Image of the Week: Tongues

You must see this! Really. You must!
I’ve spent the last couple of evenings meandering around the absolute treasure trove of historical images over at Wellcome. There’s an abundance of Eastern and Western “medical” images, and it’s all so interesting and awe-inspiring. Some are laugh-out-loud funny.
And in case you were wondering, yes, we still practice the art and science of tongue diagnosis. It’s a useful addition to the picture we build when we’re assessing a patient’s condition, and monitoring progress as we go along.

Wellcome Trust Blog

This week we aim to leave your open-mouthed – not only with our choice of image, but with news that Wellcome Images has this week made 100,000 of its historical images free to use under a Creative Commons attribution (CC-BY) licence. That means you can access the high-resolution images and use them for your research, blogs, or even just your general entertainment.

Hopefully we’ve got you salivating at the thought of all those images, so we thought we’d share this image of tongue diagnosis from the collection.

L0039596 C14 Chinese tongue diagnosis chart

We use our tongues to taste, to speak and lick the odd envelope, without giving it much thought, but in traditional Chinese medicine the tongue has special significance. It is believed to offer a window into a person’s body and a unique way of understanding a person’s health.

This week’s image is an extract from a rare manuscript written in 1341, which…

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