Watch Your Tongue | An Ayurvedic Guide to Tongue Cleaning

Photo courtesy of @prodjuice

Photo courtesy of @prodjuice

"A persons tongue can give you a taste of his heart" - Ibn -al Qayyim

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the tongue is the gateway to the gut. 

At the frontline of the digestive process, this is the first place herbs, foods, drinks, and medicines enter your body.  

Ayurveda acknowledge the tongue as something of a "truth teller" of what's going on deep inside the body’s digestive system. The tongue can reflect toxicity levels in the gut, show potential food sensitivities or a weak digestive fire. It points to malabsorption of nutrients, and reveals the health of other organs in the body.

For example, if a thick coating is present towards the back of the tongue, there is an accumulation of Kapha + potentially toxic residue - Ama, as it is called in Ayurveda. Such is a result of improper eating, poor digestion or a reflection of an imbalance in the gastrointestinal system. Ridges around the edges represent malabsorption of nutrients, while dryness or cracking represent excess Vata or a loss of fluids within the body. 

Ok so your tongue is looking kind of funky. What do you do? 

In the Charaka Samhita (an early Ayurvedic text) it says that scraping clean the tongue “removes foul smell, tastelessness and Ama." 

Note: scraping, not brushing as brushing only moves the bacteria around, it doesn’t remove it. 

This ancient practice helps to stimulate the internal organs through energetic connections with the rest of the body. It improves digestion by increasing your sense of taste. It helps to balance the heavy, dulling qualities of Kapha dosha and cleanses the body of ama. 

From an Ayurvedic perspective, scraping the tongue should bepart of a daily routine. You can do this a couple of ways, pick up a tongue scraper at The Lotus Room OR head into your kitchen and grab a spoon.

The tongue should be gently scraped from back to front 7 to 14 times. There is no need to be aggressive in the process as it is not our intention to hurt the tongue in any way. 

Our tongue contains a wealth of information, and learning how to interpret the look of it can be very helpful in understanding our bodies on a deeper level. It is a great way to build a closer mind/body relationship with your self - a trusting healthy relationship with your physiology based on clear communication and mutual understanding.

Remember: When our own physical and emotional bodies are balanced, it allows us to extend those healing vibes into our external relationships and environment as well. 

So go find a mirror, open up and say AHHHHHHHHHH!