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

What Is Neem Oil?

The Neem tree — a tree native to India and related to the Mahogany — produces an essential oil known as “Neem oil.” It is used as a topical oil, and can be toxic if ingested. JustNeem, a North Carolina company that sells Neem oil products, says one can use the oil for anti-aging purposes, to clear up acne, to soothe eczema, and to treat common fungal infections of the skin, including athlete’s foot, ringworm, and nail fungus.

neem oil uses

Neem Oil is recommended for many different uses in skin care.
Image Source: RevitolReviewsExposed.com

What Scientific Evidence Shows that Neem Oil Kills Fungus?

Like many homeopathic remedies for foot fungus, there have been no studies to date that draw a definitive link between Neem Oil and the curing of toenail fungus or athlete’s foot. However, in the desperate search for an effective and affordable cure, one may choose to apply the results of other studies done in a clinical setting and infer that Neem Oil most likely has antifungal properties.

A 2009 study published in the journal Toxins found that “Neem extracts affected the growth rate and sporulation” of different types of fungi isolates. They reported that the Neem extracts had “fungitoxic activity.” Scientists are not entirely sure how the Neem oil works to kill fungi, but they suspect there are several different chemicals in Neem trees that repel fungi. More research is needed, they concluded.

- A 2011 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology reported Neem extract to be effective at treating several different types of fungi when mixed with organic ethanol. Neem leaf extract had a toxic effect on 19 out of 22 human pathogenic molds, including: Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Candida albicans, and Microsporum gypseum. 

home remedy for toenail fungus

Neem Oil is easy to buy over-the-counter as a potential home remedy for toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.
Image Source: JustNeem.com

How Can One Use Neem Oil to Treat Foot Fungus?

According to Margaret Cho fan Jon Fink, treating a fungal nail with Neem Oil is simple:

1. Take a warm shower or bath to soften the nail.

2. Trim the nail as short as possible and remove fungus beneath the nail as best you can.

3. Warm up a bottle of Neem oil under hot tap water to melt the oils that have settled at the bottom.

4. Shake the bottle to blend well and put two drops under each nail.

5. Apply the Neem oil to the feet each day for at least one week.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Foot Fungus Recurrence?

When it comes to foot fungus, prevention is the best cure. For people who appreciate natural home remedies, we recommend using the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to kill the bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogen colonies living inside your shoes. This podiatrist-recommended, FDA-approved device uses natural ultraviolet light rays to kill microbes, so you don’t have to put harsh chemicals or gross powders into your footwear. Buy one here to prevent the return of foot fungus!

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