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Fingernails are made up of proteins called keratin. The nails protect the nerves on your fingertips and toes. In addition, the appearance of your nails help reveal how well you are processing vital nutrients, and whether you are receiving enough. Deficiencies of certain vitamins may lead to deformed, dry, brittle nails. However, certain vitamins may help with the rejuvenation of healthy nails.
Vitamin A is essential for the body to process proteins. When there is a deficiency of this vitamin it may cause dry, brittle nails and hangnails. Beta carotene and vitamin A work together in stimulating new cell growth and protecting your cell membranes. Foods that are rich in beta carotene and vitamin A may include spinach, carrots, watermelon and broccoli, to name a few. A diet with enough Vitamin A will assist in bringing weak, cracked nails back to life. MayoClinic.com states that adult women should consume 700 micrograms, or mcg, per day and 900 mcg for adult men.
Vitamin B2 is a member of the B complex group and is also known as riboflavin. This vitamin is essential for overall health and growth and plays a role in the digestion process. According to Vitamins & Supplements, Riboflavin is vital for development and repair of body tissues such as nails, skin and hair. Our bodies do not store this vitamin; therefore it must be replenished daily. A vitamin B2 deficiency may lead to split and dry brittle nails. Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, liver, milk and cheese are good sources of riboflavin. The recommended daily dosage of riboflavin varies depending on gender and age, states The Vitamin & Nutrition Center.
Your body needs vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption. Calcium is essential for strong bones, teeth and nails. This vitamin is found in very few foods and may be added to others. Some foods that are rich in vitamin D are cheese, egg yolk and certain fish, such as salmon, mackerel and tuna. Dry, brittle nails can result from a vitamin D deficiency. The Office of Dietary Supplements states that excessive amounts of vitamin D in your body can lead to vitamin D toxicity, resulting in nausea, poor appetite and weakness. Your age and gender determines the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D. Always consult with your physician prior to starting a supplement regimen.
There are so many canker sore treatments and aids to be used for canker sore relief. They are normally in the form of over the counter medications, simple home remedies, or combinations of both. Here are some of the most common canker sore remedies and relief.
1) Aloe. Press a little juice from the inner part of an aloe leaf over the canker sore. Do this many times daily to speed up the healing process. Aloe vera juice is also commercially sold in gallons; you may use this packaged form instead if you do not have any other source of aloe in your home. Aloe leaf has salicylates which have a naturally inflammatory effect and best for pain relief. Furthermore, aloe has some antibacterial properties.
2) Baking soda. This is a cheap and very effective home remedy for treating canker sores. You can make a paste of baking soda or you can apply baking soda directly on the canker sore. Baking soda neutralizes the acids which cause the ulceration. Baking soda also has antibacterial qualities, and it can enhance the healing of the sore.
3) Vinegar and salt. Mix vinegar and salt and rinse your mouth with this solution three times a day to clear the canker sore.
4) Fresh onion. Dice a small onion bit and put a little of that diced mixture onto the canker sore. Hold for about a minute to let the onion juices seep into the sore. Do this three or four times a day. Onion has been known to heal a canker sore fast.
5) Sage. Boil some water and place a few teaspoons of sage leaves. Cover and let it steep for fifteen minutes. Rinse your mouth with this sage mixture many times a day. You may also pound the sage leaves into powder form, then apply this directly onto the canker sore. Sage is a widely accepted herbal remedy used to get rid of canker sores.
6) Salt. If you can tolerate the pain, then put a little salt directly onto the canker sore. This has a drying effect on the lesion and speeds up its healing time.
7) Saltwater. Gargle with saltwater three times a day to help heal the canker sore and other minor mouth and throat problems. Saltwater has an antibacterial effect and it is particularly beneficial as a cheap and inexpensive gargling solution to combat minor throat infections.
8) Copper sulfate. Apply copper sulfate directly on the canker sore once or twice every day until the painful lesion goes away. Copper sulfate is effective and fast when it comes to treating a canker sore. This particular canker sore treatment compound has been used by many people for a long time.
9) Clover oil. When applied directly on the canker sore, clover oil numbs the area and can provide pain relief.
10) Tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a proven antibacterial and antiseptic. Mix 1 part of tea tree oil with 9 parts of water and gargle the solution. You may do this three times a day until the canker sore goes away. 11) Papaya leaves. Chewing papaya leaves to release its juices is a folk remedy for canker sore. Some people swear by its efficacy for treating canker sores.
12) Plum juice. This is another folk remedy that can speed up the healing process of a canker sore.
13) Salt and hydrogen peroxide. Mix a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda with two ounces of hydrogen peroxide solution. Use this mixture to rinse your mouth four times a day. You may dilute it with a little water if you find the taste too strong or the tingling sensation is uncomfortable. The use of hydrogen peroxide solution is popular in canker sore treatment. 14) Cayenne. Cayenne may be a skin irritant for some people, but it is proven to be very effective when it comes to relieving the pain brought about by canker sores. Capsaicin is a compound found in cayenne pepper. Capsaicin temporarily numbs the nerves. As a matter of fact, candies made from cayenne pepper are widely used for pain relief from mouth sores resulting from radiation and chemotherapy. 15) Styptic pencil. This is another pain relief method. Barbers use styptic pencils for a long time to stop the bleeding from minor cuts and nicks. When a styptic pen is used on a canker sore, it will desensitize the nerves and lessen the pain. 16) Ice. This is also another effective pain relief. Just apply an ice cube onto the canker sore. You can also swish ice water inside your mouth to numb the mouth lining and reduce the pain from the canker sore.
17) German chamomile. This is a potent homemade pain remedy. Take caution if you have allergies to chrysanthemum, ragweed, aster, and feverfew because you cannot use chamomile. Moreover, chamomile interacts with alcohol, sedative medications, anti-clotting drugs, and anti-platelet or blood-thinning medications (like warfarin). 18) Lady’s mantle. Alchemilla vulgaris is an herb used as a homemade remedy for mouth infections, throat infections, dysmenorrhea, and skin rashes. There are studies that prove the herb’s efficacy in treating canker sores. A glycerine gel which contains 3% extract of lady’s mantle applied three times a day relieved the pain and cured the canker sores in 75% of the 48 people who were tested. The healing period of the canker sore was reduced to three days.
19) DGL or Deglycyrrhizinated licorice. This type of herb licorice speeds up the healing process for people with canker sores. 20) Chlorophyll tablets. Used as blood detoxifier, chlorophyll tablets are occasionally chewed to counteract canker sores. 21) Goldenseal powder. You can make a homemade antiseptic mouth rinse from half a teaspoon of goldenseal powder, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a cup of warm water. Use this to rinse your mouth four times a day. Goldenseal has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help to hasten the healing of a canker sore. 22) Vitamin E. Break off a vitamin E capsule and apply the oil directly on the lesion. This has been proven to quickly heal the canker sore. It can also even hasten the healing process of most types of external wounds.
23) Good oral hygiene. This does not only prevent the appearance of canker sores. Good oral hygiene contributes to speedy healing of a canker sore. An important thing to note about good oral hygiene is to avoid extensive use of mouthwashes and oral antiseptics. These chemical products will disrupt the normal bacterial flora in the mouth. 24) Supplements. The appearance of canker sores may be linked to deficiencies in vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc, iron, and the amino acid lysine. A weak immune system is also a major factor for the eruption of a canker sore. The following list may be helpful supplementation for prevention and treatment of canker sores:
Vitamin B12. Preferably 1,000 micrograms a day.
A vitamin-B complex containing 100 milligrams of most of the major B vitamins three times daily, with meals.
Vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Preferably 1,000 milligrams three times per day, with meals.
Zinc. Preferably 50 to 100 milligrams every day.
Iron. Preferably 15 milligrams every day.
Folic acid. Preferably 400 milligrams two times a day.
L-Lysine. Preferably 4 grams every day for the first 4 days then reduce the dosage to 500 milligrams three times per day. This supplement must be taken in an empty stomach.
Acidophilus powder or capsules. Probiotics such as acidophilus supplements will restore the healthy balance of bacteria that resides in the mucous membranes of the mouth.
Use over the counter medications. They come in so many forms such as lozenges, antiseptic creams, and mouth rinses.