Connective tissue is found in all parts of our body (cartilage, bones, fat, blood, organs) and performs important supporting, enveloping tasks by providing support and stability to joints, bones and internal organs. It is very rich in intercellular mass and consists of so-called fibrocytes embedded in an extracellular matrix of collagen. Many nerve pathways, lymphatic vessels and defence cells run through it. It supplies our cells with nutrients, removes harmful substances and acts as a water reservoir.

Our connective tissue is a complex system that makes up the fascial tissue of our entire body.

Reasons for connective tissue weakness

  • There are congenital connective tissue diseases such as Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
  • The connective tissue of women differs from that of men. The latter have a higher proportion of collagenous and elastic fibres that run crosswise, whereas the connective tissue strands in women are arranged almost parallel. Thus, men's skin is more robust and stays taut longer.
  • The firmness of women's connective tissue is dependent on the sex hormone oestrogen, which means that puberty, pregnancy and menopause can promote connective tissue weakness.
  • Weak connective tissue can also be "inherited" if the mother's nutrient status during pregnancy and breastfeeding was low and, for example, there was a latent deficiency of vitamin C, silicon, copper or other building blocks that strengthen connective tissue.
  • The factor of the amount of collagen fibre can be genetically influenced.
  • Weakness of the connective tissue is not only a symptom of age, but is also significantly influenced by eating habits. Too much industrial food, industrial fat, sugar and diets low in nutrients promote hyperacidity and the formation of waste products.
  • Lifestyle also plays a role. Nicotine, stress, alcohol, little exercise and too much UV radiation can also be reasons for the development of connective tissue weakness.
  • Too little water intake makes the connective tissue appear less plump and firm because it has too little water available for storage.
  • Gaining or losing weight too quickly can loosen the connective tissue.

What are the different forms (besides genetic) of connective tissue weakness?

Connective tissue weakness in the form of cellulite, skin cracks or growth and stretch marks is only a cosmetic problem, while major health problems such as hernias, organ sinking, massive spider veins and painful haemorrhoids can also stem from weak connective tissue.

And now, most importantly, we can support our connective tissue!

What (preventive) measures are there?

If you want to combat your connective tissue weakness, it is best to focus on the following points: Stimulating blood circulation to the skin and organs, creating antioxidant capacities against oxidative stress in the body, supplying structure-giving and structure-strengthening components, avoiding hyperacidity.

How can this be achieved?

  • Alternating showers, brush massages and sufficient exercise are recommended to stimulate the blood circulation.
  • Preventive and permanent lifestyle management is the focus: regular exercise, muscle training, balanced and nutritious diet, abstaining from nicotine and alcohol, sufficient water, stress management.
  • A sufficient supply of proteins and essential amino acids is important for structural maintenance, whereby the content of animal milk proteins should be kept rather low.
  • Vitamin C is a basic requirement for collagen synthesis and has an antioxidant effect.
  • Hyaluronic acid has a very high water-binding capacity and can help make connective tissue appear plumper.
  • Silicon (silicic acid), B vitamins and vitamin A make an important contribution to maintaining healthy and strong skin and mucous membranes.
  • Magnesium and potassium ensure correct acid-base ratios in the organism.
  • OPC (resveratrol) can strengthen vascular walls (e.g. spider veins, haemorrhoids).

What medicinal plants and herbs does Mother Nature have in store for us?

  • The Nettle can have a strengthening and alkalising effect on connective tissue and skin due to its potassium and silicic acid content.
  • For vascular problems such as (acute) haemorrhoids and couperosis, the Cat's claw be very helpful.
  • The Blackcurrant is rich in vitamin C and potassium, it can strengthen connective tissue and also counteract hyperacidity.
  • Dandelion and liquorice root can support liver detoxification and thus relieve the lymph.
  • Butcher's broom, horse chestnut and red vine leaves can also strengthen vessels.
  • Horsetail (= field horsetail) has a high silicic acid content.
  • Papaya (especially the seeds) contains plenty of carotenoids and enzymes and is considered a "fountain of youth for the skin".
  • Fruits that are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, but rather low in sugar, should be integrated either fresh as fruit or as a high-quality raw food powder. Wild blueberries or aronia berries, which can serve as radical scavengers, are particularly suitable for this purpose.
  • Detoxification can be supported by chlorophyll-containing plants such as Spirulina, barley grass, chlorella and coriander.

Despite all these measures, it should not be forgotten that everyone's connective tissue is different and a number of factors, including genetic ones, can be involved in the development of connective tissue weakness.

A healthy lifestyle should be a desirable goal in any case. I consider accompanying oneself with medicinal plants and gifts from Mother Nature a privilege and a great gift. I personally consider this a preventive measure that should always have a place in our lives. Nevertheless, combining several measures is useful and recommended to combat connective tissue weakness.

Last but not least, a little something for the soul: we should not forget that we are not only our body. The external image is often used as a tool to hide, to run away from oneself or to build a protection. Often the purpose of the things we do in the now is to create or change a circumstance in the future. In doing so, we have in mind how we want to be, but without seeing and appreciating who we are right now. But that is what it is all about, living life NOW.


Our author

Mag. pharm. Gabriela Gabriel

Studied pharmacy and trained in nutritional supplements, vital mushrooms, microimmunotherapy, facial analysis and nutritional counselling.