What Your Lunula Tell You About Your Health

The human body is an amazing biological system. It has the ability to adapt to new environments and different situations. In Chinese Medicine theory, it is believed when there is an imbalance on the inside; it will show on the outside. One of the many ways the human body expresses imbalance is through a person’s nails. A great indicator to pay attention to is the white, crescent moon shape, at the bottom of the nail called the lunula. The lunulae offer an insightful method to check one’s health and vitality.

These little moons can appear lightly, change in color, or disappear depending on what is going on in the body. Each digit represents a different organ system and can show how well that organ system is functioning.

Let’s compare normal to abnormal. Under what is considered normal conditions, a healthy and strong body would show each lunula to be bright white or ivory and have an arc shape following the smoothness of the nail. There should be eight in all, from thumb to ring finger. The shape should take up about one fifth of the nail. Sometimes skin may extend a bit farther and could cover part or most of the lunula which could make it difficult to see.

However, daily stress, common health issues, and diet can affect how well our little moons shine. Each finger represents a different system of the body such as the reproductive system, nervous system, digestive system, the circulation system, and hormonal changes.

The Thumb:

The thumb lunula reveals if there is an imbalance in the brain, excretory, and reproductive system. The lunula would be absent or, in some cases, the nail bed would have vertical ridges that may extend to the tip of the nail. This could be due to poor circulation, a vitamin deficiency or hormonal imbalance.

The Index Finger:

The index finger, or pointer finger, reflects the nervous system and stress load, which in turn affects the digestive system. If there is malabsorption going on in the stomach or the intestines, the lunula may appear pale or grey. At times, the crescent moon-shape may disappear altogether. This could be a result of inflammation, infection, parasites or other conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The Middle Finger:

The middle finger represents the circulation system. If the lunula is large or covers more than twenty-five percent of the nail this could be an indication that the heart is pumping a little harder than it should. Another indicator of an over working heart is the change in color. The lunula may appear purple, meaning an indication of poor blood circulation and oxygen. It could be possible that high blood pressure factors need to be taken into consideration. If there is no presence of a lunula, this could be due to anemia or weak circulation from fatigue or being overworked.

The Ring Finger:

The ring finger shows signs regarding the reproductive system and hormonal balance. When there is dysfunction with either, the lunula may appear pink in color or not show at all.

The Little Finger:

In Eastern Medicine, it is common for the little finger not to have a lunula. However, if the digestion is not working at its optimal, the lunula may appear which could signify the digestive system may be struggling. Check diet and meal times to be sure things are moving gently and make better culinary choices.


The lunula is just one of the many ways our body can tell us if there is an area not working properly. Keeping in check our daily activities and choices can help to maintain health and wellness. However, it is always good to have our little moons show us whether or not we are on the right track.


About the Author:

Jessica Escobedo is a licensed acupuncturist by the state of California Acupuncture Board. She attended the Southern California University of Health Sciences, in Whittier, California. She received a Master's Degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Jessica’s goal is to help educate and heal people as a whole with the ancient medicine of China along side integrative medicine.

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