Should You Use Oregano Oil For Toenail Fungus?

oregano oil for toenail fungus

Oregano plant, which produces oregano oil, is not new at all and has been in use since the 18th century in parts of Europe, especially in Spain and Italy where it was mostly used for culinary purposes. Besides its use in the kitchen, many people also use oregano oil for toenail fungus treatment, as skin ointment to treat some bacterial infection, as an antioxidant, and more.

Oregano oil whose roots can be found in Europe and Asia is reported to have spread to the U.S. by World War II soldiers who were returning at the end of the war. (Source)

What is Oregano Oil?

Oregano oil commonly referred to as the “pizza herb” or Oregano essential oil is an essential oil that is extracted from the leaves of the oregano plant, also known as Origanum vulgare and is native to Western and Eastern Europe and parts of Asia.

Oregano oil contains more than 60 different identified compounds of which the primary ones are carvacrol and thymol that makeup over 80% of oregano compounds. These phenols (carvacrol, thymol, and rosmarinic acid) are responsible for almost all the attributed health benefits of Oregano oil.

How Oregano oil is made

Oregano oil can be made by slow extraction using a carier oil as shown in the video. However, pure concentrates of oregano oil is made by steam distillation.

Health benefits of oregano oil

The phenols found in large quantities in oregano oil have many health benefits that have been scientifically explored over over the last few decades. Some of these health benefits include;

Reduce inflammation

Research has shown that oregano oil can reduce inflammation in rats. A study in 2007 showed that using a combination of thyme oil and oregano oils markedly reduced most of the substances that caused inflammation in a mouse with colitis (inflammation of the gut).

The study concluded that “the combination of thyme and oregano essential oils has potential value as an additional or supporting treatment in gastrointestinal inflammations.””

Fight bacteria infection

Oregano oil can inhibit the growth of a number of bacteria according to numerous studies. A study found that oregano oil in low concentration was enough to stop the growth of Clostridium, Salmonella, and Listeria species.

Another study concluded that “Oregano extracts can be formulated into an ointment that shows broad antimicrobial activity” including bacteria that may be resistant to antibiotics.

Fight yeast infection

In addition to being able to fight off a broad range of bacteria, oregano oil due to its high concentration of phenols Thymol and Carvacrol, have been shown to stop the growth of several fungi including Candida, Penicillium, and Aspergillus species.

This study showed that Oregano oil in as little as 0.1% concentration was able to stop the growth of some fungi that can cause yeast infections. The study also concluded that Oregano oil should be examined further for possible efficacy in treating cancers.

Strong antioxidant

Many studies have shown that oregano oil has similar or stronger antioxidant effect than even vitamin E.

One study found that oregano oil contained the strongest concentration of antioxidants in comparison to 39 other herbs, more than in apples, oranges, and blueberries. Source

This powerful antioxidant activity is due to the high concentration of rosmarinic acid in oregano oil.

How to use oregano oil for toenail fungus

As oregano oil, due to its thymol and carvacrol content, is shown to be a potent antifungal oil, one of its many uses is in fighting toenail fungus. Using oregano oil for toenail fungus is a regular practice by many people who consider it to be effective.

To use oregano oil for toenail fungus;

  • Apply 3 – 6 drops of oregano oil on your feet up to 3 times in a day.
  • Before each use, make sure you wash your feet with soap and towel dry with clean towels.
  • After applying the oregano oil, massage in the oil and air your feet for a few minutes before wearing any coverings like shoes, socks, slippers, etc.
  • Use repeatedly for up to 3 months.
  • Remember to maintain good feet hygiene
  • Many people report seeing effects after the first few weeks.
  • Using some other additional treatment such as using a vinegar foot soak may give faster results.

Adverse effects of oregano oil

Having adverse effects when using oregano oil for toenail fungus is very rare. However, it is possible that one might experience some skin irritation and/or allergy to high concentrations of oil oregano oil mostly on the hands and feet.

Some other reported adverse effects include Allergic contact dermatitis, anaphylaxis, and liver injury. As always, before you take any oils or supplements by mouth be sure to you consult with your doctor.


A lot of people use oregano oil for toenail fungus and achieve good to great results. This means you should consider trying out oregano oil for your toenail fungus if you have tried some other remedies that did not work.

Also, if you find that it doesn’t work for you after 3 to 4 months of consistent use, I highly recommend that you see your doctor and discuss your options/alternatives.

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