Tongue Diagnosis

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Wed, 06/03/2015
Ayurvedic Tongue Diagnosis

Tongue diagnosis helps to understand health. Also, to understand the disease by observing the tongue size, shape, contour, surface, margins, and color.

What is tongue diagnosis?

Tongue diagnosis is observing the tongue size, shape, contour, surface, margins, and color to assess the present health. 

Look your tongue and observe the size, shape, color, etc. Pale tongue indicates an anemic condition or lack of blood in the body. Yellow-colored tongue indicates excess bile in gallbladder or liver disorder. Blue colored tongue shows a heart defect. If you see tongue impressions along the margin of the tongue suggests poor intestinal absorption.

Tongue diagnosis - Shape

Vata individuals have small, short, thin, dry, cracked, and trembling. Indentations, sunken concave spots, scalloped and teeth mark indicating mal-absorption and low agni due to the erratic digestive power of visamagni. Cracked edges depressed at the back of the tongue showing low ojas. Broken in the front indicates lung dryness. Vata individuals are often anxious and difficult to extend their tongue. The extremely short tongue is a sign of low ojas. It reflects the dry, rough, mobile, light, and deficient qualities of vata. 

Pitta individuals have long, narrow, pointed, inflamed, ulcerated, red small projections, swollen, and red edges. Pitta individuals often extend their tongue with force like an arrow. It reflects the sharp, penetrating, liquid, and hot qualities of pitta.

Kapha individuals have large, swollen, thick, soft, wet, and wet edges. Tongue with teeth marks indicating mandagni. The swollen tip indicates heart congestion. Swollen in the center suggests lung congestion. The kapha individuals often flop their tongue out of the mouth though it is too large. It reflects the unctuous, fluid, soft, slimy, smooth, and cold qualities of kapha.

Tongue diagnosis - Color

Vata individuals having pale tongue reflects poor nutrient metabolism due to a low nutrient absorption or blood deficiency. A purple-blue tongue reflects stagnation of circulating vyana vayu from cold. 

Pitta individuals are having red, reflecting high pitta in absorbed nutrient or blood. An orange tongue (especially sides) is due to high pitta consuming blood. A purple-red (in extreme causes black-red) is expected to high pitta condensing absorbed nutrient and blood resulting in viscous and sluggish circulation.

Kapha individuals have pale tongue due to the cold that restricts circulation. A pale-blue color tongue indicates congestive heart disorders due to aggravated avalambaka kapha. 

Tongue diagnosis - Coating

Diagnose tongue coatings their 

  • Colors such as white, yellow, dirty yellow, pale yellow, or black
  • Depth such as thick, or thin
  • Textures such as dry, wet, or greasy 

The tongue coating is an easy diagnosis of the treatment efficacy and the disease movement. If a coat propagates from thick to thin and from yellow to white, indicate beneficial sign and vice versa. If the tongue becomes dry, it is a negative sign.

Vata individuals have dry, non-existent or thin, white coat.

Pitta individuals have a yellow or dirty yellow coat. Greasy coat indicates the pitta mixed with toxins. A dry yellow coat shows the pitta and vata mixed. Absence of coating with red, shiny tongue suggests the heat of excess pitta; this causes weak and deficient metabolizing of available nutrients too quickly.

Kapha individuals have a white (thick or thin), wet, or clear coating. A thick white greasy coat indicates kapha mixed with ama. A pale yellow coat shows kapha combined with pitta. 

Bad breath shows low Agni (digestive ability) or toxic accumulation; check intestine points on the tongue for the root problem.

Tongue diagnosis - Location

Vata dosha condition can usually observe at the back of the tongue associated with the state of the colon.

Pitta dosha condition can observe in the middle portion of the tongue associated with the stomach and small intestines. The sides of the tongue relate to the liver, and many pitta imbalances can see here.

Kapha dosha condition can observe in the front portion associated with the lungs, chest, and heart.

Much like reflexology, every organ in the body can locate on a specific region in the tongue. We know tongue help enjoy the taste of various foods. Similarly, it is the mirror of the body's digestive system; the tongue can reflect the health of multiple organs in the body.

Tongue reflex

Discoloration and or different sensation in a particular area of the tongue indicate organ disorder corresponding to that specific area.

Tongue to diagnose dosha imbalance

Tongue helps to diagnose how harmonized the dosha is or whether it is out of balance. Divide the tongue into three parts (33.3% each); the inner region near throat is vata, the middle is pitta, and the outer tip is kapha. Excessive tongue coating in any of these specific areas shows an imbalance of that dosha.

Ayurveda tongue dosha imbalance

Tongue diagnosis - Crack

The central crack in the tongue indicates prana flow through the heart or spine. If the crack extends to the tongue tip shows a congenital (born with) heart weakness. A deviated break indicates spinal curvature. A tongue crack with swelling in the two sides is due to high kapha.

Cleansing the Tongue  

Keeping the tongue clean helps to keep every organ healthy. How do you keep your tongue clean? One of the best ways to keep the tongue clean is scraping once or twice it daily. Use tongue scraper to remove overnight and day buildup of bacteria and toxins in the tongue. Extend your tongue, place the tongue scraper as interior as comfortable without nausea, and gently press & pull forward to remove tongue coatings. Rinse the mouth with water. It is better to do tongue cleaning done in the morning when you are in an empty stomach. Scraping the tongue is an excellent way to start the day; as a result, it improves the health of the internal organs by stimulating all the pranic nadis that terminate in the tongue.