Get Rid of Ringworm Using These Naturopathic Treatments.

ringworm benefits

Ringworm is a very common disease caused by a fungus called Tinea. As the name suggests it is not actually caused by a worm. This fungal skin ailment, which is a common occurrence in kids and adults with low immunity, appears in the form of small patches.

Telltale signs of ringworm include circular shaped red spots on the skin and nails. Even though it usually appears on the scalp and arms, it can occur on any part of the body.

We have already established that it is contagious, so you can possibly catch Ringworm by skin to skin contact from another person, from your pets, from objects because the fungus often lingers on the clothes, brushes, towels(1), etc. and also from the soil.

While various medications are available in the market to cure ringworm, there are many natural and effective remedies to deal with this fungal infection.

How to Cure Ringworm Using Natural Remedies

CURE 1: Home Remedies for Ringworm

Soapy Water

Keeping the infected area clean is the utmost importance when suffering from Ringworm. As it is a contagious disease using a disinfectant is mandatory. Soap and water is the most common and adaptable method to treat Ringworm at your home as both soap and water are readily available.

Why Does It Work?

The most common symptom with Ringworm is itching, which is caused by the moisture left by the fungus. In order to treat the itch,  it is important to clean the infected area. Any antibacterial soap can be used to clean the area which will stop it from spreading further. You can also leave a clean wet washcloth as a cool compress to subside the itch.

How to Use?

Things you need:

Antibacterial Soap, Water

Procedure:

Use an antibacterial soap to clean the infected area and rinse it with clean water. Once cleaned, pat dry it with a clean cloth so that the moisture is not retained. Whenever washing the infected area, ensure that you wash your hands with the soap and then resume cleaning the infected area. Ringworm usually survives for a longer time on the objects. So, when using the washcloth make sure its washed in bleach and hot water before reusing it.

[Also Read: 5 Effective Home Treatments for Ringworm]

CURE 2: Foods for Ringworm

1. Garlic for Ringorm

Garlic is known to have curative properties for various types of ailments. It is no exaggeration to say that it has been termed as one of the superfoods. Ample studies have proven that garlic indeed shows effective results when used as a topical application to treat fungal infections(2).

Why Does It Work?

Though Garlic has been in usage for a very long time, the therapeutic aspects of it have been extensively researched only recently, confirming it as an anti-fungal agent. Ajoene, the main active compound of garlic is said to act on different biological systems. Recently it has been proven that it has anti-fungal properties and thus has a potential in treating all kinds of fungal infections(3).

How to Use?

According to the author Brian Salt, the author of “Hidden Secrets to Curing Ringworm: The Definitive Guide” Garlic is the best alternative option for treating Ringworm naturally.

Things You Need:

Garlic, Olive Oil, Honey, and Measuring Cup

Procedure –

Take two cloves of garlic and crush it. Now add 3 ounces of olive oil and 3 ounces of honey to the crushed garlic mixture and blend it into a paste. Applying this mixture directly on the infected area is one of the best treatments for Ringworm.

[Read: Benefits of Black Garlic]

2. Turmeric for Ringworm

Turmeric for ringworm
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Turmeric, the most commonly found ingredient in our homes has numerous health benefits and acts as one of the best anti-fungal agents.

Why Does It Work?

A study conducted on Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) states that it is determined as a potent anti-fungal agent by testing its properties against 23 fungi. Generally, Fluconazole is the common medication suggested by doctors for fungal infections. This study concluded that Turmeric was proven to be stronger than Fluconazole in ceasing the fungal growth.

How to Use?

For fungal infections, turmeric can be consumed or applied topically. Depending on the area of infection it can be used in many ways to cure Ringworm. Here are a few home remedies you can try:

Things You Need:

Turmeric, Olive Oil,  Aloe vera

Procedure –

There is no prescribed amount of turmeric is suggested to treat Ringworm or any other fungal infections. The best way is to use the quantity depending on how big the patch is. Also, you can start incorporating turmeric in your diet regularly to boost your immunity.

  • Pound a piece of raw turmeric and mix it with few drops of olive oil until it forms a paste. Apply this mixture at regular intervals on the infected area for desired results. You can also use Organic Turmeric powder instead of raw turmeric as a cure for Ringworm.
  • Take half a teaspoon of organic turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Mix these ingredients until they are combined well to form a paste. Apply the said mixture on the patches. This acts as a natural home remedy to treat ringworm.

3. Mustard

Cultivated extensively in North America, Asia, and Europe, Mustard is a versatile cruciferous vegetable belonging to the Brassica family. Mustard has three variants, black, brown and white. Mustard has a gamut of health benefits and helps as one of the natural treatments for Ringworm.

