Our tongues get to have lots of fun –they do things like kiss and eat yummy sorbets and taste all kinds of foods and drinks. And while we receive loads of pleasurable sensations, we often forget that our tongues can reveal what’s happening internally. In Chinese medicine, general practitioners ask patients to stick out their tongues in order to give a thorough physical. And with good reason –the tongue says more about our health than many other modern day testing can. Western society should take some clues from Eastern practices in order to really have a balanced body, mind, and spirit. In order to understand the basics, have a look below, but as with any medical topics you should consult a professional if you want a more accurate evaluation. In no way at all am I a medical professional.
15 Thin Coating
The tongue does in fact have a natural coating. This is very normal. The coating on a tongue means you are in good health and things are working to their optimum order. Congratulations, you are taking care of yourself. However, if the coating is thin or absent it could indicate a lack of body fluids or a sign that you are being too hard on your body. Relax, have a few glasses of water and take it easy. While life is short, it’s not too short that we cannot take a moment to reflect on good moments or simply be more existential. Go ahead and that a break, but make sure your break includes a lovely green tea or a ginger spritzer to revitalize your life a bit. Take the time to sit back and enjoy life, our bodies need it.
14 Thick Coating
If you have a thick coating this could reflect something more serious like an unbalanced digestive system which, unfortunately, more than a few of you suffer from. Perhaps you are not eating enough fruits or vegetables, which your body requires for all the vitamins, minerals, and fibers they provide. Or maybe you are eating a lot of spicy foods or other condiments that are not sitting well with your stomach, it might be wise to cut back on the flavors and eat a simple diet that is more suitable for your system. This could also signal an excess of dampness in the body. If the coating is also greasy it could suggest the blockage of circulation and a serious build-up of dampness and/or phlegm.
13 Colored Coating
The color will also tell you something about your health. A yellow coating is a sign that the body’s temperature is too high or there is an infection in the body. A grey or black coating could mean that the body’s health requires major attention and fast. A thick white coating indicates you either have a cold or poor circulation to your hands and feet; it could also hint that you have Candida, a yeast infection. So go ahead and study your tongue and try to evaluate the color. This is not to get you worried about every little change in your tongue but rather to make you aware of the changes and what they mean. And of course, it’s best to consult a professional for a more accurate reading.
Pay attention to the color, too, in order to read the signs. This is not the coating, it’s color of the entire tongue. A red tongue could suggest too much heat in the body, for example as a fever or a hormonal imbalance that is leading to hot flashes or temperature changes. For women this could happen during menstruation or during menopause. A purple tongue could indicate that circulatory system is not functioning properly, perhaps from a major injury or some sort of pain condition; it could even hint at inflammation or infection. A pale tongue could mean there’s a deficiency or a lack of energy; if you have had a long-term illness that weakens the immune system or are anemic, the pale tongue is quite common.
Bumps are normal and range in size and can be located either in the back or towards the front. Sometimes taste buds become swollen due to heat or spicy foods –this is normal. But if you notice the bumps more frequently and/or they cause you pain, this could be a call for help. Bumps can range from a simple canker sore or to something much more serious. For both, you should consult a medical professional or a holistic healer. Most dentists are well-trained and will notify you if the bumps on your tongue are of any concern. Bumps are normal and nothing to be alarmed about, however if the size increases or the shape changes you might have a bacterial or viral infection. Other times the bumps might mean you have had an allergic reaction to something you ate or consumed like medication or oral hygiene products. A sore or lump on one side of the tongue could be a sign of cancer and needs to be checked by a doctor.
While pain doesn’t look like anything –it sure does feel like something. If you are experiencing pain in your tongue in the form of burning, itching, loss of sensation, or inability to move your tongue properly this should be looked at by a professional as soon as possible. These are signs that something could be seriously wrong and you should address these issues at the first sign of pain. This is among the most serious symptoms that should never be ignored. Don’t sleep on your health, it is important that you get it checked out as soon as you can. You can’t afford to ignore these signs if you want to live a happy, healthy tomorrow. Your doctor may be able to figure out what is causing this and help you get it treated asap.
