Thursday, August 30, 2012

Traveling with Canned Beans

I absolutely do NOT like eating foods out of cans for the main reasons : the foods are processed in ways that I do not approve ... with additives I do not want in my body, with trace additives that are considered too small as to merit being added to the food (case in point, red pepper is occasionally added to tomato paste in order to achieve a redder color but is considered too small an amount to merit labeling the container - my bro is deathly allergic to peppers of any kind so this is lethal to him!), with the likelihood of contamination by industrial cleaners and factory what-not, contaminated with the aluminum tin itself, and then overcooked under high pressure and therefore killing the nutrients that were originally in the food. Sound pretty pessimistic? Well, maybe it is, but it's also reality.

Anyway, I just had a stopover in Hawaii and figured I could survive on my careful diet if I could just get to a grocery store and get a pile of vegies. I had a knife and vegie peeler packed so I wouldn't have to worry about food preparation, but I only eating vegies doesn't give a person much energy. So I looked around for something, and ... wahlah, I spied a brand of black beans that had no labeled food additives, namely citric acid. Citric acid positively makes me sick, but unfortunately and to my knowledge, almost all beans with the exception of some black beans are processed with citric acid. The evil stuff is in tomato anything, sauces, seasoning salts, yep, just about creepy everywhere. So, it was my lucky day! I left the store with a can of black beans (ingredients: black  beans and salt), a package of tuna with the fewest additives, and tons and tons of vegies! Yum, I made a power salad to go with my washed and dried walnuts and almonds, my stack of black rice waffles (they travel really well), and some quinoa-millet energy bars.

Ah, what a salad!
I had a problem with my diet though. I was in Hawaii for three days and lived off a humungous black bean and vegie salad plus the other items mentioned. But oh no, Something was missing in my diet during that time because I started exhibiting signs of "lack of nutrition". For years (since 1998 for sure) I've noticed my arms get bald when I don't have at least one very good balanced meal a day. I know hair loss is a result of insufficient thyroid activity, and I have had a history of Grave's disease (hyperthyroidism). What I didn't expect was that as the time in Hawaii progressed, I started feeling a bit of tension in my right lower jaw in addition to the hair loss on my forearms. A couple days after arriving home, the tension had gotten so great that I thought I would munch on some Brazil nuts because they are extremely rich in trace minerals and sometimes give me a boost of well-being. I was cleaning my mom's freezer so popped three Brazil nuts in my mouth to chew while my hands were busy.

Oh, oh, oh, what pain! The pain in my jaw had been increasing for the past several days but when I popped those Brazil nuts in my mouth, my right jaw dislocated! It stayed dislocated for the rest of the day and only got better when I really forced myself to bite down, and bite down, and bite down, and gradually and painfully the upper and lower sets of teeth were able to kind of fit back together. What happened? Well, for the next couple of days my jaw would pop in and out and the trend I noticed was based on my diet. I desperately needed something beyond vegetable smoothies. I found that beans and brown rice (a complete protein) were good for easing the jaw pain, and I made some wild salmon dishes and they helped a bit too (not as beneficial as the brown rice and variety of beans but I was trying to get a wide variety of nutrition to eliminate nutritional deficiencies. I never did figure out EXACTLY what it was I needed, but eating a wide variety of green smoothies WITH brown rice or quinoa and some legume did work well.

Snack food for the plane. It's OK to travel with vegies, even internationally, as long as the vegies aren't taken off the plane or taken through immigration. Cabbage slabs travel even better!
Written in hindsight - Even for the next few weeks I would get a bit achy in the right jaw on days when I didn't eat two well-balanced meals. Wow! Whoever heard of a jaw dislocating from malnutrition, but there you have it. That's what happened. The good thing about this experience was I found an awesome chiropractor that is extremely savvy about nutrition. She tried to adjust it but there were difficulties of over-correction because my ligaments were very loose and she said she'd never encountered anything like that before ... and she'd been treating dislocated jaws for years. After she said that, I really paid closer attention to my diet, and then realized the connection between my reduced nutrition intake from traveling and having dietary limitations and how I was feeling. Yikes, my system is very sensitive.

