Your tongue is the mirror to all the organs of the body, and thus, a daily look at the tongue prior to scraping gives you a clue to your general health. We all have different shape, sizes, colors, and coatings to our tongues. Listed below are a few of the common tongues out there and how you should be treating them in regards to your diet.
Thick, Pale, Scalloped Edges
A pale tongue that is swollen with scalloped edges indicates dampness within the body.
This tongue is often associated with symptoms like loose stools, bloating, fatigue, cold, and excess worry.
What to eat: If this is what your tongue looks like, you should emphasize warming foods and herbs (such as soup, lamb, beef, leeks, nuts, fresh ginger, rosemary, and cinnamon.)
You can also incorporate moderate amounts of wild and basmati rice, corn, buckwheat, rye, and amaranth to drain dampness from your system.
What to avoid: Foods that enhance cold in the body.
These are foods that are eaten straight from the refrigerator, greasy/fried/creamy foods, crunchy foods, cucumbers, ice-cream, bananas, cold drinks, clams, crab, grapefruit, watermelon, radishes, green tea, sour food, and raw vegetables.
Thin, Red, Pointy, Dry
This tongue presentation is often associated with what we call “deficiency heat” in Chinese medicine.
Symptoms associated with this tongue often resemble menopause, including hot-flashes, night-sweats, insomnia, ringing in the ears, and dry skin and lips.
What to eat: To nourish yourself, incorporate berries and seeds, naturally sweet foods (like honey, yams, and squash,) congee, spelt, quinoa, rice, sour foods, parsley, and sea vegetables.
What to avoid: If this is what your tongue looks like, and you’re experiencing similar symptoms, you’re going to want to avoid salty foods, as well as overly pungent or spicy foods, fried foods, sugar, and alcohol.
Red Tongue-Body, Yellow Greasy Coating
This kind of tongue indicates heat, and is associated with symptoms such as irritability, rashes or pimples, easy sweating, thirst, and dry constipation.
What to eat: Instead of foods that add heat to the body, incorporate more fish, steamed vegetables, salads, seaweed, millet, wild rice, and fruit into your diet.
Also, it might be wise to bitter foods and herbs like dandelion, burdock root, and lettuce to drain the heat in your system.
What to avoid: If this is what your tongue looks like you should avoid spicy, rich, and greasy foods, alcohol, sugar, and limit your meat consumption.
Quivery Tongue with a Red Tip
Both a quivery tongue as well as a red-tipped tongue are symptoms associated with stress, adrenal fatigue, depression, and insomnia.
What to do: If this is what your tongue looks like you need to take extra time to take care of yourself. It would be wise to begin some sort of practice into your before-bed-routine, such as qigong, gentle yoga, or meditation. You might also find herbal teas with passionflower, chamomile, lemon-balm, or California poppy to be beneficial.