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If your nails look like this...

Nail appearance is one more indicator in of how the outside of our body can provide information on internal health. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) nails are strong, smooth, and healthy when blood is adequately circulated. TCM views blood as a broad concept that includes it's ability to moisten and nourish muscles, hair, skin, and nails.


Pale nail beds, dry and brittle nails, vertical ridges

The Liver in TCM is responsible for circulating blood as needed to supply nutrition throughout the body. Signs like dry and fragile nails can denote a deficiency of blood or inability of the Liver to regulate circulation. Similarly, modern medicine also shows that blood disorders (anemia) and poor liver function (cirrhosis, Hepatitis) can cause nails to become pale and weak.

Other symptoms related to a blood deficiency pattern:

dryness (skin, hair, eyes)

muscle tightness or cramps, numbness

eye floaters, hair loss

Try adding some of these foods to your diet to nourish blood: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, yams, peas, onions, garlic, leafy greens, beets, coconut, grapes, cherries, dates, figs, kidney beans, meat, miso, eggs, seaweed, molasses



There should be half moons (called lunulas) at the base of the nail. They are most noticeable on the thumb and least on the pinky. This is a good indicator of health as this is the newest growth of the nail. Why lunulas might not be visible:

In TCM a distinct lunula shows vitality and Qi (chee). Much of this Qi, or life force, comes from the digestive organs adequately metabolizing food into usable nutrients. Specifically this is related to the spleen organ system. Indicators of weakness in the Spleen can be seen with low energy, digestive issues (bloating, gas, indigestion), and a poor immune system.

Allopathic medicine also connects nonvisible lunulas to lack of nourishment, or an inability to properly absorb nutrition. Commonly this includes mineral and vitamin deficiencies, especially iron and B12.

Food therapy: Support your "digestive fire" with foods that are warmer are more easily metabolized. This includes warm in temperature, as well as what is considered warm energetically. Cut back on foods right out of the refrigerator, ice water, and raw fruit and vegetables. Increase cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, turmeric, garlic, ginger, onions, chicken, soups and stews.


Other nail health indicators

Bluish nails- there is not enough oxygen which can indicate a lung problem

Dark line under your nail- get this checked as it can be a sign of melanoma

Cracked or split nails- can indicate a thyroid issues


Nail Biting

This behavior reveals underlying anxiety which is seen as a disharmony of your body according to Chinese Medicine. All organs have connections to physical and emotional functions. Along with anxiety, other emotions and physical symptoms will show which organ systems are the underlying cause of disharmony.

Below are some general guidelines of which organ system is out of balance:

Spleen: Worry, ruminating on a specific issue.

Other symptoms could include fatigue, digestive upset, muscle issues.

Heart: Feeling of mental restlessness, insomnia, depression. Other possible symptoms: palpitations & chest tightness.

Liver: Resentment, irritability, anger, depression, stress and tension. May have symptoms of headaches, neck and shoulder tension, dizziness, sleep disturbances.

Lung: Grief, sadness, inability to let go. Possible symptoms of dry cough, hoarse voice, shortness of breath, fall allergies.

Kidney: Fear, phobias, panic attacks. Possibly restless sleep, night sweats, ear problems.


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