As for chiropractic care with this particular chiropractor, wow, she gave me huge amounts of advice and feedback on candida from a very informed nutritional perspective! I think God was instrumental in coordinating our meeting because she raised my awareness on issues that I hadn't really been addressing (blood pH, the merits of raw organic apple cider vinegar for treating candida) ... but more on those later!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Naked Chef and Pasta

Jamie Oliver in his book The Naked Chef has some very interesting (gluten) pasta recipes that I want to adjust to make some gluten-free pasta. I bought a pasta press that can press out lasagna, spaghetti and fettucini. I doubt if, with gluten-free pasta dough, the angel-hair attachment will work, but ah well. I also bought a three-size kit for making stuffed pasta as in small fold-over stuffed wraps or the larger stuffed sandwiches/pot-pies. Now, I just need a big kitchen and a lot of time to experiment with pasta doughs and consistencies, but these are the Jamie Oliver recipes that I'd like to convert to gluten-free:
Everyday Quick Basic Pasta Recipe (p 47)
(serves 4)

1 lb bread flour (3 1/2 - 4 cups)
5 fresh large eggs
semolina flour for dusting

Special Pasta Recipe (p 47)
(serves 4)

1 cup bread flour
2 1/2 cups semolina (or bread) flour
2 large eggs
9-10 large egg yolks
semolina flour for dusting
And then here are the variations to make interesting, exotic and/or tastier pastas that are flavored and only need a simple olive oil base with vegies or even a sprinkling of "cheese", spinach and tomatoes.

Herb Pasta
Add 4 good handfuls of finely chopped fresh herbs (one variety or a mix) at the same time the flour is added. Proceed with the basic recipe.

Beet Pasta
Remove 2 of the eggs from the basic pasta recipe and replace with roughly the equivalent amount of beets, peeled and pureed. Proceed as in the recipe, possibly having to adjust the flour to achieve a smooth, silky consistency.

Spinach Pasta
Remove 2 whole eggs from the basic recipe. Add approximately 11oz spinach, which has been blanched, squeezed dry (in a dish towel perhaps) and finaly chopped or pureed. Proceed as in the recipe, possibly having to adjust the flour to achieve a smooth, silky and elastic consistency.

Pepper Pasta
Add 1 level tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper. Proceed as in the basic recipe.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Salads, Salads, Salads

Sprouts Salad (raw)

2-3 cups of sprouts (alfalfa, broccoli, radish)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
1 avocado (diced)
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil (optional)
1/3 teaspoon sea salt (optional)


Spinach Greens (Salad) (raw)

1 bunch of baby bok choy (torn into pieces)
1 medium sweet onion (cut into rings)
1 bunch spinach greens (torn into pieces)
1 cucumber (skinned and sliced)
carrot shavings for color
fresh or frozen cranberries for color


Garlic & Dill Cucumber Salad (raw)

3 cucumbers (skinned and sliced thinly)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon dill weed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
turmeric (optional dusting on top)


Garlic & Dill Cucumber Salad w/ Parsley (raw)
(the same as above but add parsley, onion slices and tomatoes)


Monster Toss Salad (raw)

Several fistfuls of various greens, torn
Several red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes
Scattering of radish sprouts, garnish
Scattering of cilantro, garnish

1 lemon squeezed and pulped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
sea salt to taste
Cilantro needs lemon juice to activate its full flavor, so after drizzling on the dressing, let the salad stand for 15 or so minutes and the flavors will be fuller.


Garbanzo Bean Stir-fry Salad

1 medium-large onion (sliced)
1/3 head cauliflower (cut into small flowerets)
1 head broccoli (cut into small flowerets)
5-6 stems asparagus (2" segments)
1 bunch kale/mustard greens/spinach (torn in half)
1-2 cups garbanzo beans (cooked)
1-2 cups garbanzo bean broth
cherry tomatoes (quartered)
green onion (sliced)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
1/2 rounded teaspoon sea salt
Step 1: On medium heat in a large fry pan, put the garbanzo bean broth, cauliflower, broccoli and asaparagus. Cook them enough to soften them and bring out their vivid colors.
Step 2: As vegies are becoming softened, stir in greens briefly and garbanzo beans.
Step 3: Before greens get at their peak of color, add tomatoes and green onions. Cook lightly, perhaps only 3 minutes.
Step 4: Remove from heat. Add salt and lemon juice if using. Serve.


