Reading the Tongue
Hi friends! It was wonderful to hear from so many of you about what you discovered by looking at your nails! Isn't it fascinating? I'll remind you to check those nails again in 6 months-so, get to hydrating and fixing your digestion and you should see something very different in December. Take a quick photo so you can compare. Since we're reading body maps, let's take a closer look at the tongue. I've shared a note with you in the past about WHY we look at the tongue so, today, we'll go a step deeper into what exactly we're looking for. If you recall, the tongue is a mirror to what is happening in our gut and intestines. It's also a map to the all the major organs in the body:
The spine runs down the center of the tongue and is represented by the line, or groove, down the center. I use this diagnostic tool of tongue reading to gather information about my clients' current health condition. I can see if there is constipation, dehydration, candida, scoliosis, anxiety and so much more. Today, I'll share a few very common things you may want to look out for that, when caught early, can completely reverse the progression of illness and pathology.
Let's start with the kind of tongue I see the most
Scalloped ridges or ripples on the sides of the tongue.
This means malabsorption is present. Most often it's a cause of constipation and dryness in the colon. If you've been a little plugged up lately, go look at your tongue, I bet you'll see signs of this. It's also summer and that means we need more fluids so, you could also be a bit dehydrated. Make sure to keep an eye out out for ridges. You want to absorb all your food and nutrients and this type of tongue shows it is not. Those of you who noticed vertical lines down your nails...you have most likely been suffering from malabsorption for a longer time. If the lines are deep, do not dely on remedying this so you don't move towards deeper problems. Don't panic if/ when you see ridges on your tongue. This can vary day-to-day, but you need to get to know your tongue better so you can understand what causes dryness in YOUR body. Vata types, deal with this the most, particularly, health conscious Vatas who eat a lot of dry and hard food would benefit by more oil and fat in their diets.
The second tongue I see the most is the one with a White coating over all or half of the tongue. A white coating is ama, or undigested crud aka, toxins that have accumulated on the tongue. Do not ignore this! Take a look first thing in the morning. The location of this ama is also a key to what is going on. If there is a thick, white coating in the way back, that is build up in the colon. If the coating covers more of the tongue, that is a deeper problem and shows issues in the gastrointestinal area. The best way to monitor this is to use a tongue scraper. Each morning, you want to scrape from back to front to clean it, but also look at it and get curious: 1) How much comes off-it should only take a few scrapes to remove what's there. 2) The color - it should be clear and slightly bubbly. 3) Does it rinse easily off the scraper or, does it stick to the sink? If it's thick, has a color (yellow, brown, or other) sticks to the scraper or sink-don't stress, just be interested. Often times it's just because we ate some heavy food like pasta, wine or cheese the night before after 8pm and were off our schedule. BUT, if this looks like it is your "normal" it is not normal. Call me so we can get to the root cause. And finally, there is the Foamy tongue No photo: You're welcome ;) This is candida or a yeast like over growth and means there is too much sugar in the diet. In this case, clean-up your diet by reducing/eliminating sugar, particularly refined sugar. What does a healthy tongue actually look like?
Even pink across whole tongue-not red or pale pink
Not too wet, not too dry-no ridges or scallops, you should see small tastebuds
A very thin, light white coating is present
There is so much more to share, but I think you have enough to digest. Now, go stick out your tongue, and check it out!
Buy a tongue scraper HERE (or, get one free with your consultation with me :)
Buy one for everyone in your family. Kids love them and it's a fantastic habit to get them into. Teach them what to look for-now that you know. FUN FACT: When you are fighting a bug, or are starting to get sick you will see this present on your tongue before you feel any symptoms. When you notice what comes off on the scraper looks weird, or different from your "usual" or even your "off" usual, that's your warming signal to get out that arsenal of home remedies and begin your protocol. When you jump in and take care of yourself, by making turmeric and ginger tea, getting more rest, skipping cardio, taking your elderberry etc. you will knock that germ out and you won't get sick. If you start using a tongue scraper now, by the time flu season is here again, you will have a great head start to understanding what your tongue is telling you so you can protect yourself! Thank you all so much for opening these notes each week. I truly appreciate your interest and hope you are learning new and practical ways to stay well and be well. Happy 4th of July this weekend. I'm taking some time off of writing but will pop up in your inbox in a couple weeks. In health, Julie