Although one may be lucky enough to possess strong, healthy nails, keeping them that way becomes imperative. The condition of nails reflects the quality of tissue production in the body, as nails are considered to be the waste product of bones. An improper diet could cause nail disorders such as flaky and split nails, vertical ridges, and discoloration of nail bed.
Ayurveda recommends sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, dark leafy green vegetables, dried fruits and dairy products for healthy nail growth. To make hands soft, and for nail nourishment, a nail cream with almond oil and honey can be prepared and left overnight.
Another rich nail cream can be made by blending a teaspoon each of avocado (butter fruit) pulp, egg yolk, honey and a pinch of salt into a smooth consistency. A small quantity of this cream can be massaged into the cuticles and surrounding skin. Wash off after half an hour. This can be best done before retiring to bed, as hands will not be much exposed to water or soap in the night.
Here are a few ayurvedic nail tips for healthy, strong, beautiful nails:
- Massage nails and cuticles with olive oil with slow and gentle strokes, to keep them shining and strong. A gentle massage with mustard oil also helps.
- Soaking nails in a mixture of horsetail, helps in maintaining strong nails.
- For removing nail stains, mix a tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup of water and soak nails in this liquid for a few minutes.
- Moisturizing cuticle area prevents cracking and peeling that can hurt the matrix. Always wear gloves when gardening, washing or doing house-chores.
- Wearing sunscreen during the day on hands and cuticles, helps in preventing sun damage to nails.
- Hangnails should always be cut away, and not pulled or torn.
- When choosing a nail polish remover, purchase the one that is acetone-based, but contains hydrating oils such as aloe-vera and lavender. These oils neutralize and control the drying effect caused by acetone.