What Your Nails Say About Your Health
Ayurveda says that discoloration, spots, lines, and general condition of the nails may indicate nutritional deficiencies, imbalances, or diseases.1
Overall Fingernail Color1
- Yellow—jaundice (liver problems).
- Blue—circulatory (heart and lung conditions).
Spots and Lines on Your Nails
Small white spots on the nails may indicate calcium or zinc deficiencies or calcium build-up in organs depending on finger. For example, spots on the ring finger suggest calcium in the kidney, on the middle finger indicates the small intestine, and if on the index finger it could be related to the lungs. 1
Horizontal lines on the nails may be indicative of digestive disturbances. Brittle nails can reflect thyroid or kidney problems. Vertical ridges indicate chronic imbalances in the vata dosha, which could signify malabsorption of minerals and protein as well as vitamin B12 and iron deficiencies. 68
Overall Nail Condition
One symptom of hypothyroidism is brittle nails (along with dry skin and hair). Brittle or weak nails may also be caused by certain nutritional deficiencies. Calcium, iron, silica, and sulphur deficiencies can all weaken nails. A vitamin A deficiency may result in brittle nails and splitting of the nails. 1,68,104
Fungal or parasitic nail infections are treated in Ayurveda with a variety of natural topical oils or herbal supplements. However, Ayurveda will also often combine these herbal treatments with pharmaceutical-grade antifungal drugs (e.g., griseofulvin and imadazole).104
The following food sources are recommended by Ayurveda experts to help improve nail health:1,105
||Dark green vegetables, herbs, milk, nuts, yogurt, carob, tofu, oats
||Leafy greens, whole grains, potatoes, raisins, seeds, nuts, milk
||Rice, breads, pastas, cereals, green beans, raisins
||Nuts, cabbage, apples, cranberries, legumes
||Dark green or yellow vegetables, soy, beans, whole milk
||Citrus fruits, mango, berries
Silica content is high in other fruits and vegetables (especially bananas)
but studies show it is not absorbed from these sources.
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