|Tongue Colour: Normal colour is pale - red.|
|Pale:||Deficiency of Yang or deficiency of Blood.|
If a Yang deficiency, tongue will be swollen and slightly wet.
If a blood deficiency, tongue will be somewhat dry.
|Red:||Always indicates heat.|
If predominately on the tip = Heart.
If predominately on the sides = Liver or Gall Bladder.
|Purple:||Stasis of Blood, circulation disorder.|
|Thin:||Indicates either a Blood or Yin deficiency and a chronic condition.|
|Swollen:||Indicates retention of fluids.|
|Long:||Indicates a tendency to Heat in the Heart.|
|Short:||If pale and wet = Interior Cold (Yang deficiency).|
If red and peeled = Interior Heat (Yin deficiency).
|Cracks:||Indicate either Heat or a Yin deficiency:|
Short, horizontal indicates Stomach Yin deficiency.
Long, deep midline reaching to the tip indicates a Heart disharmony.
Shallow, midline, not reaching tip, indicates a Stomach Yin deficiency.
Short, transverse on sides of middle, indicates a Spleen Qi deficiency.
|Tongue Coating: A thin, white coating is normal and indicates that the stomach is digesting properly.|
|Thick:||Indicates the presence of a pathogenic factor.|
|None:||Often called "peeled". Indicates a Stomach or Kidney Yin deficiency.|
If peeled and red all over, indicates deficient Kidney Yin.
|White:||Indicates Cold (Yang deficiency).|
|Yellow:||Indicates Heat (Yin deficiency).|
|Moisture: A normal tongue is slightly wet.|
|Wet:||Indicates a Yang Qi deficiency.|
|Dry:||Indicates a Yin Qi deficiency.|
|Slippery:||Or sticky, indicates retention of dampness.|
Calvin Dale Smith, BA, MSc, DOM
Doctor of Oriental Medicine (USA)
Riverside Acupuncture and Wellness Centre
2211 Riverside Dr., Suite 106
Ottawa, ON K1H 7X5
cdalesmith at calvindale.com