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