What Can Your Tongue Tell You about Your Health
Mar 29, 2018

Oliver Parsons
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 2 min.

You probably know that your tongue plays a big role in how you detect taste, but do you know what else it can do? While it supports your gustatory function and your ability to pronounce certain words, the state of your tongue can also be a big indication of how healthy you really are.

There are a number of factors that can come into play here – some of which may be present more often than others. They include changes in texture, the presence of sores or blemishes, and changes in color. All of these signs may be pointing to the fact that you’re in need of some help.

So, say “Ahh” – here is what your tongue may be telling you about your health:

1. Textural Changes


If your tongue feels unnaturally smooth, it may be a sign of glossitis. This usually means that your tongue is inflamed, and the papillae (little hairy bumps) on your tongue become lost. The smoothness is primarily caused by nutritional deficiencies – to be specific, deficiencies of iron and B vitamins. If your tongue feels smooth, take a careful look at your diet.

2. Sores & Blemishes

Canker Sores:

Canker sores are not cold sores! They are tiny, shallow ulcers that can appear in your mouth and on the underside of your tongue. They usually make it really hard to eat your food. If you notice any sores underneath your tongue with yellow centers and red borders, then they’re likely cankers. Some research suggests that stress may be a cause, and while they are more or less harmless – they make it very hard to chew food comfortably.


If you notice any bumps on your tongue, especially around the top, they may be a sign of an infection or allergic reaction. While they may not be the most irritating things on their own, they could be a sign that more adverse effects are going on deeper within your body.

Strawberry Tongue:

Strawberry tongue tends to occur in two stages. It starts off with a swelling and white covering that coats parts of the tongue. This is generally an early indication of scarlet fever in children.

The second stage occurs 4-5 days later, which is called red strawberry tongue. This is where the tongue becomes reddened and even more swollen. Intense red colors may be a sign of Kawasaki disease, an immune disease that primarily affects children, where blood vessels become inflamed throughout the body.

3. Color Changes:

There’s a whole spectrum of tongue colors that can be an indication of more serious problems, some of which are more common than others:

White: A white tongue is usually a sign of dehydration and debris trapped within your papillae. It can usually be taken care of by brushing and cleaning your tongue regularly, and is generally worsened by smoking habits.

Black: “Black tongue” is the result of bacteria and debris building up on the surface of your tongue. It can be caused by an abuse of tobacco and chemical products (e.g. mouthwash and antibiotics). As unsightly as it is, it can usually be removed with careful brushing and cleaning.

Red: Again, this could be a sign of scarlet fever or Kawasaki disease, depending on the severity.

Brown: As one of the more uncommon discoloring effects, a brown tongue may be a sign of melanoma – one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer.

Yellow: Smoking, fevers, and dehydration can often cause a yellow tinge to appear on the surface of your tongue. In extreme cases, it can also be a sign of liver disease. Similar to the “white” effects, pay careful attention to what you’re putting into your mouth and make sure that you’re cleaning properly and regularly.

Your tongue isn’t only responsible for the function of your taste buds – its appearance and feeling could show signs that there is more going on in your body than you thought. Take a look inside your mouth – how’s your tongue looking?

Leave your comments / questions for this practitioner

To write a comment please
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Herbal therapy
$10 USD
The calendula/marigold. One of my favourite herbs to prescribe inside and out.

My name is Leonie Quigley and my business is called Herbal Naturiel. I am a practising herbalist, nutritionist, community worker and doula but am also qualified in nursing, aged care and social work.

The clinic is a small but comfortable room at the front of my home which is situated in Kingsley, Western Australia and has separate access from the house. My husband has helped me immensley in setting up beautiful comfortable consulting and waiting rooms plus a herb garden out the front.

Services are holistic and centre around treating the whole person. I am skilled in assessment and in the prescribing of herbs, supplements and diet and lifestyle recommendations. It is really helpful if people bring me a list or their medications including supplements, any pathology they have had done and any doctor or specialist reports they may have relating to the problems they are seeing me for. I am skilled in reading and analysing most reports and can help you sort out complicated medication regimes. My job is not to work in opposition to the medical profession, rather to complement the work they do by improving your holistic wellbeing.

Nutrition is a large part of my work. I do not recommend specific diets, fasting etc, rather work on an ideal nutrition plan to suit the individual person in order to help them reach optimum health.

Leonie Jill Quigley
Herbal therapy
$100 USD
coaching session
60 Minute Cannabis Wellness Coaching Session

Choosing the right kind of strain, dosage, potency, or even figuring out what terpenes will be beneficial for you can be very overwhelming.

I am here to help you use this magical plant to compliment your health & lifestyle.

Looking forward to connecting with you!


Anna Rivera
Herbal therapy
$10 USD
coaching session
15 Minute Cannabis Wellness Coaching Session

This introductory 15 minute mini session will be dedicated to answering your questions about incorporating cannabis in your wellness routine.

Already a cannabis consumer? No problem! I'll gladly help with any questions and provide direction and clarity you may need.

Let's connect!

Green Annalist

Anna Rivera
Herbal therapy
$50 USD
healing session
Ionic Detox Foot bath

Gently remove toxins from the body in a relaxing and rejuvenating way by placing your feet in a water foot . Living in society we absorb environmental impurities that disrupt the way our body functions. This process can help your body work to remove those toxins.


Related Articles

View All
Registered individuals enjoy all the possibilities of Core Spirit.