Toenail fungus is an infection that occurs in the cracks of your nails. In this article, you will find some best essential oils for toenail fungus that you can use at home.

Toenail fungus changes the color of your toenail and makes it thicker. It hurts a lot if you don’t treat it promptly and with the proper remedy.

Usually, the toes are warm and damp, letting the fungus grow there quickly. Different types of fungi and yeast sometimes affect different parts of your nail.

The infection could spread to your other toenails or skin if left untreated.

What is Toenail Fungus?

When you get nail fungus, the nails’ discolouration occurs, 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 becomes more prominent.
  • When fungus develops under your nail, it can 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]

10 Best Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus

1. Oregano Oil


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

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

According to 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 and has a significant amount of thymol, which is 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 it at home naturally.[4]

How to use oregano oil for toenail fungus:

  • You can apply oregano oil around three to four drops directly on your affected toenails daily by massaging or scrubbing with a soft brush.
  •  If your skin is sensitive, then you should combine the oregano oil with a 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 to the infected area of your toe and allow it to soak for ten minutes at least.

If you apply tea tree oil directly on your skin, you must mix it 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]

How to use tea tree oil for toenail fungus:

  • You can combine tea tree oil with a carrier oil to dilute it without losing its essence.
  • You can apply the tea tree oil directly to your affected nails.
  • You can use a brush to scrub your nails, enabling 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]

3. Clove Oilclove-oil

Clove oil for toenail fungus works excellent as the oil helps eliminate fungus and bacteria. In addition, 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 healing and recovery.

How to use clove oil for toenail fungus:

  • Dilute clove oil with other carrier oil such as coconut oil.
  • After mixing a few drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil, massage the toenails daily.
  • Please wash your hands thoroughly after applying the oil to the fungal-infected nails.[9]

4. Lavender Oil

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

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

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

The soothing yet enticing fragrant oil works best on 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]

How to use lavender oil for toenail fungus:

  • You can use the lavender oil in warm water to heal your toenail fungus.
  • You can fill a tub with warm water, add around five drops of lavender oil and 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.

5.  Cinnamon Oil


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

Please keep reading to learn how it benefits your health.

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

Cinnamon essential oil is a perfect remedy for averting fungus growth 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]

How to use cinnamon oil for toenail fungus:

  • Mix 2-3 drops of cinnamon oil with a carrier oil,
  • Apply the blend topically on the affected nails to reach 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]

6. Eucalyptus 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 the 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 efficiently. (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 toenail fungus:

  • Prepare a mixture of 2 to 3 drops of eucalyptus and carrier oil.
  • Next, use a cotton ball to soak in the solution made, dab it onto the affected toenail and let it dry completely.
  • Repeat this process twice or thrice daily 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 OilLemongrass Oil

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

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

Some of its other uses are relieving anxiety, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, and reducing cholesterol.

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

Like other essential oils for toe, the fungus needs 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)

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 also find lemongrass tea in shops, which may also be used for this treatment. (11)
  • The tea also contains components of the lemongrass essential oil.
  • Brew the tea bag and apply it directly to the affected toenail.
  • However, you may prefer the first method described for faster results.

8. Peppermint Oil

According to a study, peppermint essential oil is effective in eliminating 11 kinds of fungi, also preventing recurring fungal infections. (12)

Researchers have found that significant 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 the spreading of the fungus from one toenail to other nails.

How to use peppermint oil for toenail fungus:

  • Unlike most other essential oils, peppermint oil requires no dilution.
  • · You may directly apply a 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 nail’s appearance.
  • 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 destroy pathogens such as the fungus that causes toenail infection. (17)

A study conducted by a scientist at Beni-Suef University 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)

How to use thyme oil for toenail fungus:

  • Just like peppermint oil, thyme oil does not require dilution with a carrier oil.
  • However, you may wish to use it with 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 it to the toenail.

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

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 from being infected.

The thieves were known to steal from the 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 use thieves oil for toenail fungus:

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 with soap and water after cleaning them (especially toenails). 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 in the toenail.
  • Although not necessary, thieves oil is more effective when combined with a carrier oil in a 1: 4 volume ratio (1 drop of thieves oil to 4 drops of carrier oil).

Bottom Line

Having toenail fungus can be annoying and painful. However, essential oils for toenail fungus can work miraculously in healing the fungus off your nail.

If you experience some unusual pain, please consult a doctor immediately. If you ever had toenail fungus or tried any of the natural remedies discussed here, please let us know.

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