Go On, Stick Out Your Tongue!

Go On, Stick Out Your Tongue!

There’s a reason your doctor asks you to open wide and say “Ahhh”: Western and Eastern medicine practitioners alike look at the tongue to detect a wide range of conditions. “Usually, the tongue gives the clearest indication of the nature of disharmony in the body, which leads to disease,” says Boulder, Colo.-based acupuncturist Mary Saunders, L.Ac. Want to see for yourself? Here are six common tongue conditions—and what they may mean:

If your tongue is … PALE It could mean … blood or iron deficiency

If your tongue is … RED It could mean … inflammation, infection or fever

If your tongue is … DRY It could mean … dehydration

If your tongue is … ESPECIALLY WET It could mean … poor digestion and circulation

If your tongue is … THIN It could mean … qi (life force) deficiency or a poor appetite

If your tongue is … SWOLLEN WITH TEETH MARKS It could mean … impaired digestion or fatigue