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A study of nails is most important as regards health and disease.  They are remarkably sure indication to go by.  Whether thy care to admit it or not, nearly all doctors quietly observe the nails of the patient they are examining.  They know the nails give hereditary indications of symptoms which may not be manifested by other parts of the body. 

The nails not only disclose secrets relating to health, but they also give information about the temperament of disposition.  It must be borne in mind that care of the nails does not affect the type they belong to in the slightest degree.  Whether they are broken by work or polished with care – the type remains unchanged.

Nails are divided into four classes, long, short, broad and narrow.

Very long, or, as they are called, filbert shaped nails, never indicate such physical strength as short or broad ones.

Long nails are called filbert-shaped because they have the appearance of filbert nuts (D and E).   Long nails tells of some tendency (generally inherited) for delicacy of the lungs.

Very long nails and very pale in colour they indicate a consumptive tendency.  This is still more accentuated if they should be bluish in colour, and have marks like ribs rising up from one end to the other .  (Fig. E)

The same type of nail, but slightly shorter, indicates bronchial tendencies.  Long nails extremely narrow show spinal weakness and general delicacy of the entire system.  (Fig. F)

Short Nails
Short round-shaped nails show danger of trouble with the throat and passage of the nose.  Illnesses such as asthma, laryngitis, bronchitis, etc., are always associated with this particular type of short nail. (A, B, C. )

Short nails thin and very flat at their base, with little or no moons are indicative of weak action of the heart, poor circulation and heart disease. (G, H, and I)

Large moons on any type of nail promise good circulation of the blood and a strong heart action.  The normal pulse of such persons will be found to be more rapid than those who have little or no moons.

When the nails appear very flat and sunken into the flesh, especially if ribbed, they threaten nerve diseases of one form or another.

If very flat and shell-shaped (J,K,L) they indicate a danger of paralysis.  This danger will be still more accentuated if at the same time such nails are white and brittle and inclined to lift up at the edges.

White spots like flecks on the nails denote an over-strong nervous temperament, and danger of nervous prostration, especially if there are no moons or very small ones.

Lines or ribs across the nails from side to side show recent illness (D).  As nails take nine months to grow from the base to the outer edge, a heavy rib in the structure of the nails about their center would indicate that between four and five months previously the breakdown or illness had taken place an so had arrested the growth of the nail.

Very thin nails inclined to split or break easily denote delicate health.

Disposition as shown by the Nails

People with long filbert nails are more placid and calm in temper than those with short nails.  Theyhave a great deal of ideality for the reason that for long nails the end phalange must also be long.  As a rule this type of nail denotes the artist’s visionary disposition, whereas short nails belong to the critical type of person, as if the short tips of the fingers were made to pick things up and examine them more closely.

Short nailed persons are more analytical, even of themselves and their own work.  They always incline to logic and reason in direct opposition to the more visionary qualities of those who have the long type.

They are good in debate, keen and sharp in their arguments and quick to make their ponts.  They are more easily roused in temper that those who have long nails.

When the nails are more broad than long they indicate a quarrelsome, irritable disposition, one inclined to take offence at little things.
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