The Ayurvedic Practice of Tongue Scraping

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I’m sure you already know about the benefits of brushing and flossing, but have you heard about the the benefits of tongue scraping? I had never used a tongue scraper before learning about them from Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), the school where I studied nutrition and health coaching. IIN is a big advocate of tongue scrapers, and so I was inspired to purchase one. Since then, I’ve been tongue scraping daily!

What are tongue scrapers?
Tongue scrapers, also known as tongue cleaners, are u-shaped oral hygiene devices that are used to remove build-up from the tongue. They are usually made from stainless steel or plastic, and they originated from Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu system of medicine that emphasizes the mind-body connection. Ayurveda claims that the tongue can show the level of toxins in your gut, and the overall health of your organs. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend using a tongue scraper daily for optimal health.

What are the benefits of using a tongue scraper?
There are many health benefits of tongues scraping. Tongue scrapers can help to:
Remove toxins and bacteria from the tongue, and prevent toxins from being reabsorbed into the body
Improve digestion
• Prevent bad breath
• Remove leftover food particles from the tongue
• Reduce cravings for the opposite flavors of what you last consumed (e.g. if you had the taste of something savory in your mouth, you might crave sweets)
• Resensitize your taste buds, allowing you to fully taste more subtle flavours and feel satisfied by simple foods

How do you use a tongue scraper?
Tongue scrapers are extremely easy to use. Simply use the tongue scraping tool to gently stroke the surface of your tongue about 10 times from back to front.  Be sure to rinse off any accumulated build-up on the scraper in between strokes. Use your tongue scraper after brushing and flossing your teeth. It’s a great idea to keep your tongue cleaner next to your toothbrush so that you remember to use it every day, making it a sustainable habit.

Where can you get a tongue scraper?
You can get a tongue cleaner at Whole Foods, most health food stores, or on Amazon. My favorite brand to purchase tongue cleaners from is Dr. Tung’s. Their tongue cleaners are made of high-grade stainless steel, which is excellent at removing bacteria and is more comfortable for and gentle on the tongue than plastic. Dr. Tung’s tongue cleaners also come with a bamboo pouch, which is great for travel! Similar to how often you should replace your toothbrush, it’s recommended to replace your tongue cleaner after 3-4 months of use.

Have you ever used a tongue scraper? I was not used to tongue scraping at first, but now it’s a regular part of my routine and I can’t imagine not using a tongue scraper! If you don’t already have a tongue scraper, pick one up this week and try it out! Let me know how it goes in the comments below.


Lots of love,

Alessandra