Green Bean Salad

2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
1 small handful macadamia nuts (soaked 1 hours, soak-water tossed)
5-6 cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
sea salt
Bring the green beans to a light boil and then simmer till soft but still very green. Dip out the green beans and put in a bowl, add macadamias and chopped tomatoes, sprinkled on salt as desired, then drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil. Very quick and light.


Green Bean Salad II

2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
2 cups cabbage, sliced thinly
4-5 cloves garlic
1 chunk ginger, grated
5 baby yellow tomatoes, sliced thinly lengthwise
a few stems of parsley as garnish
sea salt
Lightly boil the green beans with the garlic (sliced) and ginger (sliced or grated). Once the green beans are boiled, serve them over a bed of grated or thinly sliced cabbage. Strain out the garlic and ginger pieces and serve with the green beans. Add sliced tomatoes and parley for garnish.


And then just a great big salad supper (one raw and another with cooked green beans) with a cashew or sunflowerseed based dressing!

An extreme salad supper!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beanitos & Other Snackerables

Finally I found something in the store that I can eat, even on my ultra-strict candida diet! Beanitos! Black bean crackers! And I really like them. They're a bit heavier than the traditional stone ground corn cracker and with a tad less salt than I like, which prevents them from being addicting I think, but here's the real downside ... they aren't sold in Korea, so I only get them while in the States. Probably better that way because then they will always remain a treat.

Beanitos - available in the US only (sad!)
Brown Rice Crackers and sea salt - available at a health food store in Hoegi, Seoul
Onion Crackers (starchy though - boo) - available at foreign markets in Itaewon, Seoul
Until now, the only store-bought crackers I've considered OK to eat were a brown puffed rice cracker available in Korea at a health-food store in Hoegi, and a tapioca cracker at international market stores in Itaewon. Unfortunately on the latter though is that tapioca is a starch and starch converts easily to sugar so after getting a bit of phlegm build-up in my throat the last couple of times when I nibbled at those delicious Onion Crackers (ingredients: tapioca starch, coconut oil, garlic, sea salt), I decided to exercise great will-power and walk disdainfully (but longingly) past them. Sigh, those were some awesome tasting crackers!

My raw homemade crackers - blended up vegies, sprouts with some whole lentil sprouts remaining
My raw homemade crackers - and ugh, I can't remember what these were made of but all vegies for sure!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cauliflower "Dirty Rice"

Cauliflower "Dirty Rice"

1 small head cauliflower, whizzed to a rice-like consistency
1/2 large zucchini, diced small
1/2 onion, diced
1 very large chunk ginger, grated
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 dashes cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon mixed herbs (marjoram, thyme, basil)
4 tablespoon coconut oil
water as needed
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 fistful parsley, chopped
Prepare all the vegetables. In a fry pan pour in 1/2" of water and add the coconut oil. For the first 5 minutes heat the onion, garlic and ginger; then add in the cauliflower and let simmer a few minutes. Add in the zucchini and let continue to simmer till zucchini start to soften. Add in the seasonings and after 5 minutes turn off the heat. Finally add the tomatoes and parsley, but if not serving immediately, do not stir so that they retain their rich flavor and bright uncooked color.

For this recipe I spooned adzuki beans over my "dirty rice" as a special treat. However, the minute I tasted the adzuki beans I new that this experiment wouldn't be repeated. They tasted very sweet which means they're high in carbs. And just to check, I went online, and sure enough, 25 grams of carbohydrates in just 100 grams of beans. Yikes, for the person with candida. Otherwise, adzuki beans are a very good and nutritious choice.


another 'heavy on the vegie' super ... centerpiece: cauliflower "dirty rice"

Cauliflower "Dirty Rice" w/ adzuki beans
Adzuki beans, based on 100 grams of beans (128 calories)
the percentage is based on the DV (Daily Value)
25 g carbohydrates (?%)
7.3 g dietary fiber (78%)
121 mcg folate (30%)
532 mg potassium (15%)
168 mcg phosphorus (17%)
52 mg magnesium (13%)
2 mg iron (11%)
.57 manganese (28.5%)
1.78 mg zinc (12%)
American children typically do not ingest enough potassium, manganese or dietary fiber, so the adzuki beans are a great source for all these three difficulty spots. Kids might even like them as they have some natural sweetness too and can be prepared the Asian way which is to frequently cook them with coconut milk or, when sweetened, used to top shaved ice desserts with the beans, pieces of fruit, and other "sweet" things like condensed milk. Mmmm, thinking of this Korean dessert - 팥빙수 - makes me think it'd be very doable. Must think about how to substitute to get the creamy milky flavor ... but hey, it's possible I know!

