Ayurvedic Diet

Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion Made Easy

Symptoms | Digestion | Mouth & Teeth | Dry Mouth / Tongue
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Dry Mouth / Tongue Ayurvedic Perspectives

Dry Mouth / Tongue (Xerostomia)

(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review
Written by John Immel, Asheville, NC
Salivary glands normally produce .75 - 1.5 liters of fluid per day. Xerostomia, or dry mouth is a subjective feeling that the mouth is too dry. The terms comes from the Greek: Xeros = dry and stoma = mouth. This condition is commonly called pasty mouth or cotton mouth and effects 20% of the population.

Lips may stick together, be chapped or cracked. A pasty mouth makes it difficult to talk as the tongue sticks to the roof of the mouth. It may be difficult to swallow or taste food.

Ayurveda's Perspecitve

Since a dry mouth is also indication that other digestive glands are also dry, Ayurveda recommends that you maintain a moist, juicy mouth at all times. The most important digestive aid you have is thorough chewing and mixing of food with saliva. Saliva also contains enzymes, antiseptics, and antibodies that digest food between teeth and kill bacteria that cause tooth decay. Inadequate saliva can lead to increased cavities.

A dry mouth can be a sign of inadequate hydration, one of the earliest signs of high Vata. Although drinking too little fluids can be a leading cause of dehydration, do not overlook sweating, loose stools, excess urination, and electrolyte imbalance as causes of dehydration. Often, when the blood is toxic, the kidneys will flush excess water out of the body (via the urine) along with toxins. This, along with various kidney deficiencies, can make it difficult for some individuals to stay hydrated.

Kapha type dry mouth may be a sign of thick, sluggish circulation, especially downard moving fluids in a pear-shaped individuals. It can also be a sign of high blood sugar (especially in diabetics) or sodium levels. Salt and sugar, because of their effects on osmotic pressure, create strong thirst.


Other common causes include mouth breathing especially due to a stuffed nose. Although saliva naturally decreases at night, if your mouth feels parched upon waking, you might be mouth breathing while sleeping. Stress and fear can make the mouth pasty. Saliva stimulated by stress is also thicker than saliva stimulated by food. Alcohol, diuretics, and astringents, especially mouthwash, can create a dry mouth. Dry mouth is also related to dry eyes, the inability to cry, sensitivity to bright light, dry skin, and a hoarse voice.

Xerostemia is prevalent among the elderly. Although salivary gland output drops only modestly as you age, your sense of thirst weakens and this could lead to inadequate fluid intake. The elderly also take more medications. Many pharmaceuticals can lead to dry mouth.

Therapeutic Measures

  • "That looks so good, it's making my mouth water." Saliva is stimulated by the sight, smell and taste of desirable food. Desire itself stimulates saliva.
  • Chewing stimulates saliva, as well as palpation of the salivary glands.
  • Sour taste stimulates saliva, especially foods that are high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and malic acid. These include most sour foods including many fruits, leafy greens, etc.
  • Salty, sweet, bitter, and umami foods stimulate saliva. Chewing gum (sugar-free)
  • A slice of fresh ginger stimulates saliva.
  • Drink more water!
  • Add a squeeze of lime, pinch of salt, and a pinch of sugar to your water for improved absorption.

    Aggravated Doshas & Qualities

    Symptoms Tell A Story

    The first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms. Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances, showing you where your body is weak. Specifically, they reveal the doshas & qualities that may have become aggravated. If you notice a quality or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms, it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.

    One or more of the following doshas and qualities may be aggravated.If you have a systemic imbalance of one of these doshas or qualities, Ayurveda would generally recommend avoiding foods and lifestyle habits with that quality.

    Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingDigestive Effects Help

    Key: V = Vata, P = Pitta, K = Kapha. A slash through a dosha means it an aggravated dosha. To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.

    Correct Imbalance

    Food and lifestyle habite with the following effects may reduce imbalances associated with 'Dry Mouth / Tongue'.
    About Pharmacological Effects
    The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.

