How to Treat Fungal Nail Infections Naturally

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Let’s face it, nail fungus probably isn’t one of the nicest health topics to talk about but it is certainly one which affects a lot of people. The condition is caused by micro-organisms called Dermatophytes. It lives on the nail bed and eats the keratin which is the protein in your nail. Normally it will start at the end of the nail and work its way down to the base if left untreated. The end result is a nail which is thick and deformed and in some cases can affect the surrounding skin. Typically the big toe is affect first, spreading to the other toes later.

What Causes Fungal Nail Infection?

  • Dermatophytes love warm and moist conditions such as sweaty socks and shoes. Buy cotton socks instead of nylon and used an anti-fugal powder if you suffer from sweaty feet.
  • Sometimes the fungus can infect the nail via the skin. This can happen due to an ingrown toe nail or damage to the nail.
  • If you have circulation problems, diabetes or HIV you have an increased chance of infection.
  • If you suffer from athlete’s foot make sure you treat it quickly to prevent it turning into a fungal nail infection.

Treatment of Fugal Nail Infection

First of all before deciding what treatment to go for, please understand that it can take at least 3 months for the problem to go away. It can take 18 months for a nail to replace itself so this is not going to be a quick fix.

  1. Tea TreeTea Tree is a wonderfully potent natural antibacterial essential oil. Simply apply a few drops to the affected area a few times per day.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide – Either apply Hydrogen Peroxideto your nail with some cotton wool and allow to dry or soak in a mixture of 50% HP and 50% water.
  3. Vinegar – soak your feet daily in 50% vinegar, 50% water. Soak your feet for at least half an hour and it’s recommended you do this three times per day. There is a surprisingly large selection of vinegars available including wine vinegar and coconut vinegar. You can use any of them but generally it is Apple Cider or white vinegar which is used for nail infections. The reason vinegar works is because it is acidic and fungi don’t like acid conditions.
  4. Saprox Saprox is a natural mud which is high in sulphur. Apply liberally to the toe and allow it to dry in. It is suggested that combining with another treatment will help speed up results.
  5. There are a number of other natural treatments to try including: Vitamin E Oil, Oregano Oil, Thyme Oil and Essential Oil Cinnamon Leaf.

If you are bothered by fungal nail infection it is definitely worth trying natural remedies first. Although there are a number of prescription drugs you can take they are not always effective and can be harsh on the liver. If you are at all unsure please always consult with a doctor or chiropractor.



  1. John says:

    Hello, I am embarrased to say that I have nail fungus on most all my toe nails; and have had them most of my life. I have tried many remedies and nothing is working in good time. I Don’t want to take medication, because it causes liver problems. do you have any suggestions?

  2. Good advice. I am a naturopath in New Zealand and I have (as well as some of my clients) used apple cider vinegar (undiluted) immediately after my early morning shower (I keep a Tupperware container with the vinegar in the shower for that purpose) and every other day put a drop of tincture of iodine (the brown stuff used for desinfecting small wounds and scratches) on the nail. It will take a couple of month to completely eradicate the fungus as toe nails grow very slowly.
    Iodine is used by the body and unless there are thyroid problems iodine is safe to use.
    I found Tea tree oil is too harsh on your skin and gives irritation.
    The cider vinegar also acidifies the skin and prevents athletes foot to develop. Note that soap residues promote fungal growth.
    Regards Peter Riddering

  3. April says:

    John, how long did you try the remedies? It seems you really need to give it at least a few months to work.

    My mum had fungal nail infection for many years and took prescribed medication. It took a good few months to work.

    Whether you try vinegar, tea tree oil or prescribed pills you need to give it time to work. Persistence is the key.

    Also have a read at Peter’s comment for more tips which look good.

  4. Xstamper says:

    Vinegar is like magic! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Juan says:

    Hi there.
    Very educational and helpful blog.
    One question. I have read about successful home remedies such as Vicks Vaporub, reported even by the famous MAYO CLINIC. Do you have any experience in this way?

  6. Mark Larman says:

    I have what I would consider to be sever fungal nail infection on all of my toe nailes. The other night I was in the bath an say a bit longer. All my toe nailes ended up extremely soft. I took the opertunity to cut them down. Will natural remedies work for me? I tried the medication in the past but it didn’t work well enough. I had to stop after 3 months because and the side effects. I don’t think I can use it again as I have heart problems

  7. April says:

    Natural remedies can often work but it’s important not to expect overnight results.

  8. Amy says:

    It has taken me months but I think I have finally gotten rid of my fungal infection. I learned that I had the infection last winter and immediately started to take prescription medicine. During the 3 months that I was on the pills, I thought it was getting better because I never felt the tingling or itchy sensation. However, as soon as I stopped taking them, the sensation was back and the infection spread. I decided to look at natural/at-home remedies. I’ve used just about all of them: TeaTree oil, vinegar, Vicks, even Clorox. I took the extreme measure of cutting my nails down and removing the infected nail. Though I was did not consistently use a specific product, I was consistent in dealing with the infection on a daily basis. If I stopped for even a day, I would feel symptoms and visibly see the spreading infection. I also stopped wearing certain shoes that I have had for a long time or sneakers that I used. When wearing any close-toe shoes, I applied a dressing of tea tree oil and vicks (and taped this to the infected toenail) prior to wearing the shoes. I also rubbed in tea tree oil or sprayed vinegar inside some of my shoes and let them dry out. I did foot soaks with vinegar, (I originally did them with clorox and water but it was too abrasive and made me dizzy so I switched). At night I would apply a cotton ball soaked in vinegar and tea tree oil and then tape it to my toenail before going to sleep. I didn’t do that every night because that proved too abrasive (though very effective) so on other nights I just used vicks or shea butter. When I get out of the shower, I always spray my toes with vinegar, and dry them them. I never walk around barefoot anymore. In the end, my toes look a little worse for wear. My skin has started to peel around my toes but my nails look very healthy. I am less zealous about the foot soaks, and I am more careful to apply products like shea butter to soften the skin. I am sure come summer time that I will have beautiful toes once again! I almost forgot to mention, swimming helps a lot too! The chlorine or sea water was really helpful in treating the infection.