Body & Soul: Natural Hand and Nail Care for Gardeners

Green thumbs and rough, dry hands no longer need to be the result of a day spent working in the garden.

| August/September 2002

• Natural Tips: Total Hand Care 

Hand Care Recipes:

• Gardeners' Hand Cream
• Horsetail Nail Strengthener 

Green thumbs and rough, dry hands no longer need to be the result of a day spent working in the garden. In fact, the term “green thumb” has nothing to do with the condition of your hands, but rather it refers to a person’s ability to grow and care for healthy plants. It is possible to have both healthy, well-cared-for hands and beautiful plants.

Eating a proper diet is essential, as too little protein can make your nails brittle and your skin dull. Keeping your hands well-moisturized is also important; the nails are extremely porous and expel moisture 100 times faster than the skin. Massaging a rich cream or natural oil (such as sunflower oil) into your hands and nails will keep them soft and full of moisture. This is especially critical to lock in moisture and prevent your hands from chapping after washing your hands. Garden soil and constant washings rob your hands of precious moisture. The cream or oil will form a protective barrier, locking moisture into your skin. Massage your cuticles as you apply the cream—this will increase your circulation and encourage new nail growth. Here are a few more essential tips for healthy hands.

• Never use your nails as a tool. They are not knives, screwdrivers, or pruning shears.



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