Tastes play a key role in Ayurveda, because they are used both in diagnosis and the attraction of various diseases. Like everything in ancient Indian medicine, tastes are in direct dependence on the human constitution (doshi).
There are six tastes, three of which increase the doshas and three decrease them. Tastes are determined in the most direct way – through the mouth and tongue.
What are the six tastes and how they are formed!
The six flavors are sweet, salty, sour, spicy, bitter, astringent. Each taste is formed by two main elements:
- The sweet taste is formed by water and earth.
- Salty – from water and fire.
- The sour one – from the Earth and the Fire.
- The spicy – fire and air.
- The bitter – from air and ether.
- The austere – from Earth and air.
How do different tastes affect the human body?
Tastes can warm or cool a person’s body. Three of the flavors are warming – spicy (strongest), sour, salty, and three cooling – bitter (strongest), astringent, sweet.
Tastes can be heavy or light. Heavy are sweet, salty, astringent. And the light tastes are bitter, spicy, sour. They are also divided into wet and dry. Wet are sweet, salty, sour. Dry – spicy, bitter, astringent.
What are the most suitable tastes for each dosha?
As we have already defined above, tastes affect doshas in such a way that three of them increase the dosha and three decrease it.
- Vata is enhanced the most by the bitter taste. Astringent and spicy flavors also increase Vata. The salty taste, followed by the sour and the sweet, reduces Vata the most.
- Pie is enhanced by sour, spicy and salty taste. And it decreases from the bitter, astringent and sweet taste.
- Coffee increases from sweet, salty, sour. Reduces from bitter, bitter, astringent.
Thus, knowing the tastes of food, herbs and other healing substances, we can choose combinations of flavors in such a way that they reduce the doshas we need.
Action of tastes
- The sweet taste is the most nutritious of all. Nourishes and strengthens all body tissues, calms the mind, has a positive effect on the mucous membranes, has expectorant and laxative effect, relieves the feeling of burning.
- Salty taste in small doses stimulates digestion. It acts as a laxative in moderate doses and causes vomiting in large doses. In general, the salty taste has a softening, laxative and soothing effect.
- Sour taste promotes the growth of all tissues except reproductive tissue. It relieves thirst, has a nourishing, diuretic and stimulating effect.
- Spicy taste improves all body functions, enhances metabolism, causes a feeling of warmth and neutralizes the cold. It has a stimulating and diaphoretic effect.
- Bitter taste removes toxins and purifies the blood, improves metabolism, clears the mind, shrinks all tissues.
- The astringent taste reduces excessive secretions such as sweating or diarrhea, heals the skin and mucous membranes and stops bleeding.
Which dosha needs what flavors?
As a rule, all doshas need all kinds of tastes, and for each dosha the absence or excess of a given taste is harmful. But the needs of each dosha are different.
All doshas have the highest requirements for sweet taste, as this taste ensures the growth of the tissues and the development of the three doshas. Pies, however, need the most sweet taste. Vata is in second place, and the representatives of Kafa need at least jam.
All doshas need salt in small quantities as it has a strong effect. Salty taste is essential for water retention and mineral balance. Vata has the greatest need for salty taste, and Kafa – the lowest. The pies are in the middle.
The next taste is sour. All constitutions require it in moderation. It maintains acidity and eliminates thirst. Vata has the greatest need for sour, and Kapha the least. And here the Pies are in the middle.
All doshas need spicy in moderation. Supports metabolism, increases appetite and improves digestion. The greatest need for hot is in the Kapha type, and the smallest in Pita. Vata, according to the needs of the spicy, stands in the middle.
The bitter taste, like salty, is required for all doshas in small quantities, as it removes toxins but can exhaust the body. Pies require the most bitter taste, and Vata – the least. Kapha’s needs for bitter taste are in the middle.
The last taste – astringent, is required for all doshas in moderation. It strengthens and maintains tissues. Pies need the most, Vata the least of all. Coffee is in the middle.
Sweet taste is considered the most important, because it is the most nutritious and therefore preferred by all people.
The sour taste has a slight nutritional value and in large doses can adversely affect the reproductive system.
The astringent taste has few nutritional properties – it is more important as a means of retaining the necessary substances in the body, especially minerals. Green vegetables, for example, often have a good astringent taste, which means that they provide the body with many minerals.
The salty taste is not nutritious, but it is necessary for water retention in the body.
Dietary recommendations for the three doshas
Diet at Vata
This regime nourishes the nervous system, increases digestive fire (agni) and helps absorb nutrients.
- Eat at the same time.
- Do not overeat.
- Practice relaxing exercises.
- Emphasize foods that are hot, heavy, and greasy, such as soups.
- Prefer sweet, sour or salty.
- Rice (basmati, brown), wheat and oatmeal (cooked) and quinoa are very good. Reduce foods with corn, buckwheat and rye, as they are difficult to digest.
