Oh, the humble tongue scraper. This Ayurvedic bathroom accessory may be understated in looks, but it’s health benefits can’t be downplayed – we’re talking everything from gut health to tooth care.
If you floss, brush and rinse daily, you should definitely consider adding a tongue scraper to the lineup too. Author Sahara Rose of the Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda explains why this ancient wellness practice is a game-changer for daily health…
You brush your teeth, cleanse your face and may even oil pull, but do you use a tongue scraper? This is the wellness secret you’re about to become addicted to. Tongue scraping is an ancient ayurvedic self-care practice to remove toxins, called ama, from the surface of your tongue, which not only freshens your breath but actually improves digestion.
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian health system focused on healing the body through digestion; not only am I an expert in ayurveda, I’ve written a book about it.
We begin the digestive process the moment we put food in our mouth. If our tongues are coated with bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and/or dead cells (which is much more common than you think), our tongues cannot properly indicate the foods we are eating, thus send the signals to our bodies on what sort of digestive enzymes and how much stomach acid is needed. Thus, scraping your tongue is just as good for your belly as drinking hot water.
It’s not just ayurveda that toots the horn of tongue scraping. Dental research has shown that tongue scraping is even more effective at removing toxins and bacteria from the tongue than a toothbrush. When we don’t scrape our tongues, these toxins get reabsorbed by the body. This causes digestive and other issues, depending on your ayurvedic dosha, mind-body type. Tongue scraping also makes our taste-buds more sensitive, allowing us to further taste our food and preventing us from overeating.
Benefits of Using a Tongue Scraper
+ Clears ama toxins, bacteria, debris, fungi and dead cells from the tongue
+ Improves breath
+ Enhances digestion
+ Heightens taste-buds
+ Gently stimulates the internal organs
+ Increases your awareness of your current wellbeing through observing your tongue
How to Use A Tongue Scraper
STEP 1 | Extend your tongue and hold your tongue scraper. I recommend stainless steel tongue scrapers, though ayurveda traditionally uses copper. The reason I’m not a fan of copper is because it can potentially cause heavy metal toxicity. Stainless steel is just a safer option.
Step 2 | Place the tongue scraper on the back surface of the tongue and gently forward, removing the thin layer of white coating. Repeat 10 times.
Step 3 | Rinse out your mouth and enjoy the heightened sense of freshness! You’ll be hooked quickly and wonder how you went your whole life without it!
*Note: Do not scrape so far back you begin to gag. Strokes should be gentle and not cause any pain. It should be a pleasant experience!
Discover six surprising oral health tips from a wellness pro we love here.