Why Does It Work?

Mustard has a never-ending list of properties. It is anti-fungal, antibacterial, stimulant, irritant etc. Mustard has a component called Allyl Isothiocyanate, which serves as an anti-fungal agent. This substance inhibits the fungal growth thus acting a potential anti-fungal agent(4).

How to Use?

Mustard seeds help in reducing the inflammation and itchiness of the fungal infected area. Mustard can be applied in the form of paste or oil extracted from the seeds can also be applied as an over the cover Ringworm treatment.

Things You Need:

Mustard Seeds, Warm Water, Bowl, Bandages, Mustard Oil
Procedure –

Itching is the most common way in which the Ringworm infection is spread rampantly. Mustard can be used directly in seed form or oil.

  • Depending on the size of the infected area take mustard seeds and soak them in warm water for half an hour. Now grind them into a fine paste. Apply this ground mixture on the infected area and cover it with a bandage for an hour. Repeat the process 2 more times for good results.
  • The easiest and hassle-free method to cure Ringworm is to apply the mustard oil directly and rub it in gently on the infected area. As Ringworm is a contagious disease, ensure that you wash your hands after application, to prevent it from spreading.

CURE 3: Natural Treatment for Ringworm

1. Epsom Salt for Ringworm

epsom salt for ringworm
Image:ShutterStock

Epsom salt, which is actually Magnesium sulfate is a time-tested mineral compound with numerous health benefits. It is the most sort out an ingredient to treat most of the ailments. Epsom Salt is one of the best natural remedies to treat Ringworm. It acts as a great anti-fungal agent to remove the moisture on which the fungus thrives on((5).

Why Does It Work?

Magnesium sulfate has an anti-fungal property. So when the salts in any form get connected to the infected area, because of its hygroscopic nature it draws out the excess moisture. Thus helping in cleaning the area and soothing it.

How to Use?

Things you need:

1/4th cup Epsom Salt, Warm water tub

Procedure:

Mix the salt in the warm water and soak the affected area in it for about 20 to 30 mins. After you finish, rinse the affected area with clean water and pat dry.

[Also Read: Baking Soda Health Benefits & Uses]

2. Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver is an antibiotic which is available in its natural form. It is very effective against many microorganisms.

Why Does It Work?

Because of its optical, electromagnetic and catalytic properties, Colloidal has been extensively studied for its anti-fungal properties in comparison to the other minerals. The obtained result has indicated that colloidal silver indeed was found to have potential implications and serves as an anti-fungal agent(6).

How to Use?

Colloidal silver can be used as a topical medication to treat ringworm effectively.

Things you need:

Colloidal Silver Gel or Liquid, Cotton Ball

Procedure:

Use the gel or liquid directly on the affected area by gently dabbing with a cotton ball. Do not rub on to the affected area. Use it two times a day until the infection is gone.

3. Grapefruit Extract

grape fruit for ringworm
Image:ShutterStock

Grapefruit extract is made of pulp from any kind of grapefruit. The extraction is mostly in liquid or semi-liquid state and can be used as a topical application.

Why Does It Work?

Jacob Harich an American Immunologist discovered Grapefruit in 1980. It is proven that 33% of grapefruit extract exhibits potential anti-fungal properties(7). Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine, Iran has conducted an extensive study to evaluate the anti-fungal effect of grapefruit extract(8).

The study has concluded that Grape seed extract indeed has a good chance as an anti-fungal drug against infections.

How to Use?

Topical application of Grapefruit extract acts as an anti-fungal agent in treating Ringworm naturally. It not only soothes the reddened patches but it also inhibits fungal growth.

Things you need:

Few drops of grapefruit extract, warm water, cotton ball

Procedure:

Add a few drops of grapefruit extract to warm water and mix it well. Using a cotton ball apply it on the affected area gently. Repeat it 2 to 3 times a day for the desired results.

CURE 4: Herbs for Ringworm

1. Powdered Licorice

Powdered Licorice for Ringworm
Image:ShutterStock

Licorice is an herb which is widely used by the Chinese as part of their traditional medicine since centuries.

Why Does It Work?

Licorice, most widely known as ‘gonaco’ by the Chinese, which means sweet grass has powerful healing properties. Shennong Ben Cao Jing, a famous Chinese author, in his materia medica stated that Licorice enhances life. Extensive research has proved that Licorice has strong antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. With 25 fungicidal substances in it, Licorice acts as a powerful remedy to treat Ringworm((9).

How to Use?

