START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

Stand before the mirror, and stick out your tongue.

Nothing extraordinary; just an organ of taste and speech, right?

But Ayurvedic healers can read astonishing clues to your health on your tongue. The classic ayurvedic treatise Charaka Samhita, written in 3rd century BC says, “The dirt which is collected at the root of the tongue creates obstructions in respiration and produces a foul smell, hence one should scrape the tongue.”

Although a healthy tongue is pink and free of bumps or spots, most people have a little coating on their tongues.

But if your entire tongue has a white coating, your Kapha dosha is severely aggravated. This coating indicates that undigested toxic wastes have accumulated inside your digestive system, and your ‘agni’ or digestive fire is burning low.  Not only should you clean your tongue, but also take steps to eat light and flush out those toxins. Increase your water uptake. Regulate meal timings.  Avoid greasy foods and desserts. Look up and follow a Kapha balancing diet.

If the tongue coating is greenish-yellowish in colour, your bile quotient is high—which means it’s the Pitta dosha that has flared up. Take steps to balance it by avoiding hot, spicy foods. Drink plenty of water. Pitta dosha cannot tolerate irregularity in meal timings, so make sure you follow a set rhythm for eating your meals.

A dark coating on the tongue shows a Vata imbalance.  This can cause everything from constipation to lack of sleep. What your tongue is telling you is that your system is ‘dry’ and needs ample hydration. Again, the consumption of ample water and plenty of juicy fruits should help. Include a little ghee or oil in your diet. Moisturise your skin well. Do a daily self-massage with a good quality oil, even if for just five minutes. Basically, try to bring the Vata dosha back into balance by upping your body’s moisture quotient.

If you pay regular attention to the look and feel of your tongue, and take time to read up more about Ayurvedic tongue diagnosis, you could slowly learn how to check your health and take timely steps to improve it.

How to Scrape your tongue

Every morning, you should scrape your tongue. This is how to do it:

Buy a steel scraper for best results. Stick out your tongue, and starting from the back—as far back as is comfortable for you, gently smooth the scraper over your tongue. Scrapers can be sharp, and if you haven’t used one before, be careful when using one. Some people prefer to use the back of a spoon, which is also fine.

When the scraper slides over your tongue, the coating on the surface will start to come off. Rinse the scraper, and begin again, until the coating is all gone and your tongue is pink again. This should take upto 7 strokes of the scraper–more or less depending on the amount of coating.

You’ll feel your breath freshen because the bacteria will have fallen away. The act of scraping also stimulates the gastric juices and helps digestion become more efficient.

Read more: General Health, Health, Self-Help, , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
11:03PM PST on Mar 5, 2014


8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting article about the look, colour and care of the tongue.

6:46PM PDT on May 27, 2012


5:49AM PDT on May 15, 2012

Clean your tongue with glycerin, scraping uh @!

10:24AM PDT on May 14, 2012

Can't you use your toothbrush?

1:37PM PDT on May 12, 2012

Thanks. I always scrape my tongue twice a day and it helps keep my mouth clean :)

8:54PM PDT on May 10, 2012

interesting! thanks.

10:47AM PDT on May 10, 2012

Interesting. I had heard about tongue diagnosis, but hadn't gotten many details before. This is a tantalizing first look for me.

7:52AM PDT on May 10, 2012


4:47AM PDT on May 10, 2012

very interresting, though it seems the answer to most problems is drink lots of water. I will try scraping though, sounds like it has many benefits

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Dr Greger has a YouTube channel called NutritionFacts it is an excellent channel. Here is a link to …

Sounds delicious & easy enough even for me to make.

God help anybody who hits me. Seriously.

Thank You for sharing


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!