6 Top Herbs for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails
Looking your best on the outside has a lot to do with how healthy your body is on the inside. This holds true for your hair, skin, and nails, which all need a unique set of nutrients and compounds to grow strong and beautiful.
Of course, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is an important piece to the puzzle, but herbs can give your body that extra boost it needs to keep your hair, skin, and nails looking great.
Here's a look at how herbal support can become a key part of your beauty routine and the top herbs for the job.
What Your Hair, Skin, & Nails Need to Thrive
Your skin, hair, and nails need "regular" nutrients like protein and fat to be healthy, just like the rest of your body.
Healthy fats are especially important for keeping your skin from drying out by contributing to the lipid layer in your skin's barrier. Protein, particularly in the form of collagen and keratin, is vital to the structure of all three: skin, hair, and nails.
A few other priority nutrients include minerals, like silica, and vitamins, like biotin, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which come mainly from fish and algae.
Antioxidants are also very important because they protect your body from free radicals that can damage cells and tissues (including those that help build your skin, hair, and nails) and help get rid of problematic toxins.
The good news?
Herbs can supply you with almost all of the above nutrients (minus fat), which is what makes them such a great natural beauty support.
Internal vs. External Herbal Support
This post is focused on herbs you can drink as a tea or take in capsules so that your body absorbs all the beneficial nutrients and uses them to support your hair, skin, and nails.
However, there are also plenty of ways you can use herbs externally for skincare, hair care, etc.
For example, you can check out this post on herbal hair care for shampoo, rinses, and other hair recipes that all use herbs.
Or you can look into the best herbs for radiant skin and/or the top essential oils to use in your skincare routine. Many of these herbs and oils are also great for your nails!
Best Herbs for Hair, Skin, and Nails
Horsetail is a great herb for your skin, hair, and nails because it contains an exceptionally high amount of the mineral known as silica.
Silica is important for your skin because it promotes collagen production, which means that it enhances skin regeneration and wound healing as well.
Silica is also an important building block of your hair and nails. It helps to keep your nails from becoming brittle and strengthens hair strands to prevent breakage.
Studies have even shown that horsetail may help remedy hair thinning. (1)
Nettle leaf is an incredibly nutritious herb that provides your body with tons of nutrients that support healthy hair, skin, and nails.
It's particularly rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium as well as vitamins A, C, and K. The leaves also contain a decent amount of protein and a lot of antioxidants.
Nettle is best taken as a tonic to get its full benefits, which means that you should consume it regularly for a few weeks to a few months so that your body can assimilate all its nutrients.
As a bonus, a strong nettle infusion makes a great hair rinse, too!
Alfalfa is a very nutrient-rich herb, just like nettle. In fact, it supplies your body with so many essential nutrients that it's often used as a nourishing tonic during pregnancy and postpartum.
This high nutrient content is also what makes alfalfa one of the best herbs for hair, skin, and nails.
It contains all the essential amino acids, which are the building blocks your body uses to make protein. It's also rich in minerals your body uses for hair and nail strength and contains vitamins A, C, and E, which are all essential for healthy skin.
On top of all that, alfalfa is one of the richest sources of chlorophyll and contains antioxidants that may keep your skin looking youthful. (2)
Burdock root is one of the most important herbal cleansers for clear skin. It helps to clean toxins out of your blood, liver, and lymphatic system that may be affecting your skin and contributing to breakouts or rashes like eczema.
Of course, by promoting healthy skin, burdock root also encourages a healthy scalp and supports shiny, thick hair. It even contains minerals and plant compounds that nourish hair and nails.
Burdock is usually taken as a decoction for its cleansing benefits. It has very strong detox power, so take it slow at first!
Gotu kola is a staple in both Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It shines as one of the top herbs for hair, skin, and nails because it promotes the production of collagen and fibroblasts-- both important building blocks. (3)
Fresh gotu kola leaves are also rich in B vitamins and vitamin C, which are particularly helpful nutrients for healthy skin, hair, and nails.
And though you'll want to consume gotu kola to benefit from the nutrients it contains, it can also be helpful when used in a skin cream and may even reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars. (4)
You may not think of green tea as an herb, but that's exactly what it is, and it's one of the top herbs for your skin.
Green tea is rich in a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties. They help to protect your skin from damage (and possibly cancer) while also promoting a clear, inflammation-free complexion. (5)
For extra skin-boosting power, try matcha-- a concentrated version of green tea.
Vitamins & Minerals for Hair, Skin, and Nails
There are a few specific vitamins and minerals that are especially supportive of healthy hair, skin, and nails. You may have picked up on a few already mentioned in this post, but here's a quick overview:
- Biotin and other B vitamins: Biotin (vitamin B7) is vital for healthy hair and skin, and a deficiency may cause hair loss. Vitamins B3, B6, and B12 are important, too.
- Silica: Silica gives strength to hair and nails and supports the connective tissues present in skin.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is important for collagen production and helps protect your skin from UV damage.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E helps protect skin cells from damage. It works best in conjunction with vitamin C.
- Zinc: Zinc is a mineral especially important for hair growth, wound healing, and clear skin.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is needed for hair growth and strength as well as healthy skin.
Putting it All Together into an Herbal Solution
Using herbs to support your skin, hair, and nails doesn't have to be complicated.
One of the easiest solutions is to take a combination of the herbs listed above in capsule form. A perfect example of this is these Luminous Hair, Skin, & Nail Support capsules that pair herbs with essential vitamins and minerals.
A second option is to use one or more herbs to make an infusion (a strong tea) that you drink daily. Just remember that consistency is important if you want to see results.
Try one of these two methods for a month or two, and you'll most likely be happy with the results!
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and should not be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your health care provider, herbalist, midwife, or naturopathic physician before taking herbs, supplements, etc. Here's the link to our full disclaimer.
Leave a comment