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Have You Tried Castor Oil to Clear Nail Fungus?

Readers report success using castor oil to clear nail fungus. Thyme oil and oregano oil may also be active against toenail pathogens.
Have You Tried Castor Oil to Clear Nail Fungus?

Toenail fungus can be very tough to treat. Even with prescription medications, you have to have a lot of patience. Toenails grow slowly, as you may have noticed, and you need to keep treating the fungus until the nails have grown out completely healthy and clear. However, home remedies are definitely worth considering. Some readers would recommend castor oil to clear nail fungus.

Will Castor Oil Clear Nail Fungus?

Q. I read about using castor oil to clear nail fungus in your newsletter. Since I’ve had toenail fungus for years despite trying lots of remedies, I started applying castor oil every day.

I’m delighted to report that both nails are now clear of fungus and growing out healthy. Please let other readers know, as this is the first remedy that has worked.

A. We are glad that castor oil worked for you. The reader who first shared this approach applied castor oil to his toenails after showering. It takes time to overcome toenail fungus because toenails grow slowly. Even prescription medicines require many months to produce results.

What Is the Science Behind Castor Oil to Clear Nail Fungus?

There is some science to support the antifungal activity of castor oil (Reddy et al, Food Chemistry, Oct. 15, 2012).  Thyme oil also has antifungal activity (Assiri et al, Journal of Oleo Science, vol. 65, no. 8, 2016). Perhaps it would make sense to add some thyme oil to your castor oil, or use them on alternate days. Thyme is not the only spice with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Clove, oregano, cinnamon and cumin do too (Liu et al, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, June 16, 2017). That might explain why some visitors have reported that oregano oil has been helpful for clearing up nail fungus.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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