Did you know there is a layer of toxins that forms on your tongue every morning?

The best way to get rid of these poisons is tongue scraping, or cleaning - probably not something you’ve ever heard of unless you’ve done an Ayurvedic detox or spent some time in India.

The tradition, which involves dragging a U-shaped tongue scraper across your tongue (ideally made of copper), helps with everything from improving oral hygiene to clearing toxins from the body.

If you’re not convinced, here are a few more reasons why you might want to give tongue scraping a go - it just takes a few seconds.

What are the benefits of tongue scraping?

The benefits of tongue scraping are much more than just oral hygiene and fresh breath. In Ayurveda digestion is the starting point of health - it’s how our bodies get the nourishment for our tissues and ultimately our whole state of consciousness.

Your tongue is your individual health blueprint. It is a fantastic gauge of your health, in particular, your digestive system and liver. If, when you look in the mirror, you see your tongue is coated with a white, brown, yellow or green substance it can mean you have poor digestion, a sluggish liver or there are toxins in your bowel. If you don’t get rid of the toxins on your tongue, they will keep re-circulating in your body.

We need to protect our bodies from an accumulation of ama (toxins) and the proper elimination of our bodies waste. Cleaning the tongue also improves taste, and since digestion starts with the taste, this actually kick-starts the digestive process.

Different parts of the tongue are related to different organs in the body – for example the heart, the lungs, the stomach, kidneys and intestines. By massaging the tongue it stimulates and massages the associated organs and deep tissues.

So, how do you do it?

1. To be done first thing in the morning.

2. Stick out your tongue.

3. Place the scraper as far back on the tongue as comfortable.

4. Gently pull the scraper from the back to the front 3-5 times and then three times each on either side.

5. Make sure you wash your scraper afterwards and replace it

If you want to purchase a tongue scraper, you can get one here.

Discovering toxin build up

We live in a toxic world and are exposed to over 2 million substances that are known to be toxic to the human body and have 25,000 new toxins added to our environment every year - even with a healthy diet and just modest amounts of caffeine and alcohol, we are slammed with a cocktail of chemicals and toxins day in and day out.

The tongue can be used as a real window into the internal workings of the body, as it reflects the health of many of the bodies internal organs. When I examine a patient, it’s quite possible to check the overall internal stage of balance just by examining their tongue.

A coating on the tongue indicates that there are toxins reducing effective digestion. When you’re healthy, following a good diet and getting enough exercise, or after an Ayurvedic detox, you’ll notice that there will be significantly reduced coating on your tongue in the morning.

Periodic detoxing, or cleansing, is the best way to re-set and re-charge your body for long term health. A detox can range from a gentle one-day program through to a 7-day gut health program or even 28-day whole body re-set, depending on the your goals and circumstance.