Toenail Fungus Treatment | Natural Remedy

In today’s post I will tell you how I won the…

Toenail Fungus Battle

WARNING: Let me preface this post with this–I have a pretty strong stomach, but finding a proper BEFORE image for this post via Google image search had my stomach churning (I did not take a picture of my toe while I was dealing with the fungus issue–a good thing, indeed!) No wonder I waited to write this post for a few weeks. My suggestions, if you are hungry or just have eaten, or anything in between, please stay away from googling “toenail fungus”. I am telling you, if you were hungry before the search, you might not be hungry after…

It began sometime around 2009-2010, when I seriously became a gym body. I must have contracted mine from either the floor or the gym’s mat.

In 2011, I shared with you how I quickly beat it with oregano oil.

toenail fungus treatment

It was a quick battle, and I had victory.

Sometime last year it tried to come back, and I did my best to keep it at bay, but being crazy busy and pregnant kept my mind on everything else.  I shared that temporary fiasco in Three Things to Make New Year Resolutions a Success post. To recap:

About five years ago, when my Husband and I moved to the State of Washington, I picked up yoga.  In the beginning I did not know whether I was going to stick with it or not, so I used the gym’s mat. Bit mistake! I ended up with fungus one of my toenails.  ”Yuck!” you probably think.  Let me tell you, having it is much worse than looking at it.  It is not painful, but it simply does not look good, and who would want something strange taking over their body anyway?

Immediately I tried a couple of things–tea tree oil, and oregano oil.  Oregano oil seemed to have done the trick, and things were back to normal.  But then, once we moved to Ohio, the offender tried to come back.  I quickly addressed it again, meaning to keep applying oil for a while after the infection (fungus) was gone… but I let things slip, and it came back again with a fearsome force.

As I let my consistency slip, the fungus took over my little nail, as if it was its dominion.  Once in a while I would remember about the problem, apply oregano oil, and then get caught up with my life, letting a few days slip before the next application.  By the time we went to Washington for a visit this year, the darn thing literally ate up my toenail and I decided to chop it down all the way to the nail bed. (TMI, I know! But I am hoping it will help someone.)

When we came back from our Washington trip, with my toenail all but gone, I attempted to keep using the old oregano oil I had for a while daily… and slipped again. I kept hoping what I tried doing would do work, but, alas… Eventually I went out and bought fresh oregano oil and got serious.  I applied it not daily, but three times a day to my nail, until a part of it decided to fall off. Now, you might be thinking, like I did for a second, when it happened: “It must not have worked. Time to try something different.” However, when I pulled up the dead part, I noticed new, healthy nail coming in. It seemed that the fungus could not take the potency of fresh oil, and me chipping away at it daily and died off, along with a part of my nail.  It encouraged me to keep at what I was doing, to be persistent, to not give up, and now I have a beautiful new toenail growing back in.  All it took was: consistency, persistence and using the right resources.

Just how bad did my toenail get?  I tried to find an image on Google to show it, and this is the closest I came:


Pretty bad, right? Before it got this bad, I tried covering it with nail polish–big mistake! It seemed that it added to the fuel and my nail was nearly gone in just a few days. I finally could not take it, chopped it off COMPLETELY, all the way to the nail bed, and started afresh. It took me 6+ months of being consistent and, if I slipped, doing things over again, to get to where I am today:

treating-toenail-fungus-naturallyYou can’t even tell, can you? Well, let me point it out (yes, I know, you thought you had seen about everything on my site, now I am showing you my toes ;)): THAT WAS the affected toenail. In fact, at one point it was not there at all!

Toenail Fungus Treatment 2

So, how did I do it?

Toenail Fungus Treatment

The Tools

If you want to replicate my success (and I wish it to all who are suffering), you will need very few things… five, in fact:


  1. a good pair of nail scissors (something that would not crack your nail)
  2. a pack of disposable nail files (you would not want to use the same file, so you do not spread fungus around, so use one side, then the other, then dispose)
  3. a good quality of wild oil of oregano (I prefer Oreganol, having tried another brand; it will cost you about $30, but will be worth it)
  4. time, and
  5. patience

(no, the mirror is not a tool ;), it is there so if you get upset over losing your toenail, you can look in it to remember just how pretty (or handsome) you still look :))

