Q. I remember reading in one of your columns that soaking your toes in corn meal will get rid of toenail fungus. I have very bad toe fungus from years of competitive tennis and I would love to get rid of it.
My toenails are ugly. I tried taking Lamisil but had a bad reaction to it, so I stopped. Could you please tell me how to use the corn meal? Melanie, in Long Beach, CA.
A. We have heard from many visitors to this website that cornmeal is surprisingly effective against nail fungus. Since this is a home remedy there are no clear cut instructions. Some people suggest adding one part cornmeal to two parts warm water in a foot bath. Soak your tootsies (or fingernails) for roughly half an hour. Some say to do this once a week for a couple of months. Others say to soak nails every other day for a month.
We will share some stories from readers and let you give it a go based on your own schedule. We would love to hear back from you about how well it works.
“I had a mild, annoying case of toenail fungus and read about using cornmeal to treat it. I mixed a cup of whole-grain cornmeal in very warm water and soaked my toes for about a half hour. I did that for a month or so, and, lo and behold, some months later the fungus started to disappear.
“I’d had that fungus for many years, so it wasn’t any lifestyle change that caused it to go away. There must be something in the cornmeal grain that attacks the fungus.”
“As a child I lived on a ranch in Oklahoma and went barefooted most of the time except for school. Needless to say, I had tonenail fungus.
“The doctor tool my toenail off and scraped the fungus off with me screaming. This was repeated well into my 50s. Then I head about cornmeal. I immediately got some plain old yellow cornmeal from the grocery store. You know the kind that you make cornbread with. I put ¼ cup of it in lukewarm water since cold water puts it to sleep and hot water kills it.
“I soaked my feet 30 minutes twice a week and by the third week my nails were already on the road to healthy. I now go for years without having to use the ‘cure’ but at the first signs of fungus I do not hesitate to grab my yellow cornmeal.”
“The real cure for nail fungus IS the cornmeal.
“The reason being?: Cornmeal has a natural fungus in it that is ravenous for toenail fungus, with no interest whatsoever in the keratin of the nail.
“You put some cornmeal in your palm and add water, then apply it on an infected nail.
Let it soak for 1 hour for 10 days.
“My experience: I felt something happening after about 30 minutes. After 3 days of the program, the bent-up nails relaxed and became normal in shape. By the tenth day, there was a slight blackening in places, with clear new nail material growing-in. The nail then crumbled right off where it was blackened. The exposed nail bed was not sensitive. In about two months I will have brand new normal nails.
“This is the real deal, and it’s understandable why. The cornmeal fungus is as ravenous for toenail fungus as a seal is for fish.”
Anyone who would like to know more about getting rid of nail fungus with other remedies may find our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, useful. (Take advantage of our special offer and get a copy of Recipes and Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy for 50% discount!)
The 264-page Quick & Handy book provides details on Listerine and vinegar soaks, Vicks VapoRub, dandruff shampoo, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, tea tree oil or urine soaks. You can also find hundreds of other home remedies for a variety of ailments in our Home Remedy Library on this website.