Health-Related Signals from Your Tongue

· November 21, 2015

When you were a kid, your parents probably taught you that sticking out your tongue was quite rude. Now, as an adult, you try to keep from showing your tongue in public, because that’s just not what people do.

However, you may want to spend a few minutes in front of the mirror observing what your tongue looks like, because it could be hiding a lot of information. Did you know that your tongue sends tons of health-related signals? Learn more in the following article!

Your tongue, a reflection of your health

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul… which would make the tongue a reflection of your health (or illness). For hundreds of years, Ayurvedic doctors have examined their patients’ tongues to determine whether or not they suffer from some kind of illness.

The three main parts of the tongue, according to this branch of traditional medicine, are: vata (root), pitta (middle) and kapha (tip). The color and texture of your tongue may indicate whether you are healthy or sick.

In particular, this muscle, which allows us to enjoy the flavors of different foods, is an extension of the stomach, which causes it to reflect the state of your gastric system. It has thousands of nerve endings, and each one (sometimes several) is associated with a different part of the body.


Your tongue is healthy if it is smooth, flexible, free of crevices and slightly moist, meaning that it shouldn’t produce too little or too much saliva. This kind of tongue means that you are in good health.

The white layer that appears on the surface of your tongue is normal, as long as it is a thin layer. This has more to do with dental hygiene and how often you brush you teeth than with whether or not you are sick. Make sure to brush your tongue as indicated by your dentist.

Color and texture of the tongue: what to keep in mind

You don’t have to be an Ayurvedic doctor to figure out whether or not you are suffering from an illness or some other health problem. You can analyze two important characteristics of your tongue, its color and texture, to figure out what shape your health is in:


As previously mentioned, a healthy tongue should be pink in color. If it is a darker red color, this is a signal that your body is inflamed, and could even point towards a certain type of cancer. If your tongue is more brown in color or has lost some of that pink tone, it could be because you smoke a lot. A bright pink could be an indication of Scarlet fever.

If your tongue is pale in color, this means that you are not getting enough nutrients and that the level of hemoglobin in your body is quite low. If the white layer on your tongue is very thick, it could be the result of fungi (candidiasis) or unbalanced bile secretion.

If that white layer only appears on the sides of your tongue, you may be suffering from some kind of lung disease. And if it is yellow in color, you may have cholecystitis.

yellow tongue

Texture and surface

As we said before, a healthy tongue should be moist and smooth. But be careful with regards to this point, because a tongue with no texture at all could be a signal of anemia or iron deficiency. If you have spots toward the back of your tongue, you may suffer from allergies. Cancer sores are an indication that you consume too many refined sugars, fats or proteins.

When your tongue is dry, it probably means that you are stressed out (although it may also indicate an over-production of mucous, anemia or diabetes). If your tongue tends to swell up, this may be due to a number of causes, such as heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, or chronic gastritis. If your tastebuds are flat (instead of having a subtle texture), this may indicate an intestinal disorder.

Warning signs on your tongue

Pay attention to what you tongue looks like. You may be suffering from an illness without realizing it.

Crevice in the middle

If this line done not reach the tip of your tongue, it means that you have a weak stomach or that you are suffering from digestive problems. This may be due to a lack of nutrients. You may have gas, or feel like you don’t have enough energy to get through the day.

To solve this problem, eat a healthier diet, and try not to mix different food groups, such as fruit and protein. Do whatever you can to speed up your digestive process, and try eating an apple or pear on an empty stomach.

Canker sores

If you find that you have lots of canker sores in your mouth, or if you get them on a regular basis, this could be an indication that you are lacking certain nutrients such as vitamin B6, iron or niacin. Eat more lentils, red meat, eggs and dairy products. 

Make a cup of nettle tea and, if you continue to feel ill, make an appointment with your doctor so that he or she can do blood work and make sure you don’t have anemia.


Small horizontal crevices

This means that your body is not absorbing minerals as it should. Another sign of this problem is a lack of energy or vitality. Although your tongue does have a number of small grooves, problems tend to arise when you have a greater number of large crevices.

One way to solve this problem is to eat foods that will help nourish your spleen, such as barley, beets, oatmeal, parsley, carrots, squash, celery, cabbage and swiss chard.

Red dots

In addition to being a physical annoyance, this condition indicates an emotional problem. It may be a signal that you are too stressed, sad, depressed, anxious, distressed or nervous. To prevent this problem, try to stay on the positive find and search for solutions to your problems.

You can also try consuming different natural herbs that help balance our your emotions. Lemon balm, chamomile and Valerian root are all very helpful. At dinnertime, make sure to include avocado, cucumber and almonds.

Swollen with a thick white layer on top

what your tongue says about your health

This means that there is too much mucous in your body, or that your body lacks certain good bacteria (because not all bacteria are bad). To fix this situation, we recommend that you stop consuming dairy products and that you add more green foods to your diet (broccoli, cabbage, peas, lettuce, celery, swiss chard, spinach).