The Main Uses and Benefits of Thyme Oil.
Thyme is a quite commonly used herb in the kitchen and it is also quite well-known antiseptic. It is being used in aromatherapy & cooking and you can find it included in various ointments, mouthwashes, perfume mixes. Thyme medical and other properties were recognized many years ago and it was used in various countries like France, Spain and Morocco.
Thyme essential oil is being made by extracting leaves and flowering tops of Thyme plant. It is worthwhile mentioning that Thyme content in essential oil can vary. Depending on the brand some essential oils can contain up to 54% of Thymol while others only about 20%. Since Thyme plant is being grown in various climates and environments, its chemical composition can vary slightly too.
Depending on the variety of Thyme potential benefits of this essential oil can be different too. Some of the most commonly distinguished benefits of Thyme are its ability to lower blood pressure, reduce coughing, enhance immune system, boost mood, fight acne and more.
Does Thyme Oil work for Nail Fungus?
The main reason why many people consider this essential oil for nail fungus treatment is because it contains a few chemicals that are known to be effective for treating bacterial and fungal infections. When it comes to studies, there were a few of them done on both humans and animals those main aim was to investigate whether thyme essential oil can work for treating nail fungus or fungus related conditions.
One of the studies in 2003 tested different ingredients included in Meijer Chest Rub and their effectiveness in controlling different dermatophytes. Results of this study showed that Thymol was among the most effective components in this rub that was able to inhibit the growth of nail fungus causing dermatophytes.
The other study in 2008 tested whether 1% Thyme oil solution can effectively treat animals induced with different types of dermatomycetes. Within 37 days period of time animals in this study were cured by using Thyme oil.
One more study, which was done in 2007, tried to investigate whether Thymol can inhibit viability and formation of Candida Albicans. Results of this study showed that Thymol is able to disturb metabolism and cellular membranes of this this type of fungus.
The latest study done in 2012 tested if antifungal cream containing 3% of Thyme Oil can work effectively against Eczema skin lesions. This type of cream was able to heal ~67% of participants in the study having these lesions. Even though this study tested Thyme Oil effectiveness for a different condition, it is still a viable proof that this essential oil works well against fungus related conditions.
To conclude findings of these studies, it can be said that it is definitely worthwhile to consider this particular essential oil as a home remedy for treating toenail fungus. It is relatively cheap treatment and only a few potential side effects are possible. Although it is important to acknowledge that even though evidence of Thyme antifungal properties is strong, further research is definitely needed to investigate whether it is effective and lasting treatment for nail fungus.
How to use it for Toenail Fungus?
There are a few different ways how Thyme Oil can be used to treat toenail fungus. One of the options would be to make a warm foot bath. To prepare this type of bath it is enough to add 5 drops of this essential oil to warm water.
Some sources recommend to use Thyme and Jojoba Essential Oils together in order to make an effective treatment for toenail fungus. To prepare a mix of these two essential oils you would need 1 ounce of Jojoba Oil and up to 5 drops of Thyme Essential Oil. After mixing these two oils together simply apply them on affected nail and leave it for about 15 minutes time so that they penetrate into nail deeper.
Since Thyme is also one of the components of Vicks Vapor Rub (commonly used home remedy for treating nail fungus) you can try coating your affected nails with this solution. Even though there is not so many Thyme in this rub, most other components in formulation are proven to work well for toenail fungus treatment.
Thyme is also a common ingredient in various OTC Treatments for toenail fungus. You can find a full list in this article.
Are there any Side Effects?
The risk of experiencing side effects due to application of Thyme Oil on the skin is highly unlikely. Potential side effect of applying this essential oil is irritation of skin. In case you want to avoid it you can try applying this oil on a small patch of skin in the beginning. It is also possible that a few people might experience allergic reaction to Thyme. The risk of having an allergy for Thyme tends to be higher for people who are also allergic to Oregano or Lamiaceae species. The usage of Thyme Oil topically is not very well tested for children or breastfeeding & pregnant women so it might be best to avoid using it without consultation from a healthcare provider.