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Nails, Strengthen

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Nail Fungus

FingernailFingernail (and toenails) are made up of karatin, a protein that is also part of hair and skin, that hardens to protect the  finger tip and outer part of the toes. The nail grows as new cells are made in the matrix or the lunula (visible part of the matrix) which push the older cells forward compressing them into a healthy fingernail or toenail. The skin ridge covering the lunula is known as the cuticle and is composed of dead cells that forms a protective seal. The nail itself is known as the nail plate and the live tissue below it is known as the nail bed. The nail is always adding new cells and the rate of growth varies based on gender, season, location on the body, etc. The typical growth rate of fingernails is about ¼ inch every two months. Toenails grow much slower at a rate of ¼ inch every eight months.

Healthy nails appear even and smooth but irregularities can develop as a result of a variety of health conditions. Nails may be damaged due to accidents or the habit of biting or picking the nails. But other irregularities might be caused by a variety of health conditions. Listed below are some irregularities and health conditions based on a search of a variety of sources.

  Beau’s line (grooves across the nail) – aging, malnutrition, severe illness or surgery

  Bluish or purple nails – oxygen deprivation

  Brittle nails – aging, long-term exposure to moisture or nail polish

  Clubbing (nails soften, not firmly attached, increase angle at cuticle, curves down or convex and finger bulges) – diseases of heart and lungs

  Discolored and possibly painful area under the nail – bacterial infection

  Lifting of nail – some antibiotics

  Mees’ lines or Leukonychia (white lines or spots) – acute illness, heavy metal toxicity, chemotherapy

  Onychodystrophy (degenerate, pitted, splitting) – psoriasis

  Onychogryphosis (crooked and thickened) – bad fitting footwear, aging, trauma, psoriasis

  Onycholysis (brittle or splitting) – hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism

  Onychomycosis (darken, discolor, thicken, disfigure, split) – fungal infection

  Red streaks in nail bed – infections elsewhere in the body (especially heart valve)

  Spoon nails or koilonychia (soft and look scooped out, concave) – iron deficiency, anemia, hemochromatosis, heart disease, hypothryroidism

•  Other distortions – skin cancer, darkened cuticle a form of melanoma, dark streak down length of nail may be subungal melanoma

Many other colors and deformities are related to health concerns on many websites.


[search helps: eponychium, proximal fold, perionyx, margo liber, distal edge, hyponychium, quick, onychodermal band]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  FrankincenseC, GrapefruitC, LemonEC, MyrrhC

Essential oils based products: Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV)

Also consider: Invigorating BlendC, EucalyptusC, LavenderC, MelaleucaC, OreganoC, RosemaryC, ThymeC

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) have addressed nutritional deficiencies and helped many to build strong nails.

Topical application of Lemon and other oils has proven effective.

If there are abnormalities of discoloration and/or deformities that do not respond consider the possibility of other health concerns and the oils or medical interventions for them.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Irene - Does anyone know a remedy for really, really weak nails.  My nails are cracked and dry and break easily.  They have longitudinal ridges and seem to be getting worse. Any advice would be appreciated.

Vicky - My nails have improved greatly because of LLV supplements. Winter is so hard on them.

Pat - Lavender is good and so is lemon to put on the nail for strength. If you would take the LLV supplements it would also strengthen the nails.

LBE - I have been using Metabolic Blend now for 4 weeks. Honestly, I haven't stepped on a scale to see if I've lost weight, but I have noticed some huge changes. I eat so much less, I crave Metabolic Blend and more healthy foods, I have a ton more energy throughout the day, I feel good, my fingernails are growing stronger and faster, and even my hair seems thicker. I stand all amazed. I had no idea this blend of oils could give me so many benefits. My hope is that if I continue to feel good and energetic I will be more active, and eating less. I'm sure I will start to see some major changes in my weight. I was just curious if anyone else has noticed some of these same things.

Amelia – I found this in the Reference Guide.  Interestingly, lemon oil has also been known to be strengthening to the fingernails. Simply apply the oil directly onto the nails.

Protocols folks recommend for children



Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying



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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.