The Method

  1. Having unsuccessfully tried to attack fungus while it was still on my nail, I decided it was best to cut off the affected part. The toenail was so deteriorated that there was no pain. I did not touch healthy parts of the nail, but there was not much of that left. It is best done after a shower or a bath, so the nail is not brittle. I found that it is less beneficial doing it while the nail is dry–the affected parts will crack and spread bacteria around. (make sure to clean your clippers with oregano oil, so it kills any possible bacteria left by touching the affected nail)
  2. What you cannot cut off, file off with a nail file–this I actually preferred doing while the nail was almost dry, that way you can make it smooth, so it won’t snag on your clothing or bedding.
  3. Once you are done with filing off what you can (for me it was the top (edge) of the toenail, as my healthy nail was growing in, and some fungus was still hanging around), drop 1-2 drops of oregano oil on the effected toenail/toe. Make sure you do not have any broke skin, or it will burn. Use oil at least 2-3 times a day, so fungus would not get a chance to multiply.
  4. Keep at it–if you see a new affected area, remove it, file the nail and keep using oil. With time and patience (persistence), the new nail will slowly come in; and, yes, it will grow back over the toe’s skin, and will be good as new. Remember NOT to slack off.  I would highly recommend using oregano oil for a few months after the new, healthy nail comes it, to ensure there are no leftovers which could spread again, as it happened with me.

That’s pretty much it.  It seems simple enough, but the biggest part of this process is going to be patience and consistency.

Now that you have seen even my toes, I think it is time to sign off ;).  I hope this really helps someone. Next post will be about a more pleasant topic :).

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  • David

    My infected nails are firmly attached to the nail bed and I can’t pull them off. Do you recommend sanding them off? Completely, or will the oreganol and carrier oil penetrate through a thin layer of nail? Thanks

    • You would not want to inflict any pain on yourself doing this, otherwise you can have an infection. Soak your feet, file your nails as much as you can at a time, and keep treating them with oil. I would not try to pull nails out–that would create health problems for sure.

  • Emily

    I have had toenail fungus on my big left toe for the past 18 years. And it embarrassed me all through my teens and 20s (I am now 30). The entire nail is infected but due to not wanting to walk around with a stumpy toenail, I never cut it down and always wore nail polish. I found your post and am doing your prescribed method (clipping, filing, Oreganol). I don’t know if it will work or not but here’s what brought me to comment on here… the unbelievable sense of freedom I have felt since cutting down my nail to the quick!! It’s crazy how free I feel!! That dead toenail has been hanging on me and bringing me down for almost 2 decades and now it’s GONE!!! AHHHHH!!!! Feels so good!!! Like I said, who knows if this method will actually work for me or not, it might come back full of fungus again but just cutting the whole thing off to start fresh has made this method well worth it! Thanks for giving me the instructions and permission to just CLIP IT OFF!!!!

    • Emily, yes, be FREE! And be free not to care what others think. Take the time to keep cutting down infected nail until it’s all gone. Since I did what I wrote in this article, I have NEVER had the problem again. NEVER! That is freeing. And the toenail is just fine.

      Keep me posted.

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  • Scott Wilson

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  • Amanda

    Thank you for sharing your success story! I want to earn pregnant women to do their research before using wild oregano essential oil. It’s powerful stuff and I’ve heard pregnant women shouldn’t use it. Check with your doctor.

    Also, I was so blessed to have heard from a massage therapist about wild oregano essential oil and it’s benefits. I was honest with her and told her not to massage my feet because of the fungus and I didn’t want her to contract anything. She was surprised because most people don’t share that info and was pleased that I did. She then told me that he father got rid of his infection with oregano oil. However she stated that it MUST be WILD OREGANO ESSENTIAL OIL grown in Greece.

    Now, I’ve tried just about EVERYTHING on my toes! I’ve had fungus since I was around 10 years old and am now 26. I’ve nearly give up on ever having nice feet. But I had to try this. My infection was REALLY bad and several of my nails were completely deformed due to it. So, I’ve been treating them (not always consistently) with the oregano oil for almost a year now and am really seeing that they are clearing up. I hope to have completely fungus free nails in another year or sooner.

    Do not give up! It’s so hard waiting, but it’s worth it! No more hiding your feet once the nails are cleared. I can’t wait until mine are fungus free. I’ve lived in shame of my feet for too long!

    Oregano essential oil is the CURE for fungus nails! Just don’t give up!

  • Miranda

    Thanks for this! I’ve been dealing with a fungus for several years that likely was introduced from a pedi (the first and only pedi I’ve ever had). It became painfully infected a few years ago when I was pregnant. I had to treat it with antibiotics, which cleared up the swollenness and redness, but the fungal infection has remained. I’ve had to cut the nail back several times, each time hoping a healthy nail would return. No such luck. A few months ago, the nail was looking worse than it ever has. Unwilling to try the harmful Rx medications, I began an aggressive regime of natural treatments. For a couple weeks, I did daily soaks of vinegar and Listerine. That didn’t seem to be cutting it. So, I bought 4 different otc fungus treatments that each contained different active ingredients. That seemed to be helping, but I just didn’t feel certain it was going to get the job done. For the past few weeks, I’ve been using an essential oil blend I made using oregano, tea tree, lemongrass, lavender, and peppermint. I only hope this will put an end to this nightmare once and for all. All of these oils have antifungal properties, though some may attack other types than others, hence the decision to make a blend. I apply three drops twice a day. It is succeeding in drying out the nail, so hopefully I’m finally on the right track. I’m several months away from knowing since I’m still having to cut back on the nail (big toe), but maybe I’ll be able to wear flip flops this summer. I had to skip them this past summer.

