We've heard that Vicks VapoRub can cure toenail fungus before (it's also helpful when you've got a cold!), but the New York Times recently put it to the test. The results: The thyme in VapoRub can in fact do the job.
Photo by eHow
Researchers have been studying the effects of the herb, thyme, on curing toenail fungus — a condition that, while not normally harmful, affects about 15 per cent of Americans (insert your own joke here). The over-the-counter medications for eliminating nail fungus are plagued with drawbacks. They're expensive, don't have great results, and have a whole slew of side effects. Here's what The New York Times had to say about the research surrounding the use of herbal remedies such as thyme instead:
In one study, scientists tested the antifungal effects of the ingredients in a generic medicated chest rub. Of the seven ingredients, thymol was among the most effective at inhibiting the growth of dermatophytes that cause nail fungus. Other studies in animals have also shown thymol oil to be effective against dermatophytes. And studies have also shown that thymol oil destroys another cause of nail fungus, Candida, by disrupting its cell membranes and metabolism.
You can purchase thyme oil at health/natural food stores, or if you want to take the VapoRub route (the cream contains Thymol, a thyme derivative), you can check out eHow for directions on the VapoRub regimen instead.
Like we said, we've seen this mentioned before, so if you've tried this home remedy yourself, let's hear how it worked out for you in the comments.
Alternative Medicine Cabinet: Thyme for Toenails [The New York Times]