Hello and a very warm welcome to episode 017 of Elmar’s Tooth Talk: The missing link to total health. I am Dr Elmar Jung.
As always, before we start let me tell you What’s in it for you in this episode:
We talk about:
- What is Tongue Diagnostic
- How did it develop
- What you can discover on the tongue
- How a healthy tongue looks like
- What influence food, drugs and mouthwashes can have on the tongue
Today we are talking about a therapy which can in a very gentle and subtle way support any kind of dental diagnostic and treatment and you can use it for yourself, kids and family to assess their state of health. Enjoy!
Yes, you heard that right, we are talking about tongue diagnostics. The trained tongue diagnostician can actually read from the tongue how you are, where the shoe, or in this case the tongue, is pinching.
“Show me your tongue and I’ll tell you how you are”.
Tongue diagnostics is one of the most important diagnostic tools in traditional Chinese medicine, also known as TCM for short, and of course an ideal medium for the dentist to obtain more information about the patient’s state of health, as it almost imposes itself on him.
Traditional Chinese Medicine assumes that every part of the body contains a holographic image of the entire body. You may have heard this from foot reflexology, according to which your entire body is reflected on the sole of your foot.
The same applies to your ear and even your eyes where the experienced practitioner can read your state of health from the ear or eye. And even some lesser known areas such as the areas behind your wisdom teeth can assist in determine one’s health.
The tongue diagnostician does this with the tongue.
The tongue is not only the keeper in your mouth, it is also the mirror of your body.
A brief dive into the history of tongue diagnostics
The first records of tongue diagnosis can be found on oracle bones as early as the Shang dynasty, which was in the 16th century BC.
The famous Chinese doctor Hua Tuo, who lived during the Han dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD), is considered to be the founder of tongue diagnostics.
Incidentally, he was also the first doctor to use narcotics in operations. He obtained the anaesthetic from the roots of I think it was the buck bean. The word for word translation form German would be yolk clover.
Hua Tuo was also the pioneer of Qi-Gong, a combination of meditation, movement and concentration that is used to cultivate body, mind and spirit.
Tongue diagnostics has continued to develop to this day and has become more and more precise and detailed over time.
In Chinese medicine it is also assumed that the tongue is connected with internal organs, with meridians, with blood, body fluids and Qi, life’s energy.
The tongue is connected to internal organs and the brain via four nerves. These four nerves are responsible for us feeling pain, taste, cold and heat.
Tongue diagnostics should always be seen in conjunction with other findings, as not all diseases or their severity can be read on the tongue.
Today you’ll become a student of tongue diagnostician.
Like all new disciplines you want to learn it takes time and requires experience. Allegedly, it takes up to 20,000 tongues to study to have enough experience as a tongue diagnostician. That is probably one of the reasons why tongue diagnosis tends to live in the shadow in the western world of medicine like so many ancient traditional diagnostic and treatment methods.
But today you will learn a few pointers about what your tongue can tell you.
The tongue, a very important organ
Our tongue is a very important organ that performs a wide variety of tasks. We need the tongue to speak and sing, while we eat she checks whether everything has been chewed well and whether we can swallow.
It helps to detect particles in the food that could potentially harm us. It helps us to clean the floor of the mouth, the palate and the spaces between the teeth and with the tongue we taste different sensations such as sweet, sour, bitter and salty.
Tongue diagnosis primarily provides information about the so-called yin organs. These include the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys.
According to the Chinese teaching of the five elements, there are five tastes, each associated with one of these organs. So, it is also helpful to know what taste you often notice in yourself.
The following yin organs and flavours are paired:
The heart and the taste of bitter, the lungs and spicy, the liver and sour, the spleen and sweet, and kidney correlates to salty.
A persistently sour taste on the tongue can indicate liver problems.
The tongue and different food
The excessive consumption of food of a certain flavour can also be recognized by the tongue. Eating too much bitter makes the tongue dry.
Eating too much spicy makes it numb and dry.
Eating too much acidic makes the tongue smaller.
Eating too much sweet makes the tip of the tongue cramp and is often associated with hair loss and Eating too much salty food makes the tongue dark and high blood pressure can develop.
The five parts of the tongue
The tongue can be divided into five parts that reveal the organ relationships.
The organs represent themselves in very specific areas on the tongue.
- The heart for example, is at the tip of the tongue. They say so beautifully “he wears his heart on his tongue”.
- The lungs follow closely behind.
- In the middle of the tongue is the area for the spleen and stomach.
- At the very back of the tongue are the areas for the kidneys and bladder as well as the large and small intestines.
- And on the edge of the tongue, to the right and left of the stomach area, are the gallbladder and liver.
