Tongue Twister

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

Recently it has been discovered that "COVID Tongue" is one of the new emerging signs and symptoms to be aware of.

The tongue below shows a very thick yellow tongue coat, with patches of missing coat, which appear to be very red.

Obviously, this picture isn't particularly clear. And at the bottom of my post, I have posted a video of how to take a good tongue photo!

So, what might this show:

  • The thickness of the coat suggests the presence of a pathogen. The thicker the coat, the stronger the pathogen.

  • If the coat is yellow it shows full-heat.

  • If the coat is white is shows full-cold (unless it is thin and white, which is considered normal).

  • If the tongue coat is dry then this is always an indication of depleted body fluids. If the coating is yellow and dry without being sticky or greasy, it is an indication of injury to the fluids by internal heat, which will thicken any accumulated dampness or phlegm in the interior

  • A deficiency or lack of fluids will result in insufficient tongue coating, which will take on a peeled appearance or show an irregular distribution. If these types of coatings appear specifically in the centre of the tongue, it is a sure sign of Stomach yin deficiency


The tongue and pulse are key diagnostic tools in the acupuncture toolkit.

And they provide us with the history and present-day of you internally.

Tongue diagnosis in acupuncture