What Can Your Tongue Tell You About Your Health?


The tongue can reveal a great deal about your health. So stick out your tongue and begin.

A white coating

Is your tongue coated? A white coating can indicate digestive problems. Poor digestion can make it hard for nutrients to be absorbed, so the body isn’t getting the best out of the food you eat. Herbs known as “bitter” herbs help improve digestion e.g. Wood Betony (Stachys Betonica), Wormwood (Artemisia absinthum).


A creamy coating
A creamy coating suggests over-acidity, due to an unsuitable diet and/or stress. You may need to make changes to your diet to foods that suit you better. Definitely stop excess sugar. Eat more slowly to help breakdown all foods, especially carbohydrates (vegetables, starchy foods, breads, grains, rice). You may need help to identify foods which cause your body to react with increased acidity. Herbs such as meadowsweet help decrease acidity.


If you are feeling stressed you may be deficient in the B Vitamins, magnesium or high quality fats. There are a wide range of herbs which can help your body cope with, and recover from stress.


A strawberry coloured tongue

A strawberry coloured tongue (red with small white spots) points to a lack of calcium which is needed for bones, teeth and nail growth. Calcium may be low at any time of growth, including pregnancy. It may be low where there are menopausal or premenstrual problems. It is not only found in milk, but also in tofu and pulses, such as chickpeas, nuts, and seeds, and green vegetables.


Teeth marks at the sides of the tongue

Teeth marks at the sides of the tongue reveal a problem with fluid balance in the body, and possible suboptimal liver function. Drink more water to help fluid balance. Any foods in the onion family will help support the liver, e.g. garlic, leeks and onions. Many herbs also support the liver and can help with fluid balance. The herb dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) will help support both the liver and fluid balance.


Red Tip of the tongue

You may be low in Iron if the tip of the tongue is red. The body uses iron when there is any inflammation. It helps the body to use oxygen to break down disease waste products, and supply oxygen and energy to the muscles. So eat more meat, vegetables, eggs, pumpkin seeds and apricots.


Quivering Tongue
If you stick out your tongue and notice it quivering, magnesium is likely to be low. We need magnesium to relax both mentally and physically. A craving for sweet foods espescially chocolate is a sign that magnesium is low, however, chocolate and sweet foods deplete magnesium. Instead relax and eat lots of green leafy vegetables and almonds, and consider using a supplement of magnesium. I recommend the Entire Katoa Food State form for high absorption and assimilation.



By drinking plenty of water you will make all these minerals more available to the body. Water is the vehicle that moves the minerals we need through the cell walls so they can be used by the body. Water is the transport too for all the waste products to leave the cell and be removed from the body.

During a consultation we look at the tongue to help assess how the body is working as a whole. The mineral deficiencies indicated on the tongue becomes even more relevant if the individual's iridology reading; nail assessment and symptoms also indicate them.


At Bay Health Clinic we use a combinations of changes in foods and drink, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, lifestyle changes and massage to help with a wide array of health problems.


Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation which will include a Tongue Analysis; if needed your naturopath will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best.  Call 07 571 3226 or email us: ask@bayhealth.nz


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