Vim & Vitality Blog

Bi-monthly blog posts on a variety of health topics from a biblical & wholistic perspective.

Under the Hood: The Mechanics of the Human Machine

Part 5B: Are You Running on Fumes?

Chinese Face, Tongue & Nail Analysis (cont'd)

Traditional Chinese Medicine Nail AnalysisLast time we talked about our facial characteristics being similar to the odometer reading on a car. The lines, coloring, and skin qualities of our faces all indicate what is going on below the surface of our skin. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), they reveal the condition of our organs, glands and systems. We learned that you can actually appear younger and virtually turn back your “odometer” or biological clock by working on specific organ systems!

Today we will be talking about what your fingernails say about the overall health of your Human Machine. Just as the face can be likened to the odometer of a vehicle, revealing our biological age based on organ fitness, the fingernails can be likened to the fuel gauge of a car, with the fuel for our Human Machines naturally being the foods that we eat. Most cars run on unleaded fuels of various grades, and a high-octane fuel, although more expensive, tends to run cars better, faster and more efficiently. In fact, if you drive a high-performance automobile, then you are likely to be very particular about the grade of fuel that you choose at the pump.

So, if a car runs better on higher-quality fuel, then doesn't it make sense that our bodies would do the same? Unfortunately, most Americans are running on little more than fumes; we are over-fed and under-nourished, subsisting on fast food and processed, packaged foods, which has lead to an abundance of preventable health issues. Dr. Royal Lee said it best: “We [the medical community] are poisoning people trying to correct the reactions of starvation.” As a holistic healthcare practitioner, a large portion of my work is in the education of my clients about how to make dietary changes in order to maximize their health. And, while food is foundationally important, food is not enough! Stay with me here.... you can eat the best foods on the planet, but if you are not DIGESTING those foods, then you will still be under-nourished. In fact, even if your digestion is working perfectly, you cannot possibly eat enough food to cover all of the necessary nutritional bases on a consistent, daily basis. For instance, one of holistic medicine's best known doctors, Dr. David Brownstein, recommends a minimum of 12.5mg (12500 µg) of iodine daily.The treatment dose when a person is iodine insufficient is generally between 12.5 mg and 50 mg daily.” (1) To meet Dr. Brownstein's daily recommendation for iodine, you would have to eat:



µg/ serving (2)

mg/ serving

208 medium

Baked Potatoes

60/ 1 medium


223 glasses (8 oz.)


56/ 8 oz.


23 pounds


99/ 3 oz.


162 grams= 27 tsp.

Fortified Iodized Salt

(not recommended)

77/ 1 g.


25 grams= 4 tsp.

Himalayan Sea Salt

250/ ½ g. (triple the amount of iodine as iodized salt!)


69 pounds

Baked Turkey Breast

34/ 3 oz.



Dried Prunes

13/ 5 prunes (imagine that!!)


195 cups

Navy Beans

32/ ½ c. (after you recover from the prunes!)


139 pounds

Canned Tuna

17/ 3 oz.



Boiled Eggs

12/ 1 large


49 c.

Plain Yogurt

254/ 1 c.




3/ 1 medium


961 c.


13/ 1 c.


447 c.

Canned Corn

14/ ½ c.


65 pounds

Cheddar Cheese

12/ 1 oz.


8 pounds


400/ 4 oz.


2083 c.

Green Beans

3/ ½ c.


556 slices

White Bread

(not recommended)

45/ 2 slices


Note: USRDA for iodine is only 150 µg, which is nearly 100 times lower than the recommendation by Dr. David Brownstein.

So if our “gas tanks” cannot hold enough “fuel” for our Human Machines, even with perfect digestion, then what WILL raise the needle on our “fuel gauge”/ fingernails? Beyond having strong, healthy fingernails, sufficient iodine levels reduce your risk for cancer, particularly reproductive cancers (cervical, ovarian, uterine, breast, and prostate).  Additionally, a healthy thyroid is paramount in pre-pregnancy and pre-natal health Download your FREE copy of "Pre-Pregnancy Health Tips."  With me being an herbalist, are you surprised that I would suggest HERBS to remedy iodine-deficiency? Did you know that just ¼ ounce of sea kelp provides around 4500 µgof iodine? But this is still only about 1/3 of what Dr. David Brownstein recommends for his patients. In fact, you would have to eat nearly ¾ of a pound of kelp daily in order to meet Dr. Brownstein's minimum recommendation! I don't know about you, but that would be a lot of seaweed for me to have to choke down! And if you are iodine-deficient, then you may need a more potent iodine supplement such as those on my Product Facts page: Iodoral by Optimox, Prolamine by Standard Process, or Lugol's.

So how do you know if you are iodine-deficient? Your “odometer” and “fuel gauge” do not lie! According to TCM thyroid issues may contribute to one or more of these characteristics:

  • Thin or falling hair
  • Itchy, dry scalp and/ or brittle hair
  • Thick neck/ goiter
  • Band” across the neck, a horizontal indentation like a rubberband was there
  • Eyebrows fade away toward the outer periphery of brow bones
  • Pale, whitish, reddish or bluish rims on eyelids
  • Bulging eyeballs
  • Red pimples on the temples
  • Yellowish or blackish complexion
  • Peeling, splitting or fragile fingernails
  • Palms of hands face backwards (vs. toward sides of thighs) when arms hang at your sides in relaxed position
  • Ring finger is shorter than index finger when you hold up three middle fingers, while touching pinkie to the thumb

Common “Western” characteristics include:

  • Fatigue or sluggishness, even after a full night of rest (“running on fumes”)
  • Metabolism issues, either too fast or two slow
  • Basal temperature 97.8 or lower before rising in the morning (Barnes Basal Temperature Test)
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Iodine patch on skin absorbs in less than 24 hours.

If you need more than “thyroid support,” as in a non-functioning thyroid, or if you are still presenting several characteristics in the above lists even after increasing your iodine intake, I would order a FULL thyroid panel, including TSH, FREE T4, and FREE T3. If your thyroid hormone levels are deficient, then I would discuss the possiblity of a natural alternative with my doctor such as Nature Throid (ovine) or Armour Thyroid (porcine) in place of Synthroid/ Levothyroxine, which has the following known side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Loss of sleep
  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of bone mass
  • Depleted calcium and iron
  • And will eventually kill the thyroid preventing it from ever functioning again

Interested in seeing what Chinese Face, Tongue & Nail Analysis can reveal about your health as well as which herbs would be helpful to support your body and personal “anti-aging” program?  Schedule your Holistic Health Assessment today, which includes a Chinese Face, Tongue & Nail Analysis!

L'chaim-- To Life!



2 http://bembu.com/iodine-rich-foods


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Under the Hood: The Mechanics of the Human Machine
Under the Hood: The Mechanics of the Human Machine


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