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260 pages, 320 color photos
8 " x 11"
ISBN: 0-939616-33-5


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Atlas of Chinese Tongue Diagnosis

by Barbara Kirschbaum

Tongue diagnosis is a vital instrument used in Chinese medicine both for assessing the current health of a patient and providing a basis for prognosis. It also informs the practitioner about the underlying strength or weakness of the patient’s constitution.

This atlas contains over 320 color photographs of tongues seen in a Western clinic. The photographs provide a graphic representation of a wide variety of common disorders. Each photograph is accompanied by a description of the significant features of the tongue, the corresponding Chinese diagnosis for each such feature, accompanying symptoms, Western diagnosis, and pertinent background information.

The presentation of the tongues is organized according to the nature of the underlying disharmony: Lung, Spleen-Stomach, Kidney, Heart, Liver. Other chapters focus on particular aspects of the tongue, such as pale tongues, cracked tongues, special coating, as well as those associated with heat disorders and blood stasis. The text is interspersed with many full case histories that describe aspects that are not visible on the tongue alone.

A final chapter surveys several cases which reflect how the tongue changed over the course of treatment, with before and after photographs. This systematic presentation provides the student and practitioner of Chinese medicine with a much deeper appreciation for the methodology of tongue diagnosis in Chinese medicine.

An extensive and detailed index provides access to virtually every aspect of the hundreds of tongues presented in this atlas, and their interrelationships.

"An excellent clinical manual for this important aspect of diagnosis, enriched by many case histories and photos."
Giovanni Maciocia, Author Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine

"An excellent example of the new generation of textbooks which are based on experience treating Western patients. Reading this book has rekindled my interest in looking closely at tongues."
Julian Scott, Author Acupuncture in the Treatment of Children

"A gold mine of high quality photographs presented in a way that maximizes clinically relevant learning. Look at each picture, describe it yourself, then read the author’s description and the significance of each finding. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn or refine their tongue diagnosis skills."
Michael Arnold, M.D.

"The quality of the photographs and color reproduction here are quite exceptional . . . the best I have seen in any book on tongue diagnosis. To see tongues of real patients described and analyzed by an expert in the field is invaluable."                     
The Journal of Chinese Medicine 


  • The Foundation of Tongue Diagnosis
  • Pale Tongue Signs
  • Tongue Signs Associated with Kidney Disharmonies
  • Tongue Signs Associated with Stomach & Spleen Disharmonies
  • Tongue Signs Associated with Lung Disharmonies
  • Tongue Signs Associated with Heart Disharmonies
  • Tongue Signs Associated with Liver Disharmonies
  • Tongue Signs Associated with Blood Stasis
  • Tongue Signs Associated with Heat Disorders
  • Tongue Coatings
  • Special Tongue Sign: The Completely Cracked Tongue
  • Changes in the Tongue Following Treatment
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Last Update July  2004
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