Herbs & Natural Remedies:
Tea tree, garlic (Allium sativum), ginger and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
Tea tree: oil. Garlic, ginger and licorice: tea applied topically.
How it Works:
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection. Tea tree, garlic, ginger and licorice all have potent antifungal action.
Tea tree oil: Use 100 percent pure oil and apply with cotton balls. Garlic: 1 to 3 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes, cool, and apply with a cloth or cotton balls. Ginger: 1 teaspoon of fresh grated root per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes, cool, and apply with a cloth or cotton balls. Licorice: 6 teaspoons of powdered root per cup of water. Simmer at a low boil for 20 minutes, cool, and apply with a cloth or cotton balls.
Never ingest tea tree oil. It is highly toxic.
Athlete’s foot spreads by direct contact. Avoid the fungus by wearing sandals in bathrooms, showers and spas. The fungus requires darkness, warmth and moisture. When possible, wear sandals or ventilated footwear without socks to keep toes dry, cool and exposed to light.
San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit