Nail fungus (or onychomycosis) is a relatively common ailment which plagues a significant amount of general population. To cure it, there is a whole array of alternative natural treatments offered at reasonable cost. An additional bonus associated with those remedies is that they have been proven to bring about few side effects (mainly, redness or mild pain). Finally, compared to conventional therapies, which usually induce a fungal resistance response, natural therapies are far less likely to provoke such a reaction thanks to their bio-active constituents.
Nevertheless, employing natural remedies incorporating anti-fungal ingredients in order to nail fungus is not always effective. A potential cause lies on the unpredictable nature of the fungus, which explains why scientific research often fails to confirm the promising premise shown by certain remedies. Take Ageratina pichinchensis extract for example: for centuries, it has been used by Mexicans to remedy fungal infections of the skin without generating skin irritation. Therefore, blending it into a natural anti-fungal treatment seems fairly reasonable, with in vitro results being very promising; however, a research conducted to confirm that assumption delivered a less spectacular outcome, though a follow-up study with patients applying higher concentrations of the substance turned out better results while side effects were indeed very limited.
Another example of that is essential oils. Although essential oils do possess anti-fungal, anti-toxic and anti-biofilm properties, the grasp between natural therapies employing those oils and actual therapeutic results is either tenuous or, at least, not solid enough for the remedies to be considered totally effective (at least in the case of small-scale pilot studies).
Natural coniferous resin lacquer has also been tested, delivering similar, somewhat moderate results: although the resin’s clinical efficacy turned out to be satisfactory, not every individual was able to corroborate its therapeutic traits.
Moving further down the list of fungal remedies is propolis; a sticky, brown substance which bees produce to seal their hives with, it has also demonstrated potent in vitro anti-fungal properties. A study conducted partially confirmed propolis’ healing properties, with more than half of the participants being able to report mycological and clinical healing, while encountering no side effects.
However, it is surprising how random, over-the-counter drugs can sometimes exhibit considerable potential in providing sufferers with onychomycosis treatment. VapoRub, a cough suppressant, incorporating ingredients such as camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol, has been regarded as a welcome and affordable solution, especially for HIV-affected individuals. A study has shown that half the participants were able to enjoy improved clearance on the nails mostly afflicted with fungus. Similar findings were also observed on patients that treated their nails with Vagisil, which contains a dynamic anti-fungal ingredient called Resorcinol, or with apple cider vinegar etc.
In conclusion, natural nail fungus therapies, though popular, are not exactly backed by ample scientific evidence. The studies mentioned above do provide a slightly vague idea on how these remedies work; yet, larger-scale, more meticulously designed tests are needed to ascertain their true value and clarify whether sufferers can truly depend on them in their effort to deal with the burdensome onychomycosis issue.