I still don't know how what the glycemic count is for the 25 g of carbs, but according the DV, 300 g is the recommended amount for people on a 2,000 calorie diet. Hmm, that doesn't tell me much. I'm such a math idiot.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

More about Fingernail Analysis

Some of this data expands on an earlier posting on analyzing health by studying the fingernails, and some of this info is overlapping, but it complements the earlier data in many ways and in some ways provides more insightful information about the nail aberrations. To view the online source of this info, click here.

The body's fingernails and toenails are like 20 mini mirrors reflecting one's overall health. Changes in the body, invisible beyong the skin, layers of muscle and fat are somehow made visible through the color changes of the nails, the shape and the overall condition. Therefore, as dermatologist Amy Newburger, a senior attending pysician at St. Luke's Roosevelt Medical Consortium in New York City says, changes throughout the body that are otherwise invisible can sometimes be first seen in the nails.

In many cases the fingernails can give a better understanding of what's happening in the hidden body because toenails can be affected from walking, wearing tight shoes, and therefore have less circulation, which can affect toenail change. On the other hand, it's my - the blogger's - opinion that analyzing both fingernails and toenails is necessary as toenails, due to their being further from the heart and prehaps first affected by slower circulation or more likely to harbor fungus that is less frequently seen in fingernails, could tell a mighty story of one's health. So, looking at BOTH the fingernails and toenails is necessary for getting the bigger picture of one's overall health.

Wearing fingernail and toenail polish can change the appearance as does buffing. For this reason, if one is wanting fingernail and toenail analysis the person must have nails (for some time) that have been un-affected by the chemicals which are put on the nails. In a similar way, when one undergoes an operation, having polish-free fingernails (and sometimes toenails) is a requirement of hospitals. The main reason for operating personnel, however, is to note the change of color of the nail bed which can tell if the patient is getting proper amounts of oxygen while under aenesthesia.

For more serious nail analysis, the following 9 clues will explain a visual or tactile affect of the nail and then explain what could the aberration possibly be telling the individual.

Clue 1: A black line

Look for: A black discoloration tappearing in a straight vertical line or streak and growing from the nail bed, usually on a single nail. About 75% of cases involve the big toe or the thumb, according to a review in the British Journal of Dermatology. Especially worrisome: a discoloration that's increasing or that's wider at the lower part of the nail than the tip. "That tells you that whatever is producing the pigment is producing more of it," says Newburger. Also beware when the skin below the nail is also deeply pigmented, says podiatrist Jane Andersen of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

What it might mean: Melanoma, the deadliest form of cancer. People with darker skin are more vulnerable than Caucasians to subungual melanoma (melanoma of the nail bed), but darker-skinned races also have more dark lines in nails that are benign, according to a 2004 report in American Family Physician.

Next steps: Always have a doctor check out a suspicious black line on the nail quickly because of the high skin cancer risk. A black line on the nail may also be caused by a harmless mole or an injury. A biopsy can confirm melanoma.

Clue 2: Small vertical red lines

Look for: Red (or sometimes brownish red) streaks in the nail. "They look like blood or dried blood," Anderson says. These are known as "splinter hemorrhages" because they look like a splinter but are caused by bleeding (hemorrhage) under the fingernail or toenail. They run in the same direction as nail growth.

What it might mean: Heart trouble. The "splinters" are caused by tiny clots that damage the small capillaries beneath the nail. They're associated with an infection of the heart valves known as endocarditis. Don't panic if you see one though: Sometimes an ordinary injury to the nail can cause a splinter hemorrhage.

Next steps: No treatment is needed for the splinter hemorrhage itself. A doctor can evaluate and treat the underlying cause if it's heart-related.

