Most Western people ignore cleaning their tongue and when they do it, they just brush their tongues, which is not the best way of mouth hygiene. Tooth brush is made for teeth.
Brushing tongue just spread the thick coating. This thick coating sticks on the tongue and is one cause of halitosis (bad breath). This is like a tongue bacterial plaque and a reduction of saliva flowing is one cause of the thick coating. Ordinary tooth bushing does not succeed in removing these colonies of bacteria.
According to Ayurveda tongue cleaning is very important and should be part of our daily hygiene.
Charaka Samhita says, “The dirt which is collected at the root of the tongue creates obstructions in respiration and produces a bad smell, hence one should scrape the tongue.”
Food not well digested become Ama (wastes, toxins) on the tongue, as a whitish, yellowish or even a brownish coat, depending on the imbalanced Dosha and which food wasn’t well digested. If this coat is not cleaned everyday, there will be accumulation and tendency to create diseases, starting by halitosis. Specially in this case, it is recommended to scrap the tongue 3 to 5 times a day and to drink one liter of warm or hot water in small sips during the day.
Yogis have been practicing this hygiene by scraping their tongues for thousands years and Ayurveda has taught that tongue cleaning not only eliminates wastes (Ama), but also stimulates the salivary glands (which aids in our digestion) and it revitalizes the throat. Sinus infections can also benefit from cleaning the tongue.
There are many kinds of tongue cleaners made of: gold, silver, copper, stainless steel, bamboo and plastic, but Ayurveda never recommends plastic. If you don’t find any of them, it is possible to use a small stainless spoon. The cleaning should start from back to the tip of your tongue.
Some more benefits:
- Prevents joint diseases, where Ama tends to accumulate.
- Improves freshness and good breath.
- Reduces toxins and bacteria on the tongue that cause bad breath.
- Enhances the sense of taste and saliva.
- Improves digestion.
- Stimulates the internal organs
- Prevents the passage of air, eliminating excess of mucous