Monday, July 13, 2015

What your tongue is saying to you

When a person wakes up one day with excruciating pain, or a high fever or a rash all over their body, it’s pretty obvious that something is wrong and they’d better look into it.

But sometimes the warning signals your body gives you aren’t so obvious—they’re more subtle.

And nowhere is this truer than in your mouth—specifically, your tongue.

Your tongue can tell you a whole lot about what’s going on inside of you from head to toe.  You just have to pay attention to its signals and know what they could possibly mean.

Let’s get started—get yourself in front of a mirror in a well-lit room, go back to your childhood days and stick out your tongue and take a good long look.

Here are some possibilities of what you might see, what it can mean, and what you can do to help address any underlying problems that your tongue is trying to tell youabout.  (Note: Always be sure to see your doctor if you have concerns or to rule out a condition requiring medical attention.)

Extremely red tongue

What it can mean: This can be a tongue inflammation called glossitis.  Studies have shown that glossitis is a sign of nutritional deficiencies, most commonly B-complex vitamins (especially B3—niacin) and iron.

What you can do:  Incorporate more sources of B vitamins (particularly B3) and iron into your diet. 

Vitamin B3 sources: Tuna, chicken, salmon, Crimini mushrooms, asparagus, turkey, tomatoes, shrimp, broccoli

Iron sources: Spinach, Swiss chard, romaine lettuce, shrimp, beef, lentils, venison, chicken liver

“Grand Canyon” or “geographic” tongue

What it can mean: A deficiency in B-complex vitamins (especially folic acid and B12) as well as zinc.

What you can do: Incorporate more food sources of folic acid, vitamin B12 and zinc into your diet; consider B12 supplementation.

Folic acid sources: Romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, calf’s liver, collard greens, broccoli, beets, lentils

Vitamin B12 sources: Calf’s liver, sardines, shrimp, scallops, salmon, beef, lamb, dairy

Zinc sources: Calf’s liver, Crimini mushrooms, spinach, beef, lamb, shrimp, asparagus

Also, B12 supplementation is wise for many people, because B12 is not always easily absorbed in the GI tract, even if you are getting food sources of it.  Factors such as low stomach acid, antacid use, previous gastric surgery, Crohn’s disease and advanced age can all affect and reduce your ability to absorb B12. 

If you’re considering supplementation, there is very effective option that costs less than shots, is convenient and bypasses any absorbency shortcoming in the GI tract.

Hydroxaden 2.5 is a convenient vitamin B12 spray that gives you the 2.5 mg of B12 (in the form of hydroxocobalamin) suggested by many health experts.  Just five sprays under your tongue each day is all it takes.

Studies show that B12 taken sublingually can be quickly and efficiently absorbed right into your bloodstream from the mucus membranes in your mouth.

Bald or pale tongue

What it can mean: Deficiencies of folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) or iron.

What you can do: Incorporate more food sources of folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and iron into your diet; consider B12 supplementation with Hydroxaden 2.5 as mentioned above.

For food sources of folic acid, B12 and iron: See above

Vitamin B2 sources: Crimini mushrooms, calf’s liver, Swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, yogurt, eggs, romaine lettuce, venison

White-coated tongue

What it can mean: Candida (yeast) overgrowth in your intestinal tract.

What you can do: Limit your intake of refined carbs and sugar.  Yeast feed on these foods and can multiply out of control and overcome your friendly, protective intestinal flora.

Also, take a high-quality probiotic supplement like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula.

Two of the powerhouse strains in Super Shield probiotic formula, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been shown to be extremely effective in fighting Candida!

Scalloped-edge tongue
What it can mean: You grind your teeth at night; temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues; or a B3 (niacin) or B12 deficiency.

What you can do: Reduce stress if you grind; see a doctor to explore possibly getting a mouth guard to wear at night or to see if TMJ issues are a problem for you; get food sources of B3 and B12 (see above); consider supplementation with Hydroxaden 2.5 if B12 is a concern.

And the most disturbing one—black, hairy tongue
What it can mean: Although it’s freaky-looking, a black hairy tongue is most commonly the result of taking antibiotics or a yeast infection. 

What you can do: Limit your intake of refined carbs like I mentioned above to help counteract yeast overgrowth.
Also, help beef up your friendly intestinal flora (where 70 percent of your immune system resides) so that you can help lessen your chances of needing antibiotics to begin with.  Super Shield can help with this important task too.

What you’re aiming for—a healthy tongue!

The more you pay close attention to your tongue and what it might be trying to tell you, the more likely it is that yours will soon begin to look like this!


  1. I have been taking Nexium for about 12 years; propanolol for 6 years; and synthroid for about 6; I have a condition with my tongue for the past 5 or 6 years - it feels as though it's like leather - inflexible in the back of my tongue...I am an outgoing, friendly lady, that loves people - I am also a singer - but have quit singing (very depressing to me) and don't go around people much nor talk on the phone because this condition makes me talk with a slur as though I were inebriated, not able to speak clearly and impossible to pronounce some letters or words. This happens every day, and I never know when it will happen and remain. None of my doctors know what causes it nor seem to be concerned about the condition. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you, Hanna's Mama

  2. Hello Hanna,

    Thank you for your patience in receiving our reply! I certainly understand this is a serious issue for you and you'd like to improve it. Perhaps a holistic practitioner or naturopath can look at your medical history and other factors a traditional MD may not even think of – and help you further.

    Here is the link to the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine:

    I hope this helps!

    You can also reach us at
    Or by phone at 888-724-4366 between 8:30am and 4:30 pm EST, M-F

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