In Taoist medicine, the kidneys are one of the five vital organs, and they are the main source of energy. When they are full of energy, one becomes high-spirited, with plenty of stamina and an abundance of vitality. This is due to the fact that the health of the kidney is directly related to the health of their corresponding organs. The kidneys are directly connected to the bones, hairs, nails and ears. By observing the shape and condition of a person’s ears, one can determine the general strength and condition of the kidneys.
Just by observing the nails of an individual’s one can determine the health of the kidneys and the other internal organs. The fingernails can provide clues to the overall health. But do you know how to read these signs? A touch of white here, a rosy tinge there, or some rippling or bumps may be a sign of disease in the body. Problems in the liver, lungs, and heart can show up in the nails. Keep reading to learn what are the secrets of your nails might reveal. For example :
Pale Nails: Very pale nails are sometimes linked to aging, sure sign of decrease in vitality in the kidney region. But they can also be a sign of serious illness, such as:
- Congestive heart failure
- Liver disease
White Nails: If the nails are mostly white with darker rims, this can indicate liver problems, such as hepatitis. Sometimes the fingers are also jaundiced, another sign of liver trouble. Since the kidney is supposed to be the thermostat of the body and it is in no position to maintain the equilibrium of the body heat, hence the livers get affected.
Yellow Nails: One of the most common causes of yellow nails is a fungal infection. As the infection worsens, the nail bed may retract, and nails may thicken and crumble. In rare cases, yellow nails can indicate a more serious condition such as severe thyroid disease or psoriasis.
Bluish Nails: Nails with a bluish tint can mean the body isn’t getting enough oxygen. This could indicate an infection in the lungs, such as pneumonia.
Rippled Nails: If the nail surface is rippled or pitted, this may be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis, again this is related to imbalance of body heat – failure of the thermostat of the body (kidney). Psoriasis is a skin condition that starts in the nails 10% of the time.
Cracked or Split Nails: Dry, brittle nails that frequently crack or split have been linked to thyroid disease. Cracking or splitting combined with a yellowish hue is more likely due to a fungal infection.
Puffy Nail Fold: If the skin around the nail appears red and puffy, this is known as inflammation of the nail fold. It may be the result of lupus or another connective tissue disorder.
Dark Lines beneath the Nail: Dark lines beneath the nail should be investigated as soon as possible. They are sometimes caused by melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer – imbalance in the spleen or pancreatic region.
Gnawed Nails: Biting your nails may be nothing more than an old habit, but in some cases it’s a sign of persistent anxiety that could benefit from treatment. Nail biting or picking has also been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder. According to Taoist philosophy, too much of anxiety affect the spleen pancreas.
Yellow discoloration: in your fingernails may result from a respiratory condition, such as chronic bronchitis, or from swelling of your hands (lymphedema). In yellow nail syndrome, nails thicken and new growth slows, resulting in discoloration. Nails affected with this condition may lack a cuticle and may detach from the nail bed in places.
Clubbing: Clubbing occurs, when the tip of the fingers gets enlarged and the nails curve around the fingertips. This condition results from low oxygen levels in the blood and could be a sign of lung disease. Clubbing is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease and liver disease.
Spoon nails (koilonychia): are soft nails that look scooped out. The depression usually is large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Spoon nails may be a sign of iron deficiency or anemic in nature.
Beau’s lines: are indentations that run across the nails. They can appear when growth at the area under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Diseases or illnesses associated with Beau’s lines include:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Circulatory diseases, such as peripheral artery disease
- Illness associated with a high fever, caused by pneumonia, scarlet fever, mumps or measles
Onycholysis: with such a condition the fingernails become loose and can separate from the nail bed. If the nails show signs of detaching, this may be associated with:
- Injury or infection
- Thyroid disease
- Drug reactions
- Reactions to nail hardeners or acrylic nails
Nails Are Only Part of the Puzzle. Though nail changes accompany many conditions, these changes are the first sign. And many nail abnormalities are harmless — for instance, not everyone with white nails has hepatitis. If you’re concerned about the appearance of your nails, see a dermatologist at the earliest and don’t forget to visit www.sevangee.com for overall health, fitness and wellness.
Parts of this article have been taken from David Bjerklie’s article called “You Are What You Eat” that appeared in Time Magazine in October 2003.
The gist of David Bjerklie’s article is that modern investigative, nutritional sciences have confirmed the accuracy of an ancient philosophy shared by early herbalists called “The Doctrine of Signatures”. It said that whole foods resembled that organ of the body or that physiological function for which if eaten would benefit that part. Here are some examples of these natural signatures:
“The news isn’t that fruits and vegetables are good for you, it’s that they are so good for you, they can save your life.“