The ancient Ayurvedic healing philosophy of India has recommended tongue scraping for centuries as an aid to digestion and for the health of the teeth and the sinuses.
Since digestion begins in the mouth, cleaning the salivary glands activates them and enhances overall digestion. In addition, removing the ama (toxic residue) or coating from the surface of your tongue improves your ability to taste food. I have had many patients who naturally reduced their salt and/or sugar intake after a week or so of tongue cleaning. They were just able to taste food more accurately than before.
It can also revitalize the throat and reduce the amount of bacteria around the gums and teeth and traveling into the respiratory system. Many people who have struggled with sinus infections, sore throats, throat infections and chronic bad breath find added relief through regular tongue scraping.
Assessing the state of your tongue when you clean it each morning will help increase your awareness of what is going on in your body. The tongue is the only internal organ we can see. As such, it is a great diagnostic tool for anyone with just a little knowledge of Ayurveda.
Better Than a Toothbrush
Cleaning a tongue with a scraper is superior to using a toothbrush. While toothbrushes tend to trap the bacteria and may even provide the perfect moist environment for growing bacteria, stainless steel or copper scrapers effectively remove the bacteria using sanitary metals.
When using a scraper, apply gentle, even pressure. You want to take the coating off, but you do not want to remove the taste buds or cause bleeding.
Note that applying too much pressure on the back of the tongue will create a gagging reflex.
The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or email Karen Callahan at firstname.lastname@example.org.