Tongue is one of the sense organs; it is the organ of taste. But Ayurveda sees the tongue as a far more important tool that can be used for diagnosis. The tongue is considered the window of the inner system and that is why tongue assessment is an important part of Ayurvedic diagnosis.

In Ayurveda, a tongue assessment helps recognize the following conditions:

  • Health of organs
  • Dosha imbalances – Vata, Pitta, or Kapha
  • Accumulation of toxins (Ama) in the body and the regions where they are accumulating
  • Tension and emotions held in the spine, shoulders or organs
  • Inflammation in the body
  • Disorders of thyroid gland
  • Anaemia
  • Difficulty in absorption of nutrients
  • Parasitic infection

Any Ayurvedic doctor can clearly see the imbalances of the body and hence digestion by looking at the tongue. You can also do a self-assessment.  

Regularly checking your tongue helps you identify when toxins are being accumulated in your body, when certain foods you consume are causing negative reactions to your system, or when other indications of disorder arise.

Here are a few (of the many) assessments of the tongue and how to do your basic self-assessment at home.

  • Yellowish, cracked, rough tongue

If your tongue is yellowish, cracked and rough, it denotes a Vata imbalance.

  • Red, blue or black tongue, bitter taste

If your tongue shows shades of red, blue or black and if you experience a bitter taste often, it denotes a Pitta imbalance.

  • White, clear, watery tongue

If you have a white, clear, watery tongue, it implies Kapha imbalance.

Do a self-assessment

You may wonder – oh my tongue always looks a certain way, how do I figure out if my tongue has any abnormalities? Just like how you take a BP or do a self-examination of the breast, it is important to check the tongue for a range of days to look for signs of digestion.

Tongue analysis is something you can do by yourself.  I advise my patients to take a photo of their tongue every morning before brushing (I would normally ask my patients in my programs to send daily tongue images for 15 days).  Do this for 15 days. If you notice any abnormalities, it could be an indication of poor gut health.

And if you’re struggling with any health issues, book a consultation with us or if you have any queries, contact us. We’ll help bring you back to your optimal health.

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Consult with Dr. Rekha Radhamony