Ayurvedic Tongue Examinations Explained In Vaidya Sara Sangraha

This article is by Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD.
Ayurveda has explained many different ways of patient examination. Such as examination of tongue, pulse, inspection, palpation etc.

Vaidyasara sangraha is a less explored compiled classical text of Ayurveda,  edited by Vaidya Narasimha Shastry, who is proclaimed with the title Sarva vaidya visharada. His time period is estimated to be 1500-1570 AD. He was the resident of Balachandrapura situated in the banks of Swarna river (Suvarnavati-Honnuhole) of Hassan District –Elandur according to Shri R Narasimhacharya.] 

Some important and interesting notes are found regarding various aspects of Ayurveda and Jihwa pareeksha – tongue examination, referred in this text are mentioned here below; some are unique and few are the compilations of other classical texts of his time.

Tongue examination is one among the Ashthasthana pareeksha (eight sites of classical examination of the patients).

Classical reference

Tongue examination

Textual reference and the translations are presented here below-
Tongue examination-
Vata vitiated conditions- the tongue appears yellowish, rough and cracked.
Pitta aggravated cases- the tongue will be red or bluish black in color.
In kapha dominant condition- the tongue will be clear and watery.
Tridosha vitiated conditions-the tomngue will be black, torny  and dry in nature.

Tongue examination:
According to  Acharya Nandikeshwara, watery tongue is suggestive of aggravation of kapha dosha. The pungent and bitter sensation of the tongue (mouth) is suggestive of pitta dosha aggravation. Dry tongue is the indication of vitiation of vata dosha. In sannipatic cases also, severe dryness of the tongue is followed.The tongue which is associated with blisters, yellow or dark black discoloration should be avoided for the treatment, as the condition is incurable.

Tongue symptoms during fever

Tastelessness ( food and beverages/incapable of  perceiving any taste), often watery tongue   and distaste towards the food particles are the features commonly found in fever.
Read related: For Good Health And A Calm Mind – Control Your Tongue

Tongue symptoms in different disorders

If the patient feels thinning or thickening sensation of the tongue, the condition should be understood as incurable by any of the medicines.

Thick coating in the base of the tongue and clarity in the tip of the tongue is suggestive of vata kapha doshic disorders. This will be the reason for sannipatic disorders (Diseases with imbalance of all three Doshas).

Quite clarity in the base of the tongue and coating at the tip of the tongue is suggestive of pitta vataja disorders. Similar findings are observed in the case of painful condition (of abdomen) and cystic swellings. Depression in the middle of the tongue and broader at the tip of the tongue getting broad is observed in case of headache (disease of the scalp). If the tongue appears long and constricted, it suggests that the person is suffering from a chronic disease and may die soon.
Read related: Ayurvedic Way Of Teeth Brushing And Tongue Scraping

Severe warmth, marked emaciation, burning sensation and often cold (sudden cold sensation ) is suggestive of forthcoming death (or the person has the fear of death).Furrowed tongue with mixed symptoms of multiple doshic aggravations  is found in severe kind of illness.
Read related: How To Make Prognosis Of Disease According To Ayurveda?

Physical features denote several ill health conditions and in today’s era of ultra modernization and technology determined diagnosis the importance of examination of the patient is side lined. In fact if all such information  is gathered together and used appropriately several ill-health conditions can be diagnosed in correct manner without the aid of unnecessary analysis and laboratory investigations.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD

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