The tongue - an underestimated organ
How the tongue decides on digestion, detoxification and odour
For most people, the tongue is an organ which, at first glance, does not appear to be of great importance in the functional circle of the body. Of course this is a bit exaggerated, because at least for us humans it has the functions which many take for granted. It helps with tasting. It helps to move food so that it can be chewed properly. And it supports the flow of saliva in such a way that the supply of digestive enzymes can already begin with the first bite. If these were all points, then, according to Central European body understanding, one would certainly already have a heap of arguments together, which would give the tongue a right to exist. Experts, physicians and peoples from the other end of the planet would still smile only mildly about it. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as well as the whole field of Ayurveda knows about the massive importance of the tongue. On the one hand it can function as a signal generator of a physical imbalance. On the other hand, it also has a direct influence on what happens in the body - and ultimately how healthy a person lives as such.
Studies and researches [1,2,3] show unmistakably: By grooming and cleansing the tongue, the body is supported by itself to be more vital and resistant in shape. In order to understand this connection, however, one must first understand the true significance of the tongue in the entire body network and the hidden secrets behind it.
The tongue as a bacterial virus fighter
When we talk about detoxification, the intestine is often the first to be brought into play. No wonder, because this organ with its billions of microorganisms is responsible for how a large part of the immune system functions. It is therefore not surprising that half the world is currently occupied with intestinal cleansing, liver cleansing and, in this context, "healthy" food. But there is one thing that should not be forgotten: If food is taken up in these spheres of the body, it has already left a certain route behind. In addition, the hydrochloric acid of the stomach protects against germs and viruses causing great damage to our lower digestive system. But the undigested raw material with all its bacteria is absorbed in the mouth at the very beginning. And this is exactly where the digestive process starts. Together with the pharyngeal and palatine tonsils, the tongue functions as a kind of bacterial doorman who does everything to kill these germs as early as possible with defence cells (Tonsilla lingualis). This is often noticed in winter, when people have a slightly inflamed throat and have to struggle with a scratchy neck. Or the swallowing hurts a bit, the mouth is dry and the breath doesn't necessarily smell like a fresh pinch of mint.
Practically speaking - the tongue is always cleaning. Most of the time she works as a self-cleaner for the mouth. Cleans the teeth from the inside, the palate and the surrounding mucous membranes. This idea alone shows how much the bacterial defence system of the tongue area constantly performs at its best, not only at Christmas dinner or during an intimate romantic kiss.
The tongue as a detoxification sponge
At night the body detoxifies. This is a biologically extremely valuable program that helps people to stay healthy and become healthy again. Because toxins and metabolic waste, which come into the body through food, air and environmental pollution, must inevitably be broken down again in order to restore the balance of the body (homeostasis). This happens through the main detoxification organs such as the liver, the intestines and the skin.
However, not all waste products are completely eliminated. Because also the mucous membranes and the tongue are not insignificantly involved in this valuable process. In this function, the tongue acts almost like a sponge and stores the detoxification materials of the body. This is also the reason why the TCM, as well as the Ayuvedic medicine can diagnose many strains and disturbances of the body on the basis of an exact determination of the coating on the tongue. And this is also the reason why the tongue is often so unappetising in the morning.
Tongue cleaning - miracle cure or exaggerated hype?
From these observations the following can be concluded: The tongue is a major participant in detoxification and digestion processes in the body. The question is obvious. Is there anything one can do oneself to accelerate this process so that less bacterial load, less inflammation and better digestion are actively influenced?
The Far Eastern tradition and medicine recommends a simple daily tongue cleaning as the best variant. That sounds completely logical at first. Because if you brush your teeth, wash your hands daily or clean your nose, why not clean your tongue? This question seems all the more urgent since the tongue with its surrounding mucous membranes is even more directly and massively integrated into the inner bacterial landscape of the body than the teeth or hands. And yes, there are actually some good reasons why tongue cleaning should be part of your daily hygiene once in a while:
1. The body is cleansed of toxins
On the one hand, germs and bacteria of undigested food and the resulting rot reactions form on the tongue. On the other hand, the tongue itself is a detoxification organ and can be contaminated with toxins emitted by the body, especially after the night. Nothing is more effective and soothing to remove this multitude of bacteria and germs from the body in one go. Above all, the risk of re-toxication is extremely minimized. And these re-toxication accidents are not so rare at all by new food (for example the breakfast) or even by the tooth brushing. So it is not surprising that daily tongue cleaning is considered a very effective remedy against tooth decay, tartar and gingivitis.
2. No more bad breath
This point also goes without saying. Because the decay bacteria that have been created create a coating on the tongue that simply doesn't smell good. In English: bad breath. The problem with these bacteria is that you often don't even notice them. The partner in bed in the morning already. And maybe even worse - the colleague at work two hours later. Tongue cleaning is considered the most effective method for dealing with these little olfactory monsters. Brushing your teeth can be a very good short-term remedy, but sometimes it only covers up the "tongue problem" symptomatically and for a short time. Therefore a tongue cleaning is the more long-lasting choice.
3. Better tasting - better digesting
Of course, the structural surface of the tongue is also exposed more finely by cleaning the tongue. On the one hand, this can naturally lead to the culinary experience becoming more sensitive and differentiated again. The greater benefit, however, lies in the digestive effect. This is because the tongue has very fine receptors that react differently to different foods. In plain language: When salad comes into the mouth, other digestive enzymes are produced than when we eat cereals or fish.
The tongue is an important signal generator that tells the body exactly how much food should be digested on its way from mouth to rectum and which special enzymes are involved. With a "pure" and intact tongue, this information transfer is of course much more genuine and an important aid in digesting the food properly.
The result of many customer opinions, studies as well as our own experiences for years is the following: Tongue cleaning is not a miracle cure. Rather, tongue cleansing is a sensible necessity in order to relieve the body of detoxification processes. Because the personal condition, detoxification ability and digestion depend on so many factors. The nutrition, the lifestyle or whether you sleep well enough. And yet it is sometimes the little things that make a big difference. The tongue with its described and underestimated functions has the potential to make such a difference. It can ensure that much fewer germs and bacteria enter the body. It can make your breath fresher in the morning. And it can ensure that the food tastes better and, above all, that it is better digested. It would therefore make sense to clean your tongue daily.
YogaMedic tongue scraper
Available in stainless steel or copper
The easiest and cheapest way to clean your tongue is to use the YogiMedic tongue cleaner at home. You will receive two tongue cleaners in a practical cotton bag. The tongue cleaners are made of stainless steel or traditional copper and are manufactured according to tradition in India. The advantage here is that the metals have an antibacterial effect and are much higher quality and more durable than plastic, which can even form harmful substances itself.
 Filippi A, Müller Zungenreinigung - Wissenschaftliche Grundlagen https://www.andreas-filippi.ch/pdfs/Zungenreinigung.pdf
 Tongue scraping for treating halitosis,Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Apr 19;(2):CD005519. - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/ 16625641
 Schärer S, Filippi A. Halitosis – Effektivität von Zungenreinigern. Med. Diss., Universität Basel, 2007 - https://www.andreas-filippi.ch/pdfs/Halitosis.pdf