Herbs for Healthy Nails
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Jackie Platt
Posted on: May 6, 1998

I am trying to prevent peeling fingernails. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Nail problems are usually a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiency in the diet or deficient absorption of vitamins and minerals by the intestinal tract. To assist absorption of nutrients, a tonic of dandelion root and leaf will help function as well as p roviding vitamins and minerals. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) can be taken internally and externally to provide silica, a necessary ingredient of nails, hair and teeth, and other minerals including zinc. A tea can be made by boiling 1 teaspoon of dried horsetail per cup of water then letting the mixture sit for 30 minutes. One half to one cup of the resulting liquid can be taken 3 times a day for no longer than one month, followed by a break of a week to avoid kidney strain from the heavy mineral conte nt. Externally, use one tablespoon of horsetail per cup of water, allowing the mixture to sit for 30 minutes, and soak your nails in the "tea" 3 times a day.

Since nails consist of mostly protein, ensure your diet includes sufficient. Calcium, the mineral that combines with protein to provide the structure of nails, can be taken in the form of dairy products, salmon, sardines or in herbs such as dandelion, ho rsetail and chamomile. Vitamin D is required to absorb calcium. One half to one hour a day in the sunshine, with your skin lightly clothed is enough to provide you with the required vitamin D. Onions and garlic provide vitamins and minerals and aid dige stion.

A herbal combination, suggested by Daniel Mowrey in "Proven Herbal Remedies" provides both the nutrients and support for the body’s organs and blood so that the nutrients are well absorbed and carried to the tissue cells. The formula includes Horsetail, Chaparral (Larrea divaricata), Parsley (Petroselinum sativum), Burdock (Arctium lappa), Marshmallow (Althea officinalis), Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva) and Plantain (Plantago ovata)

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