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Herbs for Toenail Fungus

author image Tara Carson
Based in Richmond, Va., Tara Carson has written articles for editorial and corporate online and print publications for more than 10 years. She has experience as an adjunct professor of nutrition at Northwest Christian University and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and nutrition from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Herbs for Toenail Fungus
Garlic cloves on a wooden table. Photo Credit: TiSanti/iStock/Getty Images

A fungal infection of the toenail is also known ringworm, and is characterized by a yellow, deformed and thickened nail. The infection is fairly common and primarily affects adolescents and adults. During a medical examination, to diagnose toenail fungus, a physician would likely order a microbial culture to accurately determine the diagnosis. The disorder can be treated topically with antifungal herbs that have been shown to treat symptoms effectively, according to website Get a medical opinion regarding the use of topical antifungal herbs prior to using them to treat the disorder.

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Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a powerful antifungal herb that treats a variety of infections including toenail fungus, according to Tea tree oil can also bolster the body's immune system, which can help fight fungal infections and prevent their recurrence. The oil can be applied to the nail externally and should be diluted with a gentler medium, such as almond oil, for toenail fungus sufferers with sensitive skin.

Clove Oil

The clove tree grows indigenously in tropical area including the Spice Islands, the Philippines and India. Traditionally, clove oil has long been used to treat ringworm, as well as other fungal infections. For temporary relief of toenail fungus, dip a cotton swab in clove oil and apply it to the affected nail and surrounding skin, according to Discontinue use if signs of irritation appear.


Fresh garlic contains allicin, which reportedly has antifungal properties that fight against ringworm infections, including toenail fungus. Some reports have shown that garlic may help treat fungal skin conditions, such as Tinea cruris and Tinea corporis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. To treat a toenail fungal infection, it is recommended that an oil or salve made from garlic essential oil is applied topically to the site of infection. Repeated applications are necessary to prevent recurrence. Discontinue use if skin irritation results.

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