Toenail fungus is a type of infection that occurs in the cracks of your nails.

It changes the color of your toenail and makes it thicker.

It hurts a lot if you don’t treat it on time and with right remedy.

Usually, toes are warm and damp which lets the fungus grow there easily.

Different types of fungi and yeast sometimes affect different parts of your nail.

If it’s left untreated, then the infection could spread to your other toenails, or even in your skin.

In this article, you will get to learn how to use essential oils for toenail fungus home remedies. [1]

What is Toenail Fungus?

When you get nail fungus, discoloration of the nails takes place which is usually of a whitish-yellowish or brownish color.

The nails get brittle, become thicker and change color and shape.

Toenail fungus can cause a lot of pain, and the affected nail gets detached from the nail bed.

The big toenails usually get affected by nail fungus.

In the majority of the cases, fungus occurs at the front or side edge of the toenail. [2]


  • You may observe the infected toenail is thicker than usual and have changes in color and shape.
  • The nails can easily get broken. Nails with fungus get yellow.
  • Sometimes you might notice a white dot that pops up on the nail and gradually gets more prominent.
  • When fungus develops under your nail, it can even separate the nail from the bed and spread on your skin.
  • In some cases, it does not hurt at all your nail looks thick and yellowish. [3]

ALSO READ: 21 Home Remedies for Foot Fungus, Nail Fungus & Athlete’s Foot

10 Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus

Let’s discover some of the best essential oils in treating the fungus of your toenail.

1. Oregano Oiloregano-essential-oil

You will be amazed to know about this magical oil which works perfectly in treating your toenail fungus.

Oregano essential oil is well renowned for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

According to a research, oregano oil has been used for thousands of years to cure various medical conditions such as skin infections, bacterial infections, and fungal growth.

The oil comes from Greek or Mediterranean oregano has a significant amount of thymol which is proved to be a practical solution for treating harmful fungus.

The oregano oil works effectively on infections like nail fungus, candida, yeast and athlete’s foot.

You can apply the oil topically but make sure that it is diluted. High concentrations of oregano oil may cause skin reactions.

So, now you don’t have to rush to the doctor for your toenail fungus as you can treat at home naturally. [4]

How to use oregano oil for toe fungus :

  • You can apply oregano oil around three to four drops directly on your affected toenails every day either by massaging or scrubbing with a soft brush.
  • If your skin is sensitive, then you should combine the oregano oil with few drops of coconut oil to avoid any allergic reaction. [5]

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the fast and straightforward home remedies for removing fungus from your toenails.

It has powerful fungicidal properties which work well against toenail fungus.

You can apply tea tree oil on the infected area of your toe and allow it soak for ten minutes at least.

If you are applying tea tree oil directly on your skin, then you must mix with an equal portion of carrier oil, for example, almond oil or olive oil.

You can continue using this essential oil once a day for around three weeks or until it gets cured completely. [6]

Here’s how to use tea tree oil for toenail fungus:

  • You can combine tea tree oil with a carrier oil to dilute it yet not losing its essence.
  • You can apply the tea tree oil directly on your affected nails.
  • You can use a brush to scrub your nails as it will enable the oil to get absorbed in your toenail and reach where the fungus is growing.
  • For better results, apply it at least two times every day. [7]

ALSO READ: 12 Incredible Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil (Backed by Evidence)

3. Lavender Oil

This oil is well renowned for many health benefits but did you know that it can treat your toenail fungus too?

Let’s explore to learn how lavender oil works for toenail fungus.

It is highly effective essential oil for the treatment of toenail fungus.

The soothing yet enticing fragrant oil works best on the nail fungus if you use it topically, you can leave it on overnight to let it heal.

Cover your feet with soft socks after applying the oil.

Inhibit the infection from occurring again by continuing this treatment for a few weeks even if the symptoms seem to disappear. [8]

Learn how you may use lavender oil for toe fungus:

  • You can use the lavender oil in warm water to heal your toenail fungus
  • You can fill a tub or with warm water and add around five drops of lavender oil along with five drops of tea tree oil and keep your foot in it for 20 minutes.
  • After completing it, dry off your feet properly to remove moisture getting trapped under the nail.
  • You can perform this daily to heal the fungus in your toenail quickly.

