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  • Coated: Tongue looks as though it could be rolled or peeled off.
  • Fur: Looks as though it was a part of the tongue and could not be peeled or taken off. A fur or coating coming off in patches, leaving a glistening spot in acute disease is not a favorable sign.
  • Fur: Indicates epitheliazation, a hyperproduction or nonremoval by friction and a lack of attrition by want of appetite. and consequently absence of mastication. Infants' tongues are white at back part from lack of attrition. In cancer of the stomach tongue is coated or yellow. In ulcers of the stomach tongue is clean and reddish.
  • Ridges, fissures or grooves or furrows characterize the hepatic disorders so common in the South and malarial regions.
  • Cracked edges, deranged kidneys. Examine.
  • Red, pointed and dry, denotes nerve irritation.
  • Broad, porous, denotes imperfect elimination and muscular weakness.
  • Flabby and full, denotes blood poverty and debility.
  • Dry, cracked, scaly and brown is seen in the later stages of long continued specific fevers, like typhoid or in rapid specific fever of high. grade as typhus.
  • Very red tongue, is common in eruptive fevers, especially in remittent and intermittent fevers, especially if the stomach is involved. Also indication of indigestion, in which cases the edges are mostly red.
  • Purple or livid, indicates defective oxygenation of blood.
  • Fissured tongue: In advanced stage of febrile diseases refers us to lesions of kidneys or irritation of nerve centers.
  • Dry tongue, sign that digestive organs can do but little work and need rest.
  • Vivid whiteness of tongue evidences simple functional wrong and is associated with the febrile state.
  • Thin, transparent coating of tongue, shows enfeebled digestive function.
  • Fur on tongue, that can be scraped off if uniformly distributed, evidently means impaired intestinal tract. If restricted to the base only, there is greater wrong of the stomach.
  • Heavily loaded tongue calls our attention to accumulations in the stomach.
  • Yellow coating arises from wrong of the hepatic function.
  • Bright redness of tip and edges, especially of papillae, is an evidence of irritation with determination of blood. It suggests care in the use of remedies.
  • Broad and pallid tongue, marked want of color, shows an excess of acids and a want of alkaline body elements.
  • Dryness we associate with excitation of the nerve center and vascular excitement, with arrest of secretion. If in acute disease where there has been dryness. of tongue, it becomes moist, it shows that the nerve centers are relieved and secretion commenced. If in case of feeble innervation from the sympathetic with moist, relaxed tongue, the tongue gets dry and becomes firmer, we know that the nervous system has been stimulated and it is often the first indication of improvement. All shades of brown and black show the typhoid condition and strongly indicate antiseptics.
  • Dirty fur, is an indication of sepsis.
  • Small tongue, full in center, covered with a tenacious coat, shows marked disturbance of brain, unless there is acute disease of the ear or eyes.
  • Contraction is always a sign of excitation of the nervous system.
  • Fullness of tongue has the opposite meaning.
  • Elongated and pointed tongue, refers us to stomach and intestinal canal; it is also one of the expressions of disease of the base of the brain.
  • Tongue covered with a grayish or yellowish fur, showing small patches of red distributed uniformly over surface, is the tongue of scarlet fever, the so-called strawberry tongue.
  • Tongue broad, flabby, with white or yellowish coating, indented edges, we see in bilious conditions.
  • Movement sometimes is very important in determinating the condition of the brain. If person has full command over it, we take it for granted that the functions of the brain are well performed yet. If protruded with difficulty, tremulous, or inclined to one side, we have proportional cerebral lesion of the brain. Still where certain parts only are affected this may not be so.
  • Eroded appearance of papillae at the tip of the tongue, looking like small, red rose colored bubbles, shows a peculiar wrong of the nerve centers and of brain. It indicates rhus tox as remedy.
  • Deep, red tongue, usually contracted, dry, evidences a want of acids in the system.
  • Deep red or violet colored mucous membrane, with fullness, is evidence sepsis, it indicates baptisia. In some cases acids should also be given.
  • Full color, with violet shade, superficial and transparent, indicates nitric acid.
  • Large, thick in center, with incurved edges and a dull blue leaden color, is one of the strongest indications for arsenicum.
  • Same dull leaden color, with no change in size or shape, indicates phosphorus or hypophosphites.
  • Slick, raw, beef tongue, the papillae wholly effaced, evidences sepsis, is one of the most marked typhoid symptoms. Color is usually deep and it indicates acids or baptisia.
  • Dirty tongue, pallid, is the indication for bicarbonate or sulphite of soda.
  • Dirty tongue, with natural redness, we can use sulphurous acid or sulphate of magnesia.
  • Dirty, with increased redness, muriatic acid.
  • Full, leaden color, grayish white, indication for kali mur. 3x

The Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics, 1905, was written by Fred J. Petersen, M.D.

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