One reader recommends traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for this condition. "Although geographic tongue is recognised in the medical community as harmless," explains Kirsty, "the tongue is a diagnostic tool in TCM." She reckons your symptoms could indicate stress issues or possibly pancreatic insufficiency. Try acupuncture or nutritional therapy and you'll notice a marked improvement after a couple of sessions, she says.
Norene agrees that geographic tongue reflects an underlying condition that needs to be identified. But in the meantime she suggests aloe vera juice and raspberry tea to treat the symptoms. Homeopathy may also be worth a try. According to Eve, the remedy Arsen alb (30) has been successful in some cases.
Another reader, who also suffers from geographic tongue, thinks the condition is a sign that the body is fighting off some kind of virus. He recommends a high quality colloidal multi-nutrient supplement, to be taken daily. Additional vitamin E may also help, "as the skin needs vitamin E to repair itself," says Stephen.
A couple of readers think external factors could be to blame for the condition. "This could be a reaction to your toothpaste," says Madalyn. Look for brands that are free of SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) and other nasties and see if there's an improvement. Alternatively, perhaps you are eating your food - or drinking your tea and coffee - too hot. "The food or drink might not feel too hot but could be burning the surface of your tongue nevertheless," says one reader. It's certainly worth investigating.
A final suggestion for geographic tongue is an ancient Ayurvedic technique called Oil Pulling. It involves swishing refined sunflower or sesame oil around in your mouth, then spitting it out, to 'pull' all the toxins from your body through your saliva. To find out more visit www.oilpulling.com.
E-news broadcast 24 April 2007 No. 353