Throughout various cultures in the world there are daily practices which are considered indispensable in order to maintain optimal health. In American society, brushing the teeth first thing in the morning is considered one of those absolute “do not miss.” In the Orient, especially wherever Ayurveda is practiced, tongue scraping is considered equally important as teeth brushing.
Because of what takes place in your mouth during a night’s sleep, it’s quite important that the tongue be scraped first thing each and every morning. There are different reasons for performing this health practice, as the following excerpt describes.
“Tongue scraping removes the nightly accumulations of toxins which inevitably coat the morning tongue. Don’t brush them off as they will only be pushed into the the top layer of the tongue.
If the tongue is coated with a white film in the morning it is a sign of the accumulation of toxins in the small intestine, large intestine and/or stomach. The location on the tongue will indicate which parts of the GI tract are dealing with the most toxicity.” (Source: 3 Morning Essentials — EVERYDAY!)
How to Scrape Your Tongue Correctly
The silver tongue scraper in the photo below is very simply used by gently dragging it across the surface of the top of the tongue — from back to front — over the bathroom sink with warm water running for rinsing the scraper. Doing this a few times removes the white furry tongue growth which inevitably builds up after a night’s sleep.
This daily process is then followed by thoroughly rinsing the mouth out with water. Swishing the water around well a few times serves to remove all the white fur that coats the tongue. Tongue scraping should be performed before brushing the teeth.
Wherever Ayurveda is taught, this necessary hygiene practice is often followed by an oil pulling session for 5 to 10 minutes. Thus completes the oral hygiene that many people around the world would never miss doing even for a day.
There are actually five very good reasons for daily tongue scraping
#1 Improves the breath
#2 Improves your ability to taste
#3 Avoid toxins being reabsorbed into your body
#4 Improves dental health
#5 Get to know your tongue
(Source: 5 Reasons to Scrape Your Tongue Every Day)
The last reason — number 5 — can be particularly helpful for anyone dealing with chronic degenerative disease or a multi-infection syndrome. The tongue actually maps the body in such a way that imbalanced or diseased locations (organs, tissues, etc.) can be identified. Both Ayurvedic physicians and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners are trained to diagnose various ailments according to the condition of the tongue.
The more you get to know your tongue – particularly any changes which occur over time – the more tongue analysis can be used as part of one’s self care program.
Tongue scraping ought to be conducted every day as part of morning hygiene. Scraping the tongue is really just as important a practice as teeth brushing, although Western society has not yet embraced it as a regular hygiene habit.
For anyone who is doubtful about the efficacy of such a novel practice, please consider the following more detailed explanation of number 3 listed above — “Avoid toxins being reabsorbed into your body”
“As you sleep, your body is detoxifying. Much of the film on your tongue is toxins excreted from your body. You don’t want to re-ingest that do you? NO! Scraping your tongue first thing in the morning will remove this sludge from your tongue and from your body, improving your over all health and improving your immune system.”