Ayurveda translates from Sanskrit to English as The Science of Life. It is the oldest healing tradition in the world, and was passed down orally from teacher to student for generations, before it was ever turned into text. Ayurveda includes a wide range of disciplines, from diet to herbs to several different methods for diagnosis and more. It is really quite fascinating! What I wanted to show you today is an introduction to tongue diagnosis.
Tongue diagnosis stems from the idea that there are external parts of the body (like the tongue, eyes and fingernails) can give us a map as to what is going on inside the body both in a physical sense and in an emotional sense. An advanced practitioner of tongue diagnosis can tell you pretty much everything that is going on with you just by looking at your tongue! Now I can’t give you that much information here, but I can give you a list of basic things to look for, in yourself and your friends!
Discover your Dosha
Ayurveda is based on the idea that each person is made up of the 5 elements. From these five elements, we get the 3 constitutional types or “doshas” in Ayurvedic medicine. Vata dosha is a mix of Air and Ether, Pita is a mix of Water and Fire, and Kapha is a mix of Water and Earth. Each person has all three components, but generally one or two of them are more “dominant” and this is that persons Prakriti or type. Most people are a blend of two more dominant doshas.
You can tell your general type by looking at your tongue
Vata Types: Tend to have thin, long, pointed tongues. They may have a slight quiver to them, and a vata person could have a hard time holding their tongue out for you. When out of balance a vata tongue could be black or brown in colour
Pita: A pita Tongue is generally quite wet and very red. You may even notice raise red bumps on the tongue which indicate a pita aggravation. When pita is out of balance, their tongue could be dark red or yellow-green.
Kapha: A kappa tongue will be large, generally flat and possibly pale. A kappa type person will have a steady tongue, and generally will not have a hard time holding their tongue out for you. When kappa is out of balance their tongue could be pale in colour.
These are general markers, but they are also pretty accurate in getting a general idea of what the dominant dosha is in the person you’re looking at.
Diagnosis - Here are a few simple things to look for
- White foam over a concentrated area of the tongue, like the back of the tongue for example which would be over the area that represents the colon, indicates an issue in the organ that corresponds with that area of the tongue. You can refer to the image to see where each organ is located on the tongue
- Teeth marks in the sides of the tongue can indicate poor nutrient absorption
- An indent in the tip of the tongue can indicate issues with the heart. This can be physical issues with the heart or emotional issues ie. having a “broken heart” from a failed relationship. Generally an indent indicates emotional issues, rather than physical.
- Cracks all over the tongue can indicate chronic colon issues.
- An overall white or yellow coating on the tongue indicates built up toxicity in the body
- A deep line in the center of the tongue can indicate undealt with emotions, or spinal issues.
- If your tongue is very clean and clear, this is a good indication that your food cravings will be clear and accurate, and according to what your body truly needs. If you have a constant coating over your tongue, it is generally believed that you have built up toxicity, and therefore your food cravings may be less than clear, and less than optimal for your body.
This is certainly not medical advice, and should not be used as a method of diagnosis to commence a treatment plan. If you wish to learn more, I would recommend that you find an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area.
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Ali completed her first diploma in Holistic Nutrition in 2008, Graduating from the Alive Academy. She completed her Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with YogaWorks in 2010, and is currently upgrading her studies at the Institute Of Holistic Nutrition, where she will soon graduate with her Ortho-Molecular Practitioner Designation. She believes that the body is fully capable of healing itself, so long as it is given all the tools to do so.
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