Homemade Anti-Fungal Salve – For Ringworm, Athlete’s Foot & More

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Fungal infections can be the peskiest kind of infection to get rid of because once they find a host, they like to stick around for the long haul. Though you can cure fungal infections using salves, creams, and sprays, diet is also a major factor in helping to clear a fungus from your body.A diet high in sugar and yeast will lead to an overgrowth of yeast within the body, causing a fungal infection. A more alkaline whole foods diet is recommended to help aid in ridding your body completely of the fungus. Along with a diet change, there are a few other things you can do to get rid of that pesky fungus. My favorite natural treatment is an anti-fungal salve. With a salve I can combine the natural healing properties of herbs, essential oils, carrier oils, butters, and more! Salves are also highly moisturizing to the skin so they make skin repair much quicker than it would with a convention pharmaceutical treatment.

Essential oils with antifungal properties

There are a ton of essential oils that in combination can battle even the toughest of fungal infections. Some are more irritating than others to the skin so please be sure to research which essential oils you are adding to your salve.

  • oregano
  • thyme
  • clove
  • lavender
  • tea tree
  • geranium
  • chamomile
  • cedarwood
  • cinnamon bark
  • Frankincense
  • lemongrass
  • pine
  • ravensara
  • rosemary

Healing fungal infections with herbs is simple

There are many herbs that are very helpful to healing a fungal infection, but the two that are most notable and usually can be found in the best of herbal anti-fungal salves are chaparral and black walnut. These two are stand out herbs in the anti-fungal department but there are plenty more herbs that can be used in your salve to help heal fungal infections:

  • Chaparral leaf Not only is chaparral anti-fungal but it is also antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-parasitic. This herb is jam packed with skin healing properties and packs a powerful punch against fungal infections.
  • Black Walnut Hulls The most commonly used herb in anti-fungal creams and sprays, black walnut hulls are also antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-parasitic. Any really good herbal salve for fungal infections will have black walnut hulls in it.
  • Echinacea root  Not only is this herb a super immune booster, which helps aid the body in ridding infections faster, but this super herb is also anti-fungal!
  • Whole cloves Cloves contain some of the same phenols as Oil of Oregano, which are highly anti-fungal in nature, as well as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. This oil has been prized for centuries for its anti-fungal properties.
  • Lavender buds – I really believe that lavender is one of those herbs that is the heal-all end-all “god herbs”. This herb is good for so many things, it's not surprising that it is also anti-fungal. What can't lavender do?
  • Calendula – One of the best skin healing herbs, calendula is not just great for healing wounds and lacerations but also fungal infections. Calendula is great at reducing inflammation, treating burns, scrapes, eczema, and more!
  • Garlic – Not only is garlic one of the most potent natural antibiotics healing anything from ear infections to colds, garlic is also highly anti-fungal. You can throw some garlic into a blender with a little bit of water or oil and rub it onto your feet or infected area. Some people even like to sprinkle garlic powder into their shoes when fighting a foot fungus.

Make an herbal infused oil for maximum healing benefits

Making an herbal infused oil is extremely simple. All that you need is an organic healing carrier oil (olive, coconut, almond, grapeseed, hemp, etc.), the herbs of your choice, a mason jar, and some heat via the oven, sunshine, double boiler, etc. as long as it's very low heat (100-140 degrees F) so that you don't destroy the healing properties within the oil. When you steep the chosen herbs into your oil, you will be transferring those medicinal benefits from the plant into the oil. You can then use that oil in your healing recipes such as salves, massage oils, and even body butter. There are several methods that you can utilize to extract the herbal healing benefits into your oil.

