What Does it Mean When Your Tongue has a White Coating?

Welcome to Day 3 of my first Master Cleanse. You can find out what is the Master Cleanse here, and why I’m doing it here.

Before I go into today’s topic, I just wanted to let you know how I’m doing. (Hi, Mom!) To my great surprise, I’m really not hungry or craving food.

My boyfriend came home with two bags full of lemons and limes, and it was the cutest thing.

For those of you who might be wondering, I’ve still been having regular bowel movements. Crazy, huh? I know that this is likely old toxic matter that needs to be eliminated.

Now onto the white tongue issue…

Traditional Chinese Medicine and White Tongues

White Tongue Coating Detox
Photo by SeenyaRita

If you’ve read about my story with birth control pills and losing my period, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Actually, it was a TCM doctor who really helped me balance out my hormones.

One of the things that TCM doctors look at is your tongue. If it’s “abnormal” then they can figure out which parts of your body are out of balance. Now all of this may not seem scientific. But I know it works.

If your tongue is pale or white, then it means that you might have a Qi or blood deficiency. That might mean you’re feeling tired, or have low energy. You can read more about TCM tongue interpretation here.

At the time I was visiting my TCM doc, I had a pale white tongue and that was definitely true for me. For past few years my tongue had returned to normal.

Except now that I’m doing the master cleanse, my tongue has turned pale and become coated with white stuff again.

Coincidence? I think not. Keep reading to see what’s causing this.

What a Healthy Tongue Should Look Like

A healthy tongue is usually pink, and smooth.

If your tongue is always white or has weird fuzz, then medically speaking it could mean a few things.

White Tongue and Dehydration

The easiest to check is dehydration. If you aren’t drinking enough water, then that could definitely be causing your tongue to be too white.

Another thing to keep in mind with dehydration is that not all liquids are hydrating. For example coffee and tea are very dehydrating, and you would need to drink twice the water to compensate.

I always recommend you drink 1/2 a Liter (16 oz.) of water right upon waking up. Trust me, your body needs water first thing in the morning.

White Tongue and Candida

Another possibility is an overgrowth of yeast, also known as candida or thrush. This was a big ah-ha for me, because I know that I have to balance my beneficial bacteria and yeast since I’ve taken the birth control pill in the past.

I am under the impression that this whole white tongue thing is related to processing the yeasties and candida in my body.

According to an article on the Master Cleanse web site, it is common for the first few days to produce a white coated tongue. After the first few days it goes away, while your body goes to work healing and detoxing further.

This naturopathic article on white tongue may give you more insights if you want further information.

Tongue Tied Together?

Taking the TCM approach and the naturopathic or scientific explanations together really work for me. They might not be enough to explain your white tongue experiences, so I encourage you to do more research if this didn’t answer your questions.

I just know that I feel better knowing that I am actually bringing on this white tongue effect through my detoxification efforts. It’s definitely one of the detox symptoms and side effects.

Thanks for reading about my experiences with the Master Cleanse. Yay for getting through this cleanse, and getting rid of these yeasties!

Love, Nathalie