How to Observe Health Problems Through the Tongue

How to Observe Health Problems Through the Tongue

Chinese medicine has a myriad of diagnostic techniques that noticeably depart from mainstream medical practices. One of the slightly unusual practices Chinese medicine practitioners use is diagnosing health problems by examining the patient's tongue. They feel that by scrutinizing several aspects of the patient's tongue, including shape, appearance and texture, they can gain an insight into the health, well being and spiritual balance of the patient's entire body.


Determine the color of the tongue. These colors can range from pale and pink to deep red, purple or blue. The "normal" color is a pinkish red. Pale can indicate anemia and too red can mean that parts of the body are working too hard.


Examine the shape and tone of the tongue. Look for swelling, cracks and teeth marks along the side. Also note if the tongue seems too flaccid or too rigid. Cracks can indicate heart disorders. A flaccid tongue can indicate blood deficiencies. Most importantly, a rigid tongue can indicate the beginning stages of a stroke.


Inspect the covering of the tongue. There's much to observe when it comes to the coating of the tongue. First, determine if there is a coating. Then examine the color and thickness of the coating. Finally, note the distribution of the coat. It should be even throughout the entire tongue. If the coating is concentrated in certain areas, it can indicate imbalances in certain parts of the body.


Correlate the areas of the tongue to the areas of the body. Certain regions of the tongue correspond with certain systems and organs in the body in Chinese medicine. For example, the tip of the tongue corresponds with the heart and lungs, the middle to the stomach and spleen, the sides to the liver and gall bladder, and the back to the kidneys, bladder and intestines.