  • Solar Infusion – This is one of the best methods to extract the healing benefits that your chosen herbs have. Not only are you charging your oil with naturally healing sun rays but this is the gentlest method of infusion. Some people also like to steep their herbs in the moonlight, this can give it an extra boost as well. To infuse your oil solar style, just fill your jar 1/4-1/2 full of your herbs. You can do a single herb or even a combination depending on what you are planning to use your oil for. Fill the rest of the jar, to the top, with your carrier oil (you can even do a combination of oils if you like. In all of my salves, I steep my herbs in a combination of extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil) and cover with a lid. Set out in the sun or a sunny window and give a good shake to the jar ever day for 2 weeks. Using a cheese cloth lined strainer, strain the oil from your herbs and squeeze out any remaining oil to get the most of the oil as possible.
  • Stove Top Infusion – This is a good quick method if you don't have the time to wait 2 weeks for a solar infusion to complete. In a double boiler drop in 1/4 part herbs to 1 part oil and allow to steep over the heat for several hours. I see people saying to leave it overnight, but there is no way to do that with a double boiler. Only do this if you are using a crockpot (which you can also use instead of the stove). Using a cheese cloth lined strainer, strain the oil from your herbs and squeeze out any remaining oil to get the most of the oil as possible.
  • Oven Infusion – When I don't have sunshine out here in Texas, this is the method I like to use the most. I find it the easiest to leave it be without having to refill water in the bottom of a double boiler like the stove-top method. Turn your oven on the lowest setting that you can. I like to use a 1/2 gallon mason jar but this can be done in smaller. Fill your jar 1/4-1/2 full of your herbs and cover with oil to the top and cover with a lid. Set the mason jar on its side on a cookie sheet (I use one with a rim so that any oil that might leak out from the lid won't fall onto my oven's heating element) and put in the oven on the middle rack. Every couple of hours pull the jar out of the oven and give 2 or 3 shakes. Leave in the oven for 24-48 hours. Using a cheese cloth lined strainer, strain the oil from your herbs and squeeze out any remaining oil to get the most of the oil as possible.

fungus salve2

DIY Anti-Fungal Salve

This salve can easily be made without the essential oils and is still highly effective! If you need to use this on young children for ringworm or nail fungus, omit the red thyme and use half the lavender and tea tree essential oil (or omit the essential oils altogether)!


(1) 8 oz.  jar or (4) 2 oz. tins



  1. In a double boiler (or makeshift one) combine beeswax, shea butter, and herbal infused oil. Melt ingredients.
  2. Once ingredients are completely melted, let them sit over the heat for 20 minutes. (With shea butter in this recipe you need to do this to process it. If you don't do this, the shea butter will turn gritty in temperature changes. Though this doesn't ruin the effectiveness of the salve, it does give it gritty texture when you rub it on. I talk about this in my Whipped Body Butter recipe.)
  3. After your 20 minutes are up, remove the double boiler from the heat.
  4. Mix in your essential oils and vitamin e  and pour into containers to cool. Once cool, store in a dark cool area for maximum shelf life.
  5. Apply to a clean and dry affected area two times a day until the infection is completely gone. Fungal infections can be very difficult to get rid of, persistence and a healthy diet are the keys.

Other natural treatments to help heal foot fungus

  • Combine one part raw apple cider vinegar and four parts water, then soak your feet for soothing relief.
  • A combination of dead sea salts and Epsom salts in a foot soak can be very beneficial to helping heal athlete's foot.
  • A foot powder can be made by combining 4 parts arrowroot powder, 1 part finely ground chaparral leaf, and 1 part finely ground black walnut hulls. Apply to clean dry feet or shoes for all day healing.
  • Always keep affected areas clean and dry, moisture is the leading cause of bacterial and fungal growth.

Don't feel like another DIY project (or don't have the time)? You can purchase this Fungus Amungus Anti-Fungal Salve, in my Etsy Shoppe!  By shopping in my store you are supporting an eco-friendly home based small business. I personally handcraft every single item that leaves my shoppe!

