Tongue: Mirror to the Inner You

It is said that you can only know the presence of the inner organs when they are diseased. It’s true. In health all the systems work in harmony and so no symptoms or signs are perceived. But when the healthy mode gets altered, we experience discomfort in form of signs and symptoms. Let’s see how the tongue can act as a mirror to the happenings inside our body. Deviation in the look of the tongue from normal suggests an internal turmoil. Before knowing the abnormal it is necessary to know the normal look of the tongue. 

Normal tongue

The tongue normally should be of proper size, supple in quality, free in movement and somewhat red in color. The tongue should also have a lean layer of white coating. 
Abnormal look of tongue in different health conditions

1.    QI deficiency

Qi is energy needed for all the body’s activity: for movement, for digestion, for warding off illness, to get through the day
We make Qi by combining food and air. Our ability to make Qi will depend partly on our physical constitution, partly on our lifestyle.
 Fresh air with proper diet is a source of good quality Qi. When we do not eat right QI becomes deficient leading to fatigue, poor appetite, dyspnea, anxiety and worries.
Tongue in QI deficiency
                      i.        Thin white coating
                    ii.        Pale tongue with red spots
                   iii.        With imprints of teeth 

2.    Impact of hot weather

The impact of heat on body is very adverse. The patient feels hot, sweating, increased thirst, constipated and irritable and bad tempered.Let’s see how the tongue looks in cases of heat stroke.
                      i.        Red tongue
                    ii.        Coated yellow. 

3.    Water retention

The patients suffering from water retention have heaviness of body with dullness and lethargy. Whole body is bloated with difficulty in breathing.
Tongue in cases of water retention
                      i.        Swollen tongue
                    ii.        White greasy coating. 

4.    Blood stasis

The patient has cold limbs with varicosity of veins. There is Pain in the body with liver spots and dullness of skin. Also high cholesterol and bronchitis
Tongue in blood stasis
                      i.        Purple tongue with black spots 

5.    QI stagnation

It can lead to various mental problems like stress, depression, premenstrual syndrome etc.
Tongue with red tip is characteristic. 

6.    Hot and humid weather

Urinary infection, skin problems like clammy skin and irritability are encountered problems.
Look of tongue
Red tongue with yellow greasy coating.

7.    Yang deficiency

The patient feels cold easily with pains in the back. Panicky nature with problems like impotency and infertility.
Look of tongue
      i.        Swollen tongue
    ii.        Pale
   iii.        Thick white coating. 

8.    Ying deficiency

The patient suffers from irritability, insomnia, hot flushes and night sweats. Menopausal problems. Causes auto immune diseases.
Look of tongue
      i.        Red tongue
    ii.        Cracked at places
   iii.        Little or no coating

 9.    Hemoglobin deficiency

Dizziness, fatigue, palpitation, poor concentration, insomnia may be signs of anemia.
Look of the tongue
      i.        Pale
    ii.        Little or no coating.