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ayurveda-dosha-tongueIn Ayurveda, one of the primary investigative tools of practitioners for determining the state of one’s health is tongue diagnosis or evaluation of the tongue. The tongue is the very beginning of the digestive tract, which lumbers on for another 30 feet or so. Since we cannot see much beyond the mouth without some invasive diagnostics, a quick look at the tongue can tell much about the health of your inner digestive skin.

Your inner skin is without a doubt the most important determining factor for your overall health. By inner skin, I mean the epithelium or the skin that lines the digestive tract. Let’s quickly take a look at what healthy inner digestive skin is responsible for:

1. Hosting of trillions of beneficial microbes (1)

2. Where 95% of the serotonin for mood health is derived (2)

3. Where 80% of the immune system is found (3,4)

4. The protective barrier to ward off environmental toxins (5)

5. The delivery of all vitamins, minerals and nutrients (6)

6. Regulates genetic and epigenetic changes to the human genome (7-9)

This is, of course, the extremely short list of why the health of the inner digestive skin is so important. The problem with diagnosing the inner skin is that we cannot see it – or can we? The tongue can give us quick and useful indications about the status of our digestion.

The Perfect Tongue

Before we discuss “the perfect tongue” constitutionally, note that we will all have a tongue that closely reflects our main constitution. For example:

Vata Constitution

  • The tongue will tend to be thinner, smaller, and a bit rough and dry.

Pitta Constitution

  • The tongue will be a bit more red in color, medium in size, and slightly dry.

Kapha Constitution

  • The tongue will be larger, full, possibly light pink, and a bit wet.

Based on the normal variations between body types, a perfect tongue will be:

  1. Pink – not pale, scarlet, or red.
  2. The pinkish color would be consistent across the entire tongue.
  3. You would be able to see small cylindrical taste buds on the entire top surface of the tongue.
  4. It would be not too wet and not too dry – it would be just right!
  5. You would not see any cracks on the tongue.
  6. There would be a very thin white coating of mucus on the tongue.
  7. There would be no teeth marks on the sides of the tongue.


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