Things you need:

Water, Powdered Licorice, Cotton Balls

Procedure:

Take 6 Teaspoons of licorice powder and add it to a cup of boiling water. Let it boil for 20 minutes. Take this mixture, dab it with a cotton ball and apply it on the patch. Keep doing this process 3 times a day as an effective remedy to treat Ringworm.

2. Goldenseal Tea

Goldenseal herb is used since ancient times as a healing agent, because of its multiple uses. The Chinese used it to treat a variety of infections and inflammatory conditions.

Why Does It Work?

Berberine is a chemical present in Goldenseal tea. A study conducted by the Brazil University of Ceara has reported that the component Berberine has an ability to inhibit the growth of fungi. Another study by the University of North Carolina resulted in them finding 23 fungal endophytes from goldenseal roots(10).

How to Use?

Goldenseal, one of the effective and ancient remedies is widely used as an anti-fungal agent. When used to treat Ringworm, it helps in relieving the symptoms faster and thus quickening the healing process.

Things you need:

Goldenseal Powder, Goldenseal extract, Goldenseal Herb

Procedure:

Goldenseal can be used in multiple ways to treat ringworm naturally(11).

  • Add five drops of goldenseal extract to any edible juice and drink it three times a day.
  • You can also make a tea-like concoction by adding Goldenseal herb. Add 6 teaspoons of herb to the boiling water, let it simmer for 20 mins. Strain out the herbs and now using a cotton ball dab this mixture on the infected area.
  • One can also use goldenseal powder as a preventive measure. Dust the powder on your shoes, socks, and feet twice a day.

3. Neem

neem for ringworm
Image:ShutterStock

Neem is a one-stop solution for solving all global problems. It is used in Chinese, Unani and Ayurvedic medicines to treat several diseases. The early Sanskrit writings talk about the benefits of all its parts like seed, oil, bark, leaf and stem.

Why Does It Work?

Neem (Azadirachta indica) belongs to the family Meliaceae. It plays a great role in acting as a health-promoting agent because of its rich source of antioxidants. In one of the laboratory studies, Neem has exhibited toxicity to 14 types of common fungi. Amongst which, Epidermophyton is the genre of the fungi which causes Ringworm. Thus making it one of the best treatments for Ringworm(12).

How to Use?

Neem is a long trusted agent to heal both internal and external conditions. Neem is available in the markets in various forms such as oil, neem leaf extract, leaves, and powdered form. No matter what form you prefer, it is sure to treat quickly and prevents it from spreading.

Things you need:

Neem leaf powder, warm water, a cotton ball, bowl

Procedure:

To treat Ringworm naturally, take half a teaspoon of neem powder and mix it with a teaspoon of warm water. Mix it thoroughly until it forms a fine paste. Now apply this mixture on the infected area. For best results, apply it 4 times a day.

[Read: Neem Oil for Acne]

CURE 5: Essential Oils for Ringworm

1) Tea tree oil for Ringworm

Tea Tree Oil is the most commonly used essential oil as a remedy to treat Ringworm.

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Why Does It Work?

Tea tree oil is extracted from a Tea Tree called Melaleuca alternifolia(13). It acts as a great anti-fungal agent. A 2002 study from the Australasian Journal of Dermatology, where they have treated patients with Tea Tree Oil for a period of one month revealed that the usage of Tea Tree Oil showed remarkable results on them.

How To Use?

Things you need:

One and a half teaspoons of pure Tea Tree Oil extract and a Cotton Ball

Procedure:

Apply Tea Tree Oil directly on the infected area by dabbing with a cotton ball. However it is important to note that only 100% pure oil is effective in the treatment of Ringworm, no diluted versions of it would give you the same results.

[Read: Tea Tree Oil for Ringworm]

2. Oregano oil for Ringworm

Oregano oil for Ringworm
Image:ShutterStock

Many spices are equipped with anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Orgena sure is one of them.

Why Does It Work?

Orgena belongs to the family ‘Lamisce’ and when combined with other powerful essential oils, it gives a calming and soothing effect. It has a main ingredient called thymol, which is highly effective and acts as an anti-fungal agent. In fact, oregano oil is composed of 64% of thymol(14), enabling a faster healing process(15).

How to Use?

Oregano oil is one of the best available treatments for Ringworm in comparison to all the commercial products in the market.

Things you need:

Oregano Oil, Cotton Ball

Procedure:

This can be directly applied to the infected area for immediate and effective results. Use a cotton ball, dip in the oil and dab gently wherever required. This is one of the easiest and desirable methods for treatment of ringworm.

3. Lemongrass Oil

Using essential oil like Lemongrass to treat anti-fungal infections like Ringworm is the most promising home remedy.

