices are garlic, pau d'arco, and olive leaf. These anti-fungal herbs will help to actively lower the levels of candida while the probiotics and cultured foods (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kim-chi, natto, miso) increase the beneficial flora. Follow the recommended directions on the product. As always, make sure to get a high quality version of the herbs. Kyolic, New Chapter, and Natural Factors make good garlic, Gaia herbs and Herb Pharm make great pau d'arco, and Seagate and Blue Bonnet make good olive leaf.
If you go with the garlic option, you can also eat fresh garlic. It tastes incredibly strong, but the allicin content in raw garlic is powerful at reducing fungus levels in your body. Roasted garlic tastes better but isn't very potent for fungus.
An alternative to the herbal approach to lowering candida levels is an enzyme-based approach. This would involve taking a product like Candidase from Enzymedica or Candex from Pure Essence Labs. Both are fantastic for quick (although a bit more expensive in the short term), comprehensive results.
For additional benefit, apply a good quality tea tree oil or need seed oil to the nail bed. After doing so, cover the area with a sock. The warmth will increase the absorption into the skin and nail bed and it will also slow the evaporation. Tea tree oil drys really quickly if left exposed. It'll still work but it will take more frequent application. Plan on applying the tea tree oil or neem seed oil at least twice a day. Apply with a cotton swab, like a Q-tip, first thing in the morning and last at night. Plan on doing this for 3-6 months. You may get good results sooner, but it is safer to plan for the long haul.
I hope this information helps. Thanks to everybody for sharing their thoughts. I hope you have a pleasant day.
How exactlly do you get nail fungus, Ive never had anything like that. Is it an infection, I dont understand.
Dermatophytes would probably be the fungi most responsible for someone contracting a nail fungus. Mold and yeast would run second place.
The way you generally pick up the 'infection' is if your toenails are exposed often to moisture and warmth. The microscopic organisms responsible for infecting you are found in showers, hot tubs, saunas, anywhere it's moist....pools, your shoes/sneakers. They enter your skin through a variety of ways. Between your nail and nail bed, if there's a separation. Small cuts or abrasions.
The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
The following user thanked Cookie for the above post:
Thanks Cookie, Ive seen commercials for nail fungus cream and stuf. I was always like, "How in the heck to do you get something like that?" LoL Well I guess I wont be using the sauna anytime soon! ;-P Oh and JHF...if I ever put Vicks Vapor rub on for jock itch just have the mental health department put me away in the padded cell. LoL
LOL! Yep, it's definitely a topic that would make most people scrunch up one side of their nose and go 'what the heck'?!
We have to attend monthly manditory inservice meetings (subacute & rehab center) and many topics are in regards to infection control. I'll tell ya, never in my wildest imagination did I think there were so many ways germs could enter the body! I work in the beauty shop and if my hands are chapped, I risk the chance of contracting something through microscopic cracks in my skin if I don't glove up.
The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
Use of antibiotics will set you up for a nail fungal infection or a fungal infection under the nail.
I always question when it is said that a white tongue is candida. Many many people have whitish tongues, coated to be quite white and sometimes thick in for some of them. A candida infection on the tongue will be patchy and can be pulled off in chunks with bleeding underneath. It is also painful and there can be difficulty in eating due to pain. It will respond to nystatin given as a swish and swallow treatment. Just a plain white tongue without all the other signs and symptoms will not change at all with nystatin, most likely because it is not a fungal infection. I have seen white tongue misdiagnosed and treated all too often by those who don't really know what a candida tongue looks like.
I think a white tongue can be signs of other things like digestive disorder.
__________________ "The nurse should be cheerful, orderly, punctual, patient, full of faith, - receptive to Truth and Love" Mary Baker Eddy