Nail Care

Your fingernails are subjected to daily assault. Detergents, fingernail polish, glue for artificial fingernails, formaldehyde-based nail hardeners, and household chemicals are just a few of the attackers. You can protect your nails by wearing gloves while washing dishes or hand-washing clothes, and by avoiding contact with gasoline, paint, and other harsh chemicals. Nail polish, lacquers and especially nail polish remover are very drying to nails, often causing them to crack and split. If you use these products, choose formulas without formaldehyde and add half a teaspoon of castor oil to every ounce of an acetone polish remover to moisturize nails and surrounding skin.

Brittle nails that crack easily indicate possible dietary problems. Healthy nails need a sufficient amount of calcium, magnesium, protein and silica. Drinking a tea made of equal parts oat straw, nettle, and horsetail or taking capsules or tinctures of these herbs daily can improve your nails from the inside out since these herbs are high in silica and other minerals important for nail growth. Supplements of GLA in the form of evening primrose, borage or black currant seed oil also help.

How else can you achieve beautiful fingernails?  Soaking them in herbal teas or oils of comfrey, oat straw and horsetail strengthens nails and cuticles, the thickened skin at the base of your fingernails. For fungal problems, first, soak your nails in the Antifungal Vinegar, then follow by rubbing in the Nail Soak Oil.

Antifungal Vinegar

4 ounces vinegar {for extra strength, use oregano vinegar}

2 tablespoons tincture pau d `arco

1/4 teaspoon each tea tree and lavender essential oils

1/8 teaspoon peppermint essential oil

Combine ingredients. Apply a few times daily with cotton balls or swabs or use a compress soaked in vinegar to cover a large area. I use oregano vinegar. You can make this yourself or buy a culinary oregano vinegar.

Nail Soak Oil

2 tablespoons jojoba oil

4 drops each lavender and sandalwood essential oils

Combine ingredients. Soak nails in the mixture for 10 minutes. Buff nails to stimulate circulation and bring out a healthy shine.

 

 

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