Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional health system of India, is gaining respect in the west. One self-care ritual that is being adopted by many Americans is tongue scraping. Tongue scraping is an oral hygiene method for removing bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins and dead cells from the tongue. Research shows a tongue scraper is a better method of eliminating toxins and bacteria than a toothbrush.
Here are the top five reasons to scrape your tongue:
1. It can eliminate bad breath.
Halitosis interferes with a person’s life in many ways, from work to relationships to self-esteem. Most bad breath originates from bacteria at the back of the tongue, where a toothbrush doesn’t reach. Studies show tongue scraping removes bacterial from all areas of the tongue.
2. It helps food taste better.
When you remove toxic mucus from the tongue, your pores are opened and your taste buds unblocked. This enables you to better taste food. Taste and salivation help you digest and assimilate your food.
3. It will boost your immunity.
Tongue scraping removes toxins from the tongue, ensuring they are not reabsorbed into your body. The tongue is your “first line of defense” in your immune system.
4. It will improve your dental health.
Tongue scraping promotes the health of your teeth and gums, and removes the bacteria that causes periodontal disease, plaque, tooth decay, loss of teeth, recession and infections of the gums.
5. It’s good for your digestive health.
Ayurvedic medicine considers proper digest as the foundation of health. Digestion begins in the mouth, and tongue scraping removes the toxins that may interfere with optimal functioning. It also activates the production of saliva and, in Ayurvedic terms, it supports agni (the digestive fire) to improve digestion throughout the day.
Tongue scrapers are easily available in health food stores and online. To use the tongue scraper hold the two ends of the scraper in both hands while you stick out your tongue. Place the scraper as far back on the tongue as you can reach. Use firm but gentle pressure, and scrape the surface of the tongue in one continuous stroke. Rinse the scraper then repeat five to 10 times, until your tongue feels clean and the coating is removed.