Why Does It Work?

Numerous essential oils have been studied and tested for both in vitro and in vivo anti-fungal activity and some showed more potential as anti-fungal agents. This study proved that one such essential oil is Lemongrass which tested positive(16) in treating fungal infections.

How to Use?

Another study “Anti-fungal activity of lemongrass” stated that using pure Lemongrass oil to treat ringworm is more useful than the synthetic fungicides available in the markets.

Things you need:

Lemongrass Oil, Lemongrass Tea

Procedure:
  • Lemongrass Tea is super simple to use. Take a tea bag, dip and soak it in hot water for 10 mins. After cooling, gently dab on the infected area.
  • You can either use lemongrass oil directly or mix it with any carrier oil. Using a cotton ball apply the oil gently on the reddened patches.

[Read:  Benefits of Essential Oils for Ringworm]

Ringworm Prevention Measures

It is extremely tricky to detect Ringworm as its symptoms are similar to other skin allergies. Also, some of the treatments take time to seep in and work their magic. Even though it’s difficult to figure it out in the early stages, you can always be careful and take enough preventive measures to avoid in the first place.

Here are some of the top tips to reduce the risk of being infected or to prevent further spreading:

  • Lifestyle plays a significant role here. Following proper hygiene measures like keeping yourself clean, washing hands, using a disinfectant hand wash can help the infection from spreading. If you use common areas like Gyms and shared bathrooms, it is imperative that you follow these simple steps to protect yourself.  
  • Avoid touching the infected areas.
  • Fungi thrive on humid and moist areas so always keep yourself sweat-free. Wear comfortable clothing.
  • In case of infection in pets, get them checked by your vet. Stay away from infected animals.
  • One of the common practices to adapt as a preventive measure is to avoid using other people’s clothing, towels or hairbrushes, and do not let others use your personal items too.
  • If you or anyone close to you is suffering from Ringworm, educate them on the preventive measures as to what it is, how one can avoid and tips to do so.
  • Making exfoliation part of your routine is another effective method. Exfoliation basically helps you get rid of dead cells and thus deprives the fungus of its food source.

Ringworm is a common ailment caused by fungus. Many studies indicate that one in ten get affected by ringworm. It usually looks circular in shape and can occur in multiple areas of the body like skin, scalp, groin, feet, nails etc.

Though it’s not a serious infection, the symptoms can cause a great amount of discomfort. Constant itching, redness, inflammation and most of all the fact that it is contagious. There are many medications available in the markets for all kinds of big and small infections. But, using the natural and home remedies to treat the infection is less cumbersome and user-friendly.

Ringworm though is irritable and sometimes stubborn to get rid off, all the above mentioned useful remedies are very effective and help you in treating ringworm in the nick of time.


FAQs

1. What Is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection. Despite its confusing name, it’s not usually caused by worms but it is caused by a bunch of fungi. It occurs in the form of circular red patches on the outer layer of the skin. Most common areas where the fungus grows is scalp, arms, groin, feet, nails, and hands.

2. What Does Ringworm Look Like?

Ringworm takes its shape depending on the stage it is in. In the initial stage, it is a pink or brown colored patch depending on the complexion on the person. Here it is usually ring-shaped. As the infection progresses, the skin becomes bumpy with blisters and also gets flaky. In this stage, the infection tends to get more inflammatory and itchy(17).

3. Is Ringworm Contagious?

Yes, Ringworm is contagious and occurs in people of all age groups. However, children are more susceptible because of the activities they are usually involved in. You may get the infection if you share things with the infected person. The usual incubation time of the fungus(18) is one to two weeks.

4. What Causes Ringworm?

Trichophyton is the fungus that causes ringworm. It thrives when it comes in contact with the skin, nails, scalp etc and spreads because of the spores produced by the fungus. Some people may become resistant and act as only carries while others might exhibit the symptoms(19).

5. Does Ringworm Itch?

Yes, it does itch! It is one of the symptoms to detect the infection.

6. How Does Ringworm Spread?

Ringworm spreads pretty rampantly. Following the preventive measures and keeping yourself clean always is the only best way to stop it from spreading.

7. Is Ringworm a Fungus?

Yes, ringworm is caused by a bunch of fungi. Contrary to the myth, ringworm is not caused by a worm.

8. Does Ringworm Go Away on Its Own?

No, Ringworm does not go away on its own. If not treated on time, skin becomes very painful(20) and could be accompanied by blisters. There is also the possibility of the infection spreading across the surrounding area

9. What Kills Ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungal infection hence it cannot be killed using antibiotics. There are various home remedies which can be used to kill the infection.

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