January 30, 2016

Identification of disease through tongue | Traditional Chinese Medicine

Tongue is powerful muscular organ, located in the oral cavity and participates in the digestion process. 

By all indications, the tongue in human medicine does not take greater diagnostic significance and there is no efficient value in the diagnosis of a disease in the body.



What is the basis of tongue diagnostics of traditional Chinese Medicine?


In traditional Chinese medicine, diagnosis is based precisely on determining the content, shape, color and quality of the tongue itself. 

Any change in the tongue is a certain symptom and represents a specific organ or system of organs.

Why Chinese medicine takes tongue as a diagnostic tool?


In Chinese medicine, tongue is considered as a sensitive organ, which contains a lot of water, mucus, enzymes, electrolytes and in accordance with changes in the tongue is related and changes to specific organs in the body.


In Chinese medicine, tongue is considered as a sensitive organ, which contains a lot of water, mucus, enzymes, electrolytes.   

Once we've told, the tongue is a mirror through which we learn what is going on inside our bodies.

What is the normal appearance of the tongue?


In order to establish a diagnosis through tongue, we need to know how should look like normal and healthy tongue.

Characteristics of normal and healthy tongue are: color is light red to pink; the tongue is muscular, without the presence of teeth marks or changes in color. Surface of the tongue is coated with a thin off-white blanket that is created due to the secretion of saliva.

How it looks like changed tongue? | Changes and parts of tongue as a diagnostic mirror


During the examination of tongue in traditional Chinese medicine, it is necessary to do some things before the examination. 

This means that you should not eat before the examination, the examination needs to be done in the morning and consuming of any beverage is forbidden.

During the examination of tongue, it follows the overall appearance (color, size, curvature of the top and edges, papillae, mobility, quality of tongue and state obstructed). 

The attention is also pay to the underside of the tongue, where are most pronounced veins.

1. Color of tongue


We have already noted that the normal color of a healthy tongue is light red to pink. 

What is the color of the changed tongue to diagnose an illness?


Increased red


This color symbolizes fire. According to Chinese energy medicine, Yang is on the rise and Ying is declining. 

In medical terms, this color indicates that somewhere in the body is presence an increase body temperature, or any sore spots. 

The diagnosis: inflammation, infection or plethora.

Purple tongue (dark blue and purple)


In this case there is also a rise of Yang and decline of Yin, or the presence of fire. 

In this case, it is present the retention of blood in the body that corresponds topographically to part of the tongue in which it visible violet color. 

Diagnosis: acute purulent infections, chronic nephritis, dehydration due to bacterial infection.

Scarlet red


Strong red color occurs in strong febrile conditions, high temperatures, blood stasis in the lungs and hypoxia.


What is the color of the changed tongue to diagnose an illness?


2. Appearance of tongue


Coarse tongue


It occurs in chronic diseases and febrile conditions, where there is a lack of water in the body and where there is dehydration.

Smooth tongue


In this situation, the main symbol is Yin, and there is a lack of temperature and condition of milder blood trails or anemia.

Shaggy tongue


Dominating symbol is Yang and there is a heat and moisture reduction.

• Swollen tongue papillae on the surface


The existence of a febrile illness, inflammation, infection.


• Teeth marks on the tongue


In this case, the affected organ is spleen and its weak activity is concerned.


3. Mobility of tongue


Stiff tongue - heat
Flabby tongue - chronic disease, tumor
Curved tongue - liver disease

4. The external surface of the tongue


• The external surface of the tongue is thickened, very white and smelly - weakened immunity, candidiasis.

• The external surface of the tongue is yellow - the existence of inflammatory processes within the body and infection.

• Layer over tounge surface is fatty consistence - problems with liver, fatty liver; rotten layer that really stinks - indigestion, dyspepsia.