Athlete’s foot is an annoying, irritating fungal skin infection. It frequently begins between the third and fourth toes, and later can invade other toes, toenails, and the skin over the arch. Infected toenails become thickened and distorted. The pain, inflammation, and itching can range from slight to severe.
The island people of Jamaica have always controlled athlete’s foot infections with a garlic massage.
Directions: Wash the affected foot in soapy water. Rinse and dry well. Peel fresh garlic and massage onto the area of infection twice a day, until the foot looks clear and healthy. To prevent recurrences, ]amaicans follow up with a twice-a-week garlic massage.
Russian peasants also used garlic as a fungus remedy.
Directions: The curative lotion combines eight ounces of peeled, minced garlic with four ounces of olive oil. Keep the mixture in a warm place for three days. Strain out the garlic and apply the oil to a well-cleaned, rinsed, and dried foot area. Use once or twice a week as a preventive measure. Often peasants added small amounts of anise, caraway, or cinnamon oil to mask the garlic odor.
Tea Tree Oil
Captain James Cook was sent to Tahiti by the British in 1768 on a secret mission. On this voyage, he discovered the island of New Zealand, then went west to Australia. One of his many discoveries was the way the aborigines used leaves of the tea tree for first aid. Nothing much was done with this herbal find until the First World War when Australian soldiers used the leaves of the tea tree to guard against insect bites and skin infections. Current research on the tea tree shows the oil from the leaves is an excellent external antibacterial, anti-fungicidal remedy.
Directions: For external fungal infections, apply tea tree oil with a disposable cotton swab every day. This oil is available in local health food stores and by mail order.
Over the past centuries, Chinese doctors controlled the problem of damp and itchy toes by firmly applying pressure to the upper part of the foot.
Directions: Press deeply on the foot at the separation point between the fourth and smallest toes. Wash hands afterwards and dry them with a disposable paper towel.
Apple Cider Vinegar
American pioneers used the residue of cooked and fermented apples – apple cider vinegar – as their athlete’s foot remedy.
Directions: Soak a cloth in apple cider vinegar, wring out, and apply overnight to the foot. Repeat as often as necessary.