Clue 3: Wide, "clubbed" nails

Look for: Uniformly widened fingertips or toes - they appear to bulge out beyond the last knuckle - where the nails have widened, too, so that they curve down and appear to wrap around the tips of the finger like an upside-down spoon. (Normal nails are narrower than their base fingers.) These extra-wide nails are called "clubbed" nails.

What it might mean: Clubbed nails are a common sign of pulmonary (lung) disease, Newburger says. Although the nails' odd shape develops over many months to years, people are often unaware of the underlying condition, which can include lung cancer.

Next steps: If you haven't had a physical exam lately, consider one, especially if you have other symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.

Clue 4: Spoon-like depressions

Look for: Nail beds that have little dips in them, an effect called koilonychia, or "spooning." "If you put your hand flat on the table, the spooned nails look like they could each hold liquid," Newburger says. The nails will also be unusually pale or stay whitish for more than a minute after you press gently on one. (Normally it would turn white for a second or two before returning to its original pinkish color.) The moons at the base of the nails may look particularly white.

What it might mean: Iron-deficiency anemia. Spooning can also be seen in the nails of people with hemochromatosis, or "iron overload disease," a condition usually caused by a defective gene that leads to too much iron being absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Other symptoms for both conditions can include fatigue and lack of energy, or they may be symptomless.

Next steps: A complete blood count can diagnose anemia, and a physical exam might pinpoint the cause of iron problems. Iron supplements and dietary changes are often prescribed as first-line treatments for anemia.

Clue 5: Rippled, pitted nails

Look for: Tiny indentations or holes in the nail bed called "pits." The nail may also appear to be rippled rather than smooth. (You can also feel these abnormalities by rubbing your finger across the nail, which is normally as smooth as the inside of a seashell.)

What it might mean: Psoriasis. Between 10-50% of patients with this common skin disease have pitted, hole-pocked nails, according to a 2000 report in Primary Care. So do more than three-fourths of those with psoriatic arthritis, a related disorder that affects the joints as well as the skin. More rarely, Reiter's syndrome and other diseases of connective tissue show this symptom.

Next steps: A doctor can prescribe medications to treat the underlying conditions. The nail bed can often be restored in psoriasis when the treatment starts early.

Clue 6: Brittle nails

Look for: Peeling, splitting, or easily cracking nails. Sometimes vertical ridges mar the surface, too. These telltale wrecked nails are sometimes called "hypothyroidism nails."

What it might mean: Thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland doesn't make enough thyroid hormone. (Typically a patient's hair is also thin and brittle.) Metabolic functions throughout the body are disrupted, including the delivery of moisture to the nails. Pale, dry skin and hair that may fall out are related signs. Hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid) diseases, such as Grave's disease, may also cause brittle nails.

Next steps: Skip the over-the-counter nail strengtheners for persistently brittle nails and get thyroid levels checked; if thyroid disease is the cause, it's important to treat the root problem.

Clue 7: Nails that seem to be "lifting off"

Look for: The nail itself separating from the nail bed, which is the layer of skin directly under the nail. This effect, known medically as onycholysis, often begins at the fourth or fifth fingernail. Toes can also be affected. It's also called "Plummer's nails" (after the physician Stanley Plummer, who described them in 1918) or "dirty nails," because debris can accumulate and be seen.

What it might mean: Thyroid disease. Hyperthyroidism, in which too much thyroid hormone is produced, can cause excessive nail growth and lead to this deformation. Plummer's nails tend to occur in younger patients rather than older ones.

Next steps: Other hyperthyroidism symptoms to be aware of include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, weight loss, sweating, hair loss, itching and protruding eyes.

Clue 8: Depressions running across the nail horizontally

Look for: White ridges running across the width of the nail bed. These so-called "Beau's lines" (after the French physician who described them) can occur in all or just one nail; if in all nails, they're at about the same place on all of them. They're actual ridges in the nail plate itself.

What it might mean: Diabetes, psoriasis, Raynaud's disease -- or just a trauma to the nail. Beta-blockers and drugs used in chemotherapy can also produce Beau's lines. Some people develop them simply as a result of aging.

Next steps: Consider this effect just one piece of a puzzle. Nails grow about 1 mm every six to ten days, so doctors use this measurement to estimate when the problem might have begun.

