What colour is your tongue? Go look in the mirror and say ahh. Is it white? Yellow? Pink? If it’s anything but pink, it’s likely there is some toxicity in the body that’s coming out through the mouth.
As we detox through the breath, if left unaddressed, this toxicity accumulates and can cause a number of issues - bacteria spreading from the tongue to the gums, to the tonsils and the stomach. Fun fact, fat is also lost through the breath, which is why a lot of bacteria accumulates on the tongue overnight without us having eaten anything. The degree of detox and bacteria on the tongue can vary depending on what you eat, drink, and the state of your physical and emotional health, though we all experience it.
When bacteria accumulates on the tongue it often forms a thick white coating, but that coating can also be yellow-ish, red or even brown. Each colour can signify different issues in the body, but in general, this bacteria can cause bad breath, and increases the incidence of gum disease and tonsillitis.
While mouthwash and oil pulling are important practices, they aren’t complete substitutes for tongue scraping. Yes, they kill a lot of bacteria in the mouth, but not all of it. Meanwhile, the thick coating on your tongue accumulates and inhibits your taste buds. Worse still, when you skip tongue scraping, you re-ingest that bacteria when you eat or drink again.
This allows harmful bacteria to re-enter the digestive tract and wreak havoc on your immune system - an issue that’s been linked to joint issues, and skin conditions, particularly psoriasis.
Although tongue scraping may appear to be merely another new and strange health fad, it’s actually been around for centuries. From the ancient Ayurvedic tradition from India, tongue scraping was taught as part of their ‘sauca’ practice, for cleanliness and purity. It was said that this practice removed AMA (toxicity) from the body and thereby enhanced health.
Tongue scrapers are durable and most are made of copper, which has antibacterial properties. They’re also a cheap and easy way to maintain fresh breath, enhance the taste of food, and keep your health in check! So if you haven’t already, get a tongue scraper here.
How to use a tongue scraper
Every morning before you eat or drink anything, lightly scrape from back to front. Rinse the scraper and (depending on how much bacteria and discolouration you have to remove from your tongue) repeat 1-5 times.
Depending on the tongue, discolouration and detoxification may occur during the day as well, especially if you intermittent fast. If this is the case, repeat before bed as well.
Precautions: don’t scrape too far back on the tongue, and not too hard.
Now we're curious, have you used a tongue scraper before? If not, why not? Or if you have, let us know in the comments below what experience you’ve had with the practice!