The Indian Costus and Its Antimicrobial Properties

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Nail fungus which is medically called onychomycosis is a nail condition in which one or more nails of both the fingers or toes are infected with fungi. This may cause nail discoloration wherein the nail usually turns yellow, white, green, or brown. This takes place as the fungus goes deeper into the skin tissues. In some cases, nail fungus may cause pain and discomfort, which may lead to the nail’s separation from the nail bed. This is called onycholysis.

Causes and Risk Factors

Fungi feed off dead tissues of the skin, hair, and outer skin layers. The most common fungi that cause nail fungus belonging to the group dermatophytes. Yeast and molds may also cause nail fungal infections. The most common fungal infections include jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot.

Fungal infections affect the toenails more than the fingernails. They are most prevalent among adults as they become older. When you have any of the following, you are more at risk of getting nail fungus: peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, immune system issues, minor skin or nail injuries, nail disease or a deformed nail, and others.

Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms include changes in the appearance of the nails such as changes in nail shape, nail brittleness, nail discoloration and distortion, nail thickening, having white or yellow streaks on the sides of the infected nail, having debris underneath the nail, and loss of shine or luster on the nail surface.

Treatment

The doctor may recommend one or two of the following options for a nail fungus treatment: oral antifungals, topical antifungals, laser treatment, and nail removal. Oral medication may take 8 to 12 weeks of treatment. This type of treatment is known for being highly effective, but it also comes with possible adverse effects. The topical medication comes in the form of nail lacquers and ointments. For stubborn cases, temporary or permanent nail removal may be suggested by the doctor.

1The Benefits of the Costus Essential Oil

The costus essential oil is known for being a potent antioxidant. This is primarily because of its chemical constituents Saussurea, costuslactone, alantolactone, α-cyclocostunolide, isozaluzanin, and others. Most of these constituents are powerful antioxidants, which protect the body from free radical damage. Free radicals are known to cause chronic health conditions like heart attacks, kidney diseases, respiratory problems, and others.

The essential oil from costus roots may also help strengthen the body’s immune system as it helps get rid of bad germs, bacteria, and infections. The oil also helps treat bronchitis, asthma, as well as chronic coughs.

Costus essential oil can be used as a highly effective ointment to treat cuts, scrapes, and scratches. It may also relieve pain brought about by bug bites, scabs, and toenail infections.

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