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The Importance Of Tongue Scraping

Like most people, you probably wake up in the morning with bad breath and a white coating on your tongue.  It’s pretty gross! The tongue is a breeding ground for bad bacteria and if you’re like most, you just brush over your tongue while you are brushing your teeth and don’t think much about it.

Well, according to Ayurveda - simply brushing your teeth, while an excellent morning and evening ritual, may not be ALL you can do to prevent disease - oral and otherwise!  

Scraping your tongue is just as important as brushing your teeth, according to The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, as all toxins begin in the mouth.  While you sleep, the bacteria, food debris, fungi, dead cells, toxins on the surface of your tongue builds. This is why you have morning breath. When you let bacteria accumulate, the toxicity spreads down your gastrointestinal tract to the rest of your body. This may cause weakened digestive and immune systems and decreased ability to assimilate nutrients, which may lead to weight gain, acne, illness, bloating, gas, constipation and other imbalances.  

Digestion begins the moment you put food in your mouth. Your mouth, including your tongue, lips, cheeks, roof of your mouth and even your throat contains taste receptors, which signal to your body what enzymes are needed to break down your food. Your body knows what enzymes it needs for starches vs proteins, etc. and if your tongue is coated with bacteria, your body doesn’t know what to do.  

In addition, according to some experts, taste bud activation from tongue scraping also engages the lower intestines to initiate a complete bowel elimination first thing in the morning. This is very important for detoxification so you can release stored-up waste in your bowels and get your digestive juices going in the morning.  

Tongue scraping also lowers the microbial load, which makes you more sensitive to tastes and the more you can taste your food, helps you become fuller faster - as your taste buds have been satisfied with what they are seeking - salt, sour, sweet, etc.

How To Scrape Your Tongue:

1) Invest in a stainless steel scraper. These are the safest!

2) Hold the scraper with one hand on each end

3) Look in a mirror and stick out your tongue.  Place the scraper at the back of the tongue.

4) Gently scrape the surface of your tongue in a long stroke from back to front.  There will be white mucus accumulation in the scraper.  I usually wash this off after each scrape.

5) Repeat 10 times

6) Rinse the scraper with water and store in a clean place.


A healthy tongue should be pink and have small nodules called papillae over the surface.  If it is not a healthy pink, there may be an unhealthy bacteria build up in your papillae.  

In short, tongue scraping improves your dental health, prevents gum infections and recessions, increases immunity, enhances saliva production to break down food, enhances taste buds, improves digestion, and promotes elimination, making it a great way to start your day!

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