By Frank Jasper
In traditional Chinese medicine, the tongue is used as a diagnostic tool. It is combined with a complete Health History and lifestyle intake along with assessing pulse and the practitioner’s evaluation of the patient’s energy in order to determine what organ/meridian systems need to be brought into balance.
As an acupuncturist I look at tongues all day long and one of the things I see a lot of is a dry, dehydrated tongue, which indicates internal dryness. Internal dryness/dehydration can cause light-headedness, fatigue, headaches, and even death in extreme cases. Look at your tongue first thing in the morning. Does it have moisture across the entire surface of the tongue? If not, then you are showing signs of internal dryness.
This can be caused by external factors such as hot dry climate, or it can be self-created by lifestyle choices. One is over-consumption of drinks with caffeine – even teas with caffeine can dry out the body. The heat of the beverage can actually increase the rate of dehydration merely because heat/yang has a tendency to deplete yin/moisture.
The body is constantly balancing, trying to maintain homeostasis. So help it out by hydrating with clean, cool to room temperature water. Here is a quick and easy formulae to help decide how much water you may need. Take your body weight in lbs and divide by 2. That is how many ounces to consume daily. Example: if you weigh 100 lbs / 2 = 50. 50 ounces is what you would consume normally.
Remember, this is a general guideline – your individual water requirements may vary. Always check your tongue’s surface moisture in the morning to see how you are doing.