I am slowly waking up from my deep winter hibernation to wish you all a happy new year. And so you’d have guessed I’m not referring to a new colour scheme for your wardrobe but mouth hygiene. Where’s the glamour in that? Better health begins this January. If we want to start the year the way we mean to carry on then now is as good a time as any to introduce a new habit. I would like you to consider a simple technique to do daily to help eliminate toxins and freshen up the breath: tongue scraping. New habits are more likely to stick if they can easily squeeze in to your schedule and are small but impactful which fits the picture perfectly.
Why do it?
The benefits are multiple and run deep.
Cleaning your tongue first thing in the morning is like brushing your teeth only it is even more important. Ayurveda makes it an essential practice. The body uses the tongue as a tool for detoxification. During sleep our digestive system continues to remove toxins from our body which will regularly show up on the tongue. Using a tongue scraper to cleanse the depot (ama) on your tongue will give you a fresh feeling and protect teeth from bacteria, removing both the bacteria and gunky phlegm that coats your tongue on waking – preventing them being re-absorbed. This supports your immune system. Scraping helps prevent bad breath and a side-effect is to improve the taste of foods when eaten by increasing your sense of taste. In “Ayurvedic tongue diagnosis” Walter Kacera D.N. Ph.D explains that using tongue scraping allows to use less toothpaste “which simply kills the mouth and throat flora, allowing those substances to reach the stomach and intestine”. So tongue scraping = taking in less nasties from your toothpaste.
Brushing your tongue with your toothbrush does not do the job as it will only move the bacteria and gunk around and you risk being too harsh. It is best to use a stain-steel tongue scraper which you can easily buy online. Holding each side of the scraper start at the back of the tongue and scrape gently towards the front 7 times to activate the tissue layers. The procedure is said to boost your digestion also by improving your tastebuds & causing saliva production. It decreases plaque, dead cells and oral debris.
Finally tongue scraping will also stimulate all the pranic nadis (energy channels) that terminate in the tongue and massages the internal organs that are linked to different parts of the tongue. A pretty punchy benefit for such an easy, quick practice.
See Lorien’s clip for a fun illustration right here.
Blessings of love and light for the new year!