Want to check how your health is doing? Have a look at your tongue. Is it a healthy pink colour, slightly coated and moist? No? Here’s what it’s trying to tell you.
Did you know that all types of doctors check the health of your tongue when you go for a check-up? So next time a doctor tells you to stick out your tongue, they are actually checking many different factors.
Traditional Chinese Doctors have been using the tongue to help diagnose illness for centuries. They divide the tongue into sections as it is used as a map which is connected to your organs.
What do doctors look for when they check the colour of your tongue?
Naturopath Laurence Kirk of The British College of Naturopath and Osteopathy says: ’Your tongue is richly supplied with blood vessels. Thanks to a constant flow of saliva, it is constantly being cleaned which discourages harmful bacteria forming in the mouth area. However, if a person is unwell, a problem can often be detected by simply looking at the tongue.’
Orthodox doctors check the tongue for signs of anaemia, cyanosis – when not enough oxygen reaches the lungs – infections such as thrush, dehydration and kidney problems. Their findings are based on scientific evidence.
Here’s what the colour of your tongue can mean:
This can indicate that your blood is lacking in haemoglobin – the iron-containing protein found in red blood cells. Physical symptoms can include tiredness and lethargy.
In Chinese medicine, a red tongue shows heat. The colour of the tongue may appear darker in different parts of the tongue relating to various organs in the body. For example, the root of the tongue could indicate excess heat in the intestines. Regulate heat with cooling foods such as cucumber, watermelon and green tea.
A purple tongue is related to high cholesterol which could result in heart problems. It could also indicate chronic bronchitis which cuts down the efficiency of the airwaves in bringing oxygen to the bloodstream. If your tongue continues to be purple, seek medical advice.
According to Chinese Medicine, it could also mean blood stagnation,
poor circulation or too much sugar in the body which makes you feel tired and cold.
Raised red spots on tip of tongue
A strawberry-like patch on the tip of the tongue is often caused by hot drinks. However, a red tongue tip combined with bleeding gums could show a lack of bioflavonoids. This is a biologically active compound found in vitamin C. It is know to help strengthen the tiny blood capillaries in the skin and prevent unattractive broken veins.
Patches of Spots
Patches of spots on the tongue reflect an allergic constitution, such as eczema and asthma. A Chinese herbalist may prescribe a mixture of herbs. These can include Devil’s Claw, Red Clover and garlic for eczema and liquorice or Gingko for asthma.
Dryness of the tongue is often caused by swelling of the salivary glands – the fleshy bulgy sacs under the tongue where saliva is produced. This is often caused by stress. Regulate stress by relaxation routines such as breathing or yoga.
Assist the stimulation of saliva and flush out the salivary ducts by drinking apple cider vinegar and lemon diluted in a glass of water. Persistent dryness could also be caused by Sjogren’s syndrome – an immunological disorder. Do seek medical assistance if this is you.
A thin coating on the tongue is healthy and normal. A heavy white plaque, however, could indicate candidiasis or oral thrush – a fungus infection of warm, moist areas of the body. This could be caused by an over-use of chemical mouthwash or using antibiotics too often. Oral thrush can impair taste buds and cause bad breath.
Oil Pulling with Cocobaci is a great alternative to achieving fresh breath. The benefits also assist with the reduction in inflammation and other dental related issues such as gingivitis. You will also help your salivary glands to produce sufficient saliva. This is crucial in the fight against cavities prevention.