Tongue Gallery

Tongue Diagnosis

Example 1 Body colour: Reddish-Purple. Body shape: Swollen and cracked. Coating: peeled. A Reddish-Purple tongue body colour usually indicates Blood stasis deriving from or associated with Heat (whereas a Bluish-Purple colour generally indicates Blood stasis deriving from Cold). In this case, the tongue colour is consistent over the whole tongue so we cannot determine from … Read More

Yin Deficiency and Empty Heat

Heat, Tongue Diagnosis

Empty Heat derives from Yin deficiency and the two pathological conditions (Yin deficiency and Empty Heat) are often considered as one. All modern Chinese books include Empty Heat clinical manifestations under the patterns of Yin deficiency. For example, under the pattern of Lung-Yin deficiency they will have dry throat and dry cough (Yin deficiency) and … Read More

The Sides of the Tongue

Tongue Diagnosis

As the previous blog on the chest/breast area of the tongue has aroused some questions about the sides of the tongue, I would like to clarify some diagnostic aspects of the sides of the tongue. Of course the sides of the tongue reflect the state of the Liver but there are circumstances when they reflect … Read More

Chest/Breast Area of Tongue

Tongue Diagnosis

The “chest/breast” area is on the sides of the tongue, between the centre part and the tip. The chest area reflects a pathology of three organs: heart or lungs in men and women or breast in women. The chest area reflects pathologies of the lungs, heart or breast but in a Western medical sense. A … Read More

Spleen-Yin Deficiency

Spleen, Tongue Diagnosis

When we study the pathology of the Internal Organs, for the Spleen, we generally emphasize Spleen-Qi and Spleen-Yang deficiency. This is understandable as these two patterns are indeed extremely common. By contrast, when it comes to the Stomach, we do mention Stomach-Yin deficiency. In fact, some people say that this is a well-known contradiction: the … Read More

Stomach-Yin Deficiency

Tongue Diagnosis

STOMACH-YIN DEFICIENCY Aetiology The Stomach is a Yang organ but it frequently suffers from Yin deficiency. Indeed, I would say that Stomach-Yin deficiency is very common in the patients we see. The cause of Stomach-Yin deficiency is irregular eating habits. That includes eating late at night, eating in a hurry, eating while working, eating standing … Read More

Swollen Tongue

Tongue Diagnosis

I frequently hear that a Swollen tongue indicates Qi deficiency. It is not so! In my experience, a Swollen tongue indicates Phlegm. But let us start by describing it first. A tongue is “Swollen” when the whole body is larger than normal. Crucially, a Swollen tongue is also somewhat rounder than a normal tongue. In … Read More

The Tongue in the Elderly

Tongue Diagnosis

Tongue diagnosis plays a very important role in the prevention of disease especially in the elderly. Middle-aged and elderly patients often show abnormal signs on the tongue in the absence of any obvious disease. Elderly people often suffer from Internal Wind, Blood stasis, Phlegm, Heat or Yin deficiency or a combination of these. For example, … Read More

Sticky and Slippery Tongue Coating

Tongue Diagnosis

There are two types of greasy coating: one is called ni 膩 which I call “sticky”; the other is hua 滑 which I call “slippery”. The sticky coating is more common than the slippery coating. Both types of coating share a common quality of being greasy. The main difference is that with the sticky coating … Read More

Chest and Breast Area on the Tongue

Tongue Diagnosis

The “chest” area is on the sides of the tongue, between the centre part and the tip. The chest area reflects a pathology of three organs: heart, lungs or breast in women. Changes in this area to look for are: 1) Changes in colour (usually purple or red) 2) Changes in body shape (usually swollen … Read More