Hair, Skin and Nails

One of the most often asked questions at our shop is “Do you have anything that will help me to have stronger,

healthier hair?”  Hair, along with your skin and your nails, are made up primarily of proteins.  These three body components also reflect how the rest of your body is doing.  Because they are, by nature, eliminative, they contain much of the toxic material that your body rejects. A skin rash may be caused by toxic material being pushed to the surface by your lymphatic system.  Forensic investigation often uses your hair to determine what drugs or poisons may have been recently in your body.

Biggest Factor

So how do we keep our hair, skin, and nails healthy and strong?  The first item that comes to mind is that we need to drink plenty of pure water.  Water flushes our system and allows the rest of the body to move the toxins along. And there are a number of herbs that help with the strengthening.


Pitting on the surface of the nails may be an indication of unwanted parasites in the body.  Black walnut hulls, mugwort, wormwood, pumpkin seeds, clove, garlic, and castor oil are all good for killing parasites in our bodies.  Brittle nails are often a vitamin A or calcium deficiency. Splitting or vertical ridges may indicate a lack of enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach to digest our foods.  White spots usually indicate a zinc deficiency.  Anemia shows itself through horizontal ridges of “spoon” nails. And a nail fungus can indicate candida or a lack of friendly bacteria in the bowel.  Usually, tea tree oil applications will alleviate this condition.  Adding herbs high in silicon like dulse and horsetail to the diet will usually help to strengthen the nails, too.


Plenty of pure water is a definite requirement for healthy skin.  The advice to drink at least eight glasses a day is an excellent guideline.  That is the equivalent of about a two-liter bottle a day.  Soda, coffee, tea or other drinks do not count toward that total.  In fact, the caffeine in most of these drinks can actually cause the body to lose water.  Certainly, we should stay away from as many toxins as possible – use proper safety gear when handling paints, gasoline, oils, etc., as they will seep through the skin to poison the body.  And seek to avoid breathing pollutants.  Some common problems are worthy of note.  Using wild yam in either a capsule or creme form may help to alleviate liver spots.  If you seem to itch unusually, a lotion of pau d’arco may help.  Or take a supplement of vitamin A, trace minerals, flax oil, morinda or yellow dock.  Little bumps on the back of your arm may indicate a vitamin A deficiency. And sticky skin may indicate a sodium deficiency, and you may benefit from celery, dandelion or liquid minerals.  Dry skin is usually caused by a lack of unsaturated fatty acids found in such foods as nuts, avocados, and soybeans.  Or consider a supplement of linolenic acid.


Hair loss can be caused by a number of conditions.  If it is due to a low thyroid output, herbs to stimulate the thyroid (kelp, Irish moss, parsley, and hops along with the minerals zinc and manganese) may prove helpful.  There are a number of supplements to enhance the production of male and female hormones if the hair loss is hormonal. One major contributor to hair loss is stress (the B vitamins help here) – there may be more than we care to admit to the old saying “you’re going to make me pull my hair out!”  And, sorry, but there are no herbs to help you if your hair loss is due to heredity.  Horsetail will help to strengthen your hair though, and a daily scalp massage with jojoba oil is also beneficial.  Finally, many believe that taking trace mineral supplements, using herbs like fo-ti (also called ho shou wu), and using rinses containing rosemary and sage may help ward off the gray.

Today more than ever we can forestall some of the effects of aging on our hair, skin, and nails.  Drink plenty of water, take supplements and lessen the stress in your life.  You can look younger for much longer…and feel younger, too.  Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, The Health Patch, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC 73130, phone/fax: 736-1030, e-mail: