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Chinese Tongue Diagnosis Study Stack

Quiz yourself by thinking what should be in each of the black spaces below before clicking on it to display the answer.

Pale, Bright, Shiny   Qi and Blood Deficiency, particularly of ST and SP  
Red   Heat in the nutritive or blood levels (w/o coating), or yin def. w/heat (w/o coating)  
Pale and slightly dry   Blood deficiency  
Pale and wet   Yang Deficiency  
Red, dry, w/coating   heat from excess burning body fluids  
Red, dry, w/o coating   heat from def. of yin & exhaustion of body fluids  
Red and wet   heat w/retention of dampness  
Red and Shiny   ST &/or KD yin deficiency  
Red w/red points or spots   Heat with blood stasis  
Red w/prickles   Heat in the nutritive level or in the upper or middle burner  
Red & Peeled   Heat from ST & KD yin  
Red & Scarlet   LU yin or HT yin deficiency  
Reddish purple & distended   Extreme heat w/blood stasis & poison from alcohol injuring the HT  
Dark red w/a dry center   ST fire blazing or ST yin def w/heat  
Red w/a purple spot in center   Blood stasis & heat in ST  
Reddish Purple   Heat & Blood stasis  
Blue   Severe internal cold w/blood stasis  
Bluish Purple   Blood stasis from internal cold  
Bluish purple & moist   Blood stasis from internal cold stiffening the tendons & bones  
Blue in a pregnant woman   danger of imminent miscarriage  
Blue central surface   SP yang def. w/ retention of phlegm in chest  
Blue w/o coat   Severe internal cold w/stasis & exhaustion of blood  
Distended veins on underside of tongue   Def & stagnation of Qi; blood stasis (if veins are also dark)  
Swollen tongue   SP &/or KD Yang Def. w/dampness  
Swollen and red   HT & ST heat, or poisoning (alcohol or otherwise)  
Swollen edges   SP Qi Deficiency  
Swollen between tip and center   LU Qi w/retention of phlegm  
Swollen tip and red   HT fire blazing  
Swollen and normal color   HT Qi Def.  
1/2 swollen   Weakness of the channels  
Partly swollen on side   Def. or stagnation of Qi in chest  
Thin and pale   Def. of blood  
Thin and red   Def. of yin  
Swollen sides   Ascendant LV yang or LV fire  
Swollen along central crack   HT fire blazing (red), HT Qi Def. (normal)  
1/2 surface swollen   LU Qi def.  
Hammer-shaped   ST, SP, KD Def.  
Stiff and red or dark   exterior heat invading PC  
Stiff and red   Heat injuring body fluids  
Stiff   Blazing HT fire  
Stiff and normal color   internal wind  
Flaccid and pale   Exhausted Qi & blood  
Flaccid and red   Extreme heat injuring fluids  
Flaccid and deep red   KD yin def. w/heat  
Loose and red   interior excess heat  
Loose, red, w/ slippery coating   Phlegm fire clouding HT  
Loose and pale   HT Qi Def.  
Long   Blazing HT fire or phlegm fire in HT  
Short and pale   SP yang def or internal cold  
Short and red   Heat stirring LV wind  
Short and red w/coat   Insuffiency of body fluids due to heat from excess  
Short, red, w/o coat   Heat from def.  
Moving and red   HT fire and internal wind  
Moving, red and dry   SP heat w/ exhaustion of body fluids  
Deviated and normal   Exterior wind invading channels  
Deviated (red or normal)   Interior LV wind  
Deviated and pale   HT Qi def.  
Numb and pale   HT blood def  
Numb and normal or red   LV wind  
Numb and slippery   Wind phlegm  
Quivering and pale   SP Qi Def.  
Quivering and red   Extreme heat generating internal wind  
Quivering and pale   Collapse of HT and SP Qi  
Quivering, pale, and thin   Collapse of Yang  
Ulcerated and red   Blazing HT fire or SP & KD heat  
Ulcerated, red and peeled   HT heat from KD yin Def.  
Tip rolled over   Heat from Excess  
Tip rolled under   Heat from Def.  
Tooth marked   SP Qi Def.  
Sore-covered and red   Hot poison in HT channel  
Sore-covered, red and peeled   Heat from Def  
White or White & thin tongue coat   Wind, cold, or dampness in the exterior  
