A nail fungal infection is an infection that affects the fingernail, toenail, and nail bed. Fungi may attack the nails through the small cuts that appear on the surrounding skin of the infected nail and through the space between the nail and nail bed. This won’t be a problem if you are healthy.
The Common Causes
Fungal nail infections may be caused by various microorganisms such as fungi, yeasts, and molds. Fungi are known to thrive without sunlight. In fact, they grow more in warm and moist environments. A fungal infection may be spread from one person to another or from contact with an infected surface. You may also be infected by frequently walking barefoot in damp public areas like swimming pools and shower rooms and also when you share your personal items like towels and nail clippers with others. This may also start as an athlete’s foot, and occurs when the fungus spreads from the skin to the nails.
The Common Symptoms
Symptoms may take time to fully develop. An infected nail may show the following symptoms:
Nail discoloration and distortion, nail thickening, the nail becoming crumbly, ragged on the edges, and brittle, the nail becoming dull, the nail separates from the nail bed, pain and discomfort emanating from the infected nail, and a foul smell in some cases.
The Common Treatments
You may have to try several treatment options to find the right one that suits your case, but usually oral antifungal medication may eliminate the fungus faster than any other type of nail fungus treatment.
Treatment often begins using over-the-counter medication that can be in the form of creams, lotions, or nail lacquer. The doctor may also prescribe a stronger nail medication that can be directly applied to the infected nail. For stubborn nail infections that don’t respond to any treatment, the doctor may prescribe a nail removal surgery.
1All about Vetiver or Kush
Vetiver (scientific name Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a genus of the grass family known as Poaceae. It grows more in a humid environment but away from heat. This is described as dense and clustered, its stems erect and stiff. It can reach up to 5 feet high and comes with brown or purple flowers. This plant is native to India. Vetiver has many other names including khus-khus, khus-khus grass, Cuscus grass, vetiver grass, Motgrass, Khuskhus Vetiver, and also Vetiveria. It is known for having a perennial lifespan and its elaborately structured roots.
The part of vetiver which is often used for medication is its roots. People use this plant as a medication for nervous and circulatory problems along with abdominal pain. Some women also take this plant to induce menstruation or to have an abortion. This can be applied directly to the skin to get rid of stress and do away with emotional trauma and stress and kill lice and insects. The plant is also used for treating burns, arthritis, and stab wounds. In the field of manufacturing, vetiver is also used as a flavoring agent in liquor production. Furthermore, it also contains insect repellent oil.
As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial
In a published study, vetiver essential oil was evaluated for its inhibitory activity against twenty bacterial strains along with two Candida species using the in vitro microbroth dilution method. The essential oil showed its outstanding activities against Gram-positive strains and one Candida glabrata strain. This finding reveals that vetiver may be an appropriate aspirant for developing an antimicrobial agent intended for medicinal purposes.
Another study investigated the effects of vetiver roots and leaves extracts with the help of various solvents like chloroform, methanol, and hexane. The findings showed that the highest inhibition was displayed by methanol vetiver extracts against Staphylococcus aureus while fungal culture, Aspergillus niger showed the highest inhibitory impact from the extracts.
Other Health Benefits of the Vetiver Oil
Vetiver essential oil which comes from the plant’s leaves and roots is fragrant. It also has a sharp earthy scent that is commonly smelled in men’s cologne. This essential oil is distilled from the plant’s roots. These are often aged before they are soaked in water. The oil produced is then scraped off the top of the water. This is a popular substance used in holistic practice, providing soothing and grounding capabilities. The following are some of the popular uses and benefits of vetiver essential oil:
For alertness and mental fatigue
A 2016 animal study showed that inhaling vetiver essential oil may improve mental alertness and prevent mental fatigue. This oil may make your brain more awake to help you focus more on a task you are finishing or remain alert to your environment.
Some people use vetiver essential oil for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD. A 2016 study revealed that vetiver oil may reduce mental fatigue and enhance alertness. This makes the essential oil beneficial for those who suffer from ADHD, allowing them to focus more on a task and prevent any sensory input.
For Tick Prevention
A 2015 study showed that this essential oil contains high toxicity against ticks. Once this essential oil is diluted with a carrier oil and applied to the skin the vetiver essential oil can become more effective compared to some commercial products that are marketed for tick bite prevention. Tick bites are known to cause Lyme disease.
Benefits of the Vetiver Root Powder
The vetiver root powder may also be used as a body cleanser. It is often used in the Ayurveda practice as a dry body massage. You can make a body cleanser by mixing turmeric flour, fenugreek, and vetiver powder. Massaging the body using such soft powders may stimulate lymphatic movement, improve blood circulation, support skin health, liquefy fats, and provide strength and tone to muscle tissues.
It may also work as a great skin exfoliant. And when used for oil massage, this may remove excess oil from the skin. This may also relieve stress. Vetiver’s sweet-smelling root powder has deodorizing activities and may balance the functions of sebaceous oil glands. It also has a rejuvenating effect on mature skin.
One of vetiver’s best benefits is its ability to make water potable. All you have to do is mix a few grams of vetiver powder into water. Filter the water and let it be. Drink it after 2 to 3 hours.