The tongue is an internal organ that we can see externally. Fortunately for us, because we can see it, under examination, this important organ reveals what is happening with the organs we can not see. We can use the tongues indication to help us nurture the organs back into a healthy state. Although there are different styles to make a tongue diagnosis, I have listed the Ayurveda way here.
Look at your tongue in the mirror. Observe the size, shape, contour, surface, margins, and color.
A healthy tongue is red, not too wet, not too dry, smooth, and not too thick or not too thin.
If the color is pale – something is making the blood weak – anemia, poor circulation, etc
If the color is yellowish – there’s too much bile in the gallbladder or a liver disorder.
If the color is blue – there is some defect in the heart.
Looking at your tongue, imagine it split into three vertical sections. The Right Side, the Middle, and the Left Side. Now imagine it also split into three horizontal sections. The Tip, the Center, and the Back. This now forms a grid of nine separate sections.
Different parts of the tongue are related to different organs in the body.
Right Side Middle Left Side
Back right kidney intestines left kidney
Center liver pancreas & stomach spleen
Tip right lung heart left lung
If there are discolorations, indentations, or elevations on certain areas of the tongue, the respective organs are in need of attention.
Vertical area Horizontal area Condition
middle back “U” shaped = sensitive colon
left/ right back kidney disorder
middle tip delicate heart
left/right tip delicate lungs
left/right tip froth = bronchitis
left/right tip brown = pneumonia
middle back white = toxins in colon
middle back/center white or red = toxins in GI tract
If you see the impressions of the teeth along the sides of the tongue, this indicates poor intestinal absorption.
A coating covering the tongue indicates toxins in the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine. If only the back of the tongue is coated, toxins are present in the large intestine. If the middle of the tongue is coated, toxins are present in the stomach and small intestine.
A line down the middle of the tongue indicates depression. If the line is curved at any section, it indicates back problems.
If the tongue has cracks or lines all over, it indicates chronic colon problems.
If the tongue is too wet, it indicates an alkaline condition.
If the tongue is too dry, it indicates an acidic condition.
If the tongue is too thick, it indicates an inflammatory condition.
If the tongue is too thin, it indicates an emotional condition.
Use the tongue diagnoses as a guideline to your internal health as you make healthy lifestyle changes. This is a very broad definition of tongue diagnoses and for a better understanding, you’re encouraged to consult a holistic practitioner.