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What Your Lunula ( Half Moon Nails ) Tell You About Your Health According to Chinese Medicine

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are many small signals that your body is giving you which can signify certain issues regarding your inner health. Anything from issues with your tongue, dry skin, or red eyes can be an indicator of a larger health issue. Even your fingernails may be trying to tell you a thing or two about what is going on inside your body.

Chance are that you have not given much through to your lunula. For those unfamiliar with this term, lunula (or the plural “lunulae”) refers to the visible portion of the lower nail which is usually white and shaped like a half moon. A healthy lunula defines the edge of the distal nail plate and should be white in color. If you observe your lunulae and find that they do not have a distinct half moon shape, are disclosed, or even non-existent, this can be an indicator of a health issue. Read on to learn more about what your lunulae tell you about your health according to TCM.

Lunula in TCM

” In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the lunula represents fire in the body.”

Lunula , Body & Qi 

They are also a sign of strong Qi. When the Qi is strong, the lunulae will appear well-defined. If your nails do not have lunulae, it can be sign that your circulatory system or digestive system is not able to function properly. That may indicate that you have a poor metabolism or even an increase of toxins in your system.

Nails are tied to the liver meridian. When their appearance lacks lunulae or the texture of your nails is dry and brittle, this is a sign that the liver is not doing its job to circulate blood and Qi throughout the body. When the liver is functioning properly, and your Qi flow is healthy, the result will be reflected in healthy nails.

What Do Half Moon Nails Say About Your Health?

Lunulae can vary in many ways, here is what their various shapes and sizes tell you about your health according to TCM:

  • Large lunulae: If your lunulae take up more than of fifth of your nail, this may be a sign of cardiovascular It is an indication that the heart is working too hard and may be stressed.
  • Small lunulae: This can be an indication of some sort of deficiencyin the body. You may be suffering from low energy due to a weakened immune system.  
  • Purple lunulae: When the lunulae are purplein color, this may indicate both low oxygen and poor blood circulation.
  • Missing moon: The absenceof lunulae may be a sign of weak digestive fire or even malnutrition.  It also shows a sluggish metabolism and weakened immune system.  

Finger by Finger


  • Each finger represents a different system of the body. The thumb represents the lungs and spleen. The index finger, also known as the pointer finger, is connected to the intestines. The middle finger represents the brain and pericardium.


  • The ring finger is connected to the reproductive organs. The little finger, or pinky, represents the kidneys and heart. If there is discoloration, irregular shapes, or absence of a lunula, this may mean that there are health issues to consider. 


  • Thumb lunula: If the thumb lunula is absent, this demonstrates some sort of imbalance in the brain as well as the excretory and reproductive systems.


  • index finger: This finger represents the nervous system as well as overall stress. This stress can affect the digestive system causing malabsorption of vital nutrients. The results would be a lunula that is grey in appearance.


  • Middle finger: Since the middle finger represents both the brain and pericardium, a large or purple lunula may mean that the heart is working too hard. If there is a lack of a lunula on this finger, it can be a sign of anemia.


  • Ring finger: This finger’s lunula can be an indication of hormonal imbalance or reproductive system issues. If either of these issues arise, it will result in either a pink or absent lunula.


  • Little Finger: It is not uncommon for the little finger not to have a lunula. When a lunula appears on this finger, that can indicate a weak digestive system.

What Changes Can be Made to Improve Your Health?

If your lunula are trying to tell you something about your health, there are changes that can be made that will bring about improvement. Changes to both diet and lifestyle will go a long way to improve your health and, in turn, your lunula.

Dietary Changes

The addition of certain foods to your diet will aid in both the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Snacking on ginger root with a dab of lemon juice before mealtime will prepare the digestive system to properly absorb essential nutrients. Adding certain spices to your meals, such as cardamom or cayenne pepper, will also aid in making those meals more digestible. Spices such as black pepper will stimulate saliva and digestive enzyme secretion which also helps the digestive system to do its job.

Lifestyle Changes

Since abnormal lunulae may be an indication of low Qi, it is important to make some changes to reduce stress. Simple changes such as getting more sleep, increasing the amount of exercise you get each day, and decreasing stress levels will do wonders for your health. Practicing yoga, Tai Chi, or meditation are all great ways to reduce stress and increase Qi.


If you had not given much thought to your lunula or overall nail health, take a look at your nails and see if they are trying to tell you something. Lunula that are discoloured, too large, or absent may be the nails’ way of stating that you need to take time out to reduce stress or add some spices and ginger tea to your diet to ensure that the all the systems of the body are functioning at their best.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our consultation page where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.


  • Ms. Li Chen says:

    Thanks, you have made a wonderful post. I love and appreciate your commitment & we specialize in Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine which has been treating a variety of conditions for thousands of years.

  • Brooke says:

    I noticed that my mom has a purple ring with white in the middle of her lunulae of bother her thumbs. Can you tell me more about this?

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