Health Clues from Your Nails

Have you ever noticed the presence of half moon shape at the base of your nails? It is called lunula. The lunula (little moon in Latin) is the crescent-shaped whitish area of the bed of your fingernail or toenail which is the visible part of the root of the nail. This part is very sensitive and extremely important, thus you should be very careful not to damage it, because if you damage it your entire nail will be permanently deformed. This part looks white because it’s the fifth basal layer of the epidermis and it actually “hides” the blood vessels that are underneath.

Now, have you ever wondered what this half moon shape on your nails means?

Our bodies are incredible creations that are constantly speaking to us, giving us clues that allude to our internal health. If something happens in the interior of the body, it must be reflected in the exterior of the body. Just as the tongue, hair, skin and other external attributes are very telling of someone’s internal health; the nails can be a strong indicator of possible issues occurring in the body as well. This nail assessment is called Nakha Pariksha in Ayuverda practice.

Many experts around the world think that the lunula can reveal some very important information about our overall health. For example, traditional Chinese medicine believes that a lack of lunula indicates anemia and malnutrition while a pale or bluish lunula indicates possible diabetes. If a person’s lunula has reddish smudges he or she may be suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

In Ayurveda, it is said that the lunula of the nail represents someone’s “agni,” or ‘fire’ in the body. A lack of lunula or a really small lunula usually indicates indigestion which can happen due to slow metabolism and toxin overload in the body. People with small/ absent lunulas are often bothered by “pathogenic cold” and weak immunity. It would be better to have 8 to 10 lunulas on both hands.

If you have nice large moons on your thumb to your 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 lunulas should take up around one-fifth of each nail for the best sign of health. The whiter the color, the better, which indicates the person is stronger.

Briefly, the lunula usually tells the disease of a person in the form of color change or disappearing crescent. After the person regains the health from regulation, the little moon will gradually appear again. The less lunula people have, the lower energy and poorer health and immunity they have, so it’s more likely for them to feel tired. If the lunula only appears on the thumbs, it indicates that the physical energy is insufficient and the disease is about to come.


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