Updated: 4 days ago
What is Tongue Scraping? Here’s everything you need to know about Ayurvedic tongue scraping and its many sa
benefits. Have you wondered what's behind that coating on your tongue? Learn about ama, the forerunner of disease according to Ayurveda.
Explore more on the Saumya Blog, selected top Ayurveda blogs and websites to watch.
As always with our Ayurvedic practices, our focus, intentions and habits center around a set of tried-and-true tools that when combined, help us to reduce ama (toxins) and improve our overall wellbeing.
When we use tongue scraping as part of a comprehensive, yet manageable Ayurveda plan, it will benefit all who consistently uses tongue scraping.
Just as we sweep and clean the entryway of our home, we take good care of ourselves by cleaning our tongue daily. Removing ama from the tongue offers a multitude of benefits for our overall health.
See Saumya Ayurveda in Everyday Health's article: 5 Potential Health Benefits of Tongue Scraping by reporter Lauren Bedosky. Explore More: What Your Tongue Says About Your Health (According to Ayurvedic Wisdom)
What's that white coating on my tongue?
If your tongue has a thick white coating on it, this is an indication of ama (toxins) in your body. A coating is an indicator that ama, or toxins are present.
"Yes, we want to clean the coating off the tongue and that supports good oral health, but more important is to recognize that ama on the tongue is showing us that ama is in the body. Think of of it this way--the tongue coating is the full trash bag that you take out to the bin every day, but it is not the end of the job. We need an effective, manageable plan to remove ama from the entire body and mind." - Veena
Cleaning your tongue every morning with a tongue scraper removes ama on the tongue and stimulates healthy digestion and elimination. (see the Ayurveda organ tongue map below.) Also start your morning with a glass of hot water to help your body flush the toxins from your digestive system.
In Ayurveda, we use tongue scraping to perform an inner and outer cleansing or detox every morning. Tongue scraping involves gently gliding a stainless steel or copper tongue scraper from the back of the tongue forward to remove toxins. Tongue scraping is a simple and effective way of detoxing every day.
Explore more about our Seasonal Cleanses and Detoxes Our bodies and minds build up ama - toxins and energetic gunk - as we move throughout the world. Every day, we’re assaulted with more than we can digest: food, stimulation, stress, environmental pollutants... the list goes on and on. An ounce of prevention? What a difference it makes! Regular cleansing helps us reset, repair, rest, and rejuvenate. When the tsunami of stimulation ceases, our bodies and minds know what to do. In the gentle slowness of cleansing time – we heal.
“I was looking for a home cleansing program and Saumya Ayurveda delivered! I work full time, have a family, sports, commute, --and this cleanse was manageable! I had such a positive cleanse experience; I plan to do it again and I have it on my planner already." - A.B., White Bear Lake, MN
Ayurveda Cleansing Resources on the Saumya Blog:
Tongue Scraping Benefits - What is It Good For?
Tongue scraping supports our inner wellbeing and overall health. When you begin daily tongue scraping, you’ll see the benefits right away. When you look in the mirror upon rising, stick out your tongue, you'll likely see a coating on it. Using a tongue scraper, you will slowly begin to remove that coating of ama. That's pretty rewarding in and of itself. How else will you benefit?
There is a map on the tongue that corresponds to organs such as the lungs, the heart, stomach, liver, spleen, GI tract, pancreas, etc. Using a tongue scraper, as part of an Ayurvedic morning routine, gently removes ama, or toxins, from the tongue while simultaneously massaging the internal organs.
Tongue scraping directly supports overall health and healthy digestion, which begins in the mouth.
Keep in mind that ama on the tongue is not only indicating toxins in the oral cavity, it is also showing ama in various parts of the body and mind. (More on ama later in this article.) Tongue scraping removes ama on the tongue and it helps remove ama from the whole you.
Tongue Scraping Benefits
1. In terms of oral health, people enjoy a fresh, clean, healthy mouth (let's face it, bad breath is a bit embarrassing).
2. Tongue scraping removes bacteria, toxins, and dead cells from the oral cavity –which enhances the sense of taste and when the bacterial flora of the mouth is balanced, tongue scraping supports a healthy mouth.
3. Tongue scraping also removes food debris which helps to keep bacteria at bay. It is bacteria that causes cavities, which also lead to other issues such as receding and bleeding gums.
4. When the flora in the mouth is balanced, the mouth is fresh and digestion benefits since what comes from the mouth flows downstream through the digestive tract. 5. Tongue scraping provides a gentle massage of the internal organs.
With the practice of tongue scraping, our awareness increases of our overall health. How? Every morning we'll notice our tongue, and by observing it, we'll see what is happening on the tongue and what is happening on the inside of the body.
Enchance your Ayurveda morning routine and preventive dental self care with Ayurvedic oil pulling:
Tongue scraping, as part of our daily morning Ayurvedic routine, helps us keep an eye on things--inside and out.
