Nail analysis or Nakha Parisksha, is a commonly practised Ayurvedic diagnostic tool. It is used because the nails are a by-product of the bones, so it is believed that the condition of the nails is indicative of bone health as well as other aspects of health.
Nails and the three doshas
Just as Ayurveda shows that our skin has qualities which correlate to the three doshas, so do our nails.
Vata-type nails are thin, dry, and brittle, much like Vata skin. Rough cuticles are often present, and an imbalance in Vata shows a tendency for nail-biting. Treat dry and rough cuticles by applying Zithila Multi Oil and massaging gently into the surrounding skin.
Pitta-type nails are pink, oily, and shiny. They are flexible and smooth to the touch, exhibiting medium strength.
Kapha-type nails are thick, shiny, and lubricated. Kapha nails are oily and strong. This makes them desirable because they rarely break. The cuticles are quite soft.
What nail abnormalities can reveal about health
Recurring white spots
This can indicate a calcium, magnesium, or zinc deficiency. It could mean a lack of nutrient consumption, but also that there could be a malabsorption issue resulting from poor digestion.
Pale nails are associated with anaemia or low red blood cell levels. Pale nails can be a result of iron or folate deficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune conditions, or substantial blood loss. It’s essential to obtain a professional diagnosis.
According to Ayurveda, yellowed nails are linked to liver problems, such as jaundice. However, you can also be affected by one or more yellow nails if you have a fungal infection.
This indicates poor circulatory health related to heart and lung conditions. It can show a lack of oxygen in your system, whether from an infection such as bronchitis or a long-term health problem like asthma or emphysema.
The moon shapes on the nails are known as lunula. Large lunula shows strong digestive fire or agni. But if the moons appear overly large, or don’t decrease according to finger size, this can indicate overactive agni. Pitta imbalances might be apparent by loose stools or nutrient malabsorption.
An absence of moons or tiny moons represents weak digestive fire. Poor metabolism, toxin accumulation, and disease cause weak digestion, so it’s vital to address this problem immediately.
How to improve nail health with diet
According to Ayurveda, wellness starts from within. So, nail health can be improved by consuming a variety of nutrients:
- Calcium: from dark green vegetables, milk, and nuts
- Vitamin A: from yellow vegetables and soy
- Vitamin C: from citrus fruits and berries
- Iron: from whole grains, seeds, and leafy greens
- Sulphur: from cabbage, apples, and legumes
- Silica: from rice and cereals
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