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Symptoms | Digestion | Mouth & Teeth | Dry mouth / tongue
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Dry mouth / tongue Ayurvedic Perspectives
Dry mouth / tongue (xerostomia)
Ayurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic Diet(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.

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.

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.

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.

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) or a fresh piece of ginger stimulates saliva.

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.

Dry mouth / tongue indicates one or more of the following doshas and qualities are imbalanced:

Vata 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.

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.
educational resources
Browse these educational resources for 'dry mouth / tongue'.
My Joyful Belly Personal Ayurvedic Handbook
Care for your body with a personalized handbook of home remedies & health tips, individually and custom formulated for your body. By John Immel

Introduction to Vata Dosha
Discover calming, soothing, and nutritive therapies that restore stability and resiliency in Vata dosha, the most delicate of all body types in Ayurveda.

herbal remedies & natural products for Dry mouth / tongue
Herbs, medicines, & home remedies with the following effects have been traditionally suggested for 'Dry mouth / tongue'.
Pharmacological Effects
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.

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

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

Soften & Soothe: Digestive Comfort Tea
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Easy digestion for sensitive tummies prone to gas, bloating, and constipation. Gentle, soothing, and nourishing.

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

Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
This famous, gentle laxative cleanse and tones the colon. Used for millenia in India for all Vata disorders.

Licorice Root
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
Famous herb used to nourish the kidneys & encourage rehydration.

Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
Pure, unrefined sugar rich in minerals, iron and vitamins.

Pomegranate MolassesVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingGingerVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Licorice TinctureVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingGinger TinctureVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
Schizandra TinctureVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
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.
BlueberryVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingCherryVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
Coconut OilVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingCoconut WaterVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating
GrapeVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingGrapefruitVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
HoneyVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingJaggeryVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
LemonVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingLimeVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
MangoVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingOrangeVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
PeachesVata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravatingSalt (Mineral Salt)Vata pacifyingPitta aggravatingKapha aggravating
StrawberriesVata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifyingTomatoVata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
related symptoms
See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type. Symptoms are checked below if you reported them in the quizzes. 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
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'?

Ayurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic Diet(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review

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, MOAyurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic DietAyurvedic Diet, 05-29-13

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