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The tongue is a vital, highly active, sensitive organ, which is the beginning and the only visible part of the digestive tract. It is sometimes called the mirror of the stomach. It can prove to be a key-factor in determining many conditions and the overall health of the body.


The tongue is a flexible muscular organ of the mouth. It is meant for tasting, moisturising, licking, kissing, mastication of food, swallowing and, in humans, speech. Its muscles are attached to the lower jaw and to a bone above the larynx. Its rough texture is produced by tiny nodules or papillae which project from its upper surface. Sensory nerves or taste buds are situated at the sides and the base of the tongue and the motor nerve is distributed across the muscular substance.



  •  Ant crud- Thick milky white coating
  • Ant tart- Coated pasty thick white with reddened papillae and red edges
  •  Apis- Tongue fiery red, swollen , sore and raw with vesicles as if varnished
  •  Arum – Strawberry Tongue
  •  Belladonna – Strawberry tongue
  •  Baptisia- white and red papillae, dry and yellow brown in centre, later dry, cracked, ulcerated
  •  Bryonia- Dry parched tongue, coated along centre, red at base
  • Cina- Clean tongue
  •  Ipecac- Clean tongue
  •  Pyrogen-Large, flabby, clean, smooth as if varnished
  •  Mercurius- large, flabby, with imprint of teeth, mapped tongue
  •  Nux vom- First half clean, posterior coated with deep fur, white, yellow, cracked edges
  •  Nux moschata- tongue so dry that it adheres to the soft palate
  •  Rhus tox- Dry, sore, red, cracked, triangular red top. Takes the imprint of teeth
  • Lac can- Tongue coated white with bright red edges
  •  Natrum mur- Tongue mapped with red insular patches, like ringworm on sides
  • Chelidonium- Tongue yellow with imprint of teeth, large flabby
  •  Taraxacum- mapped tongue covered with a white film, coated with raw patches
  • Nitric acid- tongue clean, red with central furrow, fissured in all directions
  •  Fluoric acid- fissured in all directions
  •  Veratrum viride- red stripe down the centre
  •  Nat sulp- Dirty Greenish gray or brown coating of the tongue
  •  Kali mur- Greyish white coating of tongue
  •  Baptisia- brownish coating of tongue


The tongue, like the rest of the inner surface of the mouth, may have several diseases common to the inner mouth cavity. However, its refinements in touching and tasting bring it in contact with all substances entering the mouth and expose it to more irritation than the rest of the oral cavity.
There are a variety of causes for tongue discolouration. Fortunately, the majority of them are not serious and most can be resolved quickly. In some instances, however, a discoloured or painful tongue can indicate more serious conditions, including vitamin deficiencies, AIDS, or oral cancer. For this reason, it is important to seek medical advice


  • Leukoplakia- This condition causes cells in the mouth to grow excessively that leading to formation of white patches in oral cavity including tongue also. Although not dangerous on its own, leukoplakia can be a precursor to cancer. So medical attention should be given to it. Smoking, tobacco chewing, alcohol abuse, chronic trauma from ill fitted dentures or cheek bite are some of the etiological factors.
  • Oral thrush- it is caused by candida albicans. It appears as a white grey patch. When wiped off, they leave a erythematous mucosa. Oral thrush is most commonly seen in infants and the elderly, especially denture wearers, or in people with compromised immune systems. Oral thrush is more likely to occur after the use of antibiotics, which may kill the "good" bacteria in the mouth.
  • Oral lichen planus.
  • Mouth breathing
  • Syphilis



  • Vitamin deficiency- Niacin and folic acid deficiency may lead to red and smooth tongue.
  • Glossitis
  • Scarlet fever- The first sign of scarlet fever may be a change from the tongue's normal colour to a strawberry, and then raspberry, colour.
  • Kawasaki Syndrome- This disease, usually seen in children under the age of five, affects the blood vessels in the body and can cause strawberry tongue. During the acute phase of illness, children often run an extremely high fever and may also have redness and swelling in the hands and feet.
  • Geographic tongue- This condition, also known as benign migratory glossitis, is named for the map-like pattern of reddish spots that develop on the surface of the tongue. At times, these patches have a white border around them, and their location on the tongue may shift over time.

  • A black tongue discolouration is most commonly caused by organisms such as yeast and bacteria growing on the surface of the tongue. These bacteria and yeast produce blood cell pigments called porphyrins which give rise to the black colour characteristically seen. The overgrowth of bacteria can also cause cells of the tongue to be shed more slowly, causing the tongue to take on a hairy appearance, known as a black, hairy tongue.
  • A variety of factors are believed to contribute to this phenomenon including improper tooth and gum care; the use of tobacco products; drinking excessive amounts of tea or coffee; or use of antibiotics, bismuth containing medications and in immune- compromised individuals.


  • Bluish discolouration on the tongue is usually a type of birthmark. It is usually painless, does not bleed and is not sore, is slightly elevated and occasionally covered with small amounts of hair. They have great nuisance value but little actual danger. They, of course, exist from childhood.

Role of homoeopathy-
Tongue discolouration and coating can be treated well by the homeopathic system of medicine. It will help in diagnosing diseases and remedy selection. In homeopathy, there are lots and lots of medicines for tongue discolouration, coating and disorders. The right simillimum (appropriate homeopathic medicine) will act by getting to the core of the disease and clear tongue problems simultaneously.