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The Benefits of Tongue Scraping

Tongue Scraping is an ancient tradition that has many benefits outside of oral hygiene alone. Tongue scraping also attributes to physical, mental, and spiritual health in that the oral cavity is one of the main gateways between your mind/body and the environment, maintaining the health of this connection is critical to general well-being.

According to ancient Ayurvedic texts, the tongue is seen as a mirror to one’s internal organs. The process of tongue scraping helps to stimulate the internal organs through lightly massaging them which helps to improve digestion, increases your sense of taste and cleanses toxins and bacteria from the mouth.

While we sleep, our body emits toxins through our tongue in order to reject them from our body – it’s part of the body’s natural detoxification process. The coating that is formed is usually a result of improper eating, poor digestion, or a reflection of an imbalance somewhere in the gastrointestinal system. By removing this coating you improve your ability to taste your food, which makes it more satisfying. By increasing your taste reception, not only do you eat less, you also eliminate the need to add more sugar, salt, or excessive spice to the food to make it more flavourful. Many of the beneficial phytonutrients and “body signals” that your food contains are first interpreted by the mind-body upon contact with receptors on the tongue. You want to improve this communication between your food and your body by removing any coating that is interfering with that connection.

Benefits of tongue scraping:

  • Removes bacteria. Researchers in a 2005 Study found that using a tongue scraper twice a day for seven days reduced the overall incidence of Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria types are known to cause bad breath and dental decay.

  • Improves overall health. Removing bacteria is key to preventing cavities, gum disease, and other conditions affecting the mouth. Tongue scraping can help clear these bacteria from the mouth, improving your tongue’s appearance and overall sensation.

  • Reduces bad breath. Although tongue scraping can’t replace brushing your teeth, scraping may do some things better. Researchers in a 2004 study by AAP found that scraping was more effective than brushing at removing odor-causing bacteria.

How to properly tongue scrape:

Using a copper or stainless steel tongue scraper – gently scrape from back to front for 7 to 14 strokes. The scraper may be rinsed off between strokes. Some people report stimulation of the gag reflex during scraping, which may indicate that the scraping is too aggressive. If this occurs with gentle scraping, begin slightly more forward on the tongue to avoid the gagging reflex.

This practice is best followed by oil pulling with either coconut or black sesame oil.

Be gentle and work this ancient practice into your daily routine for improved health and wellbeing.


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