Lantana: More Than Just an Antifungal or Antimicrobial

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Onychomycosis is a common nail infection that affects both the fingernails and toenails. This may cause nail discoloration and thickening in one nail or more. This condition affects more male adults, particularly those who are 60 and above.

What are some causes?

A fungus nail infection happens when a fungus infects a fingernail, toenail, or the skin under the nail which is also called the nail bed. A fungus may attack already-damaged nails through the cuts in the skin surrounding the nail or through the opening found in between the nail and nail bed.

The most common types of fungi that can cause nail fungal infections belong to a group called dermatophytes. Yeasts and molds may also cause the infection. It is also possible to get infected by sharing personal items like nail clippers and towels, or by walking barefoot in public areas like pools and locker rooms. A person who has diabetes, a weak immune system, or a blood circulation disorder is also more prone to nail fungal infections.

What are some symptoms?

The most common symptom of nail infection is that the nail becomes difficult to trim. It also becomes thicker. It may also change in color, such as the nail becoming white, yellow, green, or brown. The skin close to the nail may also itch or crack and the nail may separate from the nail bed. At times, there may also be pain around the infected nail. ‘

What are some options for treatment?

Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to explain your treatment options. Nail fungus treatment includes applying topical medication to the nail such as creams, ointments, and nail lacquer paints. Antifungal pills are also another form of nail fungus medication. Oral medication is 70 to 80 percent more likely to result in successful treatment. Topical medication comprises a smaller percentage than that.

6Traditional Uses

Traditionally, lantana has been used for several purposes. The following are some of them:

Lantana is known for its fungicidal, nematocidal, antimicrobial, and insecticidal properties. Lantana essential oil is derived from the plant. This is used for treating wounds, leprosy, skin itches, and scabies. Lantana’s roots can be used for treating coughs, malaria, fever, toothache, headache, mumps, and others. Other conditions that may also be treated by lantana include dermatitis, eczema, urethral inflammation, bronchitis, measles, high blood pressure, and others. Lantana may also be used as a poultice on rheumatic joints. Lantana tea which is derived from its leaves and flowers can be used as a remedy for influenza, fever, and stomachache. In Ghana, the entire plant can be used for treating bronchitis while its powdered root may be added in milk as a treatment for stomach aches in children. In the Philippines, Lantana’s fresh roots can be used as a gargle for toothaches while a decoction made from its leaves and fruits can be used for cleaning wounds. In Java, the leaves are applied to reduce swelling. They may also be used as a lotion or fomentation for rheumatism.

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