4. Cinnamon OilCinnamon-Oil

Cinnamon is yet another amazing oil to heal your toenail fungus.

Keep reading to learn how it benefits your health.

The cinnamon oil has a strong aromatic smell, and it contains an antifungal component with excellent capability in removing fungi such as athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.

Cinnamon essential oil is a perfect remedy in averting the growth of fungus with its antimicrobial and antifungal agents.

For quick relief, you can combine cinnamon oil with clove oil as it helps to fight against bacteria.

Make sure to get the pure and superior quality cinnamon and clove oils to cure the toenail fungus effectively. [9]

Cinnamon oil home remedy for toenail fungus:

  • Mix 2-3 drops of cinnamon oil with a carrier oil,
  • Apply the blend topically on the affected nails to reach out straight to the toenail infection.
  • Apply it regularly on your toenails twice a day as it will help in clearing your fungal infection quickly. [10]

ALSO READ: 7 Incredible Cassia Essential Oil Benefits & Uses You Didn’t Know

5. Clove Oilclove-oil

Clove oil works excellent in eliminating the fungus and bacteria.

Clove oil has potent antifungal properties.

Moreover, the oil enhances your immune system and stimulates the growth of new and healthier nails.

The clove oil’s immunity-boosting substance does not only help in removing the fungus but speeds up the healing and recovery.

Simple method of using clove oil for toenail fungus:

  • You can dilute clove oil with any other carrier oil such as coconut oil.
  • After mixing few drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil, massage the toenails every day.
  • Please wash your hands thoroughly after applying the oil on the fungal-infected nails. [9]

6. Eucalyptus OilEucalyptus_Essential_Oil

Along with having a pleasant, fresh smell this oil is a major immune booster and has antifungal properties. (7)

When your immune system is strengthened, having minor skin cut or infection of another kind will not increase chances of getting infected by a fungus causing toenail fungus. (8)

This oil also stimulates blood flow to the feet which helps to fight off infections more easily. (8)

Eucalyptus oil may be used in many ways – as a foot soak, toe gauze wrap or direct application.

But the direct application gives the best and quickest results.

How to use eucalyptus oil for toe fungus:

  • Prepare a mixture of 2 to 3 drops of eucalyptus oil along with a carrier oil of your choice.
  • Next, use a cotton ball to soak in the solution made and dab onto the toenail affected and let it dry completely.
  • Repeat this process twice or thrice each day for best results until you achieve relief.

Note: It is recommended that all essential oils are used in combination with a carrier oil to avoid concentrated application of the oil which may sometimes produce undesirable effects, such as irritation or burning sensation. (6)

7. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil extracted from leaves and stalks of lemongrass plant has many diverse uses.

Along with having antifungal and antibacterial properties, it also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties.

Relieving anxiety, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, reducing cholesterol are some of its other uses.

According to research, the antifungal activity of lemongrass oil is achieved due to the presence of high amount of oxygenated motorpenic aldehydes (geranial and neral). (10)

Like other essential oils for toe, fungus need to be used in combination with a carrier oil lemongrass oil is no exception to it. The recommended preparation is outlined below.

Studies show that for the remedy to be effective, the mixture of lemongrass essential oil and carrier oil at least 2.5 percent of it should be lemongrass oil. (9)

Learn how to use lemongrass oil for toenail fungus:

  • Combine 2 to 3 drops of lemongrass oil with about 20 ml of suitable carrier oil. Apply this solution directly to the fungus affected toenail twice a day.
  • You may find lemongrass tea in shops also, which may also be used for this treatment purpose. (11)
  • The tea also contains components of the lemongrass essential oil.
  • Simply brew the tea bag and apply it directly to the affected toenail.
  • However, for faster results, you may prefer the first method described.

8. Peppermint OilPeppermint Essential Oil

According to a study, peppermint essential oil has been found to be effective in eliminating 11 kinds of fungi, also preventing recurring fungal infection. (12)

Researchers have found that major components of peppermint oil cause damage to fluidity in the fungal cell membrane which results in cytotoxic consequences for the fungal cell. (14)

It also has immunity-boosting properties that prevent spreading of the fungus from one toenail to other nails.

