Tongue Analysis:

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.


Tongue Shape:tongue
 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, R-TCMP, R-Ac
Registered Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioner
Riverside Acupuncture and Wellness Centre
2211 Riverside Dr., Suite 106
Ottawa, ON K1H 7X5