best essential oils for toenail fungus

When you think of nails, you’d hope to think of healthy pink nails, or at least a splash of pretty nail varnish. However, things might be going a bit wrong if you start to notice cracks and discoloration. Today we’re going to look at the best essential oils for toenail fungus. 

10 Best Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus

1. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Around 20% of the population will develop a toenail fungal infection at some time or another. Fungal infections discolor the nail, turning it from yellow to brownish. These bacteria can then lead to nail infections and other skin diseases making it even more problematic. Several different strains of fungus might be responsible which can mean it is a stubborn problem that is hard to get rid of. It’s not an easy thing to get on top of because of the ease of reinfection.

Tea tree comes at the top of the list of the best essential oils for toenail fungus, because of its strong history of being used as an antifungal agent. However, tea tree oil is also rich in antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antiseptic constituents. 

Research conducted in 2013 showed that constituents in tea tree oil interacted with the trichophyton rubrum virus, which causes nail fungus and skin infections.

One big tip. 

When using any of the best essential oils for toenail fungus, always scrunch some neat tea tree oil into your socks and leave them overnight before washing them. If you don’t you’ll find you continue to reinfect your feet every time you put your socks on because they are still full of live spores. 

Safety: Tea tree is safe and easy to use, as long as you avoid using it during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

2. Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano essential oil is a natural and organic remedy that you can use in helping with specific skin conditions. It is jam-packed with constituents that have natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is among the best essential oils for toenail fungus because it is a hot, aggressive sledgehammer of an essential oil.

Oregano is rich in the chemical constituent thymol which has strong antimicrobial and antibacterial abilities. It’s also rich in carvacrol, again successful at fighting fungal and yeast infections. Put kindly, it’s a bit of a beast and can be responsible for skin irritation if it is not used with care. But it’s its monster personality that makes it so good at what it does. Just ensure that your oil is well diluted before you apply it, but also use it liberally all over the surrounding areas to really get your best healing opportunity possible. We like grapeseed as a carrier because it is thin and absorbs quickly, but any carrier oil will do. 

Safety: Oregano is generally safe, but It causes skin irritation if used in high concentrations. Do not use it on children under two years of age. Oregano is not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.  

3. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme is a medicinal spice used in a variety of things, particularly in cooking chicken, and steak. The essential oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the herb and is among the best essential oils for toenail fungus. Historically, it has been used because of its antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2012 study saw that 3% of subjects who used thyme essential oil saw improvements in eczema and other fungal conditions. Thyme essential oil helps to maintain a healthy immune system that fights off the fungus in your nail. It also promotes the formation of new cells.

Safety: Thyme is not suitable for use during the first 16 weeks in pregnancy and might be a little harsh for small children.

4. Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil is an essential oil that is derived from the Syzygium aromatic tree that is commonly found in areas of Southeast Asia and South America. It contains antioxidant, antiviral, and antifungal constituents that support your immune system in its battle against nail bacteria. 

A study conducted in 2007 suggested that clove might be one of the best essential oils for toenail fungus when it proved that it prevented various bacteria and fungi from developing in a petri dish. Clove oil may help maintain healthy immunity and encourage the formation of new and healthy nails.

Clove essential oil is another beast. NAHA recommended that to make a 2.5 percent solution, you need to add 15 drops of clove oil per ounce of carrier oil. This dilution ratio is the recommended measurement for creams, lotions, facial and essential oils. This oil would be safe to use after the first 16 weeks of pregnancy have elapsed and again, we would not suggest use on children under 6.

5. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon essential oil is a remarkable oil made from cinnamon bark. It is one of the best essential oils for toenail fungus since it is simple, inexpensive with all-natural ingredients. It contains powerful substances that help fight bacteria and fungus, as well as aids in preventing the growth of infections in your skin and nails. Cinnamaldehyde is helpful in fighting off bacteria and various kinds of skin infections. Another active component is eugenol a powerful antimicrobial agent. Eugenol is antifungal and may help to prevent fungus from reoccurring.

