Seeing as Mercury rules the tongue, keeping a clean mouth is an important practice if we are to receive its benefits. Tongue scraping is an age-old practice and part of the suggested dinacharya (daily routine) in Ayurveda.
The tongue can show us many things about a person, from their dosha, to back problems it can even indicate how much they talk!
It is a window to the happenings inside the body. Often practitioners will ask to see a client’s tongue to see its shape, its colour, the marking and if there is a coating.
A white coating indicates kapha, a yellow coating indicates pitta and a dark or brownish coating indicates vata in the system or a specific organ.
When we wake up in the morning, we will often find a coating on the tongue. This is a great time to look at the tongue and asses what you might need to address either by your food herbs or general practice for the day.
The tongue has specific areas mapped out on the surface which represent the internal organs of the body. If there are markings or coatings or discolouration on specific areas, this can indicate organs that may need attention.
A really common one is a coating at the very back of the tongue. This is where the colon resides, so can indicate constipation or residue toxins in the colon.
by scraping the tongue first thing in the morning on an empty stomach you not only clean the tongue of unwanted toxins that have accumulated overnight but it also activates the organs by stimulating the coordinated points on the tongue. It also ramps up digestion ready for the day ahead.
So why scrape and not just brush the tongue?
when we clean the tongue with a toothbrush, we are actually pushing the toxins back into the surface of the tongue. Scraping removes the accumulated bacteria cleanly and efficiently. Leaving the breath fresh and removing toxins that can contribute halitosis and tooth decay.
If you practice Mantra as part of your daily meditation it is important to clean your mouth before your practice as a sign of respect to the words and their intention.
Mercury rules the tongue, speech and enjoys cleanliness so by incorporating all three aspects into a daily practice you are evoking the positive energetics that mercury has to offer.
In general, a stainless-steel scraper is good for all doshas but the following metals are specific for each dosha.