Just to make sure that you have your sights on the right things we have prepared a brief checklist of important and easily monitored items to help you monitor your digestion—key to your health program.


Examine your tongue daily for any signs of toxic accumulations. If you see a white coating then your digestive system is working sluggishly and needs perking up with more digestive spices and foods. If the coating is yellow then be careful of pitta increasing foods such as peppers, wine, alcohol, cayenne, etc. If it is dark brown or black then fungal infestation may be present. Spots or shaved areas suggest parasites, candida, giardia, etc. A moist, pink tongue is ideal. Buy and use a tongue scraper daily for maintenance of a clean and happy tongue.


Examine your tongue for signs of dental impressions along the margins of the tongue. If you see teeth marks then your colon is likely not getting enough calcium in your diet or you are not absorbing and assimilating it properly. Try eating more calcium rich foods or take triphala at night before bed, if not presently doing so. Remember, never take calcium and vitamin E supplements together—Vitamin E blocks the calcium absorption.


If your tongue has cracks, fissures, or creases then you may be eating too much dry food and drink. Consider more ghee in your food. Also, you may be involved in repetitive activity such as typing that is creating stress along the neck and spine. Take more breaks, evaluate your work ergonomics, lighting and the like.


You should note if tartar deposits are building up on your teeth. A dietary excess of sweets or lack of sour foods may contribute to this. On the other hand teeth sensitive to cold, brushing, and sweets may indicate too much sour in your diet. If you are drinking citrus juices substitute another juice such as grape or peach.


Your stool should be examined for hardness, looseness, floating, frequency, transit time, and color. Hardness is associated with dry colon—maybe too little fluids or too much dry food. Constipation and straining to eliminate may result. Looseness on the other hand may indicate an imbalance in the digestion or in your intestinal motility—often related to irregular lifestyle. The stool should be well-formed in the shape of a banana. It should come daily regularly at least once (or twice depending upon body type). It should float. If not then you are producing ama or toxic waste that affects your colon and its ability to absorb nutrients. If the stool has distinct yellow, red, or even black color then your digestion again is out of balance. Ideal transit time ranges from 18 to 24 hours. A brown stool without undigested food is best.


Examine your urine. If it is frothy, dark yellow or completely clear then there may be some imbalance in this water system. You may be taking in too little (dark yellow) or too much fluid (clear). If it is frothy then your system may be taking carbonated or other vata producing substances. Elimination should feel complete.


Examine your skin for color, moisture, lesions, flexibility, softness, tone and so on. Dryness suggests too many drying influences in diet, lifestyle, emotions, etc. Daily oil massage may be necessary. Color aberrations, lesions, loss of tone or flexibility suggest local or systemic imbalances—sometimes these are only temporary from diet or lifestyle. If they are lasting for weeks then seek professional guidance.


Women should do a self-breast exam and men should digitally examine the prostate weekly. Note irregularities and get prompt professional assistance when you feel something suspicious.


These physical features are readily observed but they are not the only indications of imbalance. Your emotions are also valid evidence of imbalance. Anger, worry, excessive feelings of attachment also serve to guide you. Too much thinking causing insomnia is another valid indication of imbalance in your lifestyle, routine, diet, etc. Your appetite should come at the appropriate time (breakfast excepted for most). Make a mental note of this and monitor the above for changes in you digestive health. If you pay attention to these little things—without worry—you can prevent future problems.


  © Copyright 1999 Michael S. Dick All Rights Reserved