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When visiting an Ayurvedic Practitioner, he or she will ask you to stick out your tongue.  This isn’t to look at the back of your throat, as a western doctor might do, but to actually look at the tongue itself.  We can learn a lot from the tongue.  This is an organ that serves two purposes – it is the organ of speech, and it also a sensory organ that perceives taste.  From the tongue, a skilled practitioner can get information about the whole body.  A vata tongue is thin, small, and often a little dry.  A pitta tongue is broad at the base and tapered at the apex.  A kapha tongue is large, round, glossy, thick and wet.  If a tongue is pale in color, this indicates anemia.  A yellowish tongue may indicate jaundice, or some type of liver dysfunction.  A green tongue indicates a gallbladder disorder.  A blue or purple tongue is indicative of heart problems.  A central line near the tip of the tongue indicates pain in the upper spine, and two lines shows pain in the upper neck area; both of these are common vata disorders.  A healthy tongue will look clean and pink, with no white coating.  Many people have a slight coating on the back of the tongue, which indicates toxins in the color.  Digestion continues through the night, so it is a good idea to scrape the tongue early in the morning to massage the areas related to the digestive organs.

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