Antifungal essential oil blends marketed as alternative medicines often contain clove oil for nail fungus. Popular for hundreds of years, cloves are native to Indonesia and they are best known to most of us an aromatic spice used in pumpkin pie and gingerbread men. Apart from the well known culinary uses, cloves have traditionally been used medicinally as an antiseptic, antibacterial, local anesthetic, relief for nausea and vomiting, a digestive aid, an anti-inflammatory, and even an aphrodisiac. The spice is now grown in other places, particularly Africa and Madagascar, and exported to the rest of the world. Whole cloves are the dried buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree, while the essential oil is made from the leaves of the same plant.
Well known antiseptic properties have lead investigators to wonder whether they could use Syzygium aromaticum for nail fungus and as an antifungal in other applications. Laboratory testing has confirmed that the plant extract kills yeast and fungi in solution, and experiments with plants have also shown antifungal properties – all positive signs that clove oil for nail fungus is a viable idea. The pure oil, however, is very strong and can cause dermatitis or burns if applied directly to the skin. For this reason, and because a number of other aromatic herbs have been shown to have antifungal ability, it’s a good idea to use clove oil blended with other plant essences.
Plants in nature have evolved their own ways of fighting off the fungi in the environment that would otherwise attack and kill them. The value of Syzygium aromaticum for nail fungus undoubtedly arises from the plant’s own need to protect itself from fungal attack. It’s a process of nature that we can easily exploit. Processing the plant to produce a concentrated clove oil for nail fungus provides an even more potent preparation – a natural and apparently effective therapy for a stubborn problem that seems to plague more and more people. For many, this type of approach is preferable to taking costly prescription drugs that have a reputation for causing unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects.
Some research indicates that clove oil for fungus may be particularly effective against Candida, a yeast that causes nail infections as well as vaginal infections and oral thrush. Clinical testing on human patients, however, is lacking, so no definitive statement can be made, and individuals should always consult a medical professional rather than self-diagnosing and treating a health problem. Fungal nail infections are no exception: many conditions can cause deformed or discolored nails and it’s important to get a professional diagnosis so that treatment can be tailored to the specific condition. If your physician diagnoses a fungal nail infection, then you can consider essential herbal oils including Syzygium aromaticum for nail fungus.
R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. She is a contributing editor to
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