Simple knowledge of the tongue can give you a few clues on how your diet, lifestyle and environment can affect your health.
The tongue is a unique part of the body in that it is composed of all three of the embryonic layers of the body: endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm. In addition to expressing and nourishing us, our tongues can provide us meaningful and fascinating information about our state of health.
The bulk of knowledge about the diagnostic aspects of the tongue comes from ancient Chinese medicine, which clinically observed the tongue for over a thousand years. Chinese medicine uses three main factors when “reading” the tongue: tongue coating, tongue color and tongue shape. The fact that there are bacteria on the tongue should not be surprising in light of the fact that bacteria reside throughout our entire digestive tract. In Chinese medicine, the white coating represents the residue leftover from indigestion, so a thin, white coating is considered normal and healthy. If there is a thick coating on the tongue then there is an imbalance to the point where it has impacted the body’s physiology.
Tongue color takes a long time to change and therefore reflects the state of one’s health over a longer period of time. The ideal color of a healthy tongue should be pale-red, which indicates good circulation of blood in the body.
An extremely pale, dry tongue can also indicate a blood deficiency, which can affect women more than men, and is frequently marked by anxiety, dizziness, impaired memory, insomnia, chapped lips and eventually anemia.
If there is a red tongue with a yellow coating, there is a chronic inflammatory condition in the body. A red, shiny tongue with no coating usually indicates a loss of the body’s ability to regulate and offset thermogenic hormones in the body.
If only the sides are red, this is called liver fire and can be the result of long-standing anger or resentment. Tongue shape addresses a Chinese medicine concept of deficiency or excess, which addresses physiological strength of the systems or processes of the human body. The ideal shape of the healthy tongue is full, yet not so full as to press on the teeth and leave a serrated edge. A swollen tongue indicates general overall weakness and an inability to recover from this state.
If the tongue gets so swollen as to have a serrated outside edge to it, this indicates that your energy is getting so low that the tongue will rest against the teeth.
When it comes to cracks in the tongue, this could be a sign of a yeast infection, as well as a biotin deficiency. As you can see, your tongue does so much more than just help you chew your food or lick a stamp.


Thank you very much because i got a symptom that look like geographic tongue but in same area never change and never spread, sometime it appear other time it disappear. This is very interesting reading I wake up with a thin film of my tongue mouth & throat very dry.
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It helps you communicate with the outside world, maintain the integrity and health of the mouth and, of course, it helps you nourish yourself.
By learning a few simple aspects of the tongue and how it relates to the rest of the body, you cannot only learn secrets about yourself, but also about others!
It also has its origins in the four embryonic arches of the fetus, which make up much of the components of the ears, head, neck, throat as well as fetal cartilage, nerves, muscles and arteries. There has been research showing that parts of the body, which come from the same origin, can communicate with each other even when they exist in separate regions of the body! For example, the thyroid, which is in the throat, could have some pathology, such as a hyperthyroid storm as seen in Hashimoto’s disease, and by looking at the tongue, you may be able to see the state of the thyroid tissue reflected in the tongue even before the thyroid symptoms become a clinical symptom. A thin, white coating indicates that the stomach and digestive system is healthy and functioning in the process of transforming and digesting food.
This imbalance could be pathophysiological or it can be due to other factors such as lifestyle choices or aging. Cold is the Chinese term that describes a weakness of physiological function in the body, so a heavy white coat would mean that some system in the body is not able to perform its physiological role in maintaining health, or may represent a viral infection.


This type of coating indicates a person who has pushed their body to the brink of exhaustion.
This is because, in Chinese medicine, the tongue is an extension of the heart and the color of the tongue is said to represent the health of the blood.
This color can be seen in women who have very difficult menstrual cycles or in people who are experiencing chronic pain. The tongue also holds information about your physical and emotional health, which it keeps secret to those who take it for granted. From this, one can conclude that the tongue is able to communicate with regions of the head, neck and upper torso.
This type of tongue is also associated with allergic disorders and autoimmune diseases, but these are severe manifestations. Since the blood is what nourishes and maintains the body, the tongue color also shows the overall health of the body and its organs.
This can be accompanied by loose stools, extremity coldness, heavy fatigue and abdominal distention. If there is a deficiency of immune response, such as that seen in mononucleosis, there will be increased illness.
This would be accompanied by a dry mouth, fatigue, joint pain and burning or itching of the eyes.
Embedded within the papillae are several thousand taste buds that are responsible for detecting sweet, salty, bitter and sour tastes. In fact, scraping the coating does very little and the bacteria will grow back immediately. As the condition progresses, the redness will advance to eventually cover the whole tongue body. In adults, this can indicate what is called heart fire, which can result in insomnia and anxiety. If there is an excess of immune response, then there could be asthma, allergies or autoimmune disease. Interestingly, there is also a fifth taste, called umami, which can detect glutamate-type of tastes, such as those found in green tea. Rather, it suggests that what happens in one part of the body may be reflected in another related part of the body.



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