The question which is often asked is why some people have a so-called “good” tongue, even though they are diagnosed ill or apparently healthy people have a “bad” tongue. Unfortunately, this cannot be answered conclusively and clearly to this day.
In older people, the tongue often does not appear “good”, which may be due to their increasing age and the resulting decrease in “kidney energy” and dehydration.
What does a healthy tongue look like?
A healthy, normal tongue is of a pale red to pink colour, it is thin on the edge and thick in the middle. It is thickest in the back part, the root of the tongue. It is neither stiff nor too limp, there are no ulcers, pimples, cracks, or tooth impressions on the side.
The healthy tongue has a thin, whitish coating, it is neither too wet nor too dry and the veins at the base of the tongue are tender and short.
The best time to examine your tongue is in the morning after getting up in daylight at the window. Stretch your tongue out loosely and flat and examine it.
Since food, drinks and tobacco can alter the coating on the tongue, you should not eat anything for at least two hours before the assessment.
This is true for herbs and food such as curry, cayenne pepper, turmeric, vinegar, candies, berries, beets, carrots, oranges, bananas, spinach, nuts, herbal teas, tobacco, coffee, black tea or even milk and Coca-Cola. – which obviously you don’t drink anyway or do you?
Toothpaste and mouthwashes can also cause changes.
All of this can change the colour of the tongue and must of course be taken into account when examining the tongue.
For example, milk makes the tongue white, oranges like coffee create a yellowish coating, and nuts make the tongue look fat.
Drugs can also change the colour of the tongue and its shape and coating. These drugs include, above all, drugs such as antibiotics, cortisone, lung sprays, chemotherapy drugs, dehydration drugs, or anti-inflammatory drugs.
What can you see on your tongue?
When examining the tongue, you can distinguish four areas
1. The colour of the tongue body
2. The tongue body itself
3. The tongue coating
4. The moisture of the tongue
The colour of the tongue body means only the colour of the tongue body, i.e. regardless of the tongue coating.
The colour of the tongue body shows you the true energetic state of your body. The tongue body colour is relatively independent of short-term changes such as stress or physical exertion.
A pale tongue indicates anaemia and can be accompanied by tiredness, especially after lunch, lethargy and loss of appetite.
A red tongue indicates heat. If you have a fever, your tongue turns red. People with red tongues often experience uncomfortable heat and or heart problems; they are very thirsty and are rather restless
A livid and blue tongue shows when the body is too cold.
Then you look at the body of the tongue.
Is the tongue thick, thin, swollen, short or long? You look for cracks, defects or ulcers, swellings, tooth impressions and where they are.
If the tongue is limp or stiff, it has involuntary movements, or it leans to one side.
Tooth impressions indicate a swollen tongue, which in turn indicates a weakness in the organs. Many of these patients complain of abdominal pain, diarrhea or mushy stools, dizziness, chronic fatigue, loss of appetite or swollen feet.
Often you can see such a tongue after serious illness or excessive exertion.
Swollen veins at the base of the tongue indicate blood congestion. This can be associated with stress, pain, tension.
Next, look at the tongue coating
For self-diagnosis it is sufficient to differentiate between two main forms of tongue coating, is the coating white or yellow?
The whiter the tongue coating, the colder the respective organ. The yellower the topping, the more heat.
Changes in the coating of the tongue also provide information about the course of the disease.
When a white coating turns yellow, the condition worsens, as does when a damp tongue coating becomes dry.
If, on the other hand, a dry surface becomes damp, an improvement has occurred.
The thickness of the covering provides information about the strength of the disease-causing factor, i.e. the thicker the covering, the stronger the disease-causing factor in the body.
A localized coating of the tongue can also be an indication that the energetic imbalance is limited to certain organs.
The moisture in the tongue
Finally, look at the moisture in the tongue. This provides information about the distribution and condition of the body fluids. If the tongue is dry there is a lack of fluids and if the tongue is too wet there is an accumulation of fluids.
In order to finally be able to make a statement, one always considers all four areas together.
Only the overall impression of the tongue can give you an accurate picture.
If there are changes on the tongue in a certain area, the trained person can relate this to the organs connected to it, which in turn gives them information about his state of health.
Basically, you can also say:
The shape of the tongue itself changes only very slowly over months or years and therefore gives a good impression of the basic constitution as well as chronic disorders and their severity.
The tongue colour changes over days, weeks or months
The tongue coating changes very quickly within hours or days.
How’s that for a fast track in tongue diagnostic. Now you have a first overview of tongue diagnostics and you can always go to my website and read the transcript.
That’s it for today. Thanks for tuning in. I’m looking forward to having you here next time. This is Elmar’s Tooth Talk – The Missing Link To Total Health.
Until next time