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Vicks VapoRub Fights Nail Fungus

Q. After reading about toenail fungus, I could not resist passing along my recommendation. Four months ago a nurse who does foot care suggested I use Vicks VapoRub for my own nail fungus. I rub it on each nail every day, and my nails are growing out clear. The treatment is cheap and easy. I’m sure many households keep Vicks on hand for congestion just as we do.

A. This is not the first time we have heard about using Vicks VapoRub on nails infected with fungus. Several years ago a professional foot care nurse told us that this old-fashioned herbal ointment might be helpful.

The ingredients in Vicks VapoRub include camphor, menthol, eucalyptus oil, cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol and turpentine oil. Some of these ingredients have antifungal activity.

Over the years we have suggested this as one possible approach for getting rid of nail fungus. Many health professionals have scoffed that such an old-fashioned remedy could do anything against entrenched fungus in the nail bed.

There is now research to support this remedy, though. The U.S. Air Force 375th Medical Group published a study titled “Novel Treatment of Onychomycosis [nail fungus] Using Over-the-Counter Mentholated Ointment: A Clinical Case Series” in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. The bottom line according to these researchers, “Vicks VapoRub seems to have a positive clinical effect in the treatment onychomycosis.”

If you would like to learn more about how to use Vicks against nail fungus you may find two of our guides of interest, Unique Uses for Vicks and Hair and Nail Care. You will be amused and amazed to find out about the versatile Vicks and how people have used it over the years to treat an amazing number of minor ailments.

There are all sorts of other home remedies for getting rid of nail fungus. One of most surprising is corn meal mush:

“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.”

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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