Skin, Hair & Nails
By Steve Marmor
Skin, Hair & Nails
The skin is the largest and most exposed organ of the body and virtually all skin conditions that manifest are coming from within. That is, the skin is a reflection of the blood chemistry, and of course, many things affect the blood chemistry (i.e., the intestines, kidneys, liver function, as examples). The skin is a ”waterproof” covering that shields more vulnerable organs and protects the body from toxins, damage and infection. All the time, while maintaining body temperature and helping to eliminate certain wastes.
The skin is composed of three basic layers: the outer epidermis, inner dermis and the inner subcutaneous layer. The epidermis can be divided into two layers. The outermost is actually a covering of mostly dead cells and a protein called keratin. Next to it is a layer of melanin and keratin. The melanin determines skin pigment or color.
The dermis houses hair follicles, blood vessels, nerves, muscle tissue and sweat, oil and other glands. All of these are partially connected by collagen, a protein found not only in the skin, but in tendons, bones and cartilage too. Many of you may know, collagen works with elastin, another protein, to give the skin its tone and suppleness.
Hair is primarily made up of keratin and only the root, located in the dermis, is alive. It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000-200,000 strands of hair on the average head, but that varies a great deal from person to person. Hair grows about 1/2 inch per month. People usually shed between 30-200 hairs a day. However, stress, the thyroid and other glandular imbalances can boost the number hairs lost to 500 per day. Extreme physical or emotional shock can cause hair to fall out and even cause premature graying.
Fingernails and toenails are part of the epidermis that is formed by a hardened protein called keratin. Contrary to popular belief , nails have a very low calcium content but are actually much higher in sulphur and silica. Nails have three major sections: the root, the body of the nail and the free portion that extends over the finger or toe. Figernails grow more slowly than hair, about 1/10 inch per month, and they grow about three to four times faster than toenails.
Fingernails have long been known as an indicator of health, and any dramatic changes in their texture, shape, color or growth rate may signal health changes or challenges that certain health care professionals can help to clarify.
One of my favorite herbal combinations composed to nourish and support skin, hair & nails is the formula called HSN-W (hair, skin & nails formula). It contains two of the richest sources of silicon known in the plant kingdom—dulse and horsetail, horestail also known as shavegrass, and no, it is not the hair from the tail of a horse. Silicon works with calcium to improve the strength and flexibility of body tissues, including the structural system. It also adds to skin tone and sheen. Sage, another herb in the HSN-W formula, works as a powerful anti-oxidant and preserves the integrity of body tissues.
This formula is available at Herbs & More—Your Natural Health Center, in Encinitas, Ca., since 1993, 760 753-7272. Best health