homeopathic remedies for dry, brittle nails; toenail fungus
Remedies (including Tea Tree Oil & Lavender),
dietary & nutritional recommendations & important precautions to be
RESTORE that glow on your dry, brittle nails & clear them from any
tried Nail-Rx and ...the new growth looks smooth, pink and healthy.
I’m so glad I found such a simple and safe solution… thank you!”
The sign of healthy nails is their strong, smooth texture and pink
color. In effect, the state of your nails can indicate your general
state of health.
Your nails are basically made up of a
protein called keratin, and
grow at an average rate of a millimeter a week. Their structure goes
like this: the most visible part is the nail plate (largest
outermost part) along with the lunula, the white crescent-shaped
area visible at the base of most nails. The nail plate consists of
dead cells that are pushed out from the matrix, a group of living
cells located beneath the lunula. The pink color of the nail plate
is due to the blood vessels of the nail bed - the skin beneath the
Promotes digestive tract health and
candida balance maintenance.
A big problem
of nails is of fungal infections of nails and the surrounding
skin. One such condition is onychomycosis, also known as toenail
fungus, which is caused by a group of fungus called dermatophytes.
These fungi are very harmful as they grow by feeding on the keratin
that makes up the surface of the toe nail. The two fingers that
usually get affected are the big toe finger and the little toe
finger, though after proper treatment, there is growth of new,
non-infected nails. Toe nail fungus causes disfiguration and
discoloration of the nails. It is a contagious disease and some
times it may be hereditary.
An infection of the skin immediately around the nails is called
paronychia. These are caused by bacteria and fungi. People who have
to keep their hands in water for prolonged periods are most
susceptible to it. These organisms usually enter through a break in
the skin or from a hangnail and can really make life miserable if
the infection spreads to the fingertips causing an even more painful
condition known as whitlow.
Luckily, nature has provided us with some extraordinarily
effective herbs that when used in conjunction can
condition the cuticles and nail beds; and effectively treat nail
fungal infections. Read further to learn more...
Thickened, yellow-greenish or brownish (or a brown-black
Soreness and itch (painful red swelling) in the skin
surrounding the nails
Pain in wearing shoes (toenail fungus)
Foul-smelling debris under the nail
Pits and lesions
The nail may crumble and eventually fall off
Sneaks or spots can be seen down the side of the nails
of the affected person.
you have any of the above symptoms, you should see your doctor.
S/he will make a diagnosis based on a physical exam, lab tests
such as fungal or bacterial cultures, and even imaging
procedures if a tumor is suspected.
Brittle nails can be prevented and treated. Conventional treatment
for brittle nails may include strong nail ‘building’ polishes,
creams and treatments; however, these treatments are chemical and
may be accompanied by unpleasant side effects.
One need not suffer with unsightly brittle nails, as nature’s
ingredients can help to support healthy and safe nail care. Natural
herbal and homeopathic ingredients can help to nourish the nail bed
and promote nail growth. Herbs such as Melaleuca laterifolia (Tea
Tree Oil) and Lavendula officinalis (Lavender) can help to heal
cracked or damaged surfaces of the nail gently, while still
conditioning the cuticles and nail beds. Fragrant herbs such as
Lemon Grass and Clove Oil can provide natural antiseptic properties
and help soothe inflamed skin while helping to prevent infection,
without side effects or harsh chemicals.
Treating toenail fungus is difficult because it is generally a
recurring condition. There are a wide variety of over-the-counter
anti-fungal creams available, but some can be overly harsh and rid
the body of the ‘good’ bacteria needed for systemic balance thus
increasing vulnerability to fungal infections in the future.
Your health practitioner or podiatrist may prescribe oral
anti-fungal medication to stop the infection. While these
medications may work in the short-term, they may also rid the body
of intestinal flora and bacteria that are beneficial to the body,
creating further problems.
Herbal and homeopathic remedies can be a gentle alternative to
effectively treat nail fungal infections. Melaleuca laterifolia,
also known as Tea Tree Oil has excellent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
and healing properties. The essential oil of sweet-smelling Lavendula officinalis (Lavender) may also be used as it contains
active ingredients to soothe the nail, while promoting healthy nail
Other herbs such as Cymbopogon citrates (Lemon Grass) are especially
helpful for fungal infections while Syzygium aromaticum (Clove Oil)
is considered an excellent antifungal and antibiotic essential oil.
These natural ingredients may be used directly on the affected area
to target the fungal infection on the spot. There are also herbs
which can be taken internally for their anti-fungal and immune
boosting properties. These include Pau d’Arco and Calendula officinalis.
Together, these herbal remedies when used topically & in conjunction
(like in a herbal formula) can:
- Treat fungal infections of the nail
- Treat flakiness and discoloration of the nail
- Encourage healing and healthy nail growth
- Prevent recurrence of nail infections
- Treat pain, discomfort and redness around the nail
- Support the body's natural ability to maintain balance of
systemic Candida (yeast) levels
- Maintain balance pH levels in the body
- Support healthy balance of probiotic flora in the digestive
- Maintain healthy digestion and metabolism
As is the case with all the other parts of your body, your nails too
require a steady supply of nutrients. However, as your body
prioritizes its nutrient distribution and as nails are not vital
organs, they are the worst sufferers. They usually are the first
areas to be affected by nutritional deficiencies.
