The use of garlic for treating fungal infections is a folk remedy, and it is often the only effective treatment for fungus trapped in hard to reach areas, such as under the nail bed. James Duke, author of "Dr. Duke's Essential Herbs 13 Vital Herbs You Need to Disease-Proof Your Body, Boost Your Energy, Lengthen Your Life," says that doctors are often unable to treat fungus of the nails successfully because typical treatments cannot penetrate the nail bed to reach the affected area. Garlic is a natural antifungal, and you can use it on any area affected by fungus.
Apply warm moist heat the area affected by fungus. This opens the pores and attracts fungus to the surface. Fungus thrives in warm, moist areas. The compress attracts the fungus to the surface of the skin so treatment is more potent and effective.
Apply one clove of mashed garlic in the center of a piece of cotton gauze. For the big toe area, use a 4-by-4 piece of gauze. For smaller toes, use a smaller piece.
Cover the piece of gauze with another piece of gauze of equal size. The two pieces of gauze will sandwich the garlic clove.
Tape the open sides of the gauze closed with first aid tape. Then affix the gauze to the toe or affected area.
Remove the dressing every three to five hours and replace with a clean dressing. Do not reuse the garlic clove for a new dressing. Use only freshly mashed garlic for each dressing.
Eat one clove of fresh garlic a day to trap the fungus, so you can kill it from the inside and outside. While a garlic clove against fungus may be enough to get rid of the infection, eating garlic gives the treatment more potency. By taking garlic internally and applying it externally, you can get rid of the fungus by making it difficult for it to survive and spread, according to Gayle Alleman, author of "The Healing Power of Garlic, Vinegar, & Olive Oil."