Do you have brittle nails?

Author: Linda Sinden   Date Posted:25 March 2019 

After a period of intense focus with much computer work, later nights than usual and little down time for about 6 months Adrienne came to see me. She was concerned that her nails were brittle, splitting easily and some nails now had ridges forming on the new growth. She wanted to know what was happening and what she could do about it.


Ayurvedic perspective

Adrienne learnt that the nails on our fingers and toes are a by-product of the formation of bone, which is governed by Asthi dhatu. She understood that healthy bone formation was therefore essential for healthy nail formation and the ridges and brittle nails were a sign of malnutrition of the bone tissue.  

We discussed that late nights, mental stress, irregular meals, smoking and toxins, such as mercury and lead weaken the the formation of Asthi dhatu and therefore nail formation. Then we considered the longer-term impact of poor bone formation, such as low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis) joint pains, cartilage issues, osteoarthritis, or deep pains in the bones.

In addition, her bowel motions were irregular, sometimes daily and sometimes every two days. In this situation impurities in the colon may also be stopping the absorption of nutrients. Understandably Adrienne was concerned and asked what she could do to strengthen her bone formation.


What to do?

Increase intake of foods high in calcium, magnesium and zinc to nourish bone formation.

  • She decided to take one handful of white sesame seeds every day as a handful contains about 1200mg of calcium and magnesium.
  • Other foods to favour are dark greens, seeds, milk, nuts, dried fruits, fresh yoghurt made and eaten within 24 hours, carob, asparagus, broccoli, tofu, oats, whole grains, yellow corn, lentils, apples, celery, citrus, cornmeal, rice, apricots and pumpkin seeds.
  • Helpful Herbals: To support absorption for 2-3 months I recommended she take the following herbals for 3 months: Calcium Support 2 tablets prior breakfast and evening meals and Triphala Guggul 2 tablets after lunch and evening meals.  

To help cleanse the colon and to re-establish daily elimination I recommended she take 2-3 tablets of Digest Tone at bedtime.

  • To address the effects of stress on her ability to assimilate nutrients Adrienne looked into learning to meditate  (see TM New Zealand or TM Australia)
  • Adrienne committed to being in bed by 10pm most nights and to having regular meal times.
  • Daily exercise (brisk walking, swimming, jogging or aerobic dance or sun salutation were also recommended to help carry nutrients to the tissue at the roots of the nail.

Although brittle nails seems an innocuous health concern, it points to a more serious underlying imbalance that Adrienne could avoid by this timely intervention.


Wishing you the bliss of balance.

Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our weekly Insights. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.

Book an appointment with me

Email: Skype: Linda.Sinden 
Mobile: +64 212237525


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