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All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

  • Rick

    I inherited toenail fungus (all toes) from my father and passed it on to one of my children. That is not the real problem. Moccasin style fungus on the bottom of my left foot is the problem. I have tried many things, including thyme oil, A.C. vinegar, 91% rubbing alcohol and also Terbinafine Hydrocloride 1% cream 3 times daily. I am getting nowhere. Will your homemade ant-fungal salve do the trick? I would rather go natural than have to go through 12 weeks of oral Terbinafine tablets. Thank you.

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  • Sue R.

    I used black walnut hull powder when I made up this recipe. The salve is very black and I’m wondering if it will stain the skin when using. I did try it and it seemed fine but using it daily–not sure what will happen. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • I have sold this in my Etsy shoppe for a few years now and not a single person (including myself and all of my family) has had staining from continuous use! The oils help to keep it from setting into the skin! I actually will wipe the edges of my face with an oil before hennaing my hair, to help keep it from staining my face accidentally!

  • There’s two things about adding a tincture to an oil based salve. 1) If the percentage of alcohol in the tincture is under 95% there is a risk of botulism because there are no preservatives in this recipe. 2) You need to pay attention to how much tincture used if you DO add it to the salve because it’s a liquid it will affect how solid the salve is by throwing the liquid to beeswax ratio off! The more tincture you add to the mix, you might want to add a tiny bit more beeswax! Another problem with it might be that the mixture could separate too, depending on how much water is in the tincture. Getting waters/oils to emulsify can be tricky and many times people find that they end up separating later!

  • I am so happy you love my site!!! I add it to the oil infusion and try to strain as much will come out when I strain the whole thing later! There will be some left in the jar, you can either leave it in the oil or double up your straining bags and try straining again to make it even cleaner!

  • Yeah i would say get the husk!

  • yes it is! all of those words mean the outer protective layer over a seed!

  • Abby Craig

    You think I could substitute Kokum butter for the Shea? Its what I have on hand. Thanks!!

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  • Carol Suzanne Herrick

    Check a local bird rescue or bird supply store. Some bird supply stores sell bags of ground walnut hulls for customers to pour onto the bottom of their bird cages.

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  • Green Lady

    Fantastic combination – I had a great success with Oregano Oil and Tee Tree oils. I’m a little hard core and went 100% pure on to my skin for the first few days, obviously it irritated my skin but also killed the ringworm. Later I combined Coconut oil, Oregano, and Tee Three oil that worked a treat to finish a healing process.

  • puni

    Neem oil is and niaouli essential oil in my experience has good anti fungal proprieties.

  • yup, in fact that’s all that they sell at Mountain Rose Herbs so that is what I use for my recipe!

  • Actually there have been a few studies on the antifungal activities of clove and it’s been concluded that the Eugenol content of clove (which according to Robert Tisserand’s latest eddition of Essential Oil Safety, contains 73.5% – 96.9%) Thyme also gets it’s antifungal activities from it’s main constituent Thymol (which can contain 30%- 74%)



    • Deborah Alexander

      My 10 year old grandaugher suffers from athlete foot constantly. Her feet sweat so bad no way to keep them dry. Any suggestions my daughter is at her wits end. She’s freaking out .

  • Nikki Sullivan

    Thank you for sharing this salve! I have been trying to find natural remedies for yeast infections. Any chance you know whether this would be safe to use during pregnancy(2nd and 3rd tri)?

  • Best Antifungal Bath Soap

    Great.. skin care products with only natural, healing ingredients like tea tree oil don’t irritate or strip your skin – and they don’t poison you! Gotta love that!

  • Ami

    I’ve been advised to use coconut oil to treat ringworm.

  • martin

    Great recipe. But please no “charging” oil with the suns rays… 😀

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  • kim propp

    I was just looking at a box of miconazole and thinking I wanted to give it away because I wanted to use something else. I have had good luck with tea tree (melaleuca) oil. Sharing this. Thanks.

  • heather

    this is awesome! my son always seems to pick up althlete’s foot at taekwondo, so this is going in his bag from now on!!!