What does your tongue say about you?


The tongue is a picture of the inside. A map to the internal state of the body.  For an acupuncturist and herbalist, it can tell a lot about a person’s overall health. It can tell if there are any major issues as well as smaller things which are easy to correct.  So what is tongue diagnosis?

Before we talk about what needs improving, let’s talk about what a healthy tongue looks like. Chinese Medicine is about balance, so we are looking for is a balanced looking tongue. For this, we will use the Goldie Lox Rule. A healthy tongue is not too big, but not too small, it’s not too wet or too dry. It’s not too pale or too red, it has some coating, but not a lot of thick greasy coating and It doesn’t have too many cracks.  If you have any of these things, that’s ok, most people do. It is not to worry about necessarily, but just telling that there is room for improvement.

First the tongue itself. If your tongue is very red, you might have too much heat in the body. If it is pale, you might be feeling tired of have anemia, or prone to feeling cold often. If the tongue is purple, the circulation could use some improvement.

Second, the coating. If there is no coating, you might be feeling dry or have some mineral / hormone deficiencies. This is common in menopausal cases. If the coating is thick, it indicates too much heaviness or dampness in the body, you may feel sluggish and bloated or cloudy thinking.  If the coating is yellow, it indicates that there is some heat present in the body.

What does your tongue say about your health? Take a picture of your tongue if you like! You can share if you like.


In health,


Michael Maniloff, LAc, EAMP





(Last Updated On: May 7, 2019)