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A Holistic Approach to Treating Nail Fungus with Ayurveda

Updated: Apr 26

According to Ayurveda, fungal nail infections are a result of imbalance in all three doshas-Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. This tri-doshic condition needs to be treated at the root cause of each dosha imbalance.

toes nails with mushrooms growing on them

Explore more on the Saumya Blog, selected top Ayurveda blogs and websites to watch.

What Is Nail Fungus According to Ayurveda?

Also called onychomycosis, it is a fungal infection of the nails. "Many people pick up the fungi when they have skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a fungal infection such as athlete's foot or ringworm on their hands," according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

According to Ayurveda, all nail infections are referred to as Kunakha. Ku means bad and nahka means nail.

Nail fungal infections are more than an aesthetic issue. According to Ayurveda, when a nail infection is present, we're out of balance with Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Take a look inside yourself with our popular article: Ayurvedic Nail Analysis: What Your Nails Are Pointing to About Your Health.

clear glasses wtih the five elements of Ayurveda

Which Dosha Causes Nail Fungal Infection?

Fungal infections are caused by vitiation of all three doshas, called a tri-doshic imbalance, but especially Kapha and Pitta are out of balance. Ayurveda treats the root cause of issues, so fungal nail infections are cured by treatment that address all doshic imbalances throughout the whole person.

What Causes Nail Fungus?

From an Ayurvedic perspective, fungal infections are due to internal and external problems, or both.

Internal Causes: May include chronic diseases such as diabetes, or chronic digestive issues as ama is produced for sub-optimal digestive process.

According the Cleveland Clinic, the following may lead to nail fungal infections:

  • Athlete's foot (tinea pedis)

  • Diabetes

  • Hyperhidrosis (a disorder that makes you sweat a lot)

  • A nail injury

  • Poor blood circulation due to peripheral vascular disease.

  • Psoriasis

  • Weakened immune system, such as from an autoimmune disorder or HIV

fingernails with fungal infection

How common is nail fungus? The Cleveland Clinic reports, "Toenail fungus is very common, especially as people start to age. Medical experts estimate that onychomycosis affects 1 in 10 people overall. That number jumps to 1 in 2 (50%) for people older than 70."

External Causes: Unhygienic condition, chemical applications, nail injury, skin injury around the nail, moist fingers or toes, wearing closed-toe shoes, swimming in a pool, wearing artificial nails, and more.

sign with nail and foot fungus

How To Know If A Nail Fungus Is Afoot?

Signs include discoloration, detaching from the nail bed, thickened, brittle, ragged, crumbly, and an unpleasant or even foul smell.

According the Mayo Clinic, you should see your doctor if:

  • "Diabetes and think you're developing nail fungus

  • Bleeding around the nails

  • Swelling or pain around the nails

  • Difficulty walking"

Check with your doctor for a diagnosis. Different infections can mimic fungal infections.

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How Do I Know If I Have a Dosha Imbalance?

Look at these comprehensive and convenient lists of signs and symptoms of dosha imbalances.

As we are all comprised of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, there can be an imbalance in any of the doshas, or a combination of dosha imbalances. Read all three lists and see if anything looks familiar.

Nail Fungus Among Us? Try Ayurvedic Treatment

Nail fungal infections result from an imbalance in all three doshas. It happens when we get run down and deeply out of balance and fungal (and other) infections make their move. It's possible for ama ("toxins" or undigested, unassimilated food debris) to build up and for the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha to go out of balance.

A comprehensive Ayurvedic approach is the treatment. Partnering with our experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner who will develop a plan that fits you and will be woven into your daily life naturally.

A Holistic Approach to Treating Nail Fungus with Ayurveda let's us know we need to pay attention to all three dosha imbalances at the root cause through comprehensive, systemic treatment.

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She has a wealth of knowledge for many different aspects of Ayurveda which helped me expand my own experience with the practice.


The treatment plans she devised, based on some of my biggest challenges or symptoms, were very insightful and specifically designed and purposed for me and my situation--which I loved.

Many of the practices suggested were new to me, but Veena has a way of encouraging people so that it doesn't feel overwhelming or impossible. I highly recommend her services for anyone looking to address any imbalance in their life, big or little.”

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We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.

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Veena at Saumya Ayurveda

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.

She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.

Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.

These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.

She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.

An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.



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