White, thin & slippery tongue coat (TC)   Exterior attack of cold dampness  
White, thick and slippery   Dampness in the middle burner or cold w/retention of food in ST  
White, thin, dry TC and pale body   Blood def or yang def.  
White, thin, dry TC   Exterior attack of wind cold or wind heat; LU fluids injured; Exterior attack of dryness  
White, thick and wet (normal)   Exterior attack of wind cold  
White, thick and wet (pale or normal)   Interior cold dampness in middle burner  
White, thick and dry   Dirty fluids in the interior w/heat  
White, thick and greasy   Yang def. w/ retention of food or dampness  
White, thick, greasy & slippery   SP yang def w/ cold dampness or phlegm  
White, thick, greasy and dry   Dampness w/ exhaustion of body fluids or heat  
White, rough & cracked   Attack of summer heat injuring the Qi (Qi level)  
White, sticky & greasy   Dampness or phlegm in the middle burner; exterior attack of dampness at the Qi level  
White like powder, body red slightly red on tip or sides   Exterior heat  
White like powder adn red or dark red body   Interior poison  
White like powder and red body   Heat in the triple burner  
White like snow   SP yang exhaustion w/cold dampness in the middle burner  
White & moldy   KD & ST yin def or poison in the interior  
Yellow or pale yellow TC   exterior attack of wind heat; wind cold turning to heat; damp heat in the chest & middle burner  
Yellow and slippery TC   Damp heat  
Dry Yellow TC   Heat-injured fluids  
Yellow, sticky & greasy TC   Heat & phlegm  
Right 1/2 white and slippery   Pathogenic factor half in the exterior and half in the interior  
Left 1/2 white and slippery   Heat in the LV  
Dirty yellow TC   Damp heat in the ST & intestines  
Bilateral yellow strips (remainder white)   EPF penetrating to the interior; Heat in the ST and intestines  
Bilateral yellow strips (reaminder yellow)   Heat in LV & GB  
Yellow root, white tip   EPF just changing into heat & penetrating into the interior  
1/2 yellow and 1/2 white (longitudinally) TC   Heat in LV and GB  
Gray and dry TC   Heat from excess  
Gray or gray, wet & slippery TC   Cold dampness in the SP  
Bilateral black on white and wet TC   Cold Def. in middle burner  
Bilateral black on7 white and dry TC   Excess heat in the ST & SP  
White coating, black points   EPF penetrating to the interior & transforming into heat  
Black or black, slippery & greasy   Cold dampness in the ST and intestines  
Black in the center, white & slippery on sides   SP Yang def. w/ cold dampness in the interior  
Black, dry & cracked   Exhaustion of KD; Yang def. w/ interior cold  
1/2 white and slippery, 1/2 yellow and black   LV or GB heat  
White coating, black prickles   True cold, false heat cold turned into heat  
White & black TC   Dampness in the SP  
White in center, yellow around   PF just penetrating the interior & changing into heat  
Yellow in center and white around   Interior heat just starting to clear  
Yellow in center, black, slippery, & greasy around   Damp heat in the SP  
Yellow sides, black prickles in center   Heat in the yang brightness stage  
Yellow, dry & black center to tip   Heat in the ST and intestines  
Yellow in center & gray around   Damp heat w/ heat-injured fluids  
Yellow sides, black & greasy center   Damp heat in SP & ST  
White, gray, and moist TC   Cold dampness in the interior  
White, gray & dirty TC   Cold dampness or phlegm of long standing  
1/2 white, 1/2 gray   Cold 1/2 exterior, 1/2 interior  
White in center and gray & black around   Dampness in the SP  
Irregular cracks   ST yin Def.  
Horizontal cracks   Yin Def  
Transverse cracks on sides   SP Qi Def  
Cracks like ice floes   Yin def. from old age  
Transverse cracks behind tip   LU yin Def.  
Very deep central crack w/ other small cracks   KD yin Def. w/ heat  
Vertical crack in center   HT yin def. or blazing HT fire  


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