Do you deal with pesky and persistent nail fungus? Have you tried everything in your health arsenal—from prescription antifungals to expensive creams and lotions to nail polish—and still had no luck in eliminating the fungal infection? If so, you are not alone.

Toenail Fungus Is A Common Problem

It’s estimated that 10% of the population deals with stubborn toenail fungus.1

Not surprisingly, conventional medicine’s answer to this widespread problem is to prescribe antifungal pills that are often ineffective and come with serious side effects, ranging from rashes and GI issues to potential liver damage.2

However, as with all skin issues, I find that toenail fungus is typically an outward manifestation of an underlying health issue inside of your body.

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After working with thousands of patients in my clinic, I’ve seen time and again that relentless skin issues—including toenail fungus, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, hives, athlete’s foot and ringworm—are most often caused by Candida overgrowth.3 Candida is a type of yeast that naturally lives in your body. However, when there is an overabundance of Candida, it disturbs a healthy gut balance.

So while you may be doing all you can to control your toenail fungus superficially, the key to eliminating the issue for good is to address the underlying cause of the infection.

Let’s discuss how an infection in your gut can lead to nail fungus. Then, we’ll cover the natural nail fungus killers you can take to rid yourself of nail fungus for good.

What Causes Toenail Fungus?

As I mentioned above, toenail fungus is often a sign of an underlying infection such as Candida overgrowth. However, plenty of environmental and lifestyle factors can contribute to toenail fungus. Bad bacteria can enter your body via cuts that occur on the skin surrounding your toenail, or in the separation between the nail and toe. Habits such as wearing sweaty socks or tight-fitting closed-toes shoes for a prolonged period of time can also contribute to your toenail fungus.4

If you live in a hot, humid climate, or spend a lot of time in the water, your chances of getting toenail fungus increase. A good rule of thumb for avoiding toenail fungus is to keep your feet as cool, clean, and dry as possible.

Natural Nail Fungus Solutions

There are several natural nail fungus regimens that you can do from the comfort of your home. 

nail fungus solutionsnail fungus solutions fungus solutions – infographic – Amy Myers MD®

Apple Cider Vinegar

Thanks to its powerful antimicrobial properties, apple cider vinegar is a great natural nail fungus inhibitor. Vinegar has antifungal effects on bacteria and yeasts such as E. coli, S. aureus and Candida albicans, and restricts their growth. What’s more, apple cider vinegar has been shown to break down bacterial biofilms, which are glue-like substances that bacteria use to stick to surfaces on your body.


MCT oil contains caprylic acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria and even impacts the growth of bacteria.5 Although there are still studies being conducted on the antibacterial and antimicrobial effects of medium-chain fatty acids, we do know that caprylic acid is beneficial in reducing bacterial overgrowth in the gut that could lead to Candida overgrowth, making it an excellent natural nail fighter.


Ginger is another powerful natural nail fungus killer because it contains gingerols and shogaols. These inflammation-fighting, antifungal components of the ginger root support a healthy balance of bacteria and help fight bad bacteria such as yeast and Candida albicans.6

If these natural nail fungus killers don’t seem to help get rid of your fungal infection, it likely means that your toenail fungus is a sign of an underlying infection such as Candida overgrowth.

The Nail Fungus and Candida Connection

So what exactly is Candida, and how does it become a problem? You might be surprised to learn that Candida is a type of yeast naturally present in small quantities in your mouth and intestines. It helps you digest and absorb the nutrients from your food. However, when it overgrows and gets out of control it can lead to a variety of symptoms, from skin issues such as nail fungus, itching, psoriasis, and rashes, to brain fog, chronic fatigue, mood issues, bloating, constipation, seasonal allergies, and even autoimmune conditions.7

Candida overgrowth can be triggered by any number of factors. For example, a round of antibiotics may kill off the good bacteria that keep yeast in check, allowing Candida to gain control of your intestines. Lifestyle factors may also contribute to yeast overgrowth in your gut. Diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol feed the yeast naturally present in your body. While factors such as birth control pills or a high-stress lifestyle may disrupt the delicate balance of your gut flora, providing the ideal environment for yeast to flourish and manifest as a fungal infection.

