Ayurvedic Ritual: What is Tongue Scraping? Jihwa Prakshalana
Ayurveda tells us the tongue is the first organ of digestion and the mirror to all the organs of the body. The tongue is an important tool of Ayurvedic diagnosis. The appearance of the tongue reveals the health condition of the entire body. When you look on your tongue, it’s an opportunity for self-awareness. If you see a thick coating of different color, it means you are accumulating toxins from the last several days, months or years. Tongue scraping is an ancient ritual of personal hygiene and self-care for the removal of toxins i.e. bacteria, viruses, food debris and fungi from the surface of the tongue.
Why Do Tongue Scraping?
Our tongue is important not only for the sense of taste. It also performs the function of filtering toxins from our food intake. The toxins in the food are filtered and they remain in our tongue and should be removed daily.
While we sleep, our digestive system remains awake and is busy removing toxins from our body. By this process, toxins are excreted and deposited onto the surface of our tongue. If we fail to regularly scrape them away, they get reabsorbed into the body and lead to problems in the respiratory and digestive systems.
When to do Tongue Scraping?
This Ayurvedic ritual should be done on a regular basis in the morning upon rising, while the stomach is still empty.
How to do Tongue Scraping?
According to Ayurveda, tongue scrapers which are U shaped and made of gold, silver, copper, tin or brass are effective. The tongue scraper should not be sharp.
With a relaxed tongue, using your U shaped tongue scraper, gently reach to the back of the tongue and scrape the tongue from back to front. Repeat this 5-10 times, rinsing the scraper after each pass.
Other Health Benefits
- Treatment of bad breath, halitosis, low appetite, anorexia or poor appetite
- Improves dental and gum health
- Beauty, peaceful and calm mind
- Activates saliva production and helps Agni (digestive fire)
- Boosts immunity and ojas (vigour or life energy).