6 common facts about Ayurveda and TCM

Ayurveda has a history of more than 5,000 years, originated in the Indus Valley region of India. First, it was passed orally from family to family and generation to generation. Later it was recorded in the ancient Vedic books. The knowledge was spread along the silk road and influenced Chinese medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM is originated in China. As the origin of history got lost, written records are available from 2,000 years ago. Acupuncture points history can be followed way back to Stone Age.

As you can see – there must be some similarities between Ayurveda and the ancient way of TCM. Both systems are holistic for sure and see the human as a whole. Let´s have a closer look!

1.) Connections to the tongue

Ayurveda and TCM both use tongue diagnosis. In TCM the tongue is a map to our organs. In Ayurveda, we also use cracks, color, coat of the tongue to have a closer look at the imbalances of our patients. TCM also recommends to brush the tongue and avoid certain drinks or food before having a tongue diagnosis. 

2.) The theory of elements 

Here is another common thing – TCM is separating the body in 5 elements. Ayurvedic theory is separating the body into 5 elements as well. In Ayurveda, we call it Vata (Ether & Air), Pitta (Fire & Water), Kapha (Earth & Water). In TCM it is Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. 

And both systems have a similar way to find those elements in the human body. Here is a TCM description: 

  1. Solid structures such as bones, flesh, skin, tissue, and hair represent earth form.
  2. Water forms saliva, urine, semen, blood, and sweat.
  3. Fire forms hunger, thirst, and sleep.
  4. Air takes care of breathing like expansion, contraction, and suppression.
  5. Space takes care of physical attraction and fear.

3.) Pulse Diagnose 

Both Ayurveda and TCM use Pulse diagnose to find imbalances. 

Ayurveda describes the Doshas in our Pulses, while TCM describes 29 different Pulses in the human body. The goal is the same: to have a closer look at the individual and its imbalances to find a unique treatment. 

4.) The causes of illness

In TCM the evils are external in origin but can penetrate deeply into the body, as they do in Ayurveda.

The Six Evils are:

  • Wind
  • Cold
  • Damp
  • Heat
  • Summer Heat
  • Dryness

In Ayurveda Dryness and Wind and everything that is aggravating Vata is the root of 60% of all illnesses. 30% are related to Pitta Dosha and just 10% can be found related to Kapha Dosha. 

5.) Tastes and properties 

TCM describes different tastes in herbs and nutrition as well. Sweet, Spicy, Bitter, Sour, Salty, Astringent and Bland. In Ayurveda, we describe Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter and Astringent. 

6.) Dietary and Nutritional guidelines 

Just have a look at the common TCM guidelines for eating habits and what should be avoided:

General Eating Habits   

  •   Eat in a calm and relaxed atmosphere and do not rush your meal
  •  Avoid intense interactions at mealtime, including television and reading
  •  Chewing food thoroughly supports spleen qi
  •  Don’t eat meals late at night
  • Avoid overconsumption and excessive fasting

  Avoid:

  •  Raw, cold food, and iced beverages
  •  Excessive dairy
  •  Oily, greasy, and fried foods
  •  Refined sugar and limit overly sweet foods like fruit
  •  Refined carbohydrates
  •  Excessive alcohol intake
  •  Excessive meat consumption

I am sure you can find here all the nutrition facts, you already read about Ayurvedic nutrition!

What do you think? What do you prefer? What do you practice? I would like to read some of your personal experiences in the comment section below! 

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Have a beautiful new week & lovely greetings, 

Show me your tongue…

According to Ayurveda there are a few simple ways to stay healthy and happy! By adding these practices to your daily routine, you can integrate Ayurveda easily to your daily life and help your body, mind and soul! Tongue scraping is as important as brushing your teeth, imagine our mouth as a gatekeeper!

Show me your tongue!

Show me your tongue and I will tell you how healthy you are! No, I am not kidding!

