If you have ever been to see an Ayurvedic healer you probably answered a long list of questions, your pulse was taken and you were asked to show your tongue. Ayurvedic healers are experts in observing the body and have amazing skills in the power of assessment. Ancient healers knew that the outside of the body is a map that reflects what is happening on the inside and when taking responsibility for your own health, it’s important to follow their lead and analyze your body’s activities. The tongue is a perfect place to begin your journey into understanding your body on a deeper level.
Our tongues contain a wealth of information and act as a mirror reflecting the body’s organ functions, digestive system heath, levels of toxicity (ama) in the gut, signal weak digestive fire (Agni) and inform us on any dosha imbalance. The tongue not only uncovers what’s happening physically in the body but also reveals emotional imbalance and stress related illness.
What to Look For:
It’s best to assess your tongue in the morning before you brush your teeth. Look at the shape, coloring, note any irregularities, cracks or markings, and observe wetness, texture, and coating.
- Vata – A Vata tongue will tend to be thinner, smaller, and a little rough and dry.
- Pitta – The Pitta tongue will be a bit redder in color, medium in size, and slightly dry.
- Kapha – The kapha tongue will be larger, fuller, light pink, and a bit wet.
A Healthy Tongue:
- Pink – not pale or red and color is consistent across the entire tongue.
- Your taste buds are small, round and look the same on entire top surface of the tongue.
- It’s not too wet and not too dry.
- No cracks on the tongue.
- There is a very thin white coating on the tongue.
- There is no teeth marks on the sides of the tongue.
Common Imbalance Indicators:
- Teeth imprints around the outside edges of the tongue – My tongue is a great example of this one! Scalloped edges indicate a malabsorption of nutrients and that your digestive system is either too weak or too strong.
- Cracks on the surface of the tongue – Yup. I’ve got this one too. Cracks on the tongue are a sign of anxiety or worry and usually indicate a chronic Vata imbalance.
- Coating – Any thick whitish or yellow coating on the tongue indicates ama (toxic) accumulation in the colon and signals you need to give your Agni a little love perhaps by cleansing.
For more of what to look for check out this poster from Ayurvedaposter.com or grab the pdf here – tongue diagnosis
Actions you take will depend a lot on what you see but here are a few general guidelines for a healthy tongue:
- Tongue Scraping – read more here
- Oil Pulling – check out how here
- Tend to your Agni – more on Agni here
- Seasonal Cleansing – more on cleansing here
Finally, for more information check out my interview on tongue reading and Ayurveda in general with the amazing Grateful Goddess.
Wishing You Vibrant Living