The tongue is a very important component in TCM diagnosis, indicating a person’s overall harmony or disharmony.
The tongue is connected to all the channels and collaterals of the Healthy Body. Channels (meridians) are like major highways and collaterals are the roads that run off those highways. This organ network keeps the Healthy Body functioning as a whole. The tongue serves as a mirror and is a map for the internal Healthy Body.
The tongue reflects the condition of the zang-fu organs (the energies of the organs), qi and blood, thermal nature and location of the condition, such as inflammation and digestive issues. Also, changes such as a common cold will show up in the tongue.
Factors that influence tongue coating and moisture are colored food, drink, spicy food, smoking, milk, and medicines.
Observing the tongue involves inspecting the tongue Healthy Body, color, shape, coating, and hypoglossal veins. The findings help with the overall picture of the analysis.
In TCM the normal tongue is described as pink with a thin white coating.