Tongue scraping, or Jihwa Prakshalana, has long been an important part of the recommended Ayurvedic daily routine. Have you ever noticed a film or coating (which can range in color from clear to white, yellow, or green) on your tongue in the morning? If so, your body may have a build-up of ama, or digestive impurities (the result of incomplete or inefficient digestion), that can compromise the digestive and immune systems. This simple, yet important, method of cleaning the tongue removes ama, the toxic coating or film, before it gets reabsorbed by the body.
If you are not scraping your tongue daily, read on to find out why this simple detox is so important.
Good Morning Mouth
Along with the removal of ama, tongue scraping will also eliminate nasty morning breath. At night, while you are sleeping, your digestive system is active, digesting food. If you ate too much dinner, or your digestion is weak, this shows up as a film of ama on your tongue. Your tongue is actually a marker for measuring good digestion and eating habits! You will notice that when your digestion is strong and you are eating properly, you will wake up in the morning with a healthy-looking, red-colored tongue and very little ama. Scraping your tongue first thing in the morning removes ama (impurities), leaving your mouth feeling fresh and clean. Try it for a month, and you'll never stop!
Digestion starts the minute food enters your mouth. The body and mind work together to tell the body just what you are eating and how to break it down. However, when the taste buds are blocked, food may be unrecognizable and the receptors in the tongue become unable to convey the right messages to your brain. A vicious circle of poor digestion starts. When the food you eat is not digested properly, ama is created. It builds up not only in the mouth but also in the body, where it clogs and blocks the flow of vital nutrients, hinders the transfer of information between all the various functions of the body, and can lead to occasional constipation. Tasting your food properly is an essential part of digestion. Tongue scraping cleans the taste buds on the tongue, allowing them to work efficiently and to send the right messages to your brain, strengthening the digestion process
The build-up of ama eventually weakens the immune system, and the tongue is the first line of defense in this system. Immunity is actually boosted from simply eliminating ama from the tongue. The removal of these toxins prevents them from being reabsorbed into the body, and allows the immune system to work more efficiently.
Here’s How to Scrape Your Tongue
- Each day, start the practice of tongue scraping after brushing your teeth first thing in the morning. (Don't forget to floss!)
- Grab your tongue cleaner. The vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda Tongue Cleaner is traditional sterling silver and designed for ease and efficiency. In a bind, the front of a silver spoon can be used in place of a tongue cleaner. Why silver? Silver is known for its antibacterial properties.
- Relaxing the tongue so that your scraper contacts maximum surface area, place the scraper as far back on the tongue as comfortable. Gently yet firmly, scrape the entire surface from back to front.
- Rinse the scraper well with hot water after each use.
- Repeat this process 5-7 times, until your tongue looks clean, and pinkish or red in color.
Gentle and natural purification treatments such as tongue scraping are a great way to maintain our foundation of good health. Jump start your digestion and immunity by cleaning your tongue daily!
You might also be interested in these vpk® by Maharishi Ayurveda products: Ayurdent Toothpaste — For healthy teeth and gums. Natural, holistic Ayurdent Toothpaste cleanses deeply to rid your teeth and mouth of toxins. Supports and nourishes teeth and gums. Does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.
Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) — A mild laxative, top-selling Organic Digest Tone gently purifies over time. Despite its powerful cleansing quality, it actually supports food absorption rather than depleting the body of nutrients. Organic Digest Tone promotes ojas, the finest product of digestion, which creates luster in the skin and rejuvenates vital energy. It is our flagship product and is considered a companion product to all herbals that you're taking, as it increases absorption of nutrients. Take all the probiotics you desire, but if the soil is not fertile, they won't grow. Bio-Immune — This top-selling herbal formula combines purifying herbs with nourishing minerals, including mica. The herbs and minerals in Bio-Immune help address the source of poor health and support the natural immune system without side effects.
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