Athlete’s foot and toe nail infections are the common types of fungal infections that affect the foot. Regardless of the type of foot fungal infection, herbs with potent antifungal properties can effectively treat the condition. They work by destroying the dermatophytes and yeasts responsible for the infection.
There is sufficient scientific evidence that support the effectiveness of herbal remedies in treating fungal infections of the foot. Regular application of pastes prepared with herbs or soaking the affected foot in herbal decoctions helps in clearing the infection. In addition to topical use, certain antifungal herbs can be taken internally to enhance the natural ability of the body to fight fungal infections.
Effective Herbs For Treating Foot Fungus
Matricaria recutita, commonly known as German Chamomile, has been used for centuries for treating fungal infections of the skin.
Applying chamomile paste to the affected area or taking a footbath by adding 5 to 10 drops of chamomile essential oil to a tub of water or decoction prepared by boiling 1/4lb of dried flower in water helps to clear the fungal infection. The antifungal property of chamomile is primarily attributed to its bioactive constituents Chamazulene, Umbelliferone, Alpha-Bisabolol and flavonoids.
Senna alata, commonly known as ringworm tree, is rich in antifungal compounds that help in speedy healing of fungal infections of the foot.
The leaves of Senna alata are the key sources of powerful antifungal compounds called anthraquinone aglycones and anthraquinone glycosides that help in destroying and inhibiting growth of dermatophytes responsible for fungal infections of the foot.
Hydrastis Canadensis or goldenseal is recommended in the folk medicines of America for treating fungal infections. Berberine, the key bioactive constituent of the plant, is a potent antifungal agent.
Studies suggest that berberine works by obstructing production of an enzyme that helps the yeasts to colonize. To treat fungal infection of the foot, add few drops of liquid extract of goldenseal to a tub filled with water and take a footbath for about 15 to 20 minutes daily.
In Ayurveda, Azadiractha indica, commonly known as neem, is widely recommended for treating athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. The leaves and seeds of neem are especially noted for their antifungal activity. According to researches, neem works by preventing colonization and inhibiting growth of dermatophytes and yeasts.
People suffering from fungal infections of the foot can cover the infected area with paste prepared with fresh neem leaves or take a footbath with a decoction prepared by simmering neem leaves in water. Oil extracted from neem seeds can also be used for treating the fungal infection.
In South American folk medicine, pau d’arco or Tabebuia avellanedae is widely used for treating fungal infections of the foot. The antifungal constituents of the plant are known as naphtoquinones.
In addition to their antifungal properties, these compounds also help in reducing inflammation. The antifungal components of pau d’aro work by breaking down the walls of the yeast cells. People suffering from fungal infections of the foot can take footbath with pau d’arco tea.