The tongue is a great start for a Healthy Wellthy Journey.

It’s the 1st day of November and I’m in that “think” mode.  Thinking about how in less than 45 days I will have another birthday. Thinking about all the death that I hear about on a weekly basis of family and friends crossing over.  Thinking about my health and how I really need to turn up my Healthy Wellthy Journey.  Fact is, I’m trying to strike the right balance between protecting my tomorrows, my longevity, my life, all the while relishing today. That’s why every day I say Today I Will…..Live Life GRAND!


So I’m starting today by focusing on my tongue. Yes….my tongue! Why? Because I remember my mom saying that they clipped my tongue as a baby because it was long….YUCK! Sometimes I wonder if they clipped too much but I think my mouth made up for that!



The other reason I want to start with my tongue is because it’s easy to assess potential health concerns by inspecting it.  All you got to do is stick it out while looking in the mirror. Think of when the doctor tells you to stick you tongue out and say ahhhh. There’s a reason they do that.


You’ve heard the saying that your eyes are the windows to your soul. Well, your tongue is the window to your health or better yet, to your organs. It’s a top body sign that something could be slightly off or wrong!


Chinese medicine divides the tongue into 5 zones:

1) The tip of the tone;

2) Behind the tip of the tongue;

3) Right and left sides of the tongue;

4) Center of the tongue; and

5) Back of the tongue.


The extreme tip correlates to the heart. The bit slightly behind the tip is the lungs/respiratory. The right side shows what the gallbladder is up to and the left side shows what the liver is up to. The middle indicates your stomach and spleen while the back is the kidneys, intestines, bladder and womb.

What does a healthy tongue look like?

Well, it should be smooth, supple and slightly moist. Pale red (some say pink) in color with a very thin white film. It’s covered with papillae which are small nodules with taste buds on top. We sometimes call them our tongue bumps. The bumps are there to help the tongue grip your food and move it around inside your mouth. They also allow you to taste what you’re eating. The average person has 9000 to 10,000 of these projections, and they’re replaced every two weeks.  A layer of mucus covers the tongue to protect it from pathogens and debris.

What should you look in your tongue right now? Look for Color, cracks, ravines, coatings, lines, swelling, patches or red and cuts.

Color clues of the tongue 


To start reading your tongue, check its color. A healthy tongue is light to medium pink.

  • Scarlet or purple is an ominous sign, suggesting rising heat in your body from inflammation, infection or hyperactivity.
  • A bright red tongue suggests too much heat, so stop with the spicy foods.
  • If you’re stressed out, chances are your tongue is red – or even polka-dotted.
  • A pale tongue means you’re cold or you may have anemia or low energy. It’s likely your immune system’s not up to snuff.

Below are some other quick health assessments associated with the tongue:

Swollen Tongue

If you have a swollen tongue or thick white coating, you’ve likely got too much mucus in your body, a lack of beneficial bacteria OR an elevation of yeasts.


Burning Tongue

Sign that the stomach is lacking in gastick digestive juices.



Sore Tongue

Nutrient deficiency, usually iron, vitamin B6 or niacin.



Cracked Tongue

Remember when we used to skip down a sidewalk and we’d yell, don’t touch the cracks? Fun times! Well, think of your tongue in the same fashion. You don’t want to even see a lot of cracks. Check for the mid-line crack on your tongue. A mid-line crack not reaching the tip seems like no big deal but if it is there, you may have a weak stomach and your digestion isn’t what it should be. The deeper the crack, the more chronic the condition of the tongue.



Geo Tongue

If your tongue resembles a map, you could have malabsorption, especially of B vitamins, and usually a lack of energy.



Red Tip on the Tongue

Red tip on the tongue can indicate emotional stress. Something you’re holding on to….can’t seem to let go. Emotional upset or stress disturbs the normal energy balance in the body. Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on our lives as noted by Jordan Fischer, one of our She’s It Writers in her ELM Conversation about The Long Term Journey Matters Most.



Nutritional or spleen deficiency. Did you know that a sluggish spleen is more common than you think and if it’s weak, you put up with gas and bloating.



White or Yellow. Neither is good but a thick yellow coating is an indicator or excess heat in the gut and you don’t have enough healthy bacteria in your body. If it’s at the back of the tongue, pay attention to your colon.  A thick white coating is too much mucus in the body. Remember we already said that it could be an elevation of yeasts.


So what does all this talk about the tongue mean?

Don’t ignore your tongue. Remember, it often reflects messages about your general health and deserves a regular inspection.  Hell, it’s often referred to as the most powerful muscle in the body though that’s not quite true since the tongue is made up of eight muscles working together as a multi-use tool. But I want to leave you with this powerful short poem about this powerful multi-use tool known as the tongue by Chandra Thiagarajan.



Can utter sweet words

Of love and affection

Of praise and gratitude

To fill the mind.

The same tongue

Can become a sharp knife

Of cutting with words crude

Without drawing blood

To kill the mind.