Do you ever wonder why your nails are chipping more often, your tongue is feeling a little furry or your iris is looking a little on the orange side? The status of your tongue and nail health are unlikely dinner conversational pieces, but being aware of things which are slightly off or have changed in the body is often a good way to think about what may be out of balance in you and your family members.
The article below provides a quick reference on body signs to watch out for and how to address them.
A solid white ring: A white ring around the perimeter of the iris is known in iridology as a “cholesterol ring” and may indicate a predisposition to cholesterol or cardiovascular health issues. I would recommend a cholesterol check as well as ofcourse maintaining a consistent daily exercise routine and plenty of fibre, essential fatty acids (flaxseeds, almonds, nuts, chia seeds, avocado etc) and garlic in your diet.
Dilated pupils: Very dilated pupils occur in situations of extreme stress – this is an adaptive mechanism based on the fight or flight response designed to ensure you have the best vision possible in order to take rapid action. Constricted pupils on the other hand are commonly seen in alcohol and drug abuse. If you are consitently having dilated pupils maybe it is a good idea to reassess your work life balance and ensure you are taking time to relax and recharge.
Blood vessels in the whites of the eye (sclera): This gives the appearance of tiny red road maps and may indicate a vitamin B deficiency. B vitamins are required for carbohydrate metabolism, stress response and energy production and are depleted during periods of high stress or when one’s diet is high in refined sugars and carbohydrates. You may need to supplement with a high potency B supplement to get your levels up quickly.
Peeling or chipping: Very brittle, thin and peeling nails may be a reflection of poor mineral and protein absorption. It may specifically indicate a deficiency of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which in turn impairs digestion and nutrient absorption. Bloating and flatulence are commonly associated with this. Taking herbal bitters, apple cider, lemon juice, munching on bitter foods or even apertifs such as campari (on the odd occasion!) before meals are great ways to boost your hydrochloric acid production.
Little white clouds: Many mistakenly believe that those little white horizontal lines that appear on nails are a calcium deficiency but they actually represent a deficiency of zinc. Zinc is a critical mineral in the functioning of the immune system, skin, testosterone production and the creation of neurotransmitters so you want to ensure you have adequate levels. Oysters are very rich in zinc but a little impractical for daily consumption so try foods such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, beans, mushrooms and fish. If you feel you require supplementing, please ask me about the best form of zinc to take for maximum absorption.
Cracks at the corner of the mouth: This is known as angular chelitis or stomatitis, a cracking and redness at the corners of the mouth and indicates a B deficiency or an iron deficiency. Make sure you are getting plenty of iron rich foods and consider supplementing with a high strength B complex as noted above.
Furry or white coating: A thick white coating on the tongue, and sometimes on the inside of the mouth may indicate a yeast overgrowth in the body, often caused by an immune weakness or excessive sugar in the diet. Reducing sugar, wine and beer will help. A creamy coating towards the back of the tongue may indicate a level of intestinal dysbiosis and provides a sign that your bowel microflora are a little out of balance. A course of probiotics and focusing on an alkaline diet will help however if you suspect the problem is more serious (you may have intense sugar cravings, have frequent thrush, tiredness and brain fog) then you may want to touch base with me to discuss my gut-healing program.
Beefy red tongue: A deficiency of vitamin B12 and niacin (vitamin B3) may result in a bright scarlet or beefy red tongue. I would recommend having your B12 blood levels tested. In Chinese medicine, the tip of the tongue represents the heart so unusual redness in this area may be a sign of a predisposition to cardiovascular weakness or maybe you are suffering a broken heart.
Scalloped tongue: Scalloped edges or indents around the edges of the tongue may indicate a deficiency of Qi or stagnation of energy flow. You may be adrenally depleted and need some rest and recuperation as well as some adaptogenic herbs to restore. Interestingly a positive correlation has been found between sleep apnea and people with scalloped tongues so perhaps you need to examine whether your sleep is high quality and restorative.