5 Tips on How to Prevent a White Coated Tongue

This image is a mirror image taken from Ayurveda, The Science of Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad

Ever wonder why one day your tongue is red and other days it has a white coating? If you been noticing the shifts, and curious why your tongue is white you are on your way to developing greater awareness of your health. Believe it or not, the tongue is a wealth of knowledge. In fact in Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old time-tested science from India,  looking a patients tongue is part of the protocol. It informs the Practitioner of a person’s mental, emotional and physical health by looking at the tongue’s size, shape, contour, texture, surface, and color.

A white-coating often indicates ama or toxins, which can eventually lead to dis-ease. Often a white-coating is can indicate a build-up from indigestion, stemming from excess mucus, heavy foods, phelgm, sugar,  undigested food, or inproper elimination.  If you notice a thick-white coating on the tongue, it’s your body telling you may need to consider a cleanse, boost digestion or you’ve been eating foods too heavy for your body.

Here’s 5 tips on how to prevent a white-coated tongue or help reduce the white coating: 

1.Look at your tongue 3xs a day. First thing in the morning is the best time followed by after lunch and then prior to going to bed.  This is a good practice and a tool to help begin tuning into your body. If your tongue remains white throughout the day and for several days, this is a good indication to consider a cleanse or make adjustments to your diet. Perhaps you’ve been eating too much cheese, bread or dairy products. Try increasing the fiber and reducing mucous forming goods for a couple of weeks.

2. Use a tongue scraper. After brushing each morning, gently scrape the tongue from as far back as you can go forward to the tip.  Then repeat # 1 again.

3. Reduce heavy foods. Give your body a break for 5-7 days from heavy foods, like dairy, cheese, bread, pasta, refined flours, sugar and increase the intake of cooked greens. Like collards, kale, spinach, chard, and cabbage along with some spices like ginger, cumin, cilantro, and parsley. The bitter tastes of greens will help counterbalance the sugar and mucus that forms from heavy foods. While the spices will help support digestion and aid in flushing toxins from the body. Both will also help keep bowel movements, regular as there are times when a white-coating is formed due to constipation.

4. Fast 1 day a week.  Consider giving your body a break for an entire day and enjoy warm herbal teas and a little bit of fruit. Giving your body a 24-hour break is also a good option to boost the digestive-metabolic fire or agni in Sanskrit.

4. Drink CCF Tea a decoction of equal parts cumin, fennel and coriander seeds. Drink 1 hot cup first thing in the morning, 1 in the afternoon and 1 in the evening. In addition to # 2. Drink this hot tea for 5-7 days to help not only help increase the digestive fire but also to help flush out toxins. Drinking warm herbal, digestive tea is a great way to support the lymph, gently cleanse the body and support immunity. Get the recipe.

5. Make lunch your big meal. Digestion is the strongest from Noon to 2pm, when the energy of the Sun is at it’s peak. In Ayurveda, this is called pitta hour. When we eat during this time, we are optimally using our inherent energy to support the digestive process.  Try to eat your most satisfying meal at this time. Begin and end your day with a light meal when digestion is slower to prevent ama.

P.S. Sometimes a white-coated tongue can be a related irregular elimination—which can then lead to the build-up of ama or toxins in the colon. Check out: tuesdaytip on constipation, for more details.

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