How Candida Becomes A Whole-Body Problem

Now you may be wondering, how does Candida become a fungal infection? Pathogenic fungi such as Candida have evolved to survive in a human host through morphogenesis, meaning they can change their cell shape and size.8

Candida in particular changes from a rounded cell to an elongated hyphal cell. These elongated hyphal cells can then permeate your gut lining, leading the gut to become leaky. A leaky gut allows the yeast to escape your gut via your bloodstream and colonize other areas of your body, including your toenails and fingernails.

This is how Candida can quickly escalate from a gut issue to a whole-body problem, and why it can be so difficult to pinpoint, as it can affect everything from your brain to your skin.

It’s also why I so often see Candida overgrowth in my autoimmune patients. Candida causes leaky gut, which then leads to autoimmune disease. That’s another major reason why it’s key to correctly identify Candida as the underlying cause of your fungal infection so that you can deal with it before it leads to more serious health conditions.

How to Overcome Candida and Eliminate Nail Fungus

If you suspect that your nail fungus stems from an overgrowth of Candida in your system, don’t worry—there are simple, natural nail fungus regimens that start with tackling Candida overgrowth and restoring optimal gut balance. In my Candida Breakthrough® Program, I use a proven, 3-step approach to help you beat Candida overgrowth.

Step one is to starve the yeast by eliminating the foods that feed it. This includes cutting all sugar and alcohol, and limiting carbohydrates such as fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and legumes to no more than 1 cup a day. I also recommend adding plenty of coconut oil, garlic, ginger, and other foods that fight Candida to your diet.

Step two is to attack the yeast using supplements that destroy Candida’s cell walls. I use Candifense®, a powerful blend of plant-based enzymes that break down the cell walls of Candida, and Caprylic Acid, a short-chain fatty acid derived from coconut that pokes holes in the yeast cell walls.

The last step in your anti-Candida natural nail fungus regimen is to repopulate your gut with the probiotics, or good bacteria, that usually keep the yeast in check. While combating Candida, I recommend a 100 Billion Probiotic, which contains 100 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade bacteria. This will not only help restore your gut’s healthy balance but also help repair your gut lining so that the Candida can no longer escape and wreak havoc in other areas of your body.

Candida Breakthrough Kit bottles

Nail Fungus FAQs

What does toenail fungus look like?

If you’re experiencing toenail fungus, you might notice that your nail has become yellow-brown in color, distorted or warped, or usually brittle or thick. Many people with toenail fungus also report a slight odor coming from the infected nail.

What are the best natural nail fungus fighters?

Because toenail fungus is often a symptom of an infection such as Candida overgrowth, the best natural nail fungus fighters involve attacking yeast and Candida albicans in your gut and repopulating it with good bacteria through diet and supplementation.

What is the best home regimen for toenail fungus?

You can do natural nail fungus regimens at home by soaking your feet in an antimicrobial liquid such as MTC oil or apple cider vinegar.

Article Sources

  1. Toenail Onychomycosis: An Important Global Disease Burden. J Thomas, G A Jacobson, C K Narkowicz, G M Peterson, H Burnet, C Sharpe. NCBI. 2010.
  2. Antifungal Medicines. Our Health Service.
  3. Candidiasis of the Skin (Cutaneous Candidiasis). Rachel Nall. Healthline. 2019.
  4. 7 Healthy Habits to Prevent Toenail Fungus. Diana Rodriguez. Everyday Health. 2014.
  5. Dietary Fatty Acids and Immune Response to Food-Borne Bacterial Infections. Lisa M. Harrison, Kannan V Balan, Uma S Babu. NCBI. 2013.
  6. Active Ingredients of GInger as Potential Candidates in the Prevention and Treatment of Diseases Via Modulation of Biological Activities. Arshad H Rahmani, Fahad M Al Shabrmi, Salah M Aly. NCBI. 2014.
  7. Candidiasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  8. Morphogenesis in Fungal Pathogenicity: Shape, Size, and Surface. Linqi Wang, Xiaorong Lin. NCBI. 2012.