Lets get to know how you may use peppermint oil as toe fungus remedy:

  • Unlike most other essential oils, no dilution is required when using peppermint oil.
  • So you may directly apply few drops (3 to 4 drops) of the peppermint essential oil on the toenail affected.
  • A cotton ball may be used to apply the oil as well. Apply daily as required until you notice improvements in the appearance of the nail.
  • Enjoy the cooling and soothing effect on the skin around the toenail when the peppermint oil starts to seep in!  The high amount of menthol in peppermint contributes to this cooling effect. (14)

9. Thyme Oilthyme-essential-oil

Thyme is well known for its culinary use. But did you know its oil can be used for treating fungal infections?

Thyme oil is obtained by steam distillation of fresh thyme flowers and leaves.

Compounds such as thymol, camphene, linalool and carvacrol present in thyme and its derivatives make it known as a biocide. Biocides are antimicrobial agents helping to destroy pathogens such as the fungus that cause toenail infection. (17)

In a study conducted by a scientist at Beni-Suef University, it was found that among thyme, clove, and cinnamon essential oils, thyme essential oil was the most effective in inhibiting the growth of fungal colonies at concentrations as low as 0.25%. (18)

Here’s how you can prepare and use thyme oil home remedy for toe fungus:

  • Just like peppermint oil, thyme oil does not require dilution with a carrier oil.
  • However, you may wish to use it in combination with some other essential oil or natural substances, like coconut oil or tea tree oil. This will yield a faster and more effective result.
  • To apply thyme oil, at first clean your feet and dry. Next, you may use a Q-tip or cotton ball to take up some oil and apply to the toenail.

Note:  Always perform a patch test using your preferred essential oil to know whether you are allergic to any component of the essential oil.

10. Thieves Oil

As interesting as the name, the story behind this oil’s name is also quite interesting!

The story behind the name dates back to 1400 when thieves were getting away not only from the authorities but also getting away from being infected.

The thieves were known to steal from houses of the dead without contracting the plague. Later it was discovered that the thieves used to generously apply a combination of some essential oils over their clothes and body which protected them from airborne plague germs.

Thieves oil is a blend of 5 other essential oils.

Hence, it has all the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxicity properties that these essential oils have individually.

How to prepare and use thieves oil:

Blend the following oils in the recommended amount:

  • 20 drops of cinnamon oil
  • 40 drops of clove oil
  • 15 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 35 drops of lemon oil
  • 10 drops of rosemary oil
  • Dry your feet after cleaning it (especially toenails) with soap and water. Drop 1 or 2 drops of the oil blend onto the affected area and let it soak in for about 10 minutes.
  • Later scrub the nail with a soft brush. Repeat this process until you see improvement of the toenail.
  • Although not necessary, thieves oil is more effective when combined with a carrier oil in a 1: 4 volume ratio (1 drop thieves oil to 4 drops of carrier oil).

Precautions and Tips

Prevention is always better than cure!

If you are here reading this article just for future knowledge, great! So you may follow the following tips and take all necessary precautions to avoid catching this nasty fungal infection.

Or, if you are an existing sufferer, hope you get relief using medications and the essential oils in the recommended direction. You can follow the tips to avoid getting back the infection once cured.

  • Always keep your feet, in between toenails and nails clean and dry
  • Use a moisturizer on feet and nails
  • Disinfect nail clippers after each use
  • Wear shoes of breathable material
  • Discard too old shoes or treat them with antifungal powder before using
  • Wear flip-flops at wet, damp places like swimming pools
  • Wear a new pair of socks each day, made of a sweat-absorbing material
  • If you have any other skin problem, like athlete’s foot or ringworm, treat them as soon as possible to avoid spreading of them to other nails and surrounding skin
  • Do not share nail clippers, socks (20)
  • If you visit a nail salon, make sure they use sterilized manicure and pedicure tools for each customer (21)

Bottom Line

Having toenail fungus can be annoying and painful.

Essential oils work miraculously in healing the fungus off your nail.

If you experience some unusual pain, please consult a doctor immediately.

Have you ever had toenail fungus or tried any of the natural remedies discussed here?

Give your feedback in the comments section.

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