Clue 9: White bands running across the nail horizontally

Look for: The white-colored bands, known as "Mees' lines," run transverse (parallel to the white tips of the nails). They may affect one nail or several, occurring at about the same spot on each nail. Because the problem is in the nail itself, the line moves forward as the nail ages - allowing doctors to date the time the problem began.

What it might mean: Arsenic poisoning! Hair and tissue samples should be tested to verify. It's pretty rare these days, Anderson says, but worth knowing about.

Next steps: Make an appointment to see a doctor - and avoid eating anything you don't prepare yourself!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fingernail Analysis

According to Natural Health Techniques, a good practitioner trained in fingernail analysis can look at a patient’s nails and be able to tell which organs are weak and which are healthy (not to be totally reliable).  Since the nails are the last to receive oxygen because they are the farthest from the heart, they are often the first to show signs of disease processes. Each finger reflects what is going on in specific organs.

What each finger and corresponding nail is attributed to:

  • Thumb: what is going on in the brain, excretory system and in the reproductive organs
  • Index Finger: what is going on in liver, gall bladder or nervous system
  • Middle Finger: what is going on in the heart and circulation
  • Ring Fingers: what is going on in the reproductive organs and the hormonal system
  • Little Finger: what is going on in the digestive system
To analyze, look for abnormalities in the lunulae, color, texture and markings, shape, and pliability.

Nail Fungus

fingernailCuticalYeast 218x300 Fingernail Analysis
Middle finger - nail cuticle showing yeast challenge
Easy to miss as most practitioners look at the fingernails and not the toenails where nail fungus is most common. If having nail fungus, the safest, cheapest and most effective treatment is to apply Vick’s Vapo Rub once a day on the entire nail. Do this every day until the entire nail grows out, about 2 1/2 - 3 months. Clip the nail and keep it as short as possible during this process. The Vick’s has a high concentration of camphor in it which penetrates the nail and oxygenates the area. Fungus can’t live with that extra oxygen. Many times nail fungus is a sign that the person has a deep-seated yeast infection and has had this for years. 

Yeast is also suspected when the cuticles look reddish or have hang nails or people pick at them. But it can also be that they have their hands in chemicals or agents that dry out the cuticles so a good history is necessary when looking at the nails and anything else really.

If yeast infection exists, the preferred treatment for Natural Health Techniques (NHT) is Myrrh gum powder capsules. Myrrh gum is an herb that works for the greater portion of the population. Before taking it, figuring out the dosage (usually 1-3 capsules/day) is needed, and it should be taken for several months to kill the yeast from the inside out. This way the nail fungus will be gone permanently. Myrrh is not a good choice for children, but for adults it is the most common treatment for adults at NHT.

The Lunulae

(Lunula, singular; lunulae, plural) The lunulae are those little white moon things at the base of the nail. There should be 8 of these. The lunulae on the little fingers should be missing according to Eastern Medicine Philosophy. The one on the thumb nail should be 25% or less than the total length of the nail from base to flesh line at the top.

If the thumb lunula is too large the heart and circulation is working overtime and eventually this overworks the heart. The person may be exhibiting high blood pressure. Other signs that the heart is working overtime would be the presence of “heart line” on the ear lobe (a line just above the lobe itself) and a pointed tongue. If the tongue is red at the tip, there is a more serious involvement of the heart.

Lunulae on the little fingers also is a sign that the circulation is working overtime (especially in the digestive area). High blood pressure may be the cause as well.

Fewer than 8 lunulae:  Many rule-outs here such as poor circulation, anemia, fatigue, not enough oxygenation or exercise, heart disease, imbalanced nervous system, numbness, protein deficiency, Vitamin A deficiency or being weak-spirited (low life force or “chi”). Yes, taking deep breaths is important, for more read the Basics of Breathing handout and/or practice some meditation.

Lunulae are red or blue or there is a reddish or bluish tinge just above the lunulae but not on the rest of the nail:  Heart disease, heavy metal poisoning or lung disease.

Shoot-like things emanating from the border of the lunulae: This not very good sign can mean thyroid problems or cancer; many men with this on their thumb nail have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or have had their prostate removed due to cancer. It is reversible with proper treatment. PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test and a Thyroid panel can be taken to verify any of these abnormalities.

An interesting note: You can tell often if a person is right-handed or left handed because the lunulae will be larger (or there may be more of them) on the hand that is used more often.

