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WTF is Tongue Scraping?

Perhaps your first thought when reading the headline was “I’m sorry, tongue scraping? Why would I scrape my tongue? What do you mean?”

Sure, you brush your teeth regularly. Perhaps you even brush your tongue. So… WTF is tongue scraping?

Tongue scraping in an Ayurvedic practice. Ayurveda is the sister branch of yoga, focusing on the balance of the different elements of the body, mostly through clean, seasonal eating. It’s as old as yoga, and is a very traditional approach to connecting to oneself through nature and food. However, Ayurveda is more than just balance through food. It’s also balance through hygiene. Ayurvedic hygiene practices range from things we have all heard from, like massage and sweating out toxins, but also include some more unique practices, like tongue scraping and oil pulling. According to Ayurveda, digestion begins in the mouth, so we have to take good care of that access point. I’ve never done oil pulling, but if you’re interested, I think this video explains it really well. However, I am committed to tongue scraping, so let me tell you what it is and why I think you should commit, too! 🙂

WTF is tongue scraping?

Tongue scraping is just what it sounds like, scraping your tongue.

Make sense? We good?

Just kidding.

So, you might have noticed tongue scrapers popping up all over the place from natural food stores to Whole Foods. In general, they look like this: 

How do you scrape your tongue?

I hate to make it sound this simple, but it is. You literally drag the scraper down your tongue, anywhere from two to 15 times in order to remove any buildup on your tongue. Rinse your tongue scraper after each scrape to rinse away the buildup. You can go as far back on your tongue as is comfortable for you. I do this every morning and you will be amazed how much stuff is just resting on your tongue after a long, restful night. Especially if you’re a coffee drinker, do this after your morning coffee and you will notice a number of benefits.

Benefits of tongue scraping

  1. It reduces bad breath! Scraping off the residue that rests on top of your tongue makes your breath fresher.
  2. It makes things taste better! Imagine you are trying to touch something new and you try to access it, but there’s a small barrier between you and the object. That’s what it is like for your un-scraped tongue and food. Removing that buildup actually helps your taste buds do their job better.
  3. In medicine, buildup on the tongue can indicate a keratin imbalance. There is no medical reason I know of not to scrape your tongue and if there’s “modern” medicine to back up a traditional practice then I’m al about that.
  4. Your tongue will be pink! Stick your tongue out in the mirror right now! You back? What color is your tongue? It’s supposed to be pink-ish. All that white stuff is the stuff that builds up over time. UGHHHHH. Go buy a scraper now!

How often should I do this?

I’m glad you asked. Personally, I do it every morning. My husband does it about every other day. It depends on your comfort level, your diet, and your needs. I think it’s kind of addicting and I notice when I don’t do it. My tongue feels heavier and foods don’t taste as good. Seriously. So, I recommend going to buy a tongue scraper and scrape away. Take the world by storm and stick that beautiful, pink tongue out!

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  1. Avatar

    Angela G.

    August 7, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I’ve been scraping my tongue for at least a decade! My dentist did it for me one time, back when I used to drink coffee and, I was grossed out. Even after brushing my teeth and brushing my tongue, there was still brown on/in my tongue from the coffee. Yuck! I always feel extra clean in my mouth when I do this! Highly recommend! My scraper has little teeth on it and it’s fab! Just don’t overdo it with this kind – it can make the tongue sore.

  2. Kaitlin Moran

    Kaitlin Moran

    August 7, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Yes, Angela! It’s a funny thing how something so innocuous can make you feel so different 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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