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The appearance and colour of our nails not only reflects the status of our health but can give valuable information about the underlying disease condition and as a homeopath, it can also help us in selecting the most appropriate homeopathic remedy.

Lines and indentations
 Ridges can signify a possible infection such as the flu.
 Beau's lines - Transverse depressions. Occurs when growth at the nail root (matrix) is interrupted by any severe acute illness e.g. heart attack, measles, pneumonia, or fever. These lines emerge from under the nail folds weeks later, and allows to estimate when the patient was sick.
 NAILS; corrugated; transversely: ars., med.
 Mee's lines - Transverse white lines that run across the nail, following the shape of the nail moon. Uncommon. Causality: after acute/severe illness, Arsenic poisoning. So homeopathic remedy is Ars alb

Vertical ridges
 Lengthwise grooves or ridges - may indicate a kidney disorder (kidney failure); associated with ageing; iron deficiency (Anemia). May indicate a tendency to develop arthritis
 NAILS; roughness fingernails; ridges, longitudinal: fl-ac.
 NAILS; roughness fingernails; ribbed: thuj.
 NAILS; corrugated: ars., calc., calc-f., fl-ac., med., ph-ac., sabad., sel., Sil., thuj.

Nail shape
 Clubbing of the fingers - fingertips widen and become round. Nails curve around the fingertips, more convex. Proximal nail fold feels spongy. Caused by enlargement in connective tissue as compensation for a chronic lack of oxygen. e.g. severe emphysema Lung disease is present in 80 percent of people who have clubbed fingers. It may also appear in chronic infections especially abscesses, lung cancer, chronic lung (chronic bronchitis, emphysema) and heart disease, longstanding TB, congenital heart disease, cyanotic, primary biliary cirrhosis.
med., nit-ac., tub.
 curved fingernails; consumption, in: med., tub.
 Pitting - Small pits or depressions. Most common nail problem seen in 25 to 50 percent of people with psoriasis.
 Extremities; NAILS; holes in: ars.
 Psoriasis - pitting, onycholysis, thickening, circumscribed yellowish tan discoloration "oil spot" lesion.
 Spoon nails - Soft nails that look scooped out. Depression is usually large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Often indicates iron deficiency anemia.
 Extremities; NAILS; complaints of; depressed: med.
 Onycholysis - Lifting of the nail from the nail bed. Causes: trauma, psoriasis, drug reactions, bacterial/fungal infection, contact dermatitis from using nail hardeners, thyroid disease, iron deficiency anemia or syphilis.
 Looseness fingernails: apis., med., pyrog., ust.
Nail growth
 Nail hypertrophy - Thickening of the nail. Either congenital (e.g. Mal de Meleda) or acquired - The nail becomes deformed with claw like appearance. Causes: Not cutting the nails, trauma, Leprosy, peripheral vascular disorders.
 NAILS; hypertrophy: calc-f., fl-ac., graph., laur.
 NAILS; thick: alum., anan., ant-c., ars., but-ac., calc., calc-f., calo., caust., falco-p., ferr., fl-ac., Graph., merc., pitu-a., pop-c., sabad., sec., sep., Sil., sulph., ust., x-ray
 Nail atrophy - The nail becomes thin, rudimentary and smaller size congenital or acquired. Causes: Lichen planus, Epidermolysis bullosa, Darrier‘s disease, vascular disturbances, Leprosy.
 NAILS; atrophic: sil.
 NAILS; grow, do not: ant-c., pitu-a., rad-br., sil.
 Nail Patella Syndrome - A rare genetic disorder, occurs in 2.2 out of every 100,000 people and causes abnormalities in the bones and nails. Autosomal dominant. Carried by the ABO blood group. Nails present as small and concave, longitudinally grooved, abnormally split, pitted, softened, discolored, or brittle.
 Remedies: Thuja, Graphites, Calc-flour, Syph.
 Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; grow, nails, do not: ant-c., calc., sil.
 Half-and-Half (Lindsay's nails) - Look for an arc of brownish discoloration. May occur in a small percentage of people who have kidney failure. Internal diseases and nutritional deficits can cause changes in the appearance of the nails.
 Terry's nails - The nail looks opaque and white, but the nail tip has a dark pink to brown band. May accompany cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, adult-onset diabetes, cancer or ageing.
 Cyanosis - A bluish discoloration visible at the nail bases in patients with severe hypoxemia or hypoperfusion. As with clubbing, it is not at all sensitive for either of these conditions.
 Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; discoloration, nails; blueness (59) : acon., aesc., agar., apis, apoc., arg-n., arn., ars., asaf., aur., cact., camph., carbn-s., carb-v., chel., chin., chin-ar., chin-s., chlf., cic., cocc., colch., con., cupr., dig., dros., eup-pur., ferr., ferr-ar., ferr-p., gels., gins., graph., ip., manc., merc., merc-s., mez., mur-ac., nat-m., nit-ac., Nux-v., op., ox-ac., petr., ph-ac., phos., plb., rhus-t., sang., sars., sep., sil., sulph., sumb., tarent., thuj., Verat., verat-v.
 Paronychia (felon) - Inflammation of the nail folds, which appear red, swollen and tender. The cuticle may not be visible. Causes: fungal infection, secondary bacterial infection, people whose hands are often in water are more susceptible.
 Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; panaritium, nails (53) : all-c., alum., Am-c., am-m., anac., Anthr., Apis, arn., asaf., bar-c., benz-ac., berb., bov., bufo, calc., caust., chin., cist., con., cur., Dios., eug., ferr., Fl-ac., gins., Hep., hyper., iod., iris, kali-c., kalm., lach., led., lyc., merc., Myris., nat-c., nat-h., nat-m., nat-s., Nit-ac., par., petr., phyt., plb., puls., rhus-t., sang., sep., Sil., sulph., Tarent-c., teucr.
 NAILS; pulp, of; nails recede, leave raw surface: sec.
 redness; fingernails: apis, ars., cortiso., crot-c., lepi., lith-c., ozone, upa., x-ray
 inflammation, fingernails; around: con., hell., kola., nat-m., nat-s., ph-ac., sil.
 Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; fungus, under (4) : ant-c., graph., petr., thuj.
 Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; inflammation, fingernails (1) : kali-c.
 Hands; NAILS, fingers, general; inflammation, fingernails; root of (2) : hep., stict.
Splinter Haemorrhages
Looks like a splinter underneath the nail, virtually 100% diagnostic of Sub-acute Bacterial Endocarditis (SBE). A bacterial infection affecting the valves of the heart. Occasionally caused by Trichinosis, a parasitic infection caused by eating raw or undercooked Pork.
 Diseases; ENDOCARDITIS, heart: abrot., acet-ac., Acon., Ars., ars-i., Aur., aur-m., bism., bry., cact., calc., cocc., coc-c., colch., dig., ferr., iod., kali-ar., kali-c., kali-i., Kalm., lach., led., nat-m., naja, ox-ac., phos., phyt., plat., plb., sep., Spig., spong., tarent., verat-v.
 Diseases; TRICHINOSIS (3) : ars., bapt., cina
Absent "half moons" - Pituitary problems or poor circulation.
 NAILS; lunula absent: lyc., puls., tub.
White hue at base of nails:
Liver disease: chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Yellow nail syndrome
Yellow nail syndrome is characterized by yellow or green nails that lack a cuticle, grow slowly, and are loose or detached (onycholysis). May be associated with swelling of the hands and feet (lymphoedema), or a lung diseases e.g. chronic bronchitis. Yellow nails can indicate internal disorders long before other symptoms appear. Some of these are problems with the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes, and liver disorders.
 NAILS: discoloration; yellowish: am-c., ambr., ant-c., ars., aur., bell., bry., calc., canth., carb-v., caust., cham., chel., chin., Con., ferr., hep., ign., lyc., merc., nit-ac., nux-v., op., plb., puls., Sep., Sil., spig., sulph.
White spots (Leukonychia)
Caused by trauma to the nails, over vigorous/excessive manicuring.
 alum., ars., nit-ac., ozone, sep., Sil., sulph., thal.
Vertical pigmented bands or nail 'moles‘. A sudden change in the nail plate could indicate a malignant melanoma or lesion. Commonly occur in dark-skinned people, and are normal.
Brittle nails
 Hypothyroidism: brittle nails - which separate easily from the nail bed (Onycholysis) accompanied by dry, yellowish skin, fatigue, slow pulse, chilly, coarse hair that falls out.
 Hyperthyroidism: brittle nails - which separate easily from the nail bed (Onycholysis) and are concave (spoon nails)
Brittle nails - may also suggest iron deficiency anemia, kidney and circulatory problems.
 NAILS; brittle: alum., alum-sil., ambr., anan., ant-c., ars., but-ac., calc., calc-f., cast-eq., caust., clem., cupr., dios., fl-ac., Graph., hep., hydrog., lept., lyc., med., merc., morg., nat-m., nit-ac., ozone, phos., Psor., rad-br., ruta, sabad., sec., sel., senec., sep., sil., spig., squil., sulph., syc-co., thuj., tub., x-ray
 Nails that chip, peel, crack, or break easily - suggest a nutritional deficiency, lacking hydrochloric acid, protein or minerals.
 NAILS: cracked: ant-c., ars., lach., nat-m., sil.
 Crumbling away of fingernails: but-ac.{Butyric acid: a volatile acid obtained from butter}
 NAILS; scatter like powder when cut: sil.
• Liver Diseases: White Nails
• Kidney Diseases: Half of nail is pink, half is white
• Heart Conditions: Nail bed is red
• Lung Diseases: Yellowing and thickening of the nail, slowed growth rate
• Anemia: Pale nail beds
• Diabetes: Yellowish nails, with a slight blush at the base
Nutritional deficiencies
• Vitamin A and calcium deficiencies - dry brittle nails.
• Vitamin B deficiency - horizontal and vertical ridges, that break easily.
• Vitamin B12 deficiency - dry, darkened nails with rounded and curved nail ends.
• Protein deficiency - white bands
Ayurvedic analysis:
• Ayurveda considers nails as the waste product of the bones.
• Dry, crooked, rough nails that break easily indicates a predominance of the Vata constitution.
• Soft, pink, tender nails that are easily bent are indication of a Pitta constitution.
• Thick, strong, soft and shiny nails indicate a Kapha constitution.
• Longitudinal lines: indicate inability of the digestive system to absorb food properly.
• Transverse grooves: may indicate the presence of long-standing illness or malnutrition.
• Yellow nails: alert us to liver problems or jaundice.
• Blue nails: indicate a weak heart.
• Redness: shows an excess of red blood cells.