    Stage of Disease: 1 - Affecting Digestion

    If you have symptoms in this category, your body is sending you a warning sign. Ayurveda recommends paying careful, close attention to correct these warning signs before they weaken your body's resistance.
  • ayurvedic notes

    Chinese: Fluids not rising to coat the lungs. Related to pear shape?

    Educational Resources

    Browse these educational resources for 'dry mouth / tongue'.
    My Joyful Belly Personal Ayurvedic Handbook
    Say goodbye to confusion about food and health with your personal Ayurveda body book, individually and custom formulated for your body.

    Balance Your Vata Diet in a Week - eCourse
    Gain deeper wisdom and insight as you balance your Vata diet in a week with this eCourse. Gracefully heal your body.

    Specialty Formulas by Joyful Belly

    Please review these herbs & products below to determine which ones might be helpful for Dry Mouth / Tongue.
    Digestive Comfort & Support Tea
    Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
    $17.95 $16.16
    Easy digestion for sensitive tummies prone to gas, bloating, and constipation. Gentle, soothing, and nourishing.

    Ayurvedic Herbs & Natural Products for Dry Mouth / Tongue

    Please review these herbs & products below to determine which ones might be helpful for Dry Mouth / Tongue.

    Vata Massage Oil
    Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
    $24.95 $22.45
    Experience the deep calm encouraged by Vata Massage Oil. Nourishing, grounding, calming herbs are infused into a sweetly warm blend of sesame and sunflower oil.

    Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
    Ayurveda's most popular herb detoxifies while it rejuvenates! Especially useful for inflammation of the GI tract.

    Garcinia Cambogia Fruit
    Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
    A famous Ayurvedic appetite suppressant that supports weight loss, healthy blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

    Shatavari Ghee
    Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
    Ayurveda's famous female reproductive tonic. Shatavari addresses a wide range of issues such as infertility, pre-menstrual syndrome, low sex-drive, and increasing breast-milk production.

    Personal Diet Assessment & Recipe Book
    Receive a personal diet assessment online by a Joyful Belly practitioner, and a personal recipe book of yummy treats matching your unique diet. By John Immel

    Diet for Dry Mouth / Tongue

    A diet rich in these foods & nutritional supplements may help re-balance the aggravated qualities and doshas in dry mouth / tongue.
    Almond MilkVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingBlueberryVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
    CherryVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingCoconut OilVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
    Coconut WaterVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingGrapeVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
    GrapefruitVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingHoneyVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
    JaggeryVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingLemonVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
    LimeVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingMangoVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
    OrangeVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingPeachesVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
    PineappleVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingSalt (Mineral Salt)Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
    StrawberriesVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingTomatoVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying

    Related Symptoms & Habits

    The following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Dry Mouth / Tongue' See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type. Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them. Which types have the most check-marks? That could indicate the Ayurvedic imbalance causing your condition
    Stuffed nose (can't breathe)Frequent cavities
    Limited sense of tasteChapped lips
    Difficulty SwallowingDry cough
    Sticky SalivaHoarse Voice
    Acid Reflux


    Dry eyesHouse dry
    Sweat rarelySweat often
    Dark Yellow UrineVomiting
    Frequent UrinationDiarrhea

    Electrolyte Deficiency

    Muscles heavy / tired


    Pear shapeSweet taste on tongue
    Salty cravingsBlood thick / Congested lymph


    Strong body odorTaking Western pharmaceuticals


    Dry skinAnxiety, fear, uncertainty
    Heat aggravatesIrregular/small appetite

    About the Author

    John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

    John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

    John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

    Comments & Personal Experiences

    How does 'dry mouth / tongue' affect your quality of life? What aggravates it? What has helped you? Is there something you'd like to know about 'dry mouth / tongue'?

    (5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review

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    My mother has burning in her mouth and it has escalated to her feet. It has been diagnosed as thrush. She found that a multiple vitamin helped somewhat. She believes it is due to sugar. She likes icecream a lot! She avoids the obvious hot foods i.e., ginger, chilli's etc. She takes coumadin and high blood pressure meds. I thinks she should stop sugar completely with the acception of fruits. What fruits are hot and cold? Have you heard of burning mouth syndfrom?

    - Sally, St. louis, MO, 05-29-13 (Reply)

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