Nail Color

Nail color can be grouped into black, blue, brown/copper, green, blue-green, gray, yellow, pale, purple or red groups. Each color means something different and there are many rule-outs for each color.

Look for the color in general. Nails should be pink. When pressing down on the nail, the circulation should return within one second. This is called Capillary Refill Time. A change in nail color from trauma is not to greatly concerned about, but when nails without trauma look different, then some concern is in order.
  • Black:  anemia, B-12 deficiency, bacterial infection, chronic kidney disease, adrenal gland problems, liver disease, cancer or melanomas, silver deposits (heavy metals), trauma
  • Blue:  atherosclerosis, blood is too thick, liver disease, COPD (lung disease), copper or silver poisoning, decreased hemoglobin, drug reactions, gas poisoning, heart disease, hepatitis, high platelet counts, increased cholesterol, inflammation, kidneys with clogged arteries, lupus, prior strokes, rheumatoid arthritis, blood clots
  • Green:  allergies to cleaning agents, bacillus infection, localized fungal infection, serious emphysema 
  • Brown or Copper:  arsenic or copper poisoning, fungal infections.  
  • Grey:  arthritis, edema, malnutrition, post-operative effects, glaucoma, lung problems, emphysema, cardio-pulmonary disease
  • Yellow:  bleeding, diabetes, digestive problems, liver disease, hyperthyroidism, too much carrot juice, lymphatic problems, nail fungus, poor circulation, respiratory problems, vitamin E deficiency, fluid retention in the lymphatic system 
  • Pale or White:  anemia, candida (yeast), low life force, overall mineral deficiency, heart or lung problems, hemorrhage, hookworm infestation, kidney disease, liver disease, malnutrition, ulcers 
  • Purple: oxygen deprivation, circulatory problems, congenital problems 
  • Red: brain hemorrhage, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning
Nail Texture and Markings

The most common are vertical ridges and split nails, horizontal dips, red bands at the tips, yellow tips and white spots. There are others, however.

Vertical Ridges and Split Nails:  adrenal gland problems, arthritic tendencies, asthma, broken heart, bronchitis, calcium deficiency, chronic fatigue, chronic inflammation, chronic stress, depression, emotional trauma, excretory system conditions, hyperactivity or overexertion, iron deficiency, kidney problems, laryngitis, nervous problems, poor digestion/absorption in the small intestine, chemicals from food, dieting, protein deficiency, respiratory problems, unhappiness, vitamin A deficiency, yeast and other fungi, lupus, chemo or radiation side effect, drugs or prescription use
FingernailLiverLines 258x300 Fingernail Analysis
Fingernail red lines at the tips
If ridges appear on all the nails, the intestines are not effectively assimilating the foods. For these cases, at NHT ionic or colloidal minerals are prescribed right away. They are supposedly the best, most easily digested vitamins and minerals on the market. 

Horizontal Dips:  poor circulation, picking at the nail bed, heart disease, stress, lack of essential nutrients, trauma

Red Bands at the Tips:  allergies, liver overload, inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract
 Yellow Tips: liver problems, melanoma, poor digestion, smoker

White Spots: kidney or hormone imbalances, zinc deficiency, calcium deficiency, Vitamin A deficiency, excessive chemical or drug use of drugs processed through the kidneys, prostate or impotence problems, genital diseases such as chlamydia or syphilis

Nail Shape

The most common problems seen at NHT are short small beds, wide clubbed beds (clubbed means that the nails curve downward), and clubbed nails.

Short Small Beds: heart disease - for this NHT recommends Standard Process Cardio-Plus (a protomorphogen) to rebuild the heart

Wide Clubbed Nails: asbestos exposure, emphysema, lung disease - NHT treats this with Pneumotrophin (a protomorphogen) for 1-2 years to rebuild the lung tissue

Clubbed: Heart disease, liver disease, lung disease

Nail Pliability

Brittle or cracked nails: Calcium deficiency, impaired kidney function, iron deficiency, malnutrition, protein deficiency, thyroid problems, Vitamin A deficiency, Vitamin D deficiency

Soft and Thin nails: adrenal gland problems, can be associated with leg cramps, poor nutrition, protein deficiency, Vitamin C deficiency

Information taken from Natural Health Techniques