Ever notice the white or yellow fuzz on your tongue in the morning? That’s your bad breath solidified. That white fuzz contains heavy metals and unwanted bacteria/fungus. Don’t believe me? Simply keep the white fuzz you scraped off and let it sit for a day until it solidifies, then smell it the next morning…and that is what your bad breath smells like.
How do you remove the white fuzz? Not by brushing your tongue because that just stirs it around and drives it into the tongue. You have to scrape your tongue.
This video covers how to do tongue scraping, an ancient technique with modern application. At night our body attempts to detox heavy metals and remove unwanted bacteria and fungus. The surface of the tongue is one place uses as a landing pad for the body to push unwanted metals and microbes out to the surface.
The technique was supposedly first practiced by yogis in India as a purifying ritual in the morning. These yogis took it to a whole different level where they learned to partially swallow a cloth to collect the mucus in the entire esophagus, then pull the cloth out with the mucus on it, therefore ‘purifying’ themselves. I didn’t know if this had any scientific validity to it until one of my biochemistry instructors, Dr. Alan Campbell, PhD (may he rest in peace), mentioned a scientific paper in class where the mucus secretions in the esophagus and mouth contained heavy metals. Unfortunately, I cannot find that scientific paper reference from my notes (if anyone knows this paper, please leave it in the comments section). I am not recommending you do the cloth-chewing thing these yogis did. Tongue scraping is good enough for the western world.
You don’t need a fancy tongue scraper to do this. You can use a wide cap of a supplement bottle. You probably have a lot of old supplement bottles kicking around. Just grab a largish bottle and transfer the remaining contents to another jar and use the lid. It will be wide enough to cover the tongue and the edge should be sharp enough to pull the fuzz off your tongue but not sharp enough to cut you.
If you really want a tongue scraper, don’t get a plastic one because I’ve had many of those and they have a tendency to break or even snap mid-scrape. Not fun. If you’re getting a metal scraper, opt for copper because copper is naturally anti-fungal, such as this one:
When not to scrape your tongue: Don’t scrape your tongue on the day you go see an acupuncturist or ayurvedic practitioner that does tongue diagnosis. The thickness, location, color, and texture of the fuzz on the tongue is critical to that particular system of diagnosis. For those that may not think the consistency and color of the fuzz on your tongue has any diagnostic merit, consider nail diagnosis in western medicine, like clubbing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nail_clubbing. There are any number of reasons a body part on the periphery may reflect conditions inside the body, such as circulation and the nails. The same is true for the tongue.
Your cutting board: The other surface you need to scrape off microbes. There is a biofilm on your cutting board that is best to be scraped off, not washed or soaped off. I first learned this from Jozseph Shultz (http://www.indiajoze.com/chefs.html), a culinary anthropologist and chef, when I took his cooking classes and his culinary anthropology course at university. He used a cutting board scraper, similar to this:
These cutting board scrapers also function as quick ways to transfer a piled of chopped veggies to a pot or stir-fry.
Chef Shultz also recommended wooden cutting boards because they had natural antimicrobial properties ingrained into the wood. Also, he said it’s best to by ‘end grain’ cutting boards, meaning wood that has be cut across the grain (perpendicular to the length of the tree). The end grain is better for your knife and for the board because it’s ‘self-healing’ in that you put a knife into the board and the natural end grain has an (pun intended) ingrained ability to slightly split and then return to normal. Ever put an axe into the top of a tree stump? Notice when you take the axe out of the top of the tree stump doesn’t really look like anything happened to the tree? Yet when you axe from the side of the tree, it leaves a scar. It’s the same principle when cutting on a cutting board. If the grain of the wood is along the length of the tree, the wood can get scarred and also damage the knife. If the grain of the wood is end grain, the wood will self heal and your knife won’t get dull so quickly.
On example of a popular end-grain, anti-microbial resistant wooden chopping board is this:
So there you have it. Scrape your tongue and scrape your cutting board as an easy way to better health.