What Your Tongue Says About Your Health 

 July 13, 2021

By  Gabriela

The tongue helps with many aspects of our lives from communication to helping maintain the health of the mouth and to help keep us nourished.  But the tongue will also tell a lot about our physical and mental health. The tongue can help give you facts about your diet, lifestyle, and internal environment.

Here’s what your tongue says about your health.

The tongue is covered with a pink tissue that is moist that is called the mucosa.  There are tiny bumps that are called papillae, which hold the taste buds.  Taste buds are required to help us know the difference between salty, sweet, sour, and bitter foods.

Many are astonished to know that there is also a fifth taste that is called umami, which tastes glutamate-type foods like green tea.

There are three main parts of the tongue. These are:

  • The apex (tip of the tongue);
  • The body (the visible tongue all the way to the back to the throat) and
  • The root (attaches the tongue to the base of the mouth).

The tongue can help us with our health by providing clues.  Chinese medicine has been looking at tongues for over a thousand years.  This type of medicine looks at three aspects of the tongue:  the coating, the color, and the shape.

A coating on the tongue will represent the digestive function state. Ideally, a tongue should have a thin white film on the surface which indicates that the stomach and digestive system are healthy and properly digesting food.

The coating is made up of bacteria, and if scraped off, it will grow back rather quickly.  The thin white coating is considered to be normal.

A thick coating will represent that there is an imbalance in the body, while a thicker white coating will mean there is a weakness of physiological function in the body.  A yellow coating that is thick indicates heat in the body, which could be a bacterial infection.

Tongue colors are just as important.  A tongue that is white or pale may indicate a weakness in the digestive tract. A pale dry tongue may mean there is a blood deficiency, while a bright red tongue could mean an infection.  Those with a tongue that has a red tip could indicate emotional turmoil. A blue tongue signals that there is a serious issue and needs medical attention ASAP.

The Tongue and Your Health

Did you know that the color of your tongue can have a lot to do with your health?  Just by looking at your tongue, you can often see if it is in a healthy state or not. The following colors are indicative of if a body is healthy or not:

  • Pale white tongue – This can indicate that there is a weakness in the digestive tract.  There may be abdominal bloating and heavy fatigue.  A pale dry tongue may indicate that there is a blood deficiency.
  • A bright red tongue – This often indicates an infection.  The tip will start out red but soon the rest of the tongue will follow suit and appear to be bright red in color.
  • A tongue with a red tip – This is known as the heart area.  If one sees this, it is a sign of emotional turmoil.
  • A tongue with red sides – Often seen in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome; this can be aggravated by the consumption of spicy foods, alcohol, or grease.
  • Purple/blue tongue – This will indicate long-standing inflammation.  It may be seen in females who have difficult menstrual cycles.
  • Blue tongues – This requires immediate medical attention.  Causes of this are suffocation, poisoning, asthma attacks, and more.
  • Yellow tongue – Sometimes caused by Jaundice, this is very uncommon.
  • Black tongue – Tending to be permanent, this can be seen at any stage of life.  It is also referred to as a black hairy tongue.

A healthy tongue wills a coating on it that is thin and white on the surface.  It is made up of bacteria, however, when it is scraped off, it will quickly grow back. Thick coatings on the tongue could mean that there is an imbalance in the body from physiology.  If it is a thicker white coating, this may mean there is a viral infection in the body.  A yellow coating that is thick represents that there is inflammation in the body.

Via Web MD

About the author 


A mom of two with a background in journalism, I took health into my own hands and started researching to find answers to my own health struggles. My research turned into a blog that turned into an amazing community (starring you!).When I'm not reading medical journals, creating new recipes, you can find me somewhere outside in the sun or undertaking some DIY remodeling project that inevitably takes twice as long as it was supposed to.

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