Natural Treatment of Toenail Fungus, Causes, Symptoms and More

Know about natural treatment of toenail fungus. Also know about causes, symptoms, diagnosis of toenail fungus through this blog.

What is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus, also called Onychomycosis and Tinea Unguium, is a fungal infection that affects the toenail bed. It is a common condition, affecting about 10% of adults. It usually starts as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail and can cause the nail to become thick, discoloured, and crumbly. Over time, the infection can spread to other toenails and even to the skin around the nail.

Who Does Toenail Fungus Affect?

Fungi is a living organism that loves to thrive in warm and moist environments. So, it usually affects those people who are extremely sweaty, who wear shoes all the time that make their feet less breathable and people who spend most of their time in the water. It can affect anyone irrespective of age and gender, but remember that it needs warm, wet and moisture to grow immensely.

How Common is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail Fungus fungal infections are more common than fingernail fungal infections. Around 14% of the general population tends to be affected with toenail fungal infection.

What are the Symptoms of Toenail Fungus?

Symptoms of toenail fungus can vary from person to person and also based on the severity of the disease natural remedies for toenail fungus can help in relieving these symptoms. The common signs and symptoms can include the following:

  1. Discolouration: The nail may change colour, appearing white, yellow, brown, or even black.
  2. Thickening: The nail may become thicker and harder than usual, making it difficult to trim.
  3. Brittleness and Crumbling: The infected nail may become brittle and crumble easily at the edges or break off completely.
  4. Separation from the nail bed: In severe cases, the nail may separate from the skin underneath, leaving a white or yellow space between the nail and the nail bed.
  5. Distortion: The nail may become misshapen, with an irregular or uneven surface.
  6. Debris buildup: Underneath the infected nail, you might notice a buildup of white or yellow debris.
  7. Odour: In some cases, a foul odour may come from the infected nail.
  8. Pain or discomfort in the toe.

What are the Causes of Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus is caused by the growth of fungi and Ayurveda offers the best natural treatment for toenail fungus by focusing on the root cause. These fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, which makes your toes particularly susceptible, especially if you:

  1. Wear tight-fitting, closed-toe shoes: This creates a warm and humid environment for fungi to grow.
  2. Have sweaty feet: Sweaty feet provide moisture that fungi need to thrive.
  3. Walk barefoot in public places: Public pools, locker rooms, and showers are common breeding grounds for fungi, as the floors are often damp and warm.
  4. Have a weakened immune system: Conditions like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or undergoing chemotherapy can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off fungal infections.
  5. Have a history of skin conditions: Having an athlete’s foot or ringworm can increase your risk of developing toenail fungus, as the same type of fungi can cause both conditions.
  6. Have had a nail injury: Injuries to the nail can create openings for fungi to enter and establish themselves.
  7. Share personal items: Sharing nail clippers, towels, or shoes with someone who has a fungal infection can increase your risk of contracting it.
  8. Poor Nail Hygiene: Not keeping your toenails clean and trimmed can create an environment where fungi can thrive. It’s essential to wash your feet regularly and keep your toenails trimmed to reduce the risk of infection. Good hygiene helps in the natural treatment of toenail fungus.
  9. Ageing: As we age, our nails can become more brittle and dry, making them more susceptible to fungal infections. Older adults may also have reduced blood flow to the feet, which can increase the risk of infection.
  10. Peripheral Vascular Disease: Poor blood circulation in the legs and feet can increase the risk of toenail fungal infections. People with peripheral vascular disease may have reduced blood flow to the feet, which can make it harder for the body to fight off infections.

While not as common, some other types of fungi besides dermatophytes can also cause toenail infections, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems. These are some of the most common causes and risk factors of getting toenail fungal infection.

What are the Causes of Toenail Fungus – As Per Ayurveda?