The tongue is textured, this is true and it will continue to be that way. A textured tongue is what helps us taste our food and feel the textures of all the wonderful things in the world. But there are certain textures that are not normal. For example, a white or gray lesion with a hard surface that feels thick and raised from the tongue could be leukoplakia, a disorder of the mucous membranes caused by irritation from crowns, fillings, or tobacco use. Consult your dentist in the first two cases and for the third –stop smoking, now.
It might seem impossible, but it’s not. Nothing is impossible in the medical world and stranger things have happened than a hairy tongue. But this is something you should really pay attention to. If you have a hairy like texture, this can indicate something rather serious. This is called hairy leukoplakia, which occurs in people with weakened immune systems due to illnesses like HIV or the Epstein-Barr virus. The hair will be more like fuzz and be accompanied by white lesions that usually crops up on the side of the tongue. This is something that should be looked at right away if noticed on your tongue. Drastic changes like this to your body should always be consulted with your physician.
Tongues should be textured –without taste buds we would not be able to enjoy some of our favorite dishes or cocktails. A little bumpy tongue is normal and sometimes bumps become raised due to hot or spicy foods, this is nothing to be alarmed about. However, if you lack any bumps this can be a cause for concern. It could suggest that you have an iron deficiency or low B12 vitamin levels. You should talk to a professional about increasing one or both of the aforementioned vitamins. B vitamins are essential for energy that can keep you going through a very busy day. Discuss this with your doctor before taking any vitamins, you need to make sure these are what you need, there is such a thing as taking too many vitamins.
Most tongues are quite thick. The tongue should have a decent meaty appearance. This indicates a normal tongue and one that is in good working order and one that indicates all seems to running well internally. However, if your tongue is thin in appearance, you should be more careful with your self-care. This means you may be dehydrated or have a chronic condition that has left the body severely depleted. You should take more time for yourself –sit down, evaluate your diet and your water intake as soon as possible, like now. It is always best to speak to your doctor about this, most people are dehydrated and don't even know it. According to Medical Daily "75% of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors." So it is quite common.
5 Teeth Marks
Teeth imprints or marks suggest that there is a Spleen-deficiency or accumulation of water-dampness in the body. Teeth imprints around the contour of the tongue can suggest malabsorption of nutrients, inflammation, or too much sodium in the diet. These imbalances in the body can lead to an enlarged tongue, which lets the teeth make imprints on the tongue more easily. The seriousness of the condition is dictated by the size or extent of the teeth marks—from slight to severe. Teeth marks can also hint at a poor digestive system which means you need to pay attention to the foods you are eating and maybe stop some very bad habits.
If your tongue has scalloped edges, there is no cause for concern. It could simply be due to the way your teeth press into your tongue, which can occur during sleep. However, if you have a long crack down the middle of your tongue or deep cracks, it could indicate vitamin deficiencies or dehydration. In more serious cases, this indicates a lack of nutrient absorption; there could be blood stagnation and toxic buildup in the body as well that needs to be addressed pronto.
The tongue is divided into regions and the holistic experts will be able to assess your health by looking at each region. There are many aspects of a tongue and it can be quite complex. Each region is connected to an internal organ and this can help facilitate the proper method for maintaining a full-functioning system or help determine a path to eradicate an illness or disease. Knowing which internal organ is connected to which region can really make diagnosis much easier not only for you, but for medical professionals. This can save time and money that are normally spent on standard medical exams.
The tip of the tongue can say something, too. A red tongue tip appears when you are under some kind of psychological stress. According to Chinese medicine, too much thinking or worrying can deplete the cooling aspect of the body and prohibit the regeneration fluids of the body –this, then, generate heat. Heat will show up as a red color in the tongue. If your tongue tip is red you should avoid foods that overhead the system –items like wine, alcohol, coffee, spicy foods, and too much meat.
No tip or indentation at the tip of the tongue. When someone experiences severe trauma, this may show up as an indentation on the tip of the tongue. Emotionally, this person may be slightly introverted or feel an overall loss of strength.
We have different sizes bodies, feet, and hands, so why would you think tongues would be any different? Our bodies are so unique and special that even the size of our tongue varies among us. However, if your tongue swells up or looks larger than it normally does, you could be suffering from hypothyroidism. This means you are not producing enough thyroid hormone, which also slows down your metabolism and causes your energy levels to plummet. In this event, you should consult with a professional and discuss the options available to correct his illness.