Homeopathy and Nail Fungus

Toenail fungus can be a plight for many people. Along with its unsightly appearance, nail fungus also has a habit of returning after the infection has supposedly cleared up. This stubborn disease is the most common nail infection, with up to 10% of all adults in Western countries having fungal infection of the nail. With prescribed oral medication being linked to serious and wide ranging systemic side effects, there is a huge demand for more natural solutions. Let’s look at what nail fungus is and how homeopathy could be the all-natural treatment so many are looking for.

Nail Fungus 101
Fungal toenail infection, medically called onychomycosis, is caused by a fungal microbe that invades the nail bed and not bacteria as many assume. These pathogens are comprised of dermatophytes, candida and non dermatophytic molds. Dermatophytes are a type of fungi that thrive predominantly in less tropical climates, making them the most common cause of nail fungus in the West. Conversely, candida and non dermatophytic molds are found more often in countries with a warmer and more humid climate. They love to soak in the humid environment created around feet.

We now we have a little context, so let’s take a look at the symptoms of toenail fungus. Signs of toenail fungus can include:

  • Yellowing or similar discoloration of the nail
  • Swelling of the nail
  • Separation of the nail from the bed
  • A slightly foul odor
  • Distorted shape of the nail
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These symptoms may seem merely cosmetic, but if left untreated, the fungus can cause further complications such as athlete's foot, cellulitis, and in extreme instances loss of the nail. Toenail problems are serious and daily treatments to clean your feet, whether they’re medical-grade antifungals of natural remedies such as oil soaks, should be taken seriously.

What Causes It?
The fungi that cause onychomycosis thrive in warm and wet environments—this is why places like public swimming pools and showers can act as an effective hotbed for the offending feet pathogens, with the fungus being transferred from person to person. The warm and moist environment of the sock is also conducive to fungal growth; this explains why toenails are more commonly infected than fingernails.
Public Pools

Understanding Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a holistic form of care founded on the use of highly diluted substances that allow the body to heal itself. All essential oil remedies qualify as homeopathic treatments. It originated in Germany in the late 1700s and has been widely practiced ever since. Homeopathy seeks to use the ‘law of similars,’ which states that whatever substance would cause your symptoms will also, when taken in small doses, can help reduce those same symptoms. Many antifungal medications to treat toes are natural, homeopathic remedies for toenail fungus that you can make in your own home without the help of a doctor.

This notion of ‘like cures like’ forms the backbone of the entire field of study. In theory, this small dose enhances the body’s innate abilities to deal with disease. A practitioner of homeopathy would administer solutions (liquid and oil mixes) or pills containing a trace amount of an active ingredient, usually a plant or mineral.

With the growing popularity of homeopathic solutions, let’s tie it all together and look at what a homeopathic remedy for toenail fungus can do for you.

Homeopathy and Nail Fungus
A homeopathic remedy for toenail fungus is prescribed by symptoms rather than specific conditions; this is due to the potential for the illness to develop differently from person to person. One main natural remedy for toenail fungus symptoms is a substance called silicea.

Silicea is a mineral derived from flint or quartz, and is said to have a number of health benefits that are particularly conducive to the body’s healing of nail fungus. Silicea is believed to help dry and brittle nails, as well as any nail discoloration.There is growing recognition from practitioners of homeopathy on silicea’s advantageous properties as well as its ability to keep toes clean of fungus and bacteria.

Another option worth considering is thuja. Thuja is the name of a genus of trees native to North America and East Asia. Throughout the 19th century thuja was often used as a oil-based treatment for ringworm, another infection caused by the dermatophyte fungi.

Homeopathy practitioners apply thuja oil to patients suffering from distorted and discolored nails. Thuja is also believed to help individuals who have excessive foot sweat. This is useful when combatting nail fungus; the dryer the foot is the less chance there is of recurrence after the body has healed the disease. In a recent study by the Natural Medicine Research Center in the Republic of Korea, thuja was found to provide anti-inflammatory relief when administered to mice. This property would in theory help the inflammation of the skin surrounding the nail, medically referred to as onychia.
Dry Foot

Finally we have antimonium crudum, a crystalline that is said to be useful for nails that are thick, brittle and distorted in shape. There is little clinical evidence to support this, however antimonium crudum is explicitly recommended for nail fungus by Dr. Shirin Wadia.

What’s the Verdict?
Many think homeopathy can go some way to offsetting the high recurrence rate of nail fungus; this alternative treatment has been shown to increase the immune system, which could result in the nail having a lower chance of future infection. It is these holistic advantages that have led many to view homeopathy as a safe and progressive treatment for nail fungus.

Although there is a shortage of clinically controlled trials, with so many prescribed drugs being inefficient at eradicating the fungus a course of homeopathy is definitely worth a try. The real advantage of homeopathic treatment is its typical complete lack of side-effects—when contrasted with the anti-fungal medicines that have been seen to wreak havoc on the body.