Top 8 Natural Remedies For Ringworm

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Top 8 Natural Remedies For Ringworm
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Home Remedies for Ringworm

Ringworm is a fungal infection that develops as an itchy, flat, ring-shaped or circular rash on the top layer of the skin. The rash appears reddish and inflamed around the edge but has a healthy-looking central part. It is contagious and can be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact. [1]

As noted, ringworm is a fungal infection rather than a disease caused by infective worms. The fungi responsible for ringworms are mold-like “parasites” that dwell on the cells on the outer layer of the skin, thriving specifically on warm, moist areas. [1] Although ringworms in humans are generally harmless, the very itch rash that forms a pattern in the shape of a ring can be very troublesome and annoying. In addition, failure to treat the ringworm would only lead to skin blisters and cracks infected with bacteria.

Topical medications, such as lotion, cream, or ointment, or oral medication, such as pills and capsules, are usually prescribed as ringworm treatment. Nonetheless, many home treatment options are available at the convenience of one’s homes. All of these are easy to use or apply and are reasonably priced. Most importantly, they are quite effective and afford less or no side effects than over-the-counter medications. Some of the best home remedies for ringworms are as follows:

1. Garlic

Among the well-studied therapeutic properties of garlic includes its being an effective antifungal agent. Garlic owes much of its curative effects against fungal diseases to the wide range of compounds it contains. These include allicin, ajoene, thiosulfinates, and other organosulphurate compounds. In a study from the University of New Mexico, the antifungal activity of both aqueous garlic extract and concentrated garlic oil against Aspergillus fungi was demonstrated. In fact, the garlic extract and oil were reported to have displayed similar or better inhibitory effects than pharmaceutical preparations. [2]

Slice some garlic into slim pieces or, alternatively, crush. Rub the garlic on the affected areas around three times daily. For better results, place some garlic on the affected site and a Band-aid over it overnight.

2. Papaya

Papaya contains an enzyme known as papain, which has antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. This enzyme can be extracted from the bark, leaves, and fruit of papaya. A recent 2013 study indicated that the alcoholic extract of papaya (root, shoot, and seed) inhibits the growth of pathogenic fungi, namely, Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, Candida albicans, and Microsporum fulvum. Moreover, increases in papaya extract concentration increases the rate of inhibition. [3]

Peel and slice some thin pieces of the fruit. Rub these papaya pieces onto the skin with ringworm three times daily. Also, make a thick paste from the seeds of papaya. Grind the seeds until it is almost ointment-like in consistency and apply the papaya seed paste on the affected skin.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Comprehensive investigations reveal the susceptibility of a variety of fungal species, including yeasts, dermatophytes, and other filamentous fungi, to tea tree oil. Dermatophytes, in particular, are a group of molds that cause infections on the skin such as ringworm. According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Western Australia, tea tree oil and its components alter the permeability and fluidity of the membranes of fungi and thus intervene with functions related to the fungus membrane. [4] This in turn kills the fungi.

Dab some tea tree oil on the affected skin two to three times daily. Essential oil in concentrated form can be very irritating for some, so it is best to dilute tea tree oil before applying directly on the skin.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric has a long history of medical use under its belt. Because of such, a number of studies, both on animals and humans, have been carried out to evaluate its effectiveness and safety. Turmeric extract has been shown to possess antifungal activities. Test results of a study from Mahidol University, Thailand, indicated that turmeric extract exerted antifungal effects against 29 clinical strains of dermatophytes. [5] In another study from Chiang Mai University, Thailand, turmeric oil inhibited 15 isolates of dermatophytes and four isolates of pathogenic fungi. [6] As mentioned earlier, some dermatophytes are responsible for ringworms.

Extract the “juice” from fresh turmeric rhizomes and dab the juice on the affected areas. This is a very simple yet effective method of remedying ringworms. Turmeric can also be mixed with honey to form a paste. Apply this paste on the affected skin areas.

5. Salt

Salt is an antifungal agent that one can just grab from the kitchen. Its fungus-killing mechanism lies on its ability to alter osmotic gradients. At increased concentration, salt can overload any fungus’ processes related to osmoregulation to cause its death. It can hence be used in the management of fungal diseases such as ringworm.

Salt is commonly mixed with vinegar to create a paste to be placed directly on affected sites with ringworm for 5-10 minutes.

6. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil possesses promising antifungal activity attributed to its high content of phenolic derivatives such as carvacrol and thymol. In a study from Georgetown University Medical Center, USA, oregano oil at 0.25 mg/mL inhibited the growth of Candida albicans in culture. [7]

Dab around two to three drops of oregano oil on affected skin areas and gently massage. Perform this daily for three or four times until the infection is eliminated.

7. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil can be a substitute for oregano oil when the latter is not available. Apply around three or four drops of lavender oil onto the affected areas and let the skin absorb it for a while.

Data furnished by a 2005 study from University La Sapienza, Italy, indicated that lavender oil inhibits fungal growth. At 2% concentration, lavender oil can kill all C. albicans within 15 minutes. Linalool, a major component of lavender oil, is antifungal in itself (even more effective
than the oil). [8]

8. Aloe Vera

Several scientific studies support the use of Aloe vera as an antifungal agent. The leaves of A. vera produce a gel that can be acquired from the central core of every leaf. A 2011 study from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India, has isolated a novel protein known as Aloe protein from A. vera leaf gels through ion exchange chromatography. Aloe protein has been shown to display antifungal activity against Candida species as well as anti-inflammatory property. [9]

Cut some A. vera leaves and obtain the gel from the leaves. One can use a spoon to scoop the gel from the leaves. Apply the gel generously on the affected skin areas and let it stay for a while. Alternatively, cut the leaves crosswise and directly rub the gel on the skin with ringworm.


[1] Mayo Clinic staff. (2010). Ringworm (body).

[2] Pai S. T. & Platt M. W. (1995). Antifungal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract against the Aspergillus species involved in otomycosis. Letters in Applied Microbiology,20(1): 14-18.

[3] Kumar M. et al. (2013). Antifungal activity of the Carica papaya important food and drug plant. Asian Journal of Plant Science and Research, 3(1): 83-86. from

[4] Hammer K. A., Carson C. F., & Riley T. V. (2004). Antifungal effects of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and its components on Candida albicans, Candida glabrata and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 53(6): 1081-1085.

[5] Wuthi-udomlert M., Grisanapan W., Luanratana O., & Caichompoo W. (2000). Antifungal activity of Curcuma longa grown in Thailand. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 31 Suppl 1: 178-182.

[6] Apisariyakul A., Vanittanakom N., & Buddhasukh D. (1995). Antifungal activity of turmeric oil extracted from Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae). Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 49(3): 163-169.

[7] Manohar V. et al. (2001). Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 228(1-2): 111-117.

[8] D’Auria F. D. et al. (2005). Antifungal activity of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil against Candida albicans yeast and mycelial form. Medical Mycology, 43(5): 391-396.

[9] Das S. et al. (2011). Isolation and characterization of novel protein with anti-fungal and antiinflammatory properties from Aloe vera leaf gel. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 48(1): 38-43.

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