What is the Evidence for Tea Tree Oil in Treating Toenail Fungus?
Actual clinical trials of tea tree oil are few. There have been some older clinical trials looking at the effectiveness of tea tree oil in humans. In one trial, a randomized controlled trial examined the use of 25% tea tree oil solution, 50% tea tree oil solution, or placebo in 158 people with athlete’s foot. After applying twice a day for 4 weeks, the two tea tree oil solutions were found to be significantly more effective than placebo. Among those using the 50% tea tree oil solution, 64% were cured, compared to only 31% among the placebo group. There were no significant side effects. The Journal of Family Practice published the results of a randomized controlled study of tea tree oil for treatment of nail fungus. The study focused on the twice-daily application of 100% tea tree oil versus 1% clotrimazole solution (a topical antifungal medication) in 177 people with toe nail fungus infections. 6 months in to the study, the tea tree oil was found to be as effective as the topical antif