What Does Your Tongue Say About You?

By Nicola Salmon - Acupuncturist -

What does your tongue say about you--2

The first time I see a patient and ask them to stick out their tongue, I normally get a very funny look followed by questions about what on earth I’m looking for.

The tongue is a really interesting organ and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed to show the state of a person’s health. A normal tongue should be pink, slightly moist with a thin white coating and no obvious cracks or markings.

Here is what your tongue might be saying about you. If you are worried about anything you see, please contact your local acupuncturist to discuss your findings.


Red – This could be a sign of heat in the body. You may be experiencing excess sweating, feeling thirsty, constipation or bouts of anger

Pale – A pale tongue could be a sign that not enough nutrients are getting to your body. You may be feeling exhausted, be feeling light-headed or dizzy or having trouble sleeping.

Purple – A purple tongue normally indicates a stagnation somewhere in the body. This may appear as poor circulation, stabbing pains or a throbbing headache.


Thick white coating – This often occurs after a bad cold or the flu. Its a sign that there is too much phlegm in the body, which needs to be cleared. You may have weight gain, excess phlegm in your sinuses or feel very heavy in your body and legs.

Thick yellow/green coating – This is a sign of phlegm and heat. Along with the above symptoms for phlegm you may also be suffering from a fever, sweating spells or migraines.

No coating – Where there is no coating, there may be dryness present. You may experience hot flashes, poor concentration and memory or trouble sleeping.


Indents in the side of your tongue – These indents are very common and are a sign that you digestion isn’t working quite as well as it should. You may feel tired, have sluggish bowels or IBS symptoms

Cracks in a particular area – Cracks in a particular area of the tongue may show a weakness in the part of the body that corresponds with that part of the tongue. The tip relates to the heart, the lung are just behind the heart, the sides relate to the liver, the back to the kidneys and the central part of the tongue coincides with the digestive system.

What does your tongue say about you?


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