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
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
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
– (left 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 pneumonitis
– (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 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.