Ancient Ayurvedic writings recommend tongue scraping as one of the keys to good health. However, this practice is only beginning to gain popularity in the Western world. Every time we eat or breathe, substances pass over or near the tongue on their way into our respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Keeping the tongue clean can have surprising effects on whole body health.
1. Improve Dental Health
We brush teeth to remove bacteria and debris from our teeth and gums. However, in actuality most bacteria are merely moved around. The tongue has many crevices where germs and the food particles that feed them can hide; in fact, up to half of the bacteria in the mouth is located on the tongue’s surface. Scraping your tongue can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and periodontal disease.
2. Aid Digestion
Ayurvedic tongue scraping has many benefits for digestion. First, a clean tongue will remove many of the toxins in food before they can enter our stomach and, later, our bloodstream. Second, tongue scraping encourages healthy saliva production, which is essential to good digestion. Last, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine believe that tongue scraping stokes agni, or the digestive fires, so that food is quickly and painlessly digested.
3. Detox Your System
A coated or discolored tongue is often the first sign that people are suffering from illnesses or have been exposed to toxins. Clearing the coating on the tongue by scraping removes some of these toxins. In addition, keeping your tongue clean allows you to see if there are changes in color or texture that can indicate other problems in your body.
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Mandish, Jillian; 5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs A Tongue Scraper; MindBodyGreen; Accessed April 16, 2015
Patel, Sheila; The Benefits of Tongue Scraping; Chopra; Accessed April 16, 2015