Taste and Smell:

How to Promote Healthy Senses of Taste and Smell

By Dr. Ben Kim

Taste is 80 percent smell.

You have about 10,000 taste buds on your tongue that help you differentiate between sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and other tastes.

But your taste buds are small players compared to the nerve fibers that sit near the roof of your nasal passageways and help register various smells, at least where your ability to taste different foods is concerned.

There is mounting scientific evidence that suggests that having a poor sense of taste may lead to regular overeating. The idea is that when you are partially numb to what your food tastes like, you may require more overall volume to feel fully satisfied.

Whether this is true for you or not, it's in your best interest to have keen senses of taste and smell - both can help you avoid foods, substances, and circumstances that are harmful to your health.

Simple Action Steps that Promote Healthy Senses of Taste and Smell

Clean Your Tongue

Whenever you brush your teeth, use your tooth brush or the edge of a spoon to gently clean the surface of your tongue. Rinse well after each cleaning, and be sure to give your cleaning tool (brush or spoon) some time under a stream of hot water to help remove or kill off undesirable bacteria.

Always use a tooth brush with soft or extra soft bristles, and replace your brush regularly - about once every two months at a minimum.

Regularly cleaning your tongue can help keep your taste buds optimally receptive to registering different tastes.

Clean Your Nasal Passageways

The following procedure, done regularly, can help promote a keen sense of smell by keeping your nasal passageways clean. This procedure can also help prevent or address nasal congestion.

  1. Stand over your bathroom sink, turn on the cold water, cup your hands together to form a basin-like shape that allows the cold water to pool.
  2. Bring your nostrils down to your hands and fill both with cold water by inhaling very gently to ensure that water goes as far back in your nasal passageways as is comfortable. Hold the water in this position for up to three to five seconds.
  3. Move your hands to the side and allow the water to drain from your nasal passageways. As the water runs out of your nostrils, cover up one side at a time while blowing gently through the other side. This will help remove any mucous and waste materials in your nasal passageways.
  4. Repeat the steps listed above two to three times or until you feel that your nasal passageways are completely clear of debris.

What's nice about the cleansing routines described above for your tongue and nasal passageways is that you can do them as many times as you want throughout the day without any adverse effects.

Dr. Ben KimImprove Your Health With Our Free E-mail Newsletter

Join thousands of people from all over the world who receive our natural health newsletter.

  • 100% free. You can unsubscribe anytime.
  • No spam. We respect and protect your privacy at all times.
  • Valuable information that you can use to improve the quality of your health and life.
First Name:


Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate your newsletter. As a fellow health care provider (optometrist) and medical researcher, I find your distillation of the literature into lay terms to be accurate and very understandable. I really enjoyed your contribution regarding macular degeneration. Keep up the good work. - Kristine Erickson, OD, PhD, FAAO

I get a lot of e-mailed newsletters and yours is the only one I read thoroughly from top to bottom. Your advice is enlightening, educational, easy to follow and it works! Thank you so much for all that you offer. - Lisa Abramovic

Thanks for your excellent health newsletter. I look forward to it every week. Thanks for providing the best online health resource I have found. - Moorea Maguire

I'm sure as a doctor you hear your share of complaints. I just thought you'd like to know that there's at least one person in your "e-audience" that appreciates the time and effort you put into sending the emails. I really look forward to them. - Linda H., Raleigh, North Carolina

Many of my adult ESL students are Korean, and enjoy bits and pieces from your newsletter that I have shared with them. In addition to your logical approach to health, I enjoy sharing your newsletter because your English is unfailingly correct as well as easily understood. Thank you for your beautiful approach to life. - J. Zetterstrom

I thank you and your staff for such a great website. I am former National Level Bodybuilder so I know a thing or two about health and fitness. Your site is very valuable and I do my best to pass it on to friends and people I train. It is also a helpful resource in my career as a human service provider working with clients who need to recover from substance abuse. I believe a major part of recovery is getting your body and mind feeling healthy and strong. Thank you again! Great Website! - Michael Christopher, MSW

I truly appreciate your wonderful newsletter - your balanced and professional way of looking at issues is so helpful! - Erica H.

First Name:

Disclaimer: Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.