Q. I have a PhD in mycology [study of fungi] and probably picked up my toenail fungus on a research visit to the tropics. I heard a physician on one of your radio shows note that Listerine was used to eliminate the fungus.
Since I understand fungi pretty well, that made sense. I used a less expensive Listerine equivalent and soaked my infected toe for 10 minutes once a day. I did this for only three weeks but within a month my toenail gradually started to grow out healthy.
I have begun this procedure again for a different toenail that is more severely affected. I will probably try to do this daily for six weeks. I can’t believe my doctor wanted me to take a pill with dangerous side effects! I know he doesn’t understand fungi and I do.
A. Old-fashioned amber Listerine contains alcohol and herbal oils that appear to have antifungal activity. Others have reported success with this and other foot treatments (cornmeal, vinegar, peroxide, Vicks VapoRub and oregano oil) for fighting nail fungus. We are sending you our Guide to Hair and Nail Care with details about these and other fungus fighters.
Another reader wrote: “My doctor will not prescribe any pills for fungus. He says they’re too expensive, take too long and have bad side effects. Plus the fungus frequently comes back even with such medicine.
“The treatment that blew me away (and I don’t have a clue why it works, but it does) is the one using cornmeal in tepid water.”