- Vegetables Avocados, beets, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes and seaweed. Peas, leafy green vegetables, zucchini and potatoes are best cooked in oil or ghee with soft spices.
- Fruits Sweet and sour fruits such as banana, grapes, cherries, all citrus fruits, fresh figs, peaches, melons, plums, fresh dates, pineapple, mango and papaya are preferred. Baked apples and pears are also good. Prunes and raisins should be taken in moderation.
- Nuts and seeds. All are good in moderation, especially when soaked.
- Meat and fish Seafood, chicken and turkey are well received; beef should be avoided as it is difficult to digest.
- Dairy products. All dairy products are nutritious, especially yogurt. Always boil fresh milk before drinking it. Add cardamom seeds and drink it warm.
- Oils All oils reduce dryness and are nourishing. Emphasize hemp, sesame, olive, sunflower and flaxseed oils.
- Herbs and spices All are good, especially cardamom, cumin, fresh coriander, ginger, dill, cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seeds and black pepper. They help reduce gas and cramps in the digestive system.
- Sweeteners All are good, especially honey, molasses, barley malt and maple sugar. Avoid completely refined white sugar.
- Superfoods. Asparagus and spirulina are especially nutritious for Vata.
- Drinks. Drink lots of warm water, spicy and relaxing herbal teas such as ginger and chamomile.
Diet at Pita
Heat reduction is sought to relieve inflammation, skin diseases, itching, joint pain, hot flushes, heartburn, ulcers, bitter taste in the mouth, yellowing of the eyes, urine and feces, as well as states of anger, irritability, infections and fever. .
For the purpose:
- include chilled aloe vera juice every day;
- emphasize cold, refreshing and liquid foods (eg fresh fruits and vegetables, juices);
- prefer sweet, bitter or astringent foods;
- reduce salty and sour;
- avoid spicy foods;
- avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, yeast, chocolate, cheese, yogurt and meat.
- Cereals. Increase wheat, basmati rice, barley and oats. Cut down on corn, rye, millet and brown rice.
- Legumes and legumes Tofu, chickpeas, beans and lentils reduce pita.
- Vegetables. Avocados, cucumbers, boiled beets, sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables, pumpkin, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, okra, lettuce, sprouts, peas, green beans and seaweed are preferred.
- Fruits Sweet fruits such as grapes, cherries, melons, coconut, pomegranate, mango, apple, well-ripened oranges, pineapple, plums are preferred.
- Nuts and seeds. Hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are good.
- Meat and fish. Chicken, pheasant and turkey are preferred. Beef and seafood increase inflammation.
- Dairy products. Milk, butter and ghee are good for calming the heat.
- Oils Flax, hemp, olives, sunflower and coconut oils are best.
- Herbs and spices. Cinnamon, coriander, dill, anise, cardamom, dill, turmeric, fresh ginger and small amounts of black pepper are good. Ginger powder, cumin, fenugreek, cloves, celery seeds, salt and mustard greatly increase the heat and should be taken in moderation.
- Sweeteners All natural sweeteners are good except honey and molasses.
- Superfoods Aloe vera, asparagus, chlorella, spirulina help cool the system and clear inflammation. Almonds are also suitable.
- Drinks Cold drinks, mint and refreshing herbal teas.
Diet at Kafa
- Eat only when you are hungry and not between meals; Emphasize foods that are light, dry, or warm.
- Prefer foods with a spicy, bitter or astringent taste.
- Include ginger in your daily diet: take a pinch of grated fresh ginger root with a few drops of lemon juice before each meal; reduce foods that are heavy, greasy or cold.
- Cereals. Increase barley, corn, buckwheat, quinoa, rye and millet as they dry out slightly and / or warm up.
- Legumes and legumes. All are good, except for tofu, which is very cold and difficult to digest.
- Vegetables. Increase eggplant, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, green leaves and vegetables, kale, potatoes, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts and seaweed.
- Lighter fruits, such as apple and pear, are better, especially if baked or stewed.
- Nuts and seeds In general, cut nuts as they are too greasy. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are suitable.
- Meat and fish. White chicken or turkey meat is suitable, as is seafood.
- Dairy products. Use kefir or goat’s milk. Always boil the milk before consumption, preferably with cardamom or ginger, and drink it warm.
- Oils . Raw coconut oil is suitable for frying. Use cold pressed hemp, flax and sunflower oils only for salads.
- Herbs and spices Include all spices, especially ginger. Avoid salt, which increases water retention in the body.
- Milk and honey (2 teaspoons per day) help reduce stagnation. Reduce all other sugar products.
- Superfoods Aloe vera, almonds, asparagus, broccoli can help cleanse the body.
- Drinks Hot drinks, spicy and warming herbal teas such as ginger, cinnamon and dill.