5 Benefits of Tongue Scraping You Would Never Think of

Plus How to Scrape Your Tongue

A white coating on the tongue is an indicator of undigested waste or toxins.

Right now look at your tongue. Does it have a coating? Tongue coating can tell you a lot about the health of your body and how well it is eliminating toxins. Keep reading to discover the benefits of tongue scraping. Scraping the tongue is a very important useful practice that I highly recommend and it doesn't take but 30 seconds!

Tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic self-care practice. This hygiene practice removes toxins and volatile sulfur compounds from the surface of the tongue. If these toxins are not removed, they get reabsorbed by the body and can lead to health symptoms.

The Benefits of Tongue Scraping

1. Tongue scraping improves digestion and keeps your internal organs healthy

The benefits of tongue scraping go far beyond overall oral health, hygiene, and fresh breath.

Digestion begins on the Tongue

Did you know the digestive process starts on the tongue? If your tongue is coated then it cannot signal the right digestive enzymes to properly digest food.  Scraping your tongue is also a way of healing and improving your digestion.

Dental research proves that scraping your tongue is more effective at removing waste than tongue brushing. If you brush your tongue, you are just pushing bacteria back and forth. So if you want to successfully remove the bacteria, use tongue cleaners!

When you scrape your tongue, you make your taste buds more sensitive. Tongue cleaning allows food to taste better and also aids your digestive process.

In Ayurveda, if you have a properly working digestion system, you have built the cornerstone of your health. It is healthy digestion that protects your body against the accumulation and elimination of toxins and waste.

the benefits of tongue scraping

2. Tongue Scraping Provides Fresh Breath and Oral Hygiene

Having fresh clean breath and oral hygiene should be a top priority. Bad breath, or halitosis, can change your opinion of a person in an instant! It can have a huge negative impact on your life. In fact, it can ruin a relationship, as well as your self-esteem.

Sometimes, bad breath is the result of gum disease, infections or a periodontal problem. But most cases of halitosis are a result of naturally occurring bacteria at the very back of the tongue.

This part of the tongue collects tiny remains of food, remnants of postnasal drip, etc., and provides a place for dead cells and bacteria to breed. These are the things that create periodontal problems and the accumulation of plaque, gum ailments, and tooth decay.

Yet, bacteria form a necessary part of the body's natural flora. When everything is in balance, the natural flora helps to protect us from other potential problems. Good oral hygiene helps to keep the bacteria in check so that the bacteria can serve their purpose without causing problems. The result is better health and fresher breath.

Many people believe that it's enough to just brush their tongue with a toothbrush. But actually, a toothbrush is designed to clean your teeth, not your tongue.

By using a tongue scraper to scrape your tongue, you gently dislodge bacteria as well as its food source. Clinical studies show that using a tongue scraper daily reduces anaerobic bacteria that cause oral problems and bad breath.

3. Tongue Scraping Improves Your Sense of Taste

When you clean your tongue, you enhance your sense of taste and as you know, your digestion begins with taste. It’s this that supports the entire digestive process.

The different parts of the tongue have links to our lungs, stomach, heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, and also intestines. When you have a coating on your tongue, it is indicative of toxins present and is preventative of proper digestion and good health.

A tongue scraper removes the toxins from your tongue. And at the same time, it stimulates, massages, and cleans the deep body tissues and the associated organs.

benefits of tongue scraping

4. It impacts your overall health

Ayurveda uses tongue diagnosis as a window into the rest of your body’s internal organs and how they are functioning.

The tongue is a reflection of the health of all our vital organs, our systemic imbalances, as well as any improvements. All these are reflected on the surface of our tongues. When we use a tongue scraper on a daily basis, we allow ourselves to be aware of any changes that might indicate any variations in our health.

5. Scraping will signal if toxins are present in your body

Our bodies are constantly exposed to toxins – whether these come from the food we eat or the beverages we drink, the environment, and even from unresolved emotions – these can all lead to toxicity.

When the toxins aren’t properly digested and eliminated, they start to stagnate in the body. They begin to compromise our health and wellbeing.

Signs that toxins are accumulating in your body will show up as a coating on the tongue:

If you have any of these, there's a good chance you have some level of toxicity in your system.

  • Your breath will smell bad
  • You might have mental fog and even confusion
  • You might feel weak with general body aches
  • Your appetite is reduced
  • You suffer from constipation
  • You have diarrhea and bloating
  • You suffer from fatigue

Make tongue scraping a daily habitual routine

By adding a tongue scraper to your self-care routine, you are clearing toxins that have accumulated in your mouth overnight.

The tongue scraper's gentle massage will awaken your internal organs and stimulate digestion.

What's the Best Tongue Scraper?

The best investment you can make is to buy tongue scrapers made from copper or stainless steel. Most Ayurvedic practitioners recommend copper over stainless steel because:

  • Copper tongue scrapers will last you many years if you care for them properly. Always make sure to rinse after use and periodically soak in vinegar to remove any build-up.
  • Copper is known to fight bacteria.

Stainless steel tongue scrapers are usually a bit more affordable than copper ones. They will also last for years if you care for them properly.

In my honest opinion, avoid plastic tongue scrapers at all costs! If you are scraping your tongue with plastic (made from fossil fuels, remember they contain hazardous chemicals, including endocrine disruptors.

If you want a DIY tongue scraper, try using a spoon instead. It's not a bad alternative, but the shape is not designed for efficiency like a proper tongue-scraping tool.

benefits of tongue scraping
Copper tongue scrapers are better than metal tongue scrapers because they are naturally anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.

How to Scrape Your Tongue

You should, ideally, use a tongue scraper every day. The best time would be first thing in the morning before brushing your teeth and when your stomach is empty.

  • You hold the two ends of your tongue scraper in both hands.
  • Then you extend your tongue, placing the tongue scraper on the surface, as far back as you comfortably can.
  • Next, gently pull the tongue scraper forward – this will remove the unwanted coating from the tongue surface.
  • Rinse your tongue scraper and repeat the process around 7-14 times.

Some people feel a gag reflex when using the tongue scraper and sometimes even have the urge to vomit. But using a tongue scraper does get easier as you go along.

Try and relax your tongue if you experience this uncomfortable feeling or try and exhale while using it. Don’t be over aggressive when using it either, because you can cause a bit of temporary damage to your taste buds. Gentle strokes will remove the coating from the tongue without harming any underlying tissue.

Make scraping your tongue part of your daily routine. The body likes the predictability of doing the same time of thing at the same time on a daily basis.

benefits of tongue scraping
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Written by Jackie Parker

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