The human body is an amazing creation. Even the “simplest” form of bacteria is a highly complex organism. The systems God created in our bodies work in conjunction to help us function and keep us healthy. There are certain health issues that produce visible symptoms in the body. Such symptoms often arise in areas other than the exact location of the problem. Ancient Chinese medicine experts believe that you can tell a lot about internal health by looking at the color of a person’s tongue. If you’re like most people, the only time you ever look at your tongue is while brushing your teeth. And, then, it’s likely only a quick glance in the mirror.
It might be worth taking a more thorough look at your tongue, particularly its color. Doing this on a periodic basis might produce different results. You might have what Chinese medicine practitioners would consider a “healthy” tongue color one day. However, a change in hue might suggest underlying adverse health issues another day. This post is not intended to give medical advice, only to share information that readers may disregard or explore further.
Absent poor health issues, your tongue is likely slightly pale and red
If you are in good health, your tongue is probably a pinkish color. Chinese medicine practitioners would specify the shade by calling it “slightly pale and red.” If your tongue changes in color, it is important to closely monitor it. Should the change last longer than a week or two, it’s advisable to seek medical examination.
According to ancient, natural medicine practices, your tongue should never be “too pale.” Whether it is very pale overall or only pale on the sides may have significant meaning regarding various possible health issues. For instance, if your whole tongue is really pale and appears dry, you might want to seek medical examination regarding the health of your blood supply. This appearance, say ancient medicine experts, often means that a person has a blood deficiency.
If your tongue is mostly pale on the sides or edges, something else, in addition to a blood deficiency, might be going on. If you also experience dry eyes and feel tired often, these symptoms might be pointing to a liver problem. Some types of liver problems cause a break down in red blood cells, which can result in production of bilirubin (a waste product). A high level of bilirubin will give the skin, and possibly, the tongue, a yellowish appearance.
Health issues indicated by a tongue that’s too red
If you’re in good health, your tongue, as mentioned earlier, is typically plump, moist and pinkish or slightly pale red in color. Too red of a hue might indicate health problems elsewhere in the body. We often associate the color red with heat. This is true, as well, in Chinese medicine health. If your tongue is too red (as opposed to palish red or pinkish) it might mean that there is a build-up of heat somewhere in your body. If the area of redness is more isolated at the tip of your tongue, it suggests an underlying issue with the heart. People with this condition reportedly also often struggle with insomnia or lucid (vivid) dreaming.
If your tongue is mostly bright red in the middle, it is said to correspond with your abdominal region. A red center on the tongue indicates a collection of heat in the stomach, which would indicate digestive trouble. Just as pale sides on the tongue warrant medical examination of the liver, red sides are another symptom that often accompanies liver problems. Red sides on your tongue may also mean there’s too much heat in your gallbladder.
Poor blood circulation could cause your tongue too turn purple
Blood must constantly circulate throughout your body in order for you to be healthy. A stagnation of blood indicates adverse health issues. If you notice that your tongue has turned purple and it’s not subsiding within a couple of days, it’s worth further investigation. There could be blood stagnation somewhere in your body. In fact, a purple tongue is often present in people with heart problems or Kawasaki disease. This disease causes inflammation of blood vessels. The cause of the disease has never been determined.
People suffering from Kawasaki disease might experience high fever, rashes or peeling skin. Thankfully, there are treatments available, and the disease is not contagious.
If you’re a woman who often suffers from painful menstruation or ovarian cysts, these conditions might present other symptoms in the body, including a purple tongue.
Red means heat, blue means cold
If your blood isn’t getting enough oxygen, your internal body temperature will be too cold. Instead of having a red or pinkish colored tongue, if you have a blood-oxygen supply problem, your tongue is likely to take on a blue color. Interestingly, people who have Eczema often have blue tongues. Lack of oxygen in the lungs, blood vessel health issues, as well as kidney disease or other blood disorders may present a blue tongue symptom. Oxygen deprivation is considered a serious health issue that would merit immediate medical attention.
These are just a few of many tongue colors that suggest an underlying health problem. The texture and overall appearance/size of the tongue can also help identify numerous adverse health issues. This article provides a much more in depth look at tongue health in relation to internal organ health and various traditional Chinese medicine diagnoses that can be made by examining the appearance of the tongue.
More and more people are realizing the importance of boosting immune systems and making lifestyle and diet changes to promote better health. One of our writers here on The Hot Mess Press shared this post a while back that’s definitely worth your time if you’re looking for natural ways to improve your health.