Keeping your nails strong, healthy and beautiful doesn’t mean you need to shell out grocery money on expensive, “professional” nail products. You can make everything you need at home with a few herbs and other simple ingredients, and get great benefits without any additional toxins thrown in. Fix them up at home, then you can go out and show off those beautiful nails.
Though not an herbal remedy, perhaps, your diet is a significant player in the condition and appearance of your nails. If you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, your nails will suffer. Be sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they are wonderful sources of the nutrients that your body needs. Stay hydrated; drink water throughout the day. And be sure you are getting adequate calcium, whether through dairy products or a dietary supplement.
You can create herbal nail products directly from the herbs themselves, but using essential oil rather than a fresh or dried herb means you get the benefits of the herb in a more concentrated form. Steam distillation is the most common method of extracting essential oils, and it isn’t something that’s really possible at home. Look for essential oils that are pure, undiluted and unadulterated, and use care when adding them to your homemade nail care recipes: at full-strength, these essential oils can cause skin irritation.
Nail Strengthening Oil
According to BodyandFitness.com, a probable cause of weak and brittle nails is deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin B and calcium. Citrus essential oils are great sources of vitamin A and vitamin C, and flaxseed oil contains vitamin B. Create your own nail-strengthening oil by combining 3 tbsp. of flaxseed oil with 15 drops of a citrus essential oil such as lime, lemon, grapefruit or sweet orange. Massage into your nails and all over cuticles once or twice a day.
Nail Growth Oil
For healthy, quick-growing nails, what you eat is more important than what you apply to your skin, but you can give your nails an additional boost by massaging in a combination of sweet almond oil and peppermint essential oil daily. According to AnniesRemedy.com, sweet almond oil is rich in protein, a nail ingredient, and helps to soften and condition the skin around the nail bed. Peppermint essential oil is stimulating, which increases circulation and can help promote nail growth. Combine 3 tbsp. of sweet almond oil with 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and massage into your nails and all over cuticles once or twice a day. Note: Peppermint essential oil is too strong for some people with sensitive skin, and it should not be used if you have sores, cracked skin or torn or broken cuticles. It will sting.
Prevent nail fungus by creating your own natural, herbal hand cream. The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs recommends both aloe and ginger for their antifungal activities. Create your own antifungal nail cream by mixing 2 tbsp. pure aloe juice with 2 tbsp. coconut oil and 15 drops of ginger essential oil. If you want a thinner cream, add a tbsp. of vitamin E or sweet almond oil as well. Store in an airtight container and apply every evening before bed. The mixture may separate, so simply stir or shake before application.