Cinnamon is a very irritating oil so it is very important to dilute them with a carrier oil. Take note that the maximum dilution of cinnamon is about 0.8%. This is probably not an oil you would want to choose during pregnancy at all, and again, it’s not one for the little ones. It’s way too fierce. 

6. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint is probably not one of the best essential oils for toenail fungus in it’s own right, but it is refreshing and helpful for smelly feet. There are stronger oils on this list of the best essential oils for toenail fungus but peppermint oil also contains antifungal, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory constituents. 

Peppermint is safe and easy to use for toenail fungus. Simply add a drop to a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage it into the nail beds. As always, we would not advocate using peppermint oil in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

7. Lavender Essential Oil

The lavender essential oil contains linalool and linalyl acetate which helps with fungal diseases. They also serve as a key function in anti-inflammatory properties. As per the Journal of Medical Microbiology, in their published study, they state that lavender oil provides a strong antiviral activity against fungi that cause common skin and nail infections. It is considered one of the best essential oils for toenail fungus because of its benefits. Apply lavender oil to your toenail fungus regularly, to prevent future bacteria and to make your nails free from fungus. Again, just avoid those delicate first 4 months of pregnancy with lavender oil, and you’re good to go.

8. Lemon Essential Oil

Toenail fungus often responds well to lemon oil. In general, citrus oils tend to contain constituents with antibacterial and antifungal effects. Research shows that the constituents in lemon oil effectively penetrate to the deeper layers of your skin, which may be why it is among the best essential oils for toenail fungus.

In addition, lemon assists in clearing up the ugly side effects left by the toenail fungus, since it can make it whiter and healthier. Lemon essential oil is an irritating oil, especially if the oil is old, so be careful not to use old lemon essential oil for this, or it may sting a little. 

Safety-wise, your only considerations with lemon are to avoid it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. 

9. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemonbalm nourishes nails, keeping them healthy and supporting healthy defenses against future re-infection.  Like all the other best essential oils for toenail fungus it may be successful because it is so irritating, so again, be sure to dilute it to around 1.5% dilution. For ease, go 1 drop to two teaspoons of carrier oil. As usual, do not use lemongrass during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

10. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus has a woody, menthol scent with a distinctive smell. It has constituents of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that help with your toenail fungus.

DIY Recipes with the Best Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus

10 best essential oils for toenail fungus

DIY Essential Oil for Toenail Fungus

This DIY essential oil recipe is one of the popular and effective recipes you can follow. Among all oil blends, these oils are the most effective in treating your skin diseases particularly, for treating toenail fungus. This is a combination of different oils including:


  • 10 ml Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 1 drop of Cinnamon Oil (Cinnamomum verum)
  • 1 drop of Clove Oil (Syzygium aromaticum)
  • 1 drop of Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 1 drop of Lemon Oil (Citrus limon)

Safety: You must avoid using this blend during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. If irritation and swelling occur, discontinue using them.

Tea Tree-Lavender-Lemon Rub

Combining these 3 essential oils can create a powerful and much more effective oil that you can use in treating your toenail fungus. It will not overpower each other and instead will heal your toenail fungus faster. Here are the mixture and measurements you should follow:


  • 10 ml of Jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 1 drop of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 1 drop of Lavender oil ( Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 1 drop of Lemon oil (Citrus limon)

Safety: You must avoid using this blend during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. If irritation and swelling occur, discontinue using them.

Baking Soda Soak

Baking soda also has an antiseptic characteristic that you can effectively combine with apple cider vinegar plus your favorite essential oils. When you combine them, it is guaranteed to effectively clean, disinfect and kill your toenail fungus. Hence, here are the following ingredients and measurements you should follow.


  • Baking soda (approximately 4 to 5 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • Your chosen essential oil

After combining this ingredient, you can now proceed in soaking your feet for about 10 to 15 minutes every day.


So there you have it! Best of luck with whichever of our best essential oils for toenail fungus you choose. Remember though, always scrunch some tea tree in your socks to prevent reinfection!

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