Our bodies are incredible creations that are constantly speaking to us, giving us clues that allude to our internal health. According to a venerated Chinese medical text, “If something happens in the interior of the body, it must be reflected in the exterior of the body.” Ayurvedic Medicine, on the other hand, is very well known for nail assessments (although TCM is well-versed here, too!) Areas of imbalance that Ayurveda looks for in the nails include bone health, malabsorption, lung/heart issues, inflammation, parasites, digestive issues, nutrient deficiencies and more.
Weak digestive fire is also an indication of poor metabolism and can lead to a potential build up of toxins in the system, called “ama.” This buildup, which often centers in the lower bowel and colon is a common root cause for many disorders and should be the first thing you look at when treating the body as a whole.
On the other hand, if you have nice large moons on your thumb to pinky, this represents a strong, healthy fire that is capable of breaking down and absorbing the nutrients from food. Chinese Medicine believes that clearly defined lunules should take up around one-fifth of each nail for the best sign of health, although they feel that the pinky lunula is not as important as the others and can be absent. TCM agrees with Ayurveda otherwise, teaching that people with small/absent lunula are often bothered by “pathogenic cold” (yang deficiency) and weak immunity. It is crucial that you drink ginger tea in the mornings, especially if you have symptoms of yang deficiency which can include men’s symptoms, aversion to cold, lack of circulation, poor appetite, fatigue, achy joints, cold hands and feet, poor digestion, depression, etc.
There are several other abnormalities that may show up in your nails, which can be found in the following chart. I’ll elaborate on each individually below!
1. Absence of moons
I explained this in detail above, but in summary, this can be related to the low immune system, poor circulation, “cold” invading the body (lack of heat and vigor), and weak digestive fire. A great way to build your ‘yang’ energy and defenses back up would be drinking hot ginger tea every morning and all throughout the day if possible (bring a thermos to work with extra from the morning batch!) You can also try out my cinnamon weight loss elixir recipe if you’re looking to add in some slimming benefits to your daily warming drinks. It’s important to never drink beverages on ice – in fact, try to keep your liquids at a warm room temperature or above! Add more soups to your diet, and use warming spices such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cayenne. Never eat meals while watching TV or browsing your phone.