It makes your toenails smelly, discolored and brittle, sometimes making them peel off a bit. In a lot of cases, it could even hurt. Don’t wait until toe nail fungus gets so annoyingly itchy and painful that you can’t even walk to your kitchen.

Overgrowth of fungi in the body--possibly made worse by moist, warm environments or a prior nail injury--is the primary cause of toe nail fungus. It’s best to seek a health professional’s advice when you think your symptoms are worse than usual. But for the meantime, you might as well try some natural remedies that have antifungal properties.

Common household items

You may not know it, but those few painful strides to your kitchen might be worth it. That’s because some of the most potent natural remedies for toe nail fungus are actually common household items. These can either relieve the pain temporarily, or even kill fungi, thanks to their antifungal effects.

Some household items you can try are:

Vinegar. Many people suffering from toe nail fungus have experienced relief through a vinegar foot soak. That’s because the acidity of the vinegar balances the pH levels of the skin, making it a hostile environment for fungi to multiply. Simply combine one part water with one part vinegar. Then, soak the infected toe for 30 minutes every day.

Garlic. Allicin and ajoene, natural compounds both found in garlic, are potent antifungals. This makes garlic an effective, natural treatment for toe nail fungus. You can use either crushed garlic or garlic oil. Mix it with vinegar and apply it on the infected toe nail. Seal in the treatment by covering with a bandage, and leave it on for two hours. For best results, do this every day.

Cornmeal. They say you can’t fight fire with fire, but you can fight fungus with fungus, which can be found in cornmeal. Fungi found in cornmeal can indeed kill the kind that causes toe nail infections. Create a killer cornmeal soak by mixing one cup of cornmeal with two cups of water. Leave it for an hour before soaking the infected area for 30 minutes or more.

Coconut oil. Aside from having many health benefits, coconut oil is also an effective antifungal treatment. Simply apply a small amount directly to the infected area. Make sure to melt it first on your fingertips if it’s still solid.

Ozonized oils. Olive oil and sunflower oil “injected” with ozone gas can kill infection-causing fungi. According to a study, sunflower oil is even more effective than Ketoconazole, a common prescription antifungal treatment. Apply any of these directly on the infected area twice a day.

Baking soda. Another potent antifungal, baking soda is specifically effective against the kind that causes toe nail fungus. Mix baking soda and water to make a paste, and apply it to the infected toenail. You can also use it as a foot soak, by mixing it with a basin of water.

Essential oils and extracts

These natural oils contain antifungal--as well as antiseptic and antibacterial--properties. You might have even used these to treat other skin conditions. Here are some essential oils you can use to treat toe nail fungus:

Snakeroot extract. The extract from the plant Ageratina pichinchensis or snakeroot was found to be 71.1 percent effective as a toe nail fungus treatment. This potent antifungal is also a common ingredient in natural toe nail fungus formulations.

Tea tree oil. This prevents the growth of fungi that cause toe nail infections. Apply it twice a day, and it can get rid of the infection as effectively as cotrimazole, another common prescription medication.

Oregano oil. This is a potent antifungal and antibacterial that works even better when combined with tea tree oil. Because this is a pretty potent antifungal combo, it may cause an allergic reaction or irritation in some cases. Before using this treatment, try testing it first on an uninfected area and check for reactions.

Lavender oil. Use this natural antiseptic to prevent skin irritation. Apply it directly to the affected area, then rinse it off after 10 to 20 minutes.

Olive leaf extract. Oleuropein, found in olive leaf extract is an effective antifungal and antimicrobial treatment. It also helps boost the immune system. This may be applied directly on and around the toenail, or taken orally in capsule form.

Menthol and eucalyptus oil. Aside from providing temporary relief from itching while neutralizing foul odors, many people swear by the effectivity of these oils against toe nail fungus.

Author's Bio: 

This website was created to help the over 35 million people suffering from finger and toenail fungus. For most, nail fungus is an uncomfortable subject to talk about. If you have the condition you know how painfully embarrassing it can be – distorting your nails from clear and smooth to dark, yellow, black, and misshapen. This website is committed to creating and aggregating useful, honest information on how to address this condition. We are here to help.