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Tongue Diagnosis in Oriental Medicine

Tongue analysis is one of the diagnostic foundations of oriental medicine. It is said that the tongue is an internal organ that we can actually see. So observing the size, color, shape and overall quality of the tongue provides practitioners of oriental medicine with essential information about the current health of the body.

Ideally the tongue has a strong pink color and a light coating. The human body, however, alive in nature, and struggling to survive, is always going out of balance. So one hardly ever sees the perfect tongue presentation. Even so, seeing the signs and details of imbalance in the tongue allows the practitioner to serve the restoration of balance.

Some Basic Tongue Patterns

Pink tongue body with light coating is a normal and healthy sign.

Bright red tongue indicates pernicious heat in the body.

Very pale tongue indicates possible pernicious cold, qi or blood deficiency.

Thick yellow coating indicates pernicious heat and or the onset of acute illness.

Dark grey or black coating indicates severe imbalance.

One of the virtues of oriental medicine lies with its ability to observe patterns of imbalance in detail. This allows the practitioner to understand the past and present health of the body and to predict to some degree future imbalances. There actually was a time when China’s barefoot doctors were paid to keep people well.

In this modern era, digital tongue photographs, magnified on the computer, allows the practitioner to evaluate the health and well being of the client, even at a distance. It used to be taught in western medical schools that any physician, who listens to the patient for one hour will understand ninety per cent of the imbalance.

At Traditional Botanical Medicine we have been serving our clients, near and far through digital tongue evaluation and a consultation – either in person or on the phone.


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