The tongue can be a great guidance for maintaining health. Essentially the region at the back of the throat is the colon area, the middle of the tongue is the gastrointestinal area and towards the teeth or front is the lungs and heart. It is all in proportion to how it is within our bodies. In Ayurveda, part of the daily hygiene is to scrape the tongue with a tongue scraper (aptly named) before brushing our teeth to remove excess ama or toxins. What is so intriguing about this is that the coating you see on your tongue can determine what is going on within the body and within a specific region, never absolute but a great guiding tool nonetheless.
Vata tongues tend to be narrow, Pitta of a medium width and more pointed and Kapha are wide and thick. The colour of a tongue gives us information as well; with purple indicative of Vata imbalance, red is excessive heat in body or Pitta imbalance and pale or whitish indicating a low digestive fire and excessive phlegm which is Kapha imbalance.
We can then look to the shape and markings present on the tongue for greater information. Sharp ridges along the perimeter indicates malabsorption of nutrients, deep broken lines in center of tongue can indicate deep Vata imbalance, often revealing issues with bone density or the neuropathy, and softer rippling or wavy edges can indicate stagnant lymph.
More information can be observed by the coating present on the tongue. This coating is called ama or toxins present within the body. Where this ama sits on the tongue correlates to the region of the body that is in a weakened state. Going back to the layout of the tongue, with the back being the colon region, the middle the gastrointestinal and the front the lungs and heart (generalized), you can see where the body or organs are requiring some balance.
The process of scraping the tongue each morning not only gives you a fresher start to the day but also removes the topical toxins present in the body instead of re-digesting them into system. Do not brush your tongue as it imprints the toxins deeper and also allows for the potential of the toxins to sit within the bristles of the toothbrush which then are scrubbed against your gum line, potentially allowing for deeper growth and toxicity within the body.
There are so many ways in which the body communicates to us, it is in the awareness that we can recover our health and balance and live a more vital life.