Updated: Mar 2
Tongue scraping or Jihwa Prakshalana is a part of the Dinacharya (Daily regimen) in Ayurveda.
By far, we can safely say that tongue scraping is the most neglected oral care activity. We highly recommend you add this extremely simple, but highly beneficial daily self-care routine in your life and see the difference.
This one activity can help you remove bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. So, obviously the benefits are multifold.
Improves dental health: The toxins and the debris on the tongue can be a great environment for the organisms to grow and multiply which may eventually cause plaque build-up, gum infections and dental decay. This can be avoided to a great extent by scraping the tongue twice a day.
Removes bad breath/ Halitosis: Since, it is possible to remove the toxins and food substrates causing putrefaction from the back of the tongue effectively with tongue scraping, several studies have proved the effectiveness of tongue scraping in reducing bad breath.
Researchers in one 2005 study found that using a tongue scraper twice a day for seven days reduced the overall incidence of Mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli bacteria in the mouth.
These bacterium types are known to cause bad breath and dental decay. Studies have also revealed that tongue scraping makes a significant difference in reducing volatile sulfur compounds (VSC), the very thing that produces bad breath.
Improves general health and immunity: Research has indicated that bacteria in the mouth can end up in the airways of the lung. These bacteria have shown to increase the risk of respiratory infection (including pneumonia and bronchitis) and pulmonary disease. The tongue is constantly exposed to the external environment and is the first line of defense in your immune system. Scraping your tongue prevents toxins from being reabsorbed into your body and boosts overall immune function.
Improves taste and digestion: Tongue scraping opens up the taste buds and stimulates salivation which is the beginning of the digestive process.
Method suggested in Ayurveda:
Ayurveda recommends a metal scraper. A stainless steel scraper should be perfect. The scraper should be washed, and scraping should start from the back of the tongue to the tip, a couple of times only. Tongue scraping can be practiced twice a day after brushing teeth. Both children and adults will benefit from this.
Hope this post will motivate you all to adopt this simple, but super effective oral care ritual and reap the benefits.