The combination of pathologies in the organ systems are plentiful and can also have degrees of severity. The tongue can change over time to show internal conditions improving, and can clue us in on which systems may soon show symptoms if they become imbalanced.
There are several factors Chinese Medical practitioners look for while looking at the tongue:
A very red tongue can signify heat/inflammatory conditions in the body. A very pale tongue can show blood deficiency. A light pink tongue with a thin white coating is the ideal picture of a healthy tongue.
A thin white coat is normal and signifies that digestion is working properly. A thick white coat can point to excess cold and damp (fluid/mucous) in the body. A dry, yellow coat on the tongue can point to heat and inflammation in the stomach.
A swollen, thick tongue signifies an excess of dampness in the body. A thin tongue can show a deficiency of blood and fluids that keep the body moist and supple.
4. Tongue Features
Here you look for patches, spots, teeth marks, and cracks. Teeth marks on the sides of the tongue indicate that the tongue is swollen and that the Spleen is sluggish and not aiding in proper digestion and providing energy to the body. A long crack down the middle points to stomach/digestive issues.
5. Tongue Moisture
A normal tongue should be moist, but not sopping wet with excess saliva, nor should it be too dry.
The tongue is also divided up into areas which correspond to the different organs in the body. The heart is represented by the tip of the tongue. If the tip of the tongue is red, this indicates a pattern of heat in the heart which can manifest as anxiety and other emotional issues. The lung area is right behind the heart area, the spleen and stomach region are in the middle of the tongue, the liver and gallbladder to the sides, and the kidney and bladder in the back center, at the root of the tongue.
Some people are born with certain unusual tongue features that are normal to them and do not indicate internal pathology (such as a geographic tongue).
On occasion, patients feel embarrassed about showing their tongue during a treatment, or make sure to scrape it thoroughly before coming in. It's nothing to be concerned with and seeing the natural state of the tongue can help us better help you! Be proud of the uniqueness of your tongue!
What is your assessment? Tell us your tongue diagnosis patterns in the comments below.