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Remedy: Treat Athlete’s Foot with Garlic

January 13, 2011

If you’re looking to stock up your “alternative medicine” arsenal, be sure to put garlic on the list. Long hailed for its antimicrobial properties, garlic was recently found to be especially effective in combating athlete’s foot. From the New York Times’Well” blog:

“Garlic has long been considered a powerful natural antifungal,” said Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen, chief of pediatric integrative medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey and a pediatrician at the Whole Child Center in nearby Oradell. Dr. Rosen pointed out that studies have found garlic effective against a number of fungal infections, including those caused by Candida and other common pathogens.

Tinea pedis [the scientific name for athlete’s foot] seems to be just as vulnerable. In 2000, one team of researchers published a study in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatologythat compared a week of twice-daily applications of mild garlic solutions with topical applications of the popular drug Lamisil in about 50 people with diagnoses of athlete’s foot. Two months later, the scientists found that a garlic solution that contained about 1 percent ajoene had a 100 percent cure rate, compared with a 94 percent cure rate for 1 percent Lamisil. Other studies have found similar results.

Ajoene creams and solutions are not available commercially. But some experts recommend simply adding a few finely crushed cloves of garlic to a foot bath and soaking the affected foot for 30 minutes, or mincing a few garlic cloves, mixing the minced garlic with olive oil, and then using a cotton ball to rub some of the solution on the affected area.

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