The nails of our fingers and toes are considered in Ayurveda to be a by-product of bone formation (
To strengthen the bones and nails, take over-the-counter supplements of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Your formula should include a daily dose of approximately calcium 1,200mg, magnesium 600mg & zinc 60mg. Take the supplements at bedtime for best results. A general mineral supplement might also be helpful.
You may be getting enough minerals, but toxins in the colon may be preventing their complete absorption. If you are taking calcium, magnesium, and zinc as a dietary supplement and your nails are still brittle, that indicates that you are not absorbing these minerals. The culprit is over accumulation of toxins (ama) in the colon.
A safe and simple way to cleanse the colon of the ama is to regularly take the herbal compound triphala. Steep about ½ teaspoon in ½ to 1 full cup of warm water, strain, and drink. You can take this at night before going to bed, or steep it overnight in cold water and drink it first thing in the morning. It will gradually eliminate the ama.
Another way to promote the growth and strength of your nails is to eat a handful of white sesame seeds every day. A handful of sesame seeds contains about 1,200mg of calcium and magnesium.
Either one of the Ayurvedic herbs ashwagandha or shatavari (½ teaspoon) taken in a cup of hot milk twice a day may also help to prevent brittle nails.
Aerobic exercise such as swimming, jogging, or aerobic dance, or the sequence of yoga postures known as the Sun Salutation, should also be helpful. Exercise improves the circulation and helps carry the minerals to the tissue at the root of the nails.
Because the nails are connected with the asthi dhatu (bone tissue), strengthening asthi will be helpful. Taking triphala guggulu tablets (200 mg) twice a day, after lunch and dinner, will help to strengthen your nails.
In some individuals, brittle nails and bone loss go together. Specifically, in women of menopausal age, brittle nails may suggest weakness in the asthi dhatu. So if you have brittle nails, it would be wise to investigate the possibility that osteoporosis may be developing.
**Asthi dhatu is one of the 7 dhatus (tissue layers) in the body and is the bone tissue layer. Asthis or bones are formed from the nutrients supplied by medha dhatu (adipose tissue layer).