In Ayurveda, toenail fungus (often referred to as nakha kshudra or kunakha) is believed to be caused by an imbalance in the doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Here’s how Ayurveda explains the causes of toenail fungus:-

  • Imbalance of Kapha dosha: Kapha represents heaviness, coolness, and sluggishness. An excess of Kapha is believed to create a moist environment in the body, making it conducive to fungal growth. This can be due to factors like excessive intake of sweet, sour, and salty foods, or a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Weak Agni (digestive fire): Ayurveda emphasises the importance of Agni, the digestive fire that breaks down food and eliminates toxins. Weak Agni is believed to lead to the accumulation of ama (toxins) in the body, which can weaken the immune system and make it susceptible to fungal infections, including toenail fungus.
  • External factors: Ayurveda acknowledges certain external factors like:
    • Improper hygiene: Not drying feet thoroughly after bathing or wearing damp socks for extended periods can create a moist environment for fungi.
    • Injuries: Injuries to the toes can provide an entry point for fungal spores.
    • Exposure to damp environments: Walking barefoot in public areas like swimming pools can increase the risk of contracting fungus.

How to Diagnose Toenail Fungus in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda considers a few things before confirming the diagnosis and offers holistic treatment for toenail fungus. Ayurveda is a holistic approach in treating the disease, so just knowing the symptoms doesn’t work and the root cause analysis is needed. For this, an Ayurvedic doctor will ask you the following.

  • Your immunity testing (weak immunity associated with other risk factors is the root cause of the disease).
  • Your dosha imbalance (this can be known by some personal symptoms you can feel).
  • History of any fungal infection.
  • Presence of any other fungal infections like ringworm or athlete’s foot.
  • History of their occupations.
  • And the symptoms of toenail fungal infection (which is needed, if not a priority).

How Ayurveda Help to Treat Toenail Fungus Naturally?

The Ayurvedic treatment approach, a holistic treatment for toenail fungus, dates back to 5000 years ago and it offers root cause therapy by completely pulling out the disease from its roots and preventing it from recurrence.

Natural Remedies for Toenail Fungus

Ayurveda recommends various natural remedies that contains herbs like Changeri, Guduchi, Amalaki, Triphala, Neem, Khadir and Manjistha for natural treatment of toenail fungus. These remedies eliminate the diseases from the inside by correcting the imbalanced doshas, weakened Agni and altered or overactive immunity. These remedies also help in healing the damaged toenails and curbing the growth of the fungus before it can spread to other areas. Book an appointment to get natural remedies as per your health concerns.

Herbs for Toenail Fungus

As per Ayurveda, below explained herbs are very useful for the patient of Toenail Fungus:-

  • Changeri: It helps in reducing inflammation and fighting fungal infection.
  • Guduchi: it helps in enhancing the immunity power to fight against infections, and anti-inflammatory properties reduces the inflammation.
  • Amalaki: Its rich vitamin-c content helps in boosting the immunity and fighting the infection.
  • Triphala: It has three herbs which makes it a good immunity boosting and balancing doshas.
  • Neem: Its antifungal and antimicrobial properties help in killing and preventing the growth of fungi. 
  • Khadira: It has drying and cooling properties on the skin thereby reducing the growth of fungi.
  • Manjishtha: It helps in detoxifying the body and purifying the blood thereby eliminating the fungal infection.

Dietary Guidelines to Treat Toenail Fungus

These dietary guidelines not only help you in healing the toenail fungus but improves your overall health by boosting immunity, balancing doshas and eliminating toxins from the body.

1. Sugar and Yeast

Fungi usually thrive on sugar. So avoid foods containing sugar like sweets and bakery items like bread, cakes which contain yeast too. This helps in curbing the growth of the fungi as it creates an unfavourable environment for it.

2. Probiotics

These are rich in good bacteria and create a balance between the microbiome which is good for the skin and the gut. It also improves digestion and eliminates toxins from the body. 

3. Eat Antifungal Foods

Certain foods are rich in antifungal properties and including them in your daily diet can help to boost immunity too. It aids in fighting against fungal and other infections.

4. Include Vitamin C and Zinc Rich Foods

Vitamin C and Zinc helps in boosting the immunity and improve overall health.

5. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water and fresh fruit juices to keep the body hydrated. It helps in the elimination of toxins to improve overall health and boost immunity.

Lifestyle Modifications to Treat Toenail Fungus

These lifestyle modifications help in maintaining foot hygiene and prevent the spread of fungi to other fingers.

  • Wearing washed socks and changing them daily.
  • Prefer breathable shoes over tight-fitting shoes.
  • Wear sandals in the public places especially in communal bathrooms and around the swimming pools.
  • Avoid spending more time in water if possible.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry because moist and dirt can promote the growth of fungi.
  • Keep your nails trimmed (not too short) and clean all the time.
  • Avoid any trauma or injury to the nails, because injury can make the nails more susceptible to the fungal infection.
  • Maintain good foot hygiene by washing them regularly after roaming outside, dry them with a towel and moisturise them properly.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like socks and shoes with others to prevent spreading to others.

Yoga Asanas to Heal Toenail Fungus

Yoga asanas as such does not help in healing toenail fungal infection but the following poses can surely help in improving blood circulation to the feet and thereby fastening the process of healing.

  1. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose): This pose helps to lengthen the spine and stretch the calves and hamstrings, which can improve circulation to the feet.
  2. Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose): This pose allows gravity to assist in returning blood from the legs and feet to the heart, improving circulation.
  3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend): Forward bends like Uttanasana can help increase blood flow to the head and stimulate circulation in the feet.
  4. Tadasana (Mountain Pose): This simple standing pose helps to improve posture and alignment, which can support better circulation throughout the body, including the feet.
  5. Ankle Circles: While not a traditional yoga pose, gently rotating the ankles in circles while seated or lying down can help improve circulation to the feet.
  6. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose): This seated pose can help open up the hips and improve circulation to the pelvic area, which can benefit circulation to the legs and feet.


Toenail fungal infection also known as Onychomycosis or Tinea Unguium is the most common fungal infection that can be seen in anyone irrespective of gender and age. Every one in ten persons suffers from fungal infections. It can be easily spread to one another among the families, so attentive treatment is necessary and people must be aware of its complications. It can be due to weakened immunity followed by imbalanced doshas as per Ayurveda and people with unhygienic foot care and living mostly in water due to occupations are at more risk than others.

Consult Online with Dr. Sahil Gupta (B.A.M.S., M.H.A.)

Ayurveda offers a natural and holistic treatment for toenail fungus by addressing its root cause. At IAFA Ayurveda®, our Ayurveda expert, Dr. Sahil Gupta has treated more than tens of thousands of patients with fungal infections with a success rate of more than 90%. Read Successful case studies at our official website now.

IAFA® offers the natural treatment for toenail fungus that includes natural remedies along with certain diet and lifestyle modifications that focus on the elimination of the root cause of the disease. If any of your friends or your family members are suffering from any kind of fungal infection, we suggest you book an online consultation with our expert Dr. Sahil Gupta and get effective treatment. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Toenail Fungus Painful?

In some patients, it can be painful. More than the pain, the unaesthetic appearance is what hurts more.

2. Is Toenail Fungus Contagious?

Yes, fungal diseases are contagious and can easily spread from one person to the other in your family. So be cautious of the things you share with your family members.

3. What are Common Ways You Can Get Toenail Fungus?

Through contact with a damp and moist environment, walking barefoot in public places (pools, public toilets etc.,), sweaty feet and wearing unbreathable shoes.

4. Can Toenail Fungus Spread to Other Areas of Your Body?

If you get infected with toenail fungus, there is a majority chance that it can spread to other nails and fingers.

5. How to Prevent Toenail Fungus?

By focusing on the root cause and maintaining hygienic conditions to prevent toenail fungus from spreading and curbing its growth.

6. How is Toenail Fungus Treated in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda treats toenail fungus by addressing the root cause. Balancing the doshas, boosting the immunity, eliminating the toxins and infection from the body and promoting the Agni (the digestive fire). All these help in eliminating the infection and no recurrence can be seen.

7. What is the Most Effective Treatment for Toenail Fungus?

Ayurveda is the most effective treatment option because it focuses on the cause of the disease rather than the symptoms.

Dr. Sahil Gupta completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda in Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) and Master’s Degree in Health Administration (MHA) India. He is Registered Ayurvedic Doctor & Vaidya in India having Registration No. 23780. He is the CEO and founder of IAFA. After completing BAMS, Dr. Sahil Gupta started practicing Ayruveda by giving prime importance to allergic disorders management. He became the first Ayurvedic doctor to cure Food Allergies through Ayurveda. Read More About Dr. Sahil Gupta.

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