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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 fascinating! 

Here is an introduction to tongue diagnosis.

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.
Each person 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

Vata Types:
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.

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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.

Advanced Information 

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.
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Characteristics of a Healthy Tongue
– A healthy tongue is said to have spirit. The color is vibrant and vital and it moves with ease.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.

wt loss sensitive colon     
– (left image) Vata sign indicating a sensitive colon or toxins in the colon
– (middle image) Kapha indicator of kidney problems or congestion
– (right image) Pitta sign revealing a sensitive and delicate heart

wt loss delicate lungs

– (left image) Kapha sign revealing a sensitive and delicate lungs
– (middle image) Kapha sign indicating the lungs are congested, mucousy with bronchitis
– (right image) Kapha indication of pneumonitis

wt loss unabsorbed nutrients

– (left image) Vata indication of malabsorption and poor assimilation of nutrients
– (middle image) Vata indication of toxins in the colon
– (right image) Pitta indication of toxins and impurities in the small intestines

wt loss chronic vata

– Vata imbalances related to nerves in the large intestines, sensitive nerves, nervous indigestion
– Vata disorders related to fears, insecurities and anxieties
– 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.