MAILBAG: Home Remedies from Fungus to Kidney Infection

My neighbor has a chronic kidney infection, and now her liver is becoming painful. She also has signs of toenail fungus which I feel might underlie it all. Are there any natural treatments she can try? Thanks.”

– Margaret, Dayton, OH

Hi Margaret,

Let’s start with the toenail fungus.

It probably is not associated with a kidney infection. Although kidney infections and toenail fungus ARE often signs of diabetes.

Fungus thrives when three conditions are met:

  1. warmth
  2. moisture
  3. food

Fungus feeds off of sugar. So you can’t do much about that except work to keep your blood sugar in check.

But you CAN fight back against the moisture problem. Keep the area dry by not wearing shoes whenever possible. And dust your feet with cornstarch to help fight off moisture when needed.

Many folks successfully keep toenail fungus (and foot odor) at bay with home remedies like soaking their feet in vinegar or mouthwash.

Vinegar has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties. And the menthol and thymol found in some mouthwashes, such as Listerine, also have antifungal properties.

Folks who swear by the vinegar soak suggest using two parts vinegar to two parts water. Start off by soaking your feet for 10 to 15 minutes daily.

If you tolerate the vinegar well, you can gradually increase the soak time. For the mouthwash soak, you can dilute it with water or vinegar for a double fungal-fighting whammy.

Similar to prescription remedies, at-home soaks can take a few weeks to months to see toenail fungus symptoms improve. And if you have diabetes, you should always check with your doctor BEFORE starting foot soaking.

As far as fighting chronic kidney infections goes, first work on keeping blood sugar as low as possible. Then make sure to drink enough water and urinate frequently.

After urinating, always wipe from front to back. Many women do the opposite, which risks bringing bacteria from the anus into the vagina and urethra.

Several supplements may be able to help with kidney infection symptoms as well:

  • Vitamin C: Try taking 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day. Many studies show this cuts down bacterial counts in the kidneys and bladder.
  • D-mannose: D-mannose is a naturally occurring simple sugar that can help block bacteria from attaching to the bladder and kidney walks. It’s also the active ingredient in cranberry juice, so either drink unsweetened cranberry juice or try a D-mannose supplement.
  • Goldenseal: The herb goldenseal can help fight bacterial infections in the kidneys.

Check with your doctor before trying any new supplement to be sure it doesn’t interfere with your current treatment plan.

P.S. Around 15 percent of Americans are battling kidney disease. That’s DOUBLE the number of folks diagnosed with heart disease. But recent research published in the British Medical Journal revealed an easy (and delicious) dinner table trick for dialing down your risk.

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

View More Free Articles

Ease Anxiety with THIS Belly Hack

I’m always encouraging patients to focus on their gastrointestinal health. It’s often overlooked—and well-balanced belly bugs are vital for overall good health. So I’m not surprised that I’ve seen a lot of folks lately who have told me that working on their gut balance has been absolutely LIFE-CHANGING. But it’s NOT in the way you’re...

Read This

Is Fish Oil Enough? (What You Might be Missing Out On)

I love talking about the active elements in foods because it highlights the powerful health benefits of those individual ingredients. Take fish oil, for instance. If you search the Living Well Daily archives, you’d likely find THOUSANDS of references to this golden fish extract. Fish oil contains the essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and...

Read This

The STUNNING Truth About Back Pain

“I feel like I can barely do anything anymore because of my back pain. I’m always taking pain meds. What else can help?” – Ed, Huntsville, AL Hi Ed, Brace yourself. What I’m about to tell you about back pain will no doubt come as a surprise. It might even seem downright unbelievable at first....

Read This

FILTHY FACTS About Your Cell Phone

Taking a trip to the bathroom used to be a break from the chaos of daily life. It’s likely at least partially responsible for the nickname restroom. After all, there wasn’t much to do in that room unless you had a magazine to read. But nowadays, for many of us, the restroom is anything BUT...

Read This

EAR Test Protects Your BRAIN?

Hearing loss has a habit of sneaking up on folks. Typically, it happens so slowly that you don’t notice it until you’ve lost a SIGNIFICANT amount of hearing. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 8 percent of adults 55 to 64 have disabling hearing loss. That number jumps to 25 percent for people...

Read This

Missing "Lucky Penny" Mineral Harms Your Heart

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some nutrients get all the glory. There are the vitamin A-Listers like C, D, and E. And although minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium might be considered B-List stars, they ALSO get their fair share of attention. But one vital nutrient never gets to walk the red carpet. And that...

Read This

Risk of Stroke SURGES 50% Worldwide?!

It’s NOT good news. A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), confirmed that the chance of having a stroke has skyrocketed by a whopping 50 percent in the last twenty years. According to the WHO, that means your stroke risk is now about one in four. Next time you’re in a crowd, look...

Read This

Is Tofu GOOD for You? (The Truth REVEALED)

I often wonder why so many people are passionate about tofu. There’s something about it that triggers strong emotions. Some folks HATE it, while others LOVE it. But is it good for you? Well, it’s complicated. Tofu is a fermented soy product. It tastes bland alone. But it takes on the taste of whatever you...

Read This

Bizarre New Cell Phone Risk (Beware)

I sometimes joke with my (adult) kids. “Do you know,” I ask, “that the PHONE you carry around with you all the time can make phone calls?” They laugh and mumble, “Old,” under their breath. I swear the generations who grew up with a cell phone attached to their palm will do almost anything to...

Read This


“Got any natural treatments for COPD?” – Mike, Ann Arbor, MI Dear Mike, Unfortunately, COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, is a common condition. In fact, it’s now the third leading cause of death in the United States. COPD causes the airways to constrict, making breathing difficult or uncomfortable. Persistent coughing, excess mucus production, wheezing,...

Read This