    • Miranda, sorry to hear that. You are not the first person that got fungus that way. I think that you are using the right approach this time. Just stay with it. I would also recommend to make sure that your diet is alkaline and you are not eating processed sugars, as fungi thrive on sugar.

      Let me know how it goes for you. Thankfully my nail has been perfectly fine since I finally got fungus to go away.

  • Nicole

    Just found your site, and already loving it!

    Just wondering if you diluted the oil at all? I’m reading mixed reviews online – some saying to put the oregano oil directly on the nail, others saying to dilute it in olive or jojoba oil.


    • Welcome and thanks!! Glad to have you hear.

      And no, no diluting, straight on. Some dilute it if it goes on skin that is sensitive.

  • Great Post. You might also want to try Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil (even more effective against fungus) with 75% Eugenol (the stuff that kills the fungus) for topical treatment and Ceylon Cinnamon tea for internal treatment.

    Most people who have the toenail fungus also have Candida which is a major (if not the biggest) cause of the toenail fungus. Cinnamon is very effective against Candida, even antibiotic resistant Candida. Do the Candida test and find out. Make sure it is Ceylon Cinnamon tea you make, since Cassia cinnamon if taken daily will damage your liver. If you don’t treat the Candida the fungus will keep coming back.

    You have let the Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil soak into your toenail. Usually cinnamon oil diluted to 1% with 99% water applied twice a day and dried with a hair dryer will suffice. You can apply 100% cinnamon oil, but be careful it is hot like chili and will burn.

    It is very important to file the top layer of your toenail every three days. And while you don’t cut the cuticle normally since it lets in germs, in this case you must cut and trim the cuticle with a cuticle edge trimmer. That allows the Ceylon cinnamon leaf oil to penetrate.
    A week later the cinnamon oil will dry your toenail to the point where it will flake off. Don’t worry about that. A new one will grow. If you feel you must moisturize then mix Ceylon cinnamon Leaf Oil with coconut oil (also a mild anti fungal) but wait about a week if you can. Let it really dry our first.

    And this goes without saying, cut out all sugar (Candida feeds on sugar) and all and every bit of dairy, since the latter has fungus in one form of another.

    For minor cases it will take 2 weeks with Ceylon cinnamon leaf oil. With a really bad cases it will take 6 months, which is how long it takes for a new toenail to grow.

  • Lindsay

    Thanks for this article! Question: what did you do *after* putting the drops the affected toe? Did you let it sit? Rub it in? Avoid wearing socks for an hour? Insight appreciated!

    • Lindsay, just let it soak in, that’s all. Nothing else was necessary. The goal with this is to remove the affected toenail as much as possible, and let the new one come in, while killing fungus.

  • Barb34

    Did you ever use the oreganol drops on your toes while pregnant?

    • I used oregano oils during pregnancy if I had cold symptoms. I found that a few drops were ok to use (for me).

      • Emily

        Hey Elena,

        So I am the Emily from the most recent comment above. My big toe looks incredible! I’m so excited! That being said, I just found out I’m pregnant with my second and only half of my toenail has grown back so far. From what I’ve read, Oreganol might not be the best idea while pregnant. I called my OB and he said he “didn’t see why I would need to stop using it.” (I wasn’t very convinced by that). Anyway, what are your thoughts on this? I’ve worked so hard and diligently over the 3 months so I don’t want to stop but I also want to keep my baby safe.

  • greenstyle

    Thank you for this very helpful post!

    My question would be about your shoes? What did you do with them? Your shoes just re infect your toenails. Did you keep and treat or toss?


    • Wash them. When you are applying on the toe nail and it goes in the shoe, it will transfer there too, so you should be ok. I as able to use the same shoes without problems. I do find that letting your feet being exposed to the air as much as possible is a good thing, however.

      • greenstyle

        Ok. Thanks for this. I was wondering because I’ve read so many articles that say to toss out your shoes which I think is insane! Especially if you have really nice and pricey ones!

        • sure thing! I say, wash them with a good detergent, and you can even apply some oregano oil on the inside.

          • greenstyle

            Yeah but how would i do that with nice leather shoes?

            • I would try applying some oregano on the inside of the shoe and letting it air out. See what happens.

            • greenstyle

              I’m not sure how that would work. Oils make leather look dark and can cause a saturation mark on the leather. Do you think it would seep from the inside and reach the outer part of the leather?

            • I would not put so much that it would seep through. If you apply just a little, it should stay on the lining inside and should not go through. If you are not sure, if you have an old pair to practice on, that would be the way to go.

