Surprising as it may be, the tongue can be used as a map to your overall health and by taking a closer look in to it many health problems may be spotted if present. Checking the color of our tongue or its groves is not an activity that takes part in our daily practice but judging by the importance of these things it definitely should be.
Traditional Chinese Medicine suggest that paying attention to the changes displayed on your tongue is crucial because the tongue as an indicator of our health can give us the necessary information or more simply put show us if something is wrong.
For those who are not familiar with the term Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is a methodology of cure based on a mind-body viewpoint and in this practice to one’s wellbeing is determined by the harmony (balance) between the yin and yang.
Moreover, strange patterns on the tongue can be sign of a bad diet, lack of sleep, the presence of unwanted bacteria or even some major diseases and illnesses. Therefore, noticing these patterns and making changes to prevent further health issues is of great importance.
In addition, we give you 8 “abnormalities” of the tongue and their meaning.
- Thick covering
A thin white covering on your tongue is common and not a thing that should worry you, but the presence of a thick white covering should be taken into consideration due to it being an indicator of a cold.
- Pale tongue
Normally your tongue should appear to be pink with a thin white covering and when this is not the case and your tongue seems pale or “bloodless”, your body is giving signs that something may be wrong.
“A pale tongue is a sign of a presence of a cold in the human body” says Dr. Amanda Frick, who is the lead doctor for naturopathy at Harvey health. Or it may suggest that the body is suffering an iron deficiency, which may be treated with some simple changes to your diet like including more beets and steak.
- The tongue being splotchy and red
A tongue which appears red and dry, without a coat may be the indication of a rise in your body temperature. Whereas red splotches on your tongue which appear “peeled” point to dehydration and urgent need of water. Luckily this problem has a simple solution and can be easily solved by drinking the appropriate amount of water.
- Puffiness in the tongue
Puffiness in the tongue is usually caused by the build up of dampness. In such cases it is suggested to avoid oily food and enrich your diet with fruits and vegetables.
However, a puffy tongue may also indicate hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid does not provide the body with the appropriate amount of vital hormones. This is a serious issue and it is best to consult with a professional.
- Presence of cracks on the tongue
This usually indicates a shortage or imbalance of hormones in your body and if you are experiencing such issues it is advisable to get checked right away and place the care in the hands of a specialist.
- Marks of teeth on the tongue
If your tongue is being “scalloped” or as more commonly known is visibly marked by teeth on the edges there may be a deficiency of energy flow in your body (qi) or it also might indicate spleen problems. If you are experiencing additional problems as fatigue, loose bowels or digestive problems, consult a medical professional as soon as possible.
- Purple tongue
A crimson purple color of the tongue points to extreme heat (especially if it is linked to a dry coat), while a dark and purple tongue indicates a stagnation of blood.
Consuming foods like cayenne and ginger and regular exercise can be helpful in dealing with this type of issues.
- Bright red tongue
If your tongue has a redder color than the usual it may be the indication of excessive heat in the body. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine a bright red color of the tongue indicates a shortage of yin caused by poor eating habits. To treat this increase consumptions of foods like cucumber, watermelon and remember to avoid spicy foods.
Bearing in mind all these symptoms that may be easily noticed, we hope that next time you find yourself in front of a mirror you will take the time and check your tongue.