Toenail fungus is also called onychomycosis. The doctor may also call it tinea unguium sometimes. Fungal infections may be caused by various yeasts, molds, and fungi that may grow in the cracks of the nail or the surrounding skin. Athletes’ foot which is often contracted in locker rooms is a type of fungus that often leads to a toenail fungal infection or a skin infection. The most prevalent fungus that spreads on the feet and requires a nail fungus treatment is known as dermatophyte.Fungus thrives more in a dark, warm, and moist environment.
The Common Symptoms
It is important that when you experience the following symptoms, you have to consult your doctor. Toenail infections can be hard to treat, but they can be treated. When they are left on their own, the infection may worsen. The following are the most common symptoms of a nail fungal infections: discolored nails, nails with yellow streaks, the nail separating from the nail bed, brittle, ragged, and crumbly nails, the nail having white spots on the surface, debris buildup underneath the nail, and having thickened, dull, and distorted nails.
Men are three times more likely to grow toenail fungal infections than women. You are at a higher risk of getting infected when you smoke and have diabetes or other chronic condition that may compromise your immune system.
It’s important to diagnose the condition since the symptoms are similar to other health conditions. This can be done by taking a nail sample and sent to a lab for microscopy.
The Nail Fungal Treatment
A nail fungus treatment may vary depending on the cause and severity of the infection. The most effective form of treatment is an oral antifungal medication, which must be taken for several months. This is prescribed by a doctor. For mild cases, you may try nail fungal treatments that can be bought over the counter.
2All about Hyssop
Hyssop (scientific name Hyssopus officinalis) is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries. It goes back to biblical times. It was mentioned in the Old Testament. The above-ground parts of the plant are used as medicine, and not just the roots.
It is likely that you have come across hyssop but you haven’t realized it. It has a bitter taste, and it is commonly added as a food flavoring. Its oil is oftentimes used as body fragrance and even as makeup.
Hyssop is commonly known as garden hyssop, Isopo, yanagi-hakka, hastipippili, common hyssop, hyssop herb, hisopo, and curdukotu.
Hyssop is a garden herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae or mint family. The mint family is composed of a wide variety of medicinal and kitchen herbs. Other popular herbs that belong to the family are the following: peppermint, lavender, thyme, oregano, catnip, rosemary, basil, and sage. This plant is native to Asia Minor and the northern Mediterranean coast. It has been naturalized in some parts of the US. The name hyssop is believed to be derived from the Hebrew word aesob meaning holy herb. This also comes from the Greek word Hysoppus. Centuries ago, this herb was said to be used for cleaning sacred places. Its leaves continue to be used in cooking, providing flavor to stews, soups, meats, sauces, and salads.
As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial
Hyssop oil is known for its antifungal and fungicidal effects. The hyssop essential oil contains the following constituents: pinocamphone, β-pinene, isopinocamphone, as well as other terpenoids. It also comes with other secondary metabolites which include the flavonoids quercetin, luteolin, apigenin, and glucosides. It also contains phenolic compounds like ferulic, protocatechuic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic, and p-hydroxy-benzoic acid. All of these combined in the hyssop essential oil have been reported to contain potential antifungal and antiviral activities.
A recent study exhibited the inhibitory activity of the hyssop essential oil against the following pathogens: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus hauseri, Rhodococcus equi, Salmonella enteritidis, Listeria innocua, Enterococcus faecalis, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus spizizenii, Bacillus cereus, and Listeria ivanovii. This essential oil has also shown antifungal activity against species like Candida albicans, Candida krusei, and Candida tropicalis.
Other Health Benefits
Apart from the aforementioned benefits and uses of hyssop, hyssop has several other health benefits. It may serve as an ulcer treatment. Most of the traditional applications of hyssop are on indigestion. A 2014 study may provide an explanation for that. According to researchers, hyssops act on two body chemicals that are associated with ulcers. These are the a-chymotrypsin and urease. Because of this observation, they concluded that hyssop could make a good ulcer treatment.
Hyssop is also a traditional remedy for asthma, and this has been backed by medical science. A 2017 study analyzed several Persian medicinal plants and exhibited that hyssop and other plants were seen to improve allergic response, oxidative stress, inflammation, tracheal smooth muscle constriction, as well as airway remodeling.
Another health benefit of hyssop has something to do with its effects of delaying skin aging. A 2014 study published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science listed hyssop as one of the plants that researchers believe to contain two properties that enable them to function as anti-aging agents. These properties are being antioxidants and having the ability to suppress the body’s fat storage.