Why the ancient art of tongue scraping remains the height of selfcare.
With its roots dating back to ancient times, tongue scraping – or “jihwa prakshalana” in Sanskrit -- is nothing new. But its recent resurgence – whether on TikTok (the hashtag has approximately 35 million views) or at your local health shop -- has teleported the practice right back into our awareness and bathrooms.
Your tongue might not be front of mind when it comes to selfcare, but it is said to hold great spiritual power. Ancient modalities like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda maintain your tongue’s state is like a mirror to your inner health, with practitioners often using it to assess and diagnose overall health. Believe it or not, professional ‘tongue diagnosers’ are an actual thing! Colour, coating, shape and moisture are all considered key indicators of inner imbalances and health issues due to the fact the tongue –– much like the feet –– is linked to different internal organs.
Scraping your tongue first thing is said to help remove bacteria, dead cells, fungi, and toxins from the surface of the tongue that have accumulated in your mouth while asleep. It can also give you hints about your health, particularly your gut. For example a thick, white coating might suggest poor digestion or a build-up of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract. Comparatively, a red or inflamed tongue might be associated with inflammation or irritation in the gut.
When we slumber, our bodies are busily getting to work on healing, cleaning and generally sprucing things up within for optimal functioning. During this time, our system is eradicating waste and this can end up on our tongues.If we don’t scrape, these toxins get reabsorbed and this can lead to respiratory, digestive and immune issues.
Dental research has concluded that a tongue scraper is effective in removing toxins and bacteria from the tongue. Although brushing and flossing will loosen and move debris around, they do not actually remove the bacteria. Almost half of our oral bacteria live on and in the deep crevices of our tongue; the scraping action of a tongue scraper collects these toxic tongue coatings (which can range in color from clear, white, yellow, or green) and removes them from the body.
How it’s done
While standing in front of your mirror, poke out your tongue and place the scraper as far back onto your tongue as possible. Scrape the surface of your tongue in one long stroke. Rinse your scraper and repeat a handful of times until it’s feeling brand new.
Why you should
1. Optimal oral hygiene + health: Tongue scraping helps remove the bacteria and debris that can accumulate on the tongue's surface. This can lead to fresher breath and a cleaner feeling mouth. Regular tongue scraping can also contribute to overall oral health by reducing the amount of bacteria in the mouth. This can potentially lead to a lower risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral infections.
2. Better breath: The bacteria that accumulates on the tongue are a major contributor to bad breath. By regularly removing this bacteria through tongue scraping, you can help reduce or prevent halitosis.
3. Tastier meals: A clean tongue may improve your ability to taste flavours by removing the build-up that can dull taste buds.
4. Improved digestive health: According to traditional Ayurvedic medicine, tongue scraping improves digestion by removing toxins.
5. Reduction in bacterial load: The tongue can harbor a significant amount of bacteria, some of which can be harmful. By regularly scraping the tongue, you may reduce the bacterial load in your mouth.
The information in this article is not intended to be taken as medical advice. We recommend consulting your Healthcare Professional for advice on your supplement routine. Always read the label and follow the directions for use.