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Natural Healing: Can Neem Oil Be Used to Treat Pesky Foot Fungus?

Foot fungus can be a terrible problem for a person who is dedicated to holistic healing and natural remedies. The usual course of treatment for toenail fungus involves heavy duty oral antifungal medication which can be considerably expensive. Athlete’s foot is a bit easier to treat with an over-the-counter topical, but it still tends to resist natural cures and can become a persistent problem. Neem oil is one of the products we’ve seen pitched to treat foot fungus, so this post serves to look into the matter further.

neem tree flowers

The Neem tree comes from India, and is a relative of the Mahogany tree.
Image Source: Flickr user Pranav Yaddanapudi

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Is It "Thyme" for Toenail Fungus Treatment? Exploring the Effectiveness of this Natural Remedy

“It’s not exactly a life-threatening condition, but toenail fungus, known in the medical community as onychomycosis, can be cosmetically unattractive and painful,” reports Anahad O’Connor, a science feature writer for the NY Times. Several years back, he investigated thyme as a possible holistic toenail fungus cure. We’re naturally skeptical of these claims because toenail fungus is notoriously difficult and expensive to treat, but in some cases there is some scientific basis behind these folk remedies.

 

thyme plant

The thyme plant can be a source of antimicrobial goodness, studies suggest.
Image Source: Flickr User vidalia_11

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Will Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Foot Fungus?

Hydrogen peroxide is a simple chemical compound comprised of two hydrogen molecules and two oxygen molecules. The concentration for health purposes is 3-5%, with the vast majority of the solution containing just water. This pharmaceutical grade solution contains various stabilizers, so it should not be ingested, but it can be used topically to treat a variety of ailments.

Other mixtures for home use may contain up to 10% concentration to be used as a bleach, tooth scrub, or ear wax remover. Concentrations as high as 30% may be used industrially for bleaching paper, rocket fuel, or producing foam rubber.

One of the alleged uses for hydrogen peroxide circulating in emails is that it can kill foot fungus. Here’s what we think…

hydrogen peroxide foot fungus

Image Source: WebMD.com

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Natural Toenail Fungus Remedies: Does Vinegar Kill Fungal Infections?

People who suffer from toenail fungus are often desperate to try any potential home remedy. Online magazines like Only My Health claim that a fungal nail infection can be treated at home by soaking the toes in one part vinegar, two parts warm water, for 15 minutes. They also recommend trimming the nails once they are softened and covering the fungus nails with a bandage in between soaking. We have several problems with this advice regarding natural toenail fungus remedies.

vinegar soak

Image Source: AmericanAthleticInstitute.com

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Is Tea Tree Oil A Good Remedy For Toenail Fungus?

An article in ABQ Journal claimed that tea tree oil was the remedy for toenail fungus. A woman reported that her professional nail technician told her to buy 100% pure Australian tea tree oil and paint the affected nail once or twice a day. “It kills the fungus,” she says. “I used it for about six months because toenail fungus takes so long to grow in. The fungus is definitely gone!”

She adds that she’s since read tea tree oil is a natural remedy for athlete’s foot, minor cuts and insect bites as well. Deriving from the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree, this herbal oil is said to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, says the Journal. Is there truth to these claims, or is it all a bunch of hogwash? We investigate…

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Will The New Beer Foot Baths at Four Seasons Cure My Foot Fungus?

Is beer a good enough reason to plan your travel around it this summer? We don’t know about that, but there are some enticing opportunities for self-professed craft beer aficionados. For instance, New Belgium Brewery is running a “Tour de Fat: Beer, Bikes & Bemusement” festival in cities like Atlanta, Denver, San Diego and Minneapolis. Brooklyn Brewery from New York and Deschutes from Oregon are also making the rounds with traveling beer events.

Yet, what really caught our eye was The Spa at Four Seasons in Vail, Colorado — which is offering a new “Amber Ale Foot Soak” on their spa menu. Is this supposed to be a treatment for foot fungus?

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What Is A UV Shoe Sanitizer?

The general consensus among podiatrists is that it seems futile to treat a patient’s feet, without simultaneously doing something about his shoes. The dark, moist environment surrounding the feet can serve as potential reservoirs of reinfection. Shoe Care Innovations Inc. of Redwood City, California is the manufacturer behind breakthrough technology that helps people in keeping their shoes sanitary to limit exposure to dangerous microbes.

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Home Remedies For Fungus Nails: Does Lysol Work?

We read a lot of fanciful claims on the Internet about home remedies for fungus nails. We would never recommend putting Vic’s Vaporub on your feet — unless you want to feel intolerable burning pain on a sensitive part of the body. Nor would we ever recommend a useless cornmeal foot soak or using white iodine. Yet, we have seen some doctors recommended LYSOL spray as a viable way of killing bacteria in shoes. We have several problems with this advice.

For One, Lysol Is Full Of Toxic Chemicals!

The Daily Beast ranked Lysol disinfectant spray among their “Most Toxic Home-Cleaning Products.” According to the paper, potentially harmful ingredients include: ethyl alcohol, carbon dioxide, and triethanolamine. These chemicals are “suspected of causing cancer, developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity, [and] respiratory toxicity.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues this warning about Lysol: “Hazard to humans and domestic animals. Causes eye irritation. Do not spray in eyes, on skin or on clothing…. May cause skin irritation upon prolonged or repeated contact…. If on skin, wash with plenty of soap and water. If irritation occurs or persists, get medical attention.” While it is only rated as a “slight risk,” it’s clearly stated that these chemicals should not be put on the skin.

home remedies for fungus nails

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