  • Jadelinia

    I’ve been having this issue for 7 or more years now on both large toes and have slightly been spreading to small toes beside. My left largeone is in worse shape than the right large one. Just the other day my left one felt funny in my shoe, when I hit a chance I noticed the appearance was beyond I last remembered and feeling like it could come off on its own. Lastnight I seen Shoppers Drug Mart have a sale with both liquid and gel caps of Organic Oregano Oil so I did research and grabbed them today along with disposable files and a makeup brush to evenly apply liquid. I forgot to grab dish gloves to ensure affected nail shavings don’t spread to fingernails, that will be tomorrow’s task before I start the liquid. I started the gel caps tonight.

    • I hope this treatment has worked for you.

  • Nada

    Oh dear, I’ve been struggling with this for a while, but I have now been using oil of oregano for a good three weeks or so, Did you notice things getting worse before they got better?

    • Nada, I think it would seem that way. I had to cut down the affected nail all the way to the nail bed, to speed up the healing process. If you are not cutting off the dying nail, it will seem like it takes longer.

      • Nada

        Thanks, I will keep up at it, nothing to lose at this point!!

  • NaTonya St Cyr

    cool i am going to try this, so far I have been using vapor rub and I heard that works and also takes time for it to work as well, it seems to start clearing my nails just a slow process, but if not then i will try this. thanks

    • Have not heard of vapor rub, but can vouch for this method, since I was able to defeat a pretty nasty fungus with it. I did have to cut down the affected nail all the way to the nail bed, but it also sped up the healing process.

    • Jadelinia

      I just read about the vinegar disk and vapor rub method. Was going to try it til I saw a special on Oregano Oil and checked if it fights nail fungus. I think I will do vinegar soak before filing and applying the oil on. I used to be able to cut it down but now looks of it may be too think to do it …… So filing it is. Lol.

  • Tracy

    I’m going to try this, purchasing now 🙂 Thanks!!!

    • Let me know how it worse out. It worked miracles for me and for some of the readers who tried it.

  • SimplyDarlene

    Miss Elena to the rescue… NoMoreFungusAmongUs!


  • Devi

    Hey Elena!!
    I’m sooo happy you posted on this topic. My husband has been suffering from this (on his big toenail) for a few years now. He’s tried tea tree oil but I guess consistency is the main issue. I don’t believe he’s been consistent with it. So now I think I will get the oregano oil and take it upon myself to help him fight it. I’m just so relieved to know that over time it can be overcome. Again, thanks so much!!

  • Lilia

    Thank u so much for the info I have the same problem but mines are the 2 big toe nails from having pedicures 🙁 but now with your info I’m gonna try it I hope it really helps me cuz I’m so tired of buying over the counter products. On top of having the fungus on them I also suffer from having ingrown nails which that is very painful 🙁 I wish I can find something for that. That’s my biggest suffering ingrown nail 🙁 thanks for your info and for sure I’m gonna try it 😉

    • Jadelinia

      Lilia- That’s exactly how my big toes got it. A family member was in school for beautician and I volunteered as guinea pig as I thought free long-needed pedi. Thankfully she did not pass or she quit as this is how I got toe nail fungus and been trying to find home remedies that work to rid of it since. Any progress with ur treatment so far?

  • Rebekah

    Thank you! Any chance you know how to fight off warts (on my fingers) too?

    • No sugars, oils, acid forming and processed foods, and a LOT of greens. I had one on the bottom of my foot before starting green smoothies. 28 days into doing them (when I first started) and it fell out all on its own.

      • bev

        I know this is late, but the oregano oil works great on warts too! I had one fall off after just a couple days.

        • Bev, that is good to know!

  • Janel

    I had the same problem; I got a fungus probably from a pedi. It was pretty nasty looking and very thick. I applied tea tree oil… my research says it has to be 100% Australian tea tree oil. I applied it with a fresh q-tip three times a day- I did not skimp or forget. In the morning after showering, afternoon when I got home from work, and again before I went to bed. Within a week, like yours, it was falling off and I was able to cut away at it. Underneath was healthy nail. I’ll remember to add oregano oil if tea tree no longer works. And I now bring my own tools and polish to my pedi appointments!

    • And that is why I do not get menis or pedis outside the home 🙂

      i did try the tea tree oil, but it did not do it for me. It worked a miracle for one of my sisters though, so I am happy it worked for you. Both oils are awesome and can be used together, if the fungus gets a bit resistant.

  • Adriane

    Thank you for posting this! I kept thinking with my clean diet how is this happening? I will be giving this a try. I started feeling like this was only happening to me:(

    • Glad I could help. Sometimes diet, as great as we try to do, does not take care of little pesky stuff like this. And, you certainly, are not alone.