What is Your Tongue Telling You About Your Health?
Ayurveda translates from Sanskrit to English as The Science of Life.
It is the oldest healing tradition in the world, and was passed down
orally from teacher to student for generations, before it was ever turned into
text. Ayurveda includes a wide range of disciplines, from diet to herbs
to several different methods for diagnosis and more.
It is really quite
Here is an introduction to tongue
Tongue diagnosis stems from the idea that there are external parts of the body
(like the tongue, eyes and fingernails) can give us a map as to what is going
on inside the body both in a physical sense and in an emotional sense. An
advanced practitioner of tongue diagnosis can tell you pretty much everything
that is going on with you just by looking at your tongue!
We can’t give you
that much information here, but here is a list of basic things to look
for, in yourself and your friends!
Discover your Dosha
Ayurveda is based on the idea that each person is made up of the 5 elements.
From these five elements, we get the 3 constitutional types or “doshas”
in Ayurvedic medicine.
Vata dosha is a mix of Air and Ether.
Pita is a
mix of Water and Fire.
Kapha is a mix of Water and Earth.
has all three components, but generally one or two of them are more “dominant”
and this is that persons Prakriti or type.
Most people are a blend
of two more dominant doshas.
You can tell your general type by
looking at your tongue
Tend to have thin, long, pointed tongues.
They may have a slight quiver to them, and a vata person could have a
hard time holding their tongue out for you. When out of balance a vata
tongue could be black or brown in color
A pita Tongue is generally quite wet and very
red. You may even notice raise red bumps on the tongue which indicate a
pita aggravation. When pita is out of balance, their tongue could be dark
red or yellow-green.
A kappa tongue will be large, generally
flat and possibly pale. A kappa type person will have a steady
tongue, and generally will not have a hard time holding their tongue out for
you. When kappa is out of balance their tongue could be pale in color.
These are general markers, but they are also pretty accurate in getting a
general idea of what the dominant dosha is in the person you’re looking at.
Diagnosis - Here are a few
simple things to look for
- White foam over a
concentrated area of the tongue, like the back of the tongue for example
which would be over the area that represents the colon, indicates an issue
in the organ that corresponds with that area of the tongue. You can
refer to the image to see where each organ is located on the tongue
- Teeth marks in the sides of
the tongue can indicate poor nutrient absorption
- An indent in the tip of the
tongue can indicate issues with the heart. This can be physical
issues with the heart or emotional issues ie. having a “broken heart” from
a failed relationship. Generally an indent indicates emotional
issues, rather than physical.
- Cracks all over the tongue
can indicate chronic colon issues.
- An overall white or yellow
coating on the tongue indicates built up toxicity in the body
- A deep line in the center of
the tongue can indicate undealt with emotions, or spinal issues.
- If your tongue is very clean
and clear, this is a good indication that your food cravings will be clear
and accurate, and according to what your body truly needs. If you
have a constant coating over your tongue, it is generally believed that
you have built up toxicity, and therefore your food cravings may be less
than clear, and less than optimal for your body.
Although the intricacies of tongue analysis can take years, or even a
lifetime to master, there are a few simple things you can learn right away to
diagnose yourself and quickly remove any toxins that have accumulated.
First off, below is a mirror image chart of what organs correspond to what
part of the tongue. Cool, right? So, the gist of tongue analysis is that if
something funky or abnormal is showing up on your tongue, take note of where it
is. These locations give us insight into the health and state of our organs.
Characteristics of a Healthy Tongue
– A healthy tongue is said to have spirit. The
color is vibrant and vital and it moves with ease.
2. BODILY COLOR
– A pale-red or pretty pink color is
considered healthy. It’s not too pale or too dark. This shows a healthy flow of
blood reaching the tongue.
3. BODY SHAPE
– The tongue is supple, neither too flabby or
too stiff. It has no cracks, does not tremble and is neither swollen nor thin.
– If there is a coating it’s thin and white. The
coating will be a little bit thicker towards the root of the tongue.
– The tongue is slightly moist, neither too dry
nor too wet.
6. SUBLINGUAL VEINS
– The veins underneath the tongue are not
distended, they are either barely visible or not at all. Their color is light
and not a dark-blue or purple.
Characteristics of a Tongue With Disturbances
There are many, many different things that can show up on the tongue, but
below are 12 common ones. You’ll see references to the three doshas of
Ayurveda, vata, pitta and kapha. If you don’t have any clue what they are,
don’t worry, it’s not necessary to notice what’s going on with your tongue. If
you do, you’ll get deeper insight into the imbalance of the body.
‘U’ SHAPED COATING
ON BACK OF TONGUE
image) Vata sign indicating a sensitive colon or toxins in the colon
DISCOLORED, EITHER WHITE OR OFF WHITE
– (middle image)
Kapha indicator of kidney problems or congestion
– (right image) Pitta sign revealing a
sensitive and delicate heart
REDDISH SPOTS LINING FRONT OF TONGUE
– (left image) Kapha
sign revealing a sensitive and delicate lungs
FROTHY, EITHER WHITE OR BROWNISH
– (middle image) Kapha
sign indicating the lungs are congested, mucousy with bronchitis
BROWN WITH DARK SPOTS
– (right image) Kapha indication of
– (left image) Vata indication of malabsorption
and poor assimilation of nutrients
WHITE COATING ON BACK OF TONGUE
– (middle image)
Vata indication of toxins in the colon
WHITE w/ RED PERIMETER
– (right image) Pitta indication of
toxins and impurities in the small intestines
– Vata imbalances related to nerves in the large
intestines, sensitive nerves, nervous indigestion
– Vata disorders related to fears, insecurities and
– Vata sign related to emotional disturbances
and spinal column problems
This is certainly not medical advice, and should not be used as a method of
diagnosis to commence a treatment plan. If you wish to learn more, we
would recommend that you find an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area.