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Is Urine a Good Remedy for Toenail Fungus?

One reader discovered that soaking the affected toes in urine was an easy and effective remedy for toenail fungus.

Experimenting with a military recommendation for preventing athlete’s foot led one reader to conclude that it is also an effective remedy for toenail fungus. Still, it is a bit controversial, probably because of the ick factor. Should you pee on your feet to get rid of fungus?

Finding a Remedy for Toenail Fungus:

Q. As a kid and into adulthood, I was susceptible to athlete’s foot. I finally got rid of it with advice from a WWII vet I knew. He said that in the Navy, the men were advised to pee on their feet while showering.

I did this off and on for a few months and haven’t had a recurrence of athlete’s foot since then. (It’s been about 30 years.) However, within the past few years I contracted the dreaded toenail fungus.

I went back to the old Navy advice, but am doing it one better. I save up about a liter of urine and pour it into a plastic container that is the right size. While showering, I simply soak one foot and then the other while shampooing and washing my body. Then I wash my feet. The nail fungus cleared up in weeks, but I still do the treatment about once a week just to make sure it doesn’t come back.

Urine as a Remedy for Toenail Fungus:

A. You are not the first person to try out this bit of military lore. Urine contains urea, which is used at high concentrations to remove fungus-infected toenails (Dermatology, online, May, 2013).  The concentration of urea in urine is far weaker, but we have heard similar stories from other readers. People shouldn’t expect it to work so quickly, though. It may take months of foot soaks to get rid of nail fungus.

You can read more about this and many other tried and true treatments in our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies. It may be purchased from

  • Graedon Enterprises;
  • Dept. QHHR;
  • PO Box 52027;
  • Durham, NC 27717-2027

for $16.95 + $3 shipping and handling.

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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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