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Comment by Ms. Sarika Saxena on August 2, 2009 at 9:07pm
Being a biochemist and researcher i nurtured a dream for long to use the homeopathic medicines from the research point of view. After joining this homeopathic community, i am really learning a lot. After reading your valuable information to identify the correct medicine on the basis of finger nails is really excellent and valuable information.
Comment by Denise Whiting on June 17, 2009 at 11:12pm
Dear Dr Naresh
I am fascinated about your nails posting. Would like to add that for many years have had very deep horizontal ridges in thumb nails, has markedly improved with iodine supplement, also have hypothyroidism. As a student of homeopathy I know the nails hold many clues thank you for this amazing post.
Comment by K.Srinivasa Raghavan on June 17, 2009 at 7:28am
nalam,nalam ariya aaval Naresh.Your finger nail revelations are excellent and more particularly matching the miasmatic background as when we struggle to to isolate a single remedy among lots of similar remedies and as a young Homoeopath your spread out knowledge is more important and hope more and more such write-ups like this in future and God Bless you.
Comment by K.Srinivasa Raghavan on June 16, 2009 at 10:55pm
Splendid Dr.Naresh kumar and I am K.Srinivasa Raghavan,aged 55,from Chennai,India and your contribution is worth 1000 dimes and one of the few ratifying methods like tongue marks and the miasmatic background can also be ensured with this method(impressions) and wish you all the best and God Bless you and invite more and more like this from you.

Comment by Gina Tyler DHOM on June 16, 2009 at 2:55pm
The fact that homeopaths use nail Analysis in casetaking is another reason behind why i posted -"reasons for seeing a patient in person".
the Tongue,Iris,skin,refexology markings, and nails are all used in casetaking .
Comment by Dr.N.Naresh kumar on June 16, 2009 at 12:49pm
Thank you Debby Bruck for reviewing my humblr work.. i'm a person who likes to learn from every moment of the life and i think i'm in a right place to do so.. thanks again..
Comment by Gina Tyler DHOM on June 14, 2009 at 4:12pm
Dear Dr. Kumar
One of the best articles on nail analysis I have ever seen thank you for posting this.Did you write this?
If i may add a few comments;
From the prespective of miasmatic casetaking analysis nails can aid in focusing on the dominant miasmic taint.
I use this in all my casetaking.And its been of great help.
Any comments on this?
Comment by Kavitha Kukunoor on June 14, 2009 at 10:27am
You have provided a very detailed and valuable info reminding practitioners to consider all the visible things and that also adds to confirmation of our remedy selection. Lots of Thanks to you for sharing this here.
Comment by Debby Bruck on June 13, 2009 at 8:24pm
Dr.N.Naresh kumar ~ thank you so much for sharing this resource information. It is always good to review. Our body shows signs and symptoms that are right on the surface. We just need to learn to observe and understand. Debby

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