Today I would like to tell you about one of my most favourite Ayurveda tricks. Cleaning and examining the tongue!
I recommend taking a good look at your tongue first thing in the morning. Right after you brush your teeth. Then scrape your tongue gently with a tongue scraper. Ayurveda uses a u-shapes metal tool made from copper or stainless steel. It looks like this.
Place it at the back of the tongue and pull it forward. Even if you have no coating, the movement of the scraper is beneficial. It acts like a massage to the internal organs; stimulates them a bit. Do it three times, rinsing it off in between scrapes. Once you start, you will never give up the habit- it feels so darn good!
Ayurveda says the tongue is like a blueprint of the body. On it you can see all the internal organs and how they are doing. Take a look at this picture from Dr Vasanth Lad's book. It shows you where the organs are placed on the blueprint.
Now when you look at your tongue, you can see which organs have imbalances or weakness. These may be displayed by discolouration or sensitivity in that area. However, that may be a bit advanced for most of us. What I would like to introduce you to, is a much simpler tool: checking your digestion.
We do this by looking for a white coating on the tongue or parts of the tongue. The white stuff indicates undigested food waste circulating in your body (the stuff is called ama). If you have none and your tongue is nice and pink - awesome! You are digesting what you eat well! If you have ama, see where it is: stomach? Intestine? Colon? It will help you figure out where your digestion is weak. Then adopt some simple measures to eliminate ama. This could be something like sipping on a ginger lemon tea for a week or so, modifying your diet, or fine tuning you routine. More on that soon!
Watch out: the tongue checking can get quite obsessive. A few times a day is plenty.
Hello fellow explorer-of-health!
My aim for this column is to share the self-balancing skills that I have discovered through Ayurveda and show how these ideas can be adopted by anyone (without the need to buy into a whole other cultural reality!)
Updated monthly, so check back in.