You have heard of all kinds of medications, creams, and oils to treat nail fungus.
How can an insect be 88% successful in curing your nail fungus?
Propolis is a substance that honey bees produce when they mix their saliva and beeswax with the sap from flowers.
They use it to seal holes in their hives. Over the years, many studies have found that it is also a useful treatment for nail fungus.
One of the biggest problems with nail fungus treatments is that they cannot infiltrate the thick layer of fungi that forms on our nails after a fungal infection.
Scientists call this layer a biofilm. This is precisely one of the obstacles that propolis can overcome.
In a study described in a 2018 edition of the Indian Journal of Dermatology, researchers applied propolis to the nails of three women in their 60s. They had all previously tried antifungals without much success.
The propolis cured one case completely and cured the other two cases to the point where the fungi and their effects on the nails were no longer visible. The fungi were still present in tiny cracks in their nails, however, so they had to continue using it occasionally to prevent these from spreading again. Compared to the other antifungals they tried, it worked extremely well.
In another study in 2017, scientists tested propolis on the biofilms of three different fungal strains. They published their findings in Future Microbiology.
They cut the nails of people with nail fungus and treated them with propolis in the laboratory. It managed to infiltrate all the biofilms, even the most mature ones that were the thickest.
In a third study in 2018, researchers studied 290 people who visited a hospital with nail fungus. Their findings appeared in Frontiers in Microbiology.
After applying propolis to their subjects’ nails, they achieved a complete cure in 56.5% of cases and good results that fell short of complete elimination in 31.25%. The treatment failed in only 12.5% of the patients.
Why exactly does propolis work on most fungi-infected nails?
A great review of the literature in a 2017 addition of the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine answers this question in detail.
Propolis is extremely high in beneficial plant chemicals such as flavonoids, terpenes, pterocarpans, and prenylated benzophenones. With all this ammunition, it shouldn’t be surprising that propolis is so good.
Many of the studies they surveyed proved that propolis could kill bacteria and fungi. For honey bees, this is what keeps their hives and families free from microorganisms that can make them sick or kill them. For us, it can kill the fungi that infect our nails.
Propolis also has antiproliferative properties, which means that it can prevent excessive cell growth. This is obviously what happens in the case of nail fungus when fungi start multiplying and damaging our nails.
Propolis is also an anti-inflammatory substance, which means that it can prevent the damage that occurs to our nails when our immune systems activate inflammation to try and kill the fungi.
Propolis is commercially available as a gel that you can apply to your nails daily to get rid of your nail fungus.