Dry and brittle nails are associated with iron and zinc
deficiency. White spots over your nails may also be due
to zinc deficiency. Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron from
plant foods, hence its intake is also necessary. Diet
containing foods rich in vitamin C and zinc are equally
important in treating fungal infections as well, as both
of them improve your immunity level immensely. Optimum
quantity of selenium (i.e. foods rich in selenium but
not too much of it as it can blacken your nails) are
required to avoid formation of ridges or wide bands on
the nails. Probiotics – good bacteria, will help your
body to get rid of the fungus and help maintain
gastrointestinal and immune health. Omega-3 fatty acids
are very effective anti-inflammatories and do a good job
if your infection has created soreness around the nails.
Good sources of these trace minerals, vitamins and other
Zinc - Shellfish (especially oysters) and nuts are rich
sources of zinc. Other sources include red meats,
poultry, cheese (ricotta, Swiss, gouda), shrimp, crab,
legumes (especially lima beans, black-eyed peas,
soybeans), whole grains, tofu, brewer's yeast, cooked
greens, mushrooms, green beans, tahini, and pumpkin and
Vitamin C - Diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables
should provide you with enough vitamin C in a day
although emphasis must be given on citrus fruits (fresh
fruits in totality and not their juice only) like grapes
and blackberries, as they also contain bioflavonoids.
Some important fruits and vegetables are blackcurrant,
vegetables (broccoli, potatoes), red capsicums and
chillies, strawberry, kiwifruit and rockmelon.
Dietary Iron – It is also very essential for the
formation of antibodies. Rich sources include green
leafy vegetables, oily fish, offal (heart, liver), red
Lactobacillus species (probiotics, or "friendly"
bacteria) – Yoghurt contains lactobacillus, which is a
probiotic, which means that it actually helps fight,
rather than cause, infection. Certain probiotic
yoghurts, i.e. the ones which have even more of such
beneficial bacteria lactobacillus are available in the
market which are supposed to enhance the immunity. They
are also of immense help for anybody who is taking
antibiotics as they replace the intestinal bacteria-an
important source of B vitamins-that are destroyed by the
Omega-3 fatty acids are primarily found in seafood; fish
such as salmon (especially Atlantic and red, canned in
brine, sardines (canned in water), mackerel (canned in
brine), mullet, tuna etc., and pecans and trevally.
Walnuts are also an extremely good source of omega-3.
omega-6 acids (particularly Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA))
is found in the plant seed oils of evening primrose,
black currant, borage, fungal oils and spirulina
(usually called blue-green algae).
Foods to avoid are dried, stewed, or tinned fruits,
banana, meats, sugar, white flour, strong tea or coffee,
condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods.
Basically, you should in general reduce the intake of
pro-inflammatory foods like saturated fats, dairy
products, and other animal products and instead go for
fresh vegetables, whole grains, essential fatty acids
and non-animal protein containing foods like nuts,
legumes, and soy.
If your hands are frequently immersed in water, the
outer skin layer of the nails may split away from the
cuticle. These splits, or hangnails, are painful and
prone to infections. Best way out is to clip it short early and also
moisturize your cuticles regularly
(throughout the day if possible) by rubbing lotion or
petroleum jelly on to
the flesh surrounding your nails.
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If your hands are subjected to environmental and
chemical stress, the best way to guard against fungal
and bacterial infections is to protect your hands with
rubber gloves. You may also sprinkle a little talcum
powder in the gloves or wear cotton gloves under the
rubber gloves. This applies to people keeping their
hands in water for prolonged periods like nurses,
kitchen staff and barmaids.
Never push back or cut your cuticles as these very
cuticles are responsible for the vital function of
protecting your nails from harmful fungi and bacteria.
Wear well-fitting shoes and ensure that the sides and
top do not press against your toes. Keep your toenails
trimmed. If your feet are sweaty when you get back home,
change into a fresh pair of socks straight away.
If you have a office job, take along a pair of fresh
pair of socks - especially on hot summer days - so you
can change before you start work.
Avoid nail polish removers that contain acetone or
formaldehyde; they are extremely drying to
fingernails. You may instead use acetate- based nail
Alternating hot and cold foot baths can be used to bring
blood and immune cells to infected toenails. This also
helps in alleviating the pain symptoms. For this, you
have to fill one bucket with tolerably hot water and one
with cold water. Place your feet in hot water for 3
minutes, then immediately into cold water for 1 minute.
Repeat 3-4 times and dry your feet off thoroughly. It is
advised that patients with compromised circulation or
peripheral neuropathy do this under their doctor's
Use the above mentioned herbal remedies and take the
necessary precautions, and your nails will be as strong
& shiny as ever & free of any fungal infections.