Only now becoming popular in the Western world, this simple Ayurvedic morning ritual has many benefits for short-term and long-term health.
Tongue scraping should be done first thing in the morning upon arising; this ensures that the bacteria that has been gathering in the mouth overnight is removed before being swallowed into the digestive system. This ancient Ayurvedic self-care ritual is a way of removing ama from the body (ama refers to toxic residue that may have accumulated in the mind-body).
The tongue is the mirror to all the organs of the body. It is not only effective for removing bad breath and foul taste in the mouth, but It increases your taste perception, resulting in the taste of food being more satisfying. This usually results in eliminating the need for more sugar, salt, and spices added to your food. By increasing taste and removing Ama, this leads to improvement in digestion. Your immune system will also benefit due to the toxins not getting a chance to be absorbed into your body.
This ancient practice helps to stimulate the internal organs through energetic connections with the rest of the body. In addition, it increases clarity of the mind by reducing heaviness and Ama from the head. When your physical and emotional bodies are balanced, it allows you to expand your spiritual awakening as well.
Western medicine is now beginning to acknowledge coating on the tongue as a sign of poor health. By becoming aware each morning of how our tongue looks we get more of indication of our state of health.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, tongue scraping should be performed on a daily basis. The tongue should be gently scraped from back to front for 7 to 14 strokes. The scraper may be rinsed off between strokes if there is a lot of accumulation.
The Charaka Samhita states that “tongue scrapers should be made of gold, silver, copper, tin and brass and should be non-sharp and curved, so as not to injure the tongue”. Tongue scraping is suitable for everybody and is becoming increasingly popular because people actually notice the difference that it makes! They can be purchased for a very low cost in packs via E-bay, Indian grocery stores or most health food stores.