Nail fungal infections are also known as onychomycosis. These appear when fungus gets through the nail and infiltrates it. Such infections appear in both fingernails and toenails. The toenails are more susceptible to fungus because of the dark, moist, and warm environment inside the shoes, which is a conducive environment for fungal growth.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom of a nail fungal infection is the nail becoming thick and discolored. The nail may become white, yellow, brown, or black. At first, you won’t feel any pain, but it can become worse when you leave it untreated. The nail may start to look ugly, becoming distorted in shape with ragged edges. Without proper treatment, it is likely for the infection to spread and cause cellulitis later on.
What causes the infection?
The most common microorganisms that cause the infection belong to the group called dermatophytes. Athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch are also caused by dermatophytes. Yeasts like Candida and molds may also cause nail fungus.
Some factors may also increase the risk of getting infected. These include being of advanced age, walking barefoot in damp public places like swimming pools and locker rooms, sharing personal items like nail clippers with others, having health conditions like diabetes, a blood distribution disorder, a weakened immune system, and others. Wearing too-tight shoes may also cause infection as well as a nail injury or trauma.
How do you treat a nail fungal infection?
A mild nail fungal infection may be treated with home remedies. Otherwise, the doctor may prescribe an oral nail fungus treatment. This has to be taken for several weeks. Another option is a topical nail fungal medication which has to be applied directly to the nail. Sometimes the doctor may recommend combination therapy to get rid of the nail fungal infection for good. Just make sure to take good care of your toenails, and that you always practice good foot hygiene.
1All about the Myrobalan or Haritaki
Myrobalan or haritaki (scientific name Terminalia Cebula) is a common Indian herb that belongs to the family Combretaceae or the Indian almond family. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, this herb is called haritaki or “the mother of herbs” if not “the king of medicines” due to its medicinal properties. Myrobalan is known as a sweet astringent and a warming herb with an awful taste. This is native to South Asia from the areas of India to Nepal as well as the east and southwest China then south to Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. Haritaki is known by many names such as Harida, Harada, Black myrobalan, Chebula, Haradh, Hardo, Haritaka, Harra, Harro, Kadukkai, Ortoki, Panga, Silikha, and Srama.
In India, the herb is called haritaki, from hari which means “that which steals” and taki which means “that which cleans and enhances the glow of the skin.” The idea is that haritaki is the fruit that removes all diseases from the body and brings back the shine to one’s skin. It is popularly known as a destroyer of diseases and a remover of toxins and wastes from the body. It also helps with digestion and healthy weight loss.
The fruits of myrobalan are usually collected while they are still green and raw. They will be dried then until they become black or golden brown. After which, they are powdered and turned into Ayurvedic remedies. The level of potency depends on where the fruit was collected as well as its shape and color.
Myrobalan contains ingredients that are highly recognized for their healing properties including anticancer, antidiabetic, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. This plant is also highly nutritious since it possesses numerous essential vitamins, proteins, and minerals. The plant is also an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium, and selenian. Myrobalan also has plant chemicals such as gallic acid, behenic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid, and tannic acid.
As an Antifungal and Antimicrobial
A study was conducted on the dried fruit extracts of haritaki to determine their anticandidal and antifungal activities against C. krusei, Candida albicans, C. glabrata, Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum gypseum, T. rubrum, and C. tropicalis. The results proved that the methanol extracts of the haritaki dried fruits contain significant anticandidal and antifungal properties.
A 2019 study suggested that this plant’s antimicrobial properties can be beneficial to alleviate the symptoms of nailbed infections. However, more high-quality research is required.
Other Health Benefits
Numerous health benefits may be enjoyed from the bark, fruits, and roots of the haritaki. These include the following:
Improved Digestive and Gastrointestinal Health
Regular consumption of myrobalan may improve the functions of the digestive tract. It supports a healthy gut environment and ensures that the nutrients from the food you consume are properly absorbed. Myrobalan is also known as a mild laxative. It also enhances bowel elimination and tonifies the colon. It can clear away compacted waste which helps prevent constipation.
Helps with Weight Management
Myrobalan is useful in managing a healthy weight. It does this as it washes the stomach and helps in the absorption of nutrients and osmosis. It also helps to fortify the digestive system of the body and increase the metabolic rate of the body. Myrobalan eliminates bile discharge and helps prevent fat accumulation. This lessens the chances of your becoming obese.
Treats Joint Pain
Myrobalan has anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective as a treatment for arthritis, joint pain, and gout. People who suffer from such problems may find relief from haritaki. Painkillers that are harmful to the body may be avoided.
Supports Skin Health
Based on 2019 research, this herb may help resolve several skin ailments categorized by Ayurveda. It is recommended to use this herb daily to improve skin health. This can also be used topically by turning this into a paste and adding some water in it along with rose water. If it is a bit dry, you may add a few drops of oil to it. In a 2014 study, it was revealed that a haritaki powder mixed with water and ghee can be made into a paste that will heal cracked feet.
Haritaki is safe for consumption in general. However, this must be avoided by pregnant women and those who experience fatigue and diarrhea.