Naturopathic observations – cool tricks

The eyes

No point getting right into iridology but there are some cool tricks that you can use in conversation / consultation.

Sclera – whites of the eyes

If not so white

  • Yellowish – liver congestion
  • If blue haze around the iris (coloured part) that extends into the sclera – than this is signs of lack of oxygen. May be anaemia, poor circulation, low blood pressure, sluggish thyroid and even dehydration, deficiency of iron, folate or B12
  • If white plaque on coloured part of eye than this is signs of hardening arteries. Dr’s used to call it the milk ring (calcium build up) or sodium ring
  • If red blood shot eyes – TCM call it liver heat rising but is associated with “acute phase response” by the liver which is linked to toxic exposure, stress, inflammation, allergies
  • If eyelids don’t open enough and cover bits of the iris at the top and bottom of the iris at the same time than it is often linked to sluggish thyroid or hypothyroidism
  • If eyelids are wide open and you can see white both above and below the iris than a sign of faster thyroid, or hyperthyroidism / graves’ disease
  • If no sclera or iris than they may have their eyes shut. Ask them to open their eyes

Iris – the coloured bit

  • Iridology is an art in itself and a ridiculously large topic which we will not get into now
  • Autonomic nerve wreath is a border about 1/3rd the way between the pupil and the outside of the iris
  • If the fibres on the outside of the border is standing up and looks elevated than typically you are dominant in the sympathetic nervous system = catabolic processes; fight or flight, stress, hurry, worry, money and survival. Also usually have good long term memory, gut instincts, intuition, and far vision.
  • If inside that border is elevated than typically you are parasympathetic nervous system dominant = anabolic processes; rest and digest, digestion and detox. Also usually good with short term memory, concentration span, meditation and close vision.
  • If top of iris is flattened and cloudy blue than poor circulation to your head and predisposed to dementia or memory and learning issues, and headaches


  • Dilated = sympathetic nervous system dominance now
  • Constricted = parasympathetic nervous system dominance now


  • Vertical ridges – poor oxygenation over the last few months. Check eyes to see if still happening now
  • Horizontal ridges are like a time line. They take about 3 months to grow out so see where the line is and predict a period of malnutrition, illness. If only on one finger than probably squashed it in a door or something.
  • Brittle and breaking nails – often poor circulation or sluggish thyroid
  • White spots can be zinc deficiency or calcium excess or bashed it or the finger before it came out.
  • Beaking (like a bird’s beak) or nails that curl over the tops of the fingers – may be potassium deficiency or from typing on keyboards.
  • Clubbing – like a gecko finger is circulatory disorders and/or heart disease (may often see hammer toes)
  • Splinter haemorrhage is problems with capillary fragility
  • No moons is b12 deficiency and can also indicate dysbiosis and poor diet as the bugs in guts make B12 from veges.


  • If lack of oxygen the tongue will swell, and get full and glossy, sometimes even hurt. If lack of mitochondrial oxygenation than it will also push against the side of the teeth and make groves in the side, common sign of B vitamin deficiency too. In TCM they talk about Qi deficiency or yang deficiency, again lack of fire and energy
  • Cracked and geographic tongue and often with cracks in the corner of the mouth may be B3 deficiency
  • Coating is referred to in ayurvedic medicine as amor and is a reflection of dysbiosis and poor digestion and elimination. BUT the type and colour and properties of the tongue coating in traditional medicine systems is too complex to get into. Here but you can get an indication of which organ / system is overwhelmed and congested by the location.
  • Quivering – electrolyte deficiency especially need more magnesium
  • Glossitis – sore swollen patchy tongue – iron deficient anaemia, b vitamins
  • * scarlet fever warning – had a case with a small child that had been to heaps of natural therapists complaining of tongue and getting diagnosed with all sorts of stuff but ended up having scarlet fever – looks like a strawberry and usually comes with rash and fever