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5 reasons you might want to try a tongue scraper

By Alexandra Spunt for

File this under weird things I learned at the ashram (again), but I’m officially a tongue scrapring convert.

What’s a tongue scraper, pray tell? While many of you may know—I didn’t—it’s a simple device used to remove the bacteria and buildup that likes to set up camp on the tongue. This film, which can go from clear to thick and white, yellow, or even greenish, can also speak volumes about our health. What’s the first thing a doctor, eastern or western, usually asks to see? Exactly.

But when I told Durga, my ayurvedic consultant that I didn’t need to scrape because I brushed my tongue with a toothbrush, she shuddered, explaining that the using the same tool to clean the tongue and teeth was ill advised.

In Ayurveda, the rituals of self maintenance are very 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.

This is the one that I use, though some folks just opt for a spoon, or the plastic ones you can get at the drugstore. If you are going to try tongue scraping, follow the instructions, and by all means, be very gentle with your tongue—the last thing you want to do is hurt the thing.

Keep reading for the benefits of using a tongue scraper…

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