We know that the tongue is an integral part of speech and also a key contributor for digestion. But did you know that the appearance of your tongue also indicated the state of your health? By examining the tongue we can, most importantly, measure the health of your digestion, the most important function of the body according to Ayurvedic Medicine. We examine the tongue for a coating, its color, and if there are any indentations from where the tongue is being pressed against the teeth.
When the tongue has a coating, brown, yellow or white, we know that digestion is lacking in strength so that toxins may be accumulating in the body. A red tongue, particularly at the tip, means that there is heat, maybe inflammation, present. Indentations along the sides of the tongue mean you are not assimilating the nutrients in your diet sufficiently.
If you see any of these indicators, don’t despair! However, know that they are warning signs that your digestion is not working well which can lead to further illness.
With the coated tongue, you may also experience difficulty having a daily bowel movement (or suffer from heavy, sticky bowel movements), indigestion and fatigue. A red tongue is often accompanied by diarrhea, an intolerance to heat and acid reflux. Indentations often come with general fatigue and frequent colds and illness.
Headaches can also accompany poor digestive strength.
Ayurveda teaches us that poor digestion is the cause of many diseases so checking your tongue is a good habit. There are various practice to create healthy digestion including:
- Drink tea made from cumin, coriander and fennel seeds before your meals or chew these seeds after eating.
- Chew a piece of fresh ginger sprinkled with kosher salt prior to your meals.
- Try the herb Triphala
- Try the herb Amalaki for acid reflux – But be sure to consult with an Ayurvedic Practitioner before starting the use of herbs!
These remedies vary depending on your specific symptoms – Ayurveda is not a one remedy fit all type of medicine. We consider everyone individually.
Other lifestyle practices support our digestive strength as well:
- Take your meals at a table in a calm surrounding, not “on the go”!
- Eat only if you are hungry, i.e. breakfast is NOT mandatory!
- Make lunch your largest meal of the day. Midday is when digestion burns strongest, just like the sun!
- Don’t eat within 2 hours of bedtime. You will sleep better, prevent acid reflux and help to prevent weight gain.
So listen to what your tongue is showing you! If you feel that digestive issues are present, consider an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultation to determine what remedies are right for you. It is a great way to prevent future illness!