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, DOM
Doctor of Oriental Medicine (USA)
Riverside Acupuncture and Wellness Centre
2211 Riverside Dr., Suite 106
Ottawa, ON K1H 7X5
cdalesmith at