90% of all bacteria in our mouth are on our tongue. According to Ayurveda all toxins starting in the mouth. Those toxins are called in Ayurveda “Ama” and they can spread down your gastrointestinal tract and other body parts and cause harm. Toxins in the blood often accumulate on the back of the tongue. While a slight coating on the back of the tongue is normal, a thick or large coating is a warning sign of a large toxic burden. Illness starts with Ama. Scraping your tongue every morning after brushing your teeth can affect your life and health in many positive ways!

Why you should scrape your tongue:

Coat on your tongue causes bad breath

  • The bacteria, fungi, dead cells and food debris are growing literally overnight on your tongue while you are sleeping. And this is what causes morning breath.

Scraping your tongue helps to prevent from caries, periodontitis and infections in the mouth

  • Less bacteria on your tongue means you are helping your teeth to stay healthy! It improves your dental health as much as it boosts your immune system!

Your taste senses will get better and more sensitive after two weeks

  • The less coating on your tongue, the more you will taste your food and you will have a brand new experience about salty, sour, sweet and become more sensitive of flavors in general!

Your digestive fire will be stronger, because those toxins do less harm on it

  • Your digestions starts in your mouth when you taste your meal and chew. Saliva is starting to breaking down all the enzymes of your food. When your tongue is coated, your body doesn´t get enough information about what is going on and so your digestion experience is starting already low. In Ayurveda we want to light up our digestive fire, called “Agni” and scraping your tongue will help you with that!

Your immune system will be strengthened

  • A healthy and strong Digestive Fire leads to a healthy immune support for your body!

Your body can absorb nutrients better

  • This one is also connected with the coat on your tongue. By scraping your tongue daily,  your body starts already while you are chewing to absorb the nutrients you take in!

Eat less, stop bloating, let your skin glow

  • Tongue scraping can help you to eat less because the taste experiences without coat on your tongue will leave you more satisfied. Overeating comes from “wanting more” because you do not taste enough satisfying flavors. Overeating causes imbalances as bloating, other digestive issues and those leading to skin issues and other health Problems as well.

So what for a tongue scraper to buy and how to use it?

You see a tongue scraper is something you really need, let me help to find the perfect one for you! 🙂

The tongue scraper I use is from a small company called Yuveda – their beautiful copper scrapers are not just stylish, copper got many health benefits as well! You can find them here:

Tongue Scrapers for a beautiful smile! 🙂
Unpaid Add because of Love and Support! 🙂

Copper kills bacteria which are causing bad breath and it is also antibacterial and antimicrobial. You can wash it and use it forever – no plastic waste! Other great options for your health and environment are stainless steel scrapers or even tin or brass. I do not go to the options about silver and gold, because no one can afford that stuff! Ayurvedic traditional texts are recommending copper, silver, gold, tin or brass. Tin and brass are not super hygienic and so copper and stainless steel are the best options. I used stainless steel now for many years but love the benefits from copper since I use it!

And now let´s see how to scrape!

Do it in the morning, right after brushing your teeth.

Stick your tongue out wide in the front of a mirror and place the scraper at the end of your tongue. This might could feel weird when you have gone too deep! 😉

Stroke now from the back to the front and you can already see that white mucus is coming off. Let that drop into your sink. I scrape 5 to 10 times, rinse my mouth and the scraper with water and start oil pulling afterwards. But that is a topic for a whole new article! 😉

Ask yourself:

Do you have areas in your life who are lacking of good “taste?” Are there parts in your life who “taste” already good? Are there parts in your life who could Need more improvement of “taste?” Study your tongue to find out! For example, you can:

  • Look at your tongue every morning in the mirror. Do you see after a change after scraping?
  • When you write a journal, you can make notes about the taste in your mouth and your tongue.
  • Notice how the taste changes when you eat something.
  • Start scraping, send me Pictures of your tongue and ask any questions! Tell us about your experience in the comment section!

Next Sunday I will talk about “The Doshas” and how we can find out which Dosha is related to us! Have a beautiful start into the new week! Namaste!