Try vinegar for toejam
Vinegar foot baths are a traditional remedy for toenail fungus, and apple cider vinegar, in particular, has a folk reputation for being a cure-all. Scientists have not studied the use of vinegar to fight fungus – there have been no clinical trials to prove or disprove folk claims about the effectiveness of vinegar. (Apple cider vinegar, however, is currently being studied to find out if it is effective for lowering cholesterol.) Most sources say that any kind of vinegar can be used, and plain white vinegar is the least expensive. But apple cider vinegar, though more expensive, is said to be more effective against toenail fungus. Some people find that vinegar is not enough to get rid of persistent fungi, but it is a cheap and harmless thing to try, and it does work for many people. If you are willing to be patient, it probably makes sense to try a simple, inexpensive remedy, such as vinegar foot baths, before moving to more expensive measures, such as the use of essential oils or antifungal drugs that require a prescription and a doctor’s visit.
Fungi have a high rate of recurrence, even when people manage to get rid of them. There is not much point in treating a toenail fungus with vinegar or any other antifungal agent unless you also take action to change the conditions that made it possible for fungi to settle in to begin with. This means, first, keeping the feet and toes clean and dry, and wearing socks that are clean and dry. Some people also find that they cannot totally eradicate toenail fungi until they make changes to their diet. Providing the body with a balanced, nourishing diet is helpful for most health conditions, and toenail fungi are no exception.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus
- Soak the affected area in undiluted vinegar for 30 minutes, twice a day. Or, if you prefer, use a half and half solution of vinegar and water.
- Dry the feet carefully after soaking, and apply olive oil to moisturize the skin.
- You can also try taking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar (preferably organic apple cider vinegar) in water once a day, to change the pH balance in the whole body.
Why It Works
Fungi thrive in an alkaline environment. But vinegar is very acidic. It is thought that by changing the pH balance (the acid/alkaline balance) of the skin on the foot, vinegar can make the ecology of the foot uninviting to fungi. As the foot becomes a more inhospitable place for fungi to live, fungi cells gradually die off and do not reproduce.
There are no known side effects to topical or oral applications of vinegar. However, vinegar will sting if there are any open cuts, scratches or scrapes on the foot.