Athlete's foot and ringworm infections are caused by fungus. Fungi are plant like organisms that thrive in dampness and warmth. They can be passed from person to person or from one area to another. Symptoms include moist, weepy, red patches of skin, scaling or peeling skin, thickened skin, irritated blotches with blisters, and unpleasant odor. Herbs and essential oils can help!
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Athlete's foot is usually found on the feet. Ringworm may appear on the lets, arms, stomach, or chest. Fungus can grow on other areas of the body that are moist including under the arms and in fleshy folds of the skin. They can also grow under the toenails.
Tea tree essential oil is an excellent remedy that fights fungus infection including tough under the toenail varieties. Before treatment, clean area and scrape away as much dead skin as possible. Apply tea tree essential oil directly to infected nail at least once a day. Successful treatment requires frequent applications over a period of time so don't give up unless there are signs of allergic reaction.
Garlic is anti-fungal. Apply garlic juice to infected area three or four times a day. Also take garlic by mouth. Garlic caps are available at health food stores and may be a better choice if bad breath is a concern. Garlic provides many health benefits such as building immunity.
Athlete's foot sufferers can benefit from an evening foot bath. Soak feet in a mixture of warm dandelion root tea, tea tree essential oil, and black walnut extract. Some herbalists call for a cup of vinegar to be added to this bath. Follow with a generous application of witch hazel.
Athlete's foot fungus loves moisture so try to keep feet dry and go barefooted whenever possible. Exposure to sunlight can also bring good results. Sometimes dabbing vinegar between the toes can bring soothing relief. A garlic and honey poultice can work wonders if you have time to sit for an hour or two.
Ringworm calls for strong basil tea or myrrh extract applications. Other herbal remedies to try are grapefruit seed extract, yellowroot, oregano, evening primrose oil, aloe, and calendula cream. For stubborn ringworm infection mix two teaspoons of sesame seed oil, two teaspoons of brewer's yeast, and a powdered B vitamin. Apply before bed and leave on all night. Rinse in the morning and follow with ten or fifteen minutes of sunshine. Repeat as necessary.
Reoccurring and persistent fungus infections indicate a suppressed immune system. Ginseng, astragalus, Echinacea, licorice, shiitake mushrooms, calendula, chamomile, burdock, dandelion, kelp, thyme, lavender, lemon, red clover, marshmallow, or mullein should be taken in tea form or added to the diet on a daily basis. Try chewing on a ginseng root, sipping chamomile tea, taking a teaspoon of licorice tincture, and adding twigs of thyme to a salad.
When taking herbs to build the immunity, remember that a healthy lymphatic system is the goal. Since the lymph glands aren't pumps, they depend on body movement to get things going. Exercise, massage, and alternating hot and cold temperatures can really boost the immune system. Once toxins are flushed from the body and healing properties from the herbal remedies are transported to cells, fungal infections don't have a chance.
* Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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