Guide to Using Oil of Oregano on Toenail Fungus

doctor's gloved hands examining toenail fungus on big toe

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a very common condition.

The  affected nails can become discolored and they may thicken or become brittle as the infection grows.

Nail fungus can be difficult to treat.  Some commonly used treatments include anti-fungal medications, medicated nail creams or polishes, over-the counter anti-fungal creams and natural treatments.

This article will look at the research on oil of oregano and using it to treat toenail fungus.

One of the most popular anti-fungal drugs used for toenail fungus is Lamisil.

box of antifungal lamisil drug and pills

Lamisil Pills

Lamisil is a powerful anti-fungal drug. It usually comes in 250 mg. tablets and you have to take it once a day for at least 4 – 6 weeks before seeing results.

While it is effective, Lamisil can be expensive medication. On popular internet pharmacies, like, a one month supply of 30 tablets can cost over $390.00. states that Lamisil side effects include liver failure, stomach aches, nausea, diarrhea, rashes and alterations in taste.

Fortunately, there are safer and less expensive methods to treating this condition.

Studies Show Oregano Oil has Anti-Fungal Properties

Oregano oil is an essential oil extracted from the oregano plant. It was commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and the Ancient Greeks used oregano oil for medicinal purposes.

The oil is made up of a number of bioactive ingredients called terpenes, antioxidants, flavonoids and volatile oils.

Carvacrol and thymol are the main volatile oils found in the oil and research shows they are effective against fungal infections:

  • A study from the Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety and Toxicology at Michigan State University claims thymol has anti-fungal properties. against the pathogens responsible for onychomycosis (nail fungus).

  • The Department of Pharmacology at the University of Athens released a study concluding that carvacrol has anti-fungal activity and is also effective against yeast and oral candidiasis infections.

  • Researchers at the Department of Plant Physiology in Belgrade compared the anti-fungal activity of a variety of essential oils, including oregano oil, thyme and sage. All of the oils were tested against 13 different fungal species and they concluded that oregano oil had the highest and broadest anti-fungal activity.

Based on the above research, oil of oregano’s broad spectrum anti-fungal properties could make it a potential treatment for toenail fungus.

How to Use Oil of Oregano on Toenail Fungus

You can get oregano oil in capsule and bottled liquid oils.

The encapsulated form may come in different dosages and some may have additional ingredients added to the soft gel.

The bottle liquid oils can come in 100% pure oils or they could also come mixed with other ingredients.

Due to the wide variety of products that may have different ingredients, the actual potency of the oil may affect your own results.

Many of the products may come with suggested dosages or advice on how to use the product.

Depending on which type you buy, there are a number of ways you can use it to treat fungal infections:

  • Take it orally by swallowing 1 – 3 oregano oil capsules every day.

  • Apply the oil topically directly to the infected toenail. You can try applying the oil once in the morning and again before going to bed at night.

Toenail infections can be stubborn and can take a long time for the new nail to grow out.  The overall effectiveness of the treatment may depend on how long you do the treatment for and the potency and purity of the product.

How to Prevent Toenail Fungus

There are other steps you can take to help prevent toenail fungus from spreading.

The fungus organisms thrive in dark, moist environments. So you should try to keep your feet and toes as dry and clean as possible.

  • Completely dry your feet and toes after showering.

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public showers and locker rooms.
  • Keep toenails cut short.

  • Don’t use the same nail file and nail clipper used on the infected nails on uninfected nails. You may risk spreading the fungus to other nails.

  • Wear 100% cotton socks that allow your feet to ‘breathe’.

  • Changing to dry clean socks when they become wet or sweaty.

  • Wear comfortable shoes with a wide toe ‘box’ so your toes have some wiggle room. Don’t wear tight fitting shoes that press your toes together as this can help spread the fungus from toe to toe.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Try to be patient and consistent with the treatment.

Please consult with your doctor before using any natural health supplements.


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