If you think you are suffering from toenail or foot fungus please seek the advice of your medical practitioner. It is imperative to seek medical advice to ensure there are no underlying medical issues. This blog is suitable for those who have been medically diagnosed with toenail fungus or foot fungus (Onychomycosis).
What is Toenail Fungus
Onychomycosis are fungal infections by dermatophyte fungi and some candida species which affect the fingers and toenails. 7
Toenail fungus can be caused by a number of factors such as trauma to the nail, poor hygiene and an abnormal skin pH level intensified by a weak immune system 2. Feet and toenails are the perfect environment for the fungal organism which thrives in warm, and damp environments 3. The infection usually starts off as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the nail. As the fungus reproduces and goes deeper, discolouration and thickening as well as crumbling of your nail may occur. The nail can become dark, dull and very fragile and can give off an unpleasant smell 4. This infection when left untreated is not just painful but also very unsightly 2.
Treatment of Onychomycosis is generally difficult due to low cure rates and frequent recurrence as fungus can develop a resistance to various antimicrobial agents both topical and systemic that are synthetically made to treat foot fungus.
Oil of Wild Oregano
Mild fungal infections have been traditionally treated with the use of Oil of Wild Oregano. It is effective in reducing and relieving the symptoms of mild fungal infections. Scientific papers 8,9 explain that Oil of Wild Oregano contains Carvacrol which is known to possess antifungal properties. Carvacrol does not work entirely on its own to help aid in the relief of these mild fungal infections. There are many other constituents in the essential oil that work synergistically together to aid in reducing the appearance of the mild fungal infections such as:
These constituents have a low molecular weight, which help it penetrate into the nail plate to find the fungi.7Along with being able to get to the fungi easily, the oil is also effective at reducing the mild fungal infection.
The natural origins of Oil of Wild Oregano means that it does not suffer the same resistance issues that plagues the synthetically made pharmaceutical treatments. Instead, the essential oils from the natural Wild Oregano plant also develop and adapt like the fungus, which in turn makes the development of resistance by fungi rare.7
Many studies have shown the potency of Oregano Oil against toenail fungus. The Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicity Centre at the Michigan State University demonstrated that Carvacrol has very effective antifungal properties 5. It has also been shown that in comparison with other antifungal essential oils such as thyme and sage, oregano oil displayed the highest and broadest antifungal activity 6.
References2. Daenterpri, Toenail Fungus and Oregano Oil. Oregano Oil Health Benefits. Viewed at: http://oreganooilhealthbenefits.com/toenail-fungus-and-oregano-oil/
3. Lee K. Complete Guide to Using Oil of Oregano for Toenail Fungus. Healthy oil planet. 2006. Viewed at: https://www.healthy-oil-planet.com/oil-oregano-toenail-fungus.html4. Kulić P. Nail Fungus (Onychomycosis) – How to Cure it in a Natural Way? Krenizdravo. 2017; viewed at: https://www.krenizdravo.com/en/health/diseases-and-conditions/nail-fungus-onychomycosis-how-to-cure-it-in-a-natural-way
5. Ramesewak R.S., Nair M. G., Stommel M., and Selanders L. In vitro antagonistic activity of monoterpenes and their mictures against ‘toe nail fungus’ pathogens. Phytotherapy Research. 2003; 17(4): 376-379.
6. Ramesewak R.S., Nair M. G., Stommel M., and Selanders L. In vitro antagonistic activity of monoterpenes and their mictures against ‘toe nail fungus’ pathogens. Phytotherapy Research. 2003; 17(4): 376-379.
7. Flores, F.C., Beck, R.C.R. & da Silva, C.B. Essential Oils for Treatment for Onychomycosis: A Mini-Review. Mycopathologia 181, 9–15 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11046-015-9957-3
8. Lima, I., Pereira, F., Oliveira, W., Lima, E., Menezes, E., Cunha, F. and Diniz, M., 2013. Antifungal activity and mode of action of carvacrol against Candida albicans strains. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 25(2), pp.138-142.
9. Abbaszadeh, S., Sharifzadeh, A., Shokri, H., Khosravi, A. and Abbaszadeh, A., 2014. Antifungal efficacy of thymol, carvacrol, eugenol and menthol as alternative agents to control the growth of food-relevant fungi. Journal de Mycologie Médicale, 24(2), pp.e51-e56.