The People's Perspective on Medicine

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.

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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I daily put a half teaspoon of corn starch inside my socks near the toes. That has cleared up my toe nail fungus. The toes and nails look white when you take off your socks at the end of day. But the whiteness disappears when you shower. The treatment is quick and easy to do.

Oil of oregano and tea tree oil do work. But it takes time. A few applications for a short time period will not work. I have applied twice daily until nail is completely grown out and healthy. It’s worth it to take the time as there are no outlandish side effects!

I tried oregano oil but all it did was burn. I tried several OTC fungus nail treatments but none worked. I even had a prescription from the doctor that led to moderate clearance but it came back as soon as I stopped. The only thing that has helped is regular iodine in the little bottle from the drugstore. Even with forgetting to apply it sometimes, it still cleared up my nails. Beware, your nails will be stained and ugly during the process. The end result was worth it.

Some people have found colorless iodine (“white” iodine) does the job without staining.

I use Fungal Nail Relief and it has helped. It has a small brush like nail polish. I use it every day to keep things at bay. It has Camphor, Thymol, Menthol, Eucalyptus and alcohol. It’s expensive, so I may try some of these other oils.

A couple of years ago I was prescribed a 90 day oral Terbinafine (250 mg) treatment for deep cracks in my heel caused by foot fungus. The podiatrist also commented that I might have a marked improvement in the toenail/fingernail fungus condition I have had for several decades for which I tried many topical and prescribed medicines to no avail. I was ecstatic to see both conditions improve dramatically over the next few months! The heel cracks never returned and the fingernails and most of the toenails are now looking terrific! Yay!

can you take Armour thyroid over the age of 65? What does it do to you after that age??

The information on using Castor Oil to clear up toe nail fungus was intriguing; however, left a lot of questions:
1) how often is the Castor oil applied?
2) how much and how is it applied – e.g. swabbed on, toes submersed in solution, etc?
3) are the toes left uncovered until the oil dries or are clean socks put on directly over the liquid once it’s applied?
4) about how many months does it take for the cure to work?
5) how many times a day is the oil applied?
any other information describing the process would be appreciated

I had a fungus under one of my nails. Then one day I decided I started to use the hand disinfectant wash that had Aloe in it. It worked but I had to make certain the wash got under my nails each time I used it.

I also used Castor oil on toenail fungus. I actually started with tea tree oil & CBD oil rubbed on the nail, then wrapped a bandaid around the toe and left overnight. I also applied after showers & baths. A few months in this (and there was improvement), I heard about castor oil, so I started doing castor & tea tree. It’s about 2 years later and the fungus is gone, although the end of the nail shreds a bit.

I am using lemon juice now and can see improvement.

Tea tree oil has worked well for me. I drop in the morning and a drop at night on the toe.

I had tried everything for my toenail fungus. But the one thing that finally worked was tea tree oil. I applied it every morning and at night and in a few weeks started noticing a change in my nails. After a few months, I no longer had thick ugly nails.

On the bottle of Tea Tree Oil it says not to use directly on skin. Do you dilute it in some way or apply it directly to the nail? Twice a day?

Could you explain in more detail how to use urine for toenail fungus? When others have said to use in the shower,does that mean to rinse it off right away or simply to wash it down the drain quickly? Should it be used as a soak to be more effective and if so for how long and how ofte

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