How a Tongue Color Can Reveal Imbalance in Health?

"Tongue is more than just a sense organ!" what strikes when you read this? Well! we all know tongue is a versatile part of the body which functions in various ways that includes its use while communicating, its role in maintaining proper mouth health and its function in making us feel and appreciate various tastes of food we eat. However what many of us must not know is the fact that tongue also help in revealing our health condition. Yes! One can know about the physical as well as the emotional health condition of self from his or her tongue conditions. In this current article we will talk exactly about the same, i.e. how the tongue reveals about our health.

How a Tongue Color Can Reveal Imbalance in Health

A General Overview on Tongue and its Parts:

A muscle covered with a moist and mucosa or a pink colored tissue, known as one of the sense organ of the body is known as the tongue. There are thousands of taste buds present in the tiny bumps or the papillae present on the tongue surface. These taste buds actually help us detecting tastes in food like sweet, bitter, sour, salty or the umami tastes.

What makes tongue so unique is that it is made of all the three germinal layers of the body, i.e. the ectoderm, mesoderm and the endoderm.

Parts of the Tongue:

The tongue consists of three primary parts which include the following.

  1. Apex, i.e. the tip of the tongue
  2. Body, i.e. the remainder of the visible portion of the tongue that extends all the way to the back of the throat.
  3. Root, i.e. the part of the tongue that attaches the tongue to the base of the mouth.

Features of a Healthy Tongue:

The coating of a healthy tongue comprises of a thin and white film on its surface which indicates about the healthy state of digestive system and the stomach. This represents the proper functioning of the digestion. This coating is made of bacteria which immediately grow up again and again, even after the tongue scraping. It must be noted that a thin and white coating on the tongue surface is taken as a normal and ideal health condition.

How a Tongue Color Can Reveal Imbalance in Health?

Now, here we come up with the section where we would talk about some of the most common signs in tongue which reveals imbalance in health.

  1. What does Tongue Color Mean?

    The health condition can be revealed with the changes seen in the color of the tongue. Below are some of the most common signs in tongue color changes that talk about the health imbalances.

    • What does Red Tongue Indicate?

    Red colored tongue indicates heat. This may be due to any inflammation or also dehydration in the specific area. This can be corrected by drinking plenty of water.

    • What does Purple Tongue Indicate?

    Purple colored tongue talks about week circulation of blood or energy. By trying out more of regular exercise, by doing brisk walk for at least 30 minutes in a day, one can treat this condition.

    • What does Blue Tongue Indicate?

    Blue colored tongue is considered to be a serious issue which may be caused due to the improper or insufficient oxygen supply to the tissues, known as cyanosis. It is highly essential to note that in case of such a sign in the tongue, you must reach the medical professional immediately.

    • What does Pale Tongue Indicate?

    Pale tongue implies a lack of energy or a deficiency in the blood, especially iron or certain vitamin deficiency in the body. This can be helped by taking regular multivitamins and eating more of fruits and vegetables.

  2. What Does a Coated Tongue Signify?

    Changes in the Tongue Coating: The health condition can also be known from the changes in the tongue coating. Below are some of the signs of tongue coating which depicts an imbalance in health.

    • Excessive white coating in the tongue surface tells about the phlegm or the toxins caused due to excessive intake of dairy products, wheat and fruits.
    • A Grey coating on the tongue surface depicts about the accumulation of phlegm due to cold or flu virus. This can be sorted down by restricting over the dairy products.
    • Yellow coating on the tongue surface indicates the toxins or phlegm due to excessive intake of 'hot" like foods alcohol, curries, sugar, coffee etc. You can treat this condition by drinking pure and fresh fruit juices and limiting alcohol, sugar, coffee, spices etc along with the dairy products etc.
  3. Other Common Signs in the Tongue Revealing an Imbalance of Health: Below are some other common signs and symptoms seen in tongue which can reveal about the imbalances in health conditions.

    • Peeled patches on the tongue surface tell about the moisture deficiency in the particular area of the tongue. It is essential to drink lot of water for treating this.
    • Swollen tongue indicates about excess of fluid accumulation. Taking more of water, fruits and juices help to flush out the system.
    • Thin tongue implies dehydration in the area. Taking more of water can help in this condition
    • Cracks on the tongue surfaces or dryness of tongue can reveal dehydration. Cracks on the centre of the tongue tell about imbalance in the digestive system, while cracks at the tip of the tongue tell about emotional or stress related issues. One can help self by listening to relaxing or soothing music.

Tongue & Illness: Some of the Noted Illness that can be Predicted from the Tongue!

Tongue can reveal various illnesses the following way:

  1. Scarlet Fever: This is a condition which may sometimes develop in a person with strep throat. This develops mainly as a reaction to the toxin from the bacteria causing the infection in tongue. This scarlet fever begins at first with a red rash covering most of the body along with a strawberry colored red tongue.
  2. Kawasaki Syndrome: This is a condition which is known by an inflammation of the large and the medium artery walls and tends to mostly affect the boys below five years of their age, though it can also occur in any age group and also in the girls.
  3. Toxic Shock Syndrome: Also known as TSS, this is an uncommon condition in health where toxins from certain bacteria types, especially the Staphylococcus aureus, trigger an immune reaction and this can be highly life threatening
  4. Leukoplakia: This is a condition where there is a tongue color discoloration and the tongue appears to be white or gray patches grow on the top of the tongue surface. This may also affect the inner cheek and the gums and mainly associated with severe irritation of the tongue caused by chewing of tobacco and betel leaf/betel nut chewing.
  5. Oral Thrush: This is a kind of fungal infection of the mouth which is usually visible on the tongue and extending down to the esophagus. Primarily caused by yeast infection, this is more likely to grow in a person having a depressed immune system like in a person with HIV/AIDS etc.


So, it is clear that tongue can reveal about the heal conditions in we human beings. It is necessary to keep it clean and have a check to know about the changes (if any) and reach the doctor for its essential and effective diagnosis and treatments.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: November 17, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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