Having healthy-strong nails is not something from which only women can benefit, nor is just about feeling pretty. I have seen men, who got their regular manicuresand as a matter of fact, for good reasons.
The truth of the matter is that, nail appearance can have a major impact on making a good first impression. Moreover,it is believed that your nail reflects the state of your overall health. See what your nail condition might be telling you:
Yellow spots and markings can be an indicator of nail fungus.
Thick nails usually indicate poor blood circulation.
Length wise ridges sometimes means kidney dysfunction, dryness and anaemia.
If the ridges tend to turn up and down. It’s usually a sign of impending arthritis.
Pale colour may also indicate anaemia.
Blue means inefficient oxygen or inefficient circulation.Deep blue nails might signify lung difficulties.
Nails that peel, chip, crack or break quite frequently indicate bad digestion and poor food assimilation.
Abnormally wide and nearly square nails may hint at a hormone imbalance in some women.
Toxicity to certain drugs shows up in discoloured nails.
Thin nails may indicate deficiencies of vitamins, minerals or protein.
Protein deficiency may show up as a flat tapered cuticle or as hangnails. Frequent hangnails can also indicate a lack of folic acid and vitamin C.
Haven said that, would you freely shake hands with someoneif your fingernails were badly discolored, ridged, or otherwise ratty-looking?If you’re one of the unfortunate people with the thick, yellow, dark, brittle or cracked finger nails, you would know how embarrassing the problem can be. Sure you would never want to leave your fingers bare. You may fix artificial nails to cover up and in most cases, the adhesives used, end up doing you more harm than good. Sometimes, you may wear very dark nail polish, and may even leave it on, for an extended period of time without using a protective base-coat. Note that the constant use of nail polish can deprive nails of the oxygen they need to maintain a natural color and good health. So give your nails a break!
To restore your nails to good health, the followingnatural remedies may help, no matter how ugly your nails may be looking:
Horsetail (Equisetum sp.; shave grass; misimisi goro in Yoruba)- from brittle to weak nails, silica derived from horsetail herb is recommended always with excellent results. This is one of the simplest remedies I know, and it works fairly quickly, within just a couple of weeks.It’s rich source of calcium, silica, zinc and other useful minerals makes this possible.
As a nail growth soak: add 1 tablespoon of dried horsetail stems to 2 cups of boiling water.
Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Strain and let it cool.
Soak your nails in this solution for 20 minutes.
Follow this treatment at least four times per week.
As an infusion: drinking one or two cups of this herb daily, will transform weak nails to real, strong “claws”.
As a nail growth oil: massage the nail bed once a day to encourage healthy growth. You can purchase horsetail oil from health stores.
However you apply horsetail herb, you will find that it does make a significant difference in both the appearance and strength of nails. In weeks you will notice a difference. Then, if you have been relying on acrylic nails to cover your own, you will skip that and enjoy what nature gave you.
Stingingnettle – another age-old remedy to promote nail growth. Like horsetail, this herb contains a high amount of silica and other useful minerals required for nail formation and growth. Also, it strengthens nails, thus preventing weak and brittle nails.Add 1 tablespoon of dried stinging nettle leaves to a cup of boiled water.Cover and steep for 10 minutes.Strain and add some honey, if desired.
Drink a cup of this herbal tea 2-3 X daily.
Coconut oil- to promote growth, it is essential to keep your nails well moisturized.Coconut oil contains important nutrientsthat makes happen as well as tokeep the nails strong. It also strengthens your cuticles, which play a key role in nail growth. Plus, it helps cure hangnails, cuticle infections and fungal nails.
Massage your nails, hands and feet with pure coconut oil daily at night, before going to bed. Massage in circular motions to improve blood circulation. You can equally apply during the day. I usually coat my toes nails with a light film of this oil before slipping my feet into my shoes. It keeps my nailsbright and corns at bay.
Flaxseed oil – is also very effective in boosting nail growth, thanks to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains micronutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, zinc and protein, which are all essential for overall nail health.Along with promoting nail growth, flaxseed oil can help treat nail cracking, splitting, drying or brittleness.
Apply a thin film of flaxseed oil on your nails and massage gently for a few minutes.Then, wear gloves for a while to retain the moisture.Do this once or twice daily.
Proteins – nails are made up of keratin, afibrous protein. By adding more protein to your diet, you canprevent weak nails thereby promoting strong nail growth. Eat legumes, nuts, seeds, spinach and green vegetables to up your protein intake. These are a good option for plant protein.
Biotin- also known as vitamin H, biotin is a B vitamin which helps the body to utilise protein, vital for healthy nails. Slow nail growth as well as nail abnormalities like weak, thin and brittle nails are often linked to biotin deficiency.To obtain biotin, include these foods in your diet-whole grains, carrots, tomatoes, yeast, salmon, almonds, cucumber, cooked eggs, soybeans, lentils, oats and walnuts.
You can also take a biotin supplement, but consult your physician first.