Welcome to day twenty seven of my 30 Days of Ayurveda series! Throughout these blogs and videos, I will be sharing some upbeat thoughts and wellness tips, as well as some Ayurvedic tricks and food recommendations to help you lead a balanced life.
In Ayurveda, we look at lot of different things to assess the health of an individual. One of the first things we look at is the health of the nails.
Our nails can tell us a lot of different things. When I assess my clients, I am generally looking at the colour of the nails, the shape of the nails, whether they are striations or white patches, and whether they are very brittle. These factors tell me a lot of different things about the individual, and might even point my thinking in a certain direction.
What do healthy nails look like?
Basically, smooth pinkish nails that are strong and have good shaped lighter coloured moons.
What do changes in nails mean?
Here are just a few examples of nail changes and what they may mean.
Longitudinal lines on your nails usually suggest malabsorption of nutrients. The deeper the lines, the stronger the deficiency. Meanwhile, horizontal lines on the nail indicate an illness or infection that occurred when the nail was growing. Therefore, multiple lines on the nail may suggest a reoccurring or chronic condition.
In Ayurveda, the moons on your nail (also known as lunula) represent your Agni (or fire) in the body. An absence of lunula can be a sign of weak digestive or tissue (dhatu) fire (agni), and also may be an indication of poor metabolism. On the other hand, large lunula can represent a strong fire. You usually have a large lunula on the thumb, as they remain strong, which then get a bit smaller with each new finger.
White spots on the nails can simply suggest a deficiency in calcium, zinc, and/or magnesium as can weak or breaking nails. This is usually due to a poor diet, but they may be caused by poor absorption of nutrients. However, once this issue is resolved, the white spots should stop appearing. Alternatively though, white spots can also appear simply through trauma to the nail bed and are nothing to worry about!
Top tips for treating your nails!
If you want to do something from an external perspective to help heal and treat your nails, then I would definitely recommend using some almond oil. It is particularly useful if you have been using your hands a lot when gardening, cooking or crafting during lockdown!
I enjoy using dropper bottles as you can drop a small amount of oil onto your nail bed. Simply squeeze a drop onto your cuticles, massage it into the nail, and then go to sleep. If you do this routine daily, it will really help to bring more strength and lustre to your nail beds, especially in hands that get worked a lot! Keep your dropper bottle next to your bed as a visual reminder to do this treatment every night.
One of my favourite base oils are from Neal’s Yard Remedies, especially their almond oil. They work really well and can be easily transferred into a dropper bottle. Do you have any other recommendations?
If you have got nails that are showing signs of imbalance it may be best to seek out the help from an Ayurvedic Practitioner. Feel free to get in touch with me or your nearest local one via the APA.
Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing even more tips and tricks to help you build some great Ayurvedic routines. Hopefully, they will soon be imbedded in your life and you can progress with them. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting on, and why not share your favourite nail hack? Find me on Instagram @anneheigham and on YouTube.