There are natural remedies for the treatment of toenail fungus that have proven successful in some patients, such as the application of snakeroot extract on the infected toenails, states Mayo Clinic. Tea tree oil is also said to be possibly effective when used under certain guidelines.
A fungal infection that particularly impacts the nails is medically referred to as "onychomycosis," which develops more frequently in toenails than in fingernails. Modern conventional treatment for this condition involves taking oral anti-fungal drugs, using medicated nail lacquers and even surgical removal of the infected nails in severe cases, notes Healthline. As of 2015, there is insufficient scientific literature to support using traditional methods in treating toenail fungus, although the results of some studies show that patients can derive therapeutic benefits from alternative approaches.
Snakeroot extract is obtained from plants belonging to the sunflower family. In one study involving 110 test subjects, the researches concluded that this product's efficacy is comparable to ciclopirox, an anti-fungal nail lacquer. The extract was topically administered on the infected toenails on a 3-day interval for the first month. It was then reduced to a bi-weekly application for the second month and finally, the extract was only applied once during the third month of treatment.
Tea tree oil, which is said to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, is extracted from the tea tree's leaves. Around 18 percent of patients who used a 100-percent tea tree oil solution, which was applied twice a day for 6 months, experienced curative effects. This method of application also led to enhanced nail appearance and alleviated symptoms in around 56 percent of patients after 3 months of treatment, which increased to 60 percent when treatment was extended for another 3 months, notes WebMD.