TONGUE SCRAPING FOR BETTER HEALTH HEALTH (JIHWA PRAKSHALANA)
Ayurveda prescribes numerous practices which when incorporated in day to day life, promote better living and better health. Tongue scraping, known in Ayurveda as Jihwa Prakshalana, is one such practice with numerous health benefits. The western world is also catching on to the proven results shown by tongue scraping, something which has been a part of ayurveda for centuries!
Tongue scraping is a way of removing toxins from the tongue every morning and night along with our daily brushing activity. The reason for this is the fact that the tongue has a thin film of toxins accumulating every day on its surface. This might manifest itself in the form of a white coating. Depending on dosha, the colour may vary. Kapha dosha is often indicated by a thick, white coating, pitta dosha is often yellow and vata dosha is seen as a brown film. These accumulated toxins are called “ama” in Ayurveda.
The tongue is believed to be indicative of the entire human body according to ayurvedic texts. Each part of the tongue is representative of one part of the body. Therefore, by scraping the tongue, it is possible to evaluate overall health and body functioning. It also stimulates the various parts of the body. Clogged taste buds can also cause weird food cravings and dull down the taste of food drastically.
BENEFITS OF TONGUE SCRAPING
- Tongue scraping has been proven to reduce bacteria in the mouth. Merely brushing the tongue with a toothbrush does not have the same effectiveness. A tongue scraper removes about 80% more ama than a regular toothbrush.
- It leads to fresher breath and overall improvement in mouth hygiene.
- Taste buds are cleansed thereby improving perception of taste, allowing us to choose the right food to eat without being obstructed by ama.
- Improves digestion. This is because the tongue recognizes the food being consumed and prompts the brain on how to break it down. With ama coating the tongue, the tongue is not always able to identify the right food and this might cause disruption to digestion or poor digestive process.
- It boosts immunity by removing bacteria every morning to prevent reabsorption of toxins into the body.
- Tongue scraping is also an effective way of tracking health. The type of ama is indicative of any imbalance in doshas, inappropriate diet, and more.
HOW TO SCRAPE THE TONGUE
Use a stainless steel or copper tongue scraper. Avoid plastic ones are these are harder to maintain.
- As soon as you wake up, before brushing your teeth, use the tongue scraper over your tongue and scrape backwards and forwards along the length of the tongue.
- The toxins will be caught in the scraper. Rinse the tongue scraper after every iteration.
- Repeat this about 10 times.
- Rinse the mouth with water and follow up with brushing and flossing.
Oil pulling is also recommended to further deep clean the mouth and remove all traces of toxins.