Scrape Away

Mar 16, 2018

Did you know that our tongue is part of the first line of defense in our immune system? Makes you wonder why we’re not better paying attention to our tongues while brushing our teeth. Selfcare is at an all time high these days and now we’re seeing other culture’s rituals. In Ayurveda, the rituals of selfcare are pretty clear: there are specific ways to clean the ears, the eyes, the tongue, the nose, and all the pathways to maintain the body’s balance, and for the tongue, it’s a scraper.
Tongue scraping helps eradicates bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. When we sleep, our digestive system remains awake, removing toxins from our body by depositing them onto the surface of our tongue. If we don’t scrape away these toxins, they get reabsorbed by the body, which can lead to digestive problems, respiratory complications, and a compromised immune system. “Can’t I just brush my tongue with my toothbrush instead?” Unfortunately no, dental research has concluded that a tongue scraper is more effective at removing toxins and bacteria from the tongue than a toothbrush. Don’t get me wrong, brushing and flossing will loosen and move debris around however, they don’t actually remove the bacteria. Almost half of our oral bacteria live on and in the deep crevices of our tongue coatings (which can range in color from clear, white, yellow, or green) and removes them from the body.
Alright, on to the good stuff. Tongue scraping can significantly reduce halitosis (bad breath). Most bad breath comes from the bacteria at the back of the tongue (an area that’s difficult to reach with a toothbrush). And tongue scrapers can easily reach back there. Also, proper digestion begins with taste and salivation. If you don’t take steps to remove toxic mucus on the tongue, your taste buds can become blocked. By confiscating the buildup from the surface this will open up your tongue’s pores and better expose your taste buds, allowing for a greater enjoyment of food flavors, and help your body digest and assimilate food. This practice also boosts your immunity, promotes general tooth and gum health, and improves your digestive health throughout the day.
When is the best time to tongue scrape and how do you tongue scrape? In the morning upon rising is by far the best time to tongue scrape (preferably on an empty stomach) but you can scrape throughout the day as well. A tongue scraper is a long, thin, flat piece of metal that’s bent in a “U” shape. So standing in front of the mirror, stick out your tongue, place the scraper as far back on your tongue as possible, and with a firm but gentle pressure, scrape the surface of your tongue in one long stroke. Rinse and repeat (literally) until your tongue feels clean and is free of any coating (usually 5-10 times). And that’s it! These scrapers are very inexpensive and can be found at health food stores, yoga stores, and online. Be sure to grab a stainless steel scraper, as they’re easier to clean.

舌のスクレープは、舌の表面から細菌、食べかす、毒素、および死んだ細胞を根絶するのに役立ちます。睡眠中に消化器系は目を覚まし、舌の表面に毒素を付着させて体内から毒素を除去します。これらの毒素を掻き取らないと、体に再吸収され、消化器系の問題、呼吸器合併症、免疫系の障害を引き起こします。 「代わりに、歯ブラシで舌を磨けないのですか?」残念なことに、歯科の研究では、舌スクレーパーの方が、歯ブラシよりも毒素や細菌を舌から除去する効果が高いと結論づけています。誤解しないでください。ブラッシングとフロッシングは、多少それらの破片を動かすでしょうが、実際に細菌を取り除くわけではありません。 私たちの口腔細菌のほぼ半分は、舌の塗膜(透明、白、黄、緑の色)の深い隙間に生息しています。
さて、嬉しいこととして、舌を磨くことは、口臭を有意に減少させることができます。ほとんどの口臭は、舌の後ろにある細菌(歯ブラシでは届きにくい部分)から発生します。そして、舌スクレーパーは、そこに簡単にとどきます。 また、適切な消化は味と唾液分泌から始まります。舌の中の毒性の粘液を除去しなければ、あなたの味覚がブロックされることがあります。表面からの蓄積物を取り除くことによって、あなたの舌の毛穴が開き、味覚がより感じられ、食べ物の味を更に楽しむことができ、あなたの体は食物を消化して同化するのを助けます。このケアは免疫力を高め、一般的な歯や歯肉の健康を促進し、一日を通して消化器の健康を改善します。