Horsetail is a traditional remedy for weak and brittle nails. The source of it’s reputation is plant silica which it contains in relatively high quantities. The following recipes are adapted from Josephine Fairley’s book..
Make a heat infused oil of Horsetail, which has been left to wilt overnight after harvesting. Then stir in enough beeswax to make a light salve. (You can test the solidity of your salve before it sets, by dabbing a drip or two of your mix onto the back of a cold spoon. Add more base oil if it’s to solid, as more beeswax if it’s too runny)
If you have it available, add 5 drops Benzoin tincture, just before the beeswax, as it may help to further nourish cuticles. You could also add a few drops of a complementary essential oil (such as Lavender) at the beeswax stage but it’s not really necessary.
50g Fresh Horsetail stems, preferably in spring (or 25g dried)
150 ml Olive oil
1 tablespoon grated beeswax
Follow the instructions for making heat infused oils, simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Another way to nourish nails with Horsetail, is to make a heat infused oil and use it as a warm nail soak, once a week our so. The book says you can reheat this oil as often as you like but I urge you to beware of impurities entering your infused oil by repeated use and rewarming. You could achieve a similar effect by coating your nails and cuticles with a sufficient amount of the oil then put a pair of cotton socks or gloves on your hands for 10 – 20 minutes to retain the heat and help the oil to penetrate.
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