Tongue scraping increases our awareness of our health, providing us insights into our insides. We carry within us a powerful diagnostic tool-the tongue. By observing shape, color, cracks, coating, and more--assessments can be made about overall health.
It is easy to notice the coating on the tongue--how to interpret the coating, (and several other important pieces of information the tongue is trying to tell us; such as the cracks, the color and so forth), is a good job for a seasoned Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. Contact Saumya Ayurveda for a free phone consultation.
Tongue Scraping Benefits - Who is It Good For? Vata, Pitta and Kapha Types
Tongue scraping is a great place to start integrating Ayurveda's 5,000 years’ worth of wisdom and tools for your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Let's face it, no matter how careful we are, we're constantly exposed to toxins in our food and the environment in which we live. If we are not digesting, assimilating, and eliminating optimally--we're in our own metabolic waste.
Got stress? Add that under the category of emotional toxins. When these various forms of toxins, or ama, are not digested sufficiently, it negatively impacts our health and wellbeing. In other words--we feel it! Peruse 30 Reasons Why You Need an Ayurveda Emotional Detox and How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing.
Some (not all) Signs of Ama
Difficulty thinking clearly
Soft serve consistency stools to urgent diarrhea
Feeling older than you are
Exhausted, fatigues, tired all the time, no get up and go
General sense of heaviness and dullness
High blood pressure
Strange taste in the mouth
Low libido, low vitality
Systemic, thick coating of ama.
What is Ama in Ayurveda?
Systemic ama means toxins or undigested metabolic waste. Think of ama as all the stuff we don't want to hang around inside of us. Physically ama is LDL/bad cholesterol, germs, and undigested, and unabsorbed food. Ama can accumulate in the body and mind due to weak digestion, poor elimination, consuming foods that are incorrect for us personally, and from our lifestyle choices.
Ama gunks up the channels in our body and interferes with nutrients getting to where they need to go on a cellular level, and ama interferes with the removal of waste. Can you imagine walking around with trash in your car for weeks, months, and even years? According to Ayurveda, ama is the precursor to disease! It's easy to see why it's important to remove ama.
“I feel much, much better. Amazing. Digestive issues are totally 100% gone. Not an issue at all. I feel great! Blood sugar and lifelong sinus issues, much better. I Feel Ten Years Young and at 76, that really matters." -Kathy B., Minneapolis, MN
Tongue Scraping for Beginners - How to Use a Tongue Scraper
The best time to do tongue scraping is in the morning after brushing your teeth. Think of this as tongue cleaning, a gentle process and not an aggressive scraping action to remove ama..
1. Upon rising, observe your tongue.
2. Hold the tongue scraper gently lightly between the index finger and thumbs, or lightly as shown in the photo.
3. Extend the tongue out and lightly place the scarper as far as back as feels good, not gagging. In time, you will likely discover you are able to go further back with the tongue scraper.
4. Gently, lightly, and don’t push down, glide the scraper forward from back of the tongue to the front.
5. This removes, ama, the unwanted coating.
6. Rinse the tongue scraper, and repeat as needed, possibly up to 5 times. Remember, gently glide the scraper lightly across the tongue, don't push down.
“Veena has been great. I suffered with burning mouth syndrome for many years. Doctors and dentists had no idea what I was even talking about, much less solutions. Veena knew immediately. Within in a few weeks of using the herbs and protocols she recommended, I am not experiencing any of the symptoms I did previously. And, my thinking is clearer, I am nearly free from hot flashes, and I feel more like myself.
Everything has been easy to incorporate into my life, which is the best part. This feels sustainable. I highly recommend working with Veena.” – Liz Pfeffer, Albuquerque, New Mexico
“Saumya Ayurveda has helped me to become reborn. With Veena’s help, I have become more than ADHD.
What I experienced with Veena allowed me, not only a general understanding of health, but sparked a lifelong journey to use my knowledge to advance the acceptance of Ayurveda as a needed modality of health. This is a feat, considering I had difficulty focusing and digestive issues only four short years ago.
Veena is a skilled healer with a solution to fit all.” --Jessica B. Naturopath, Molecular Scientist, Medical School Student, New York City
“Veena has literally changed my life. I was struggling with mental and physical symptoms that my doctor had no answer for. I thought I was going crazy and just making symptoms up.
With Veena’s guidance, with herbs and diet changes, I soon realized that my symptoms were very real. After making the changes, I made small victories along the way, and became better with each appointment with her.
Now almost 6 months later, I am a completely different person. I still have some things to work on, but with Veena’s help, I know I will be able to take control of my health and not leave it to Western medicine that was giving me little to no help and covering up my symptoms with another medication.
I highly encourage getting the longer, especially if you are working with challenges with your monthly cycle. Working with Veen has been the best decision I have made for my health. You won’t be disappointed!” -- Maria Fumagalli, San Diego, California
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Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.
She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.
Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.
These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.
She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.
An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.