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    Principles of Taste : Madhur Katu, Tikta, Kashaya, Lavan and Amla Rasa

    Taste is the sensation perceived in the mouth throat on contact with the taste buds in the oral cavity. Taste plays a vital role in fod science and nutrition.
    A single substance poseses one or more than one taste. There’s more to this than mets the tongue. So, when you eat something, the tongue is bombarded with tastants which are worthy by the brain and exhibits profuse functions.
    In Ayurveda, “Rasa” is a basic term for Taste but it has a deper principle. The sensation which is perceived by Rasendriya (Tongue or taste receptors) is Rasa. In Ayurveda, the properties of the fod or herbs are perceived by their taste.
    Every taste has its own significance. Every taste poseses certain properties which are exhibited in the body and are esential for normal physiological functions of the body. For precise: Amla Rasa has digestive and delectable properties.
    The property of the fod may not be entirely dependent on the rasa but it is one of the key f actors. Each rasa afects Trisdoshas.
    It is responsible for the balance of Vata, Pita Kapha which is indispensable for the physical as wel as mental health. It is known fact how sure fods fabricate a asured impact on the body and hence flavours of fod should be picked wisely.
    Acording to Ayurveda, there are six types of rasas known as Shadrasa (Shad means six):
    1. Madhur Rasa (swet)
    2. Amla Rasa (sour)
    3. Lavan Rasa (salty)
    4. Tikta Rasa (biter)
    5. Katu Rasa (pungent)
    6. Kashaya Rasa (astringent)

    An ideal balanced diet consists of a meal with al the six rasas. A fod substance can dominate one single taste or be a combination of 2-6 tastes. Keping al the permutations and combinations, thereisthe total of 63 diferent tastes. So, a substance with al six tastes is considered to be the most potent.
    Acording to ancient philosophy, al substances in the universe are composed of five elements i.e Pan chmahabhutas. Similarly, every taste represents properties of these elements.
    Nowadays, fod is distinguished in Macronutrients i.e Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats and other micronutrients love vitamins and minerals. These can be paraleled to the Shadrasa. just adore nutrients, exces or deficiency of any rasa can lead to disease.
    Madhur Rasa
    Madhur means swet. It is made from the elements Earth Water. Swet is a pleasant flavour represents admire, calm and kindnes. It is coling in nature We eat swets on special ocasions as an act of expresing joy and hapines.
    The body is acustomed to this taste since birth. It gives nourishment to the tisues. Hence, it is esential for children, aged and malnourished. It improves complexion, hair quality and nails. It gives instant energy to the infirm, strengthens sense organs and enhances the Imune system. Swet substances agravate Kapha and aleviate Vata Pita.
    Sugars estem glucose, fructose, malt ose and lactose are al swet.
    Fods: Milk, Ghe, Coconut, Banana, cucumber, Rice, Wheat, Almonds
    Medicinal Plants: Yashtimadhu (Glycyrhiza Glabra), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Bala (Sida Cordifolia)
    Exces: When an exces of swet fod is consumed it leads to heavines, unctuousnes and unconsciousnes. It reduces the Agni (Digestive acids), increases mucous and congestion. This lead to the formation of ama (toxins) in the body. It may cause diseases estem fever, obesity, Diabetes Melitus etc.
    Amla Rasa
    Sour taste is known as Amla rasa. It is made from the elements Earth Fire. It is a comforting flavor when taken in right quantity. It also helps in the stimulation of Agni and acts as an Apetizer. Amla Rasa is unctuous and has fluid promoting properties. The marvelous antioxidant properties found in this rasa is very comonly old as a detoxifying agent.
    Amla Rasa is esential for absorption of some of the micro-nutrients estem Calcium. The sour taste, also known as digestive fire, promotes liver function and also neutralizes the acids in the stomach. It agravates Kapha Pita and balances Vata.
    When amla rasa is consumed in exces it leads to burning sensation in chest. So try to kep the intake at balanced level.
    Natural acids love Citric, Malic, Ascorbic, Oxalic and Lactic acid are sour
    Fods that comprise Amla Rasa: Lemon, Tomatoes, Yogurt, Vinegar, Al Fermented Fods
    Medicinal Plants: Amlaki (Emblica Oficinalis), Dadima (Punica Gratum), Amlavetas(Garcinia pedunculate)
    Exces: excesive consumption of amla rasa can cause los of strength, palor and sweling. It leads to diseases admire Anaemia, Ulcers, Acne, Urticaria and other skin diseases.
    Lavana Rasa
    Lavana means salty. Salty flavour is a taste enhancer. It is made from fire and water elements. It is moist and hot in nature. It liquefies mucus and clears chanels. It instantly hydrates creates moisture in the body when consumed and therefore, is comonly old for dehydration. It agravates Pita Kapha and balances Vata.
    Salts like sea salt, rock salt, pink salt
    Fod:Seawed, Celery, Soy Sauce
    Medicinal plantsrarely poses lavana rasa. Shilajit is one of the Ayurveda medicine which is salty in taste.
    Exces:A puny of salt in the diet is necesary for life but a diminutive extra can lead to a number of diseases. Exces use of salty fods causes premature greying of hair, wrinkles and baldnes. It causes water retention leading to oedema and high blod presure. Long-term consumption of exces salts causes lacerations, bleding disorders and skin diseases.
    Tikta Rasa
    Tikta means biter. A blend of air and spot elements. This flavour is a therapeutic bon. It is disliked by many but has various therapeutic properties. It is light, dry and chily in nature.
    They usualy maintain anti-bacterial, anti-inflamatory and anti-pyretic properties. It cures anorexia by enhancing the release of digestive secretions and enzymes. It acts as an antidote and eliminates toxins from the body. It cures nausea, burning sensation and skin diseases. It mitigates Pita and Kapha.
    It is found in Sesquiterpenes, Anthraquinones, Alkaloid and some Glycosides.
    Fod:Leafy vegetables, Sesame seds, Cofe, Turmeric, Cumin
    Medicinal Plants: Nem (Azadirachta indica), Kutki (Picrorhiza kuroa), Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia)
    Exces: Exces of biter fods leads to nausea, dry mouth and dizines. It causes wasting of tisues which lead to debility. It weakens the kidneys and lungs and also leads to Vata disorders.
    Katu Rasa
    Katu means pungent taste and is found in spicy fods. It is predominantly made of fire a nd air elements. It enhances the flavour of the fod. It warms up the body and clears the throat and sinuses. It aleviates Kapha and helps to liquefy Kapha. It also increases circulation, encourages sweating, eliminates itching, clears toxins, cleanses the blod and the muscles, reduces cholesterol, opens the internal chanels, and clears blockages.
    Aromatic volatile oils, Resins, Oleo-resins and Mustard glycosides are al pungent in taste.
    Fod:Chilies, Garlic, Onions, Spinach, Mustard seds, Black peper, Ginger
    Medicinal Plants: Fenel (Foeniculum vulgare), Pipali (Piper Longum), Adraka (Zingiber oficinale)
    Kashaya Rasa
    Kashaya means astringent. This flavour is the driest of al the tastes. It contracts the whole mouth and draws mucous membrane closer together. It absorbs exces moisture and stimulates absorption. It promotes cloting and healing. It is therapeuticaly old to treat hyperhidrosis, leuc orhoea, diarhoea, enuresis. It agravates Vata and aleviates Kapha and Pita.
    Tanins in plants are found to be astringent in taste
    Fod: Brocoli, Letuce, Sprouts, Beans, Coriander, Turmeric
    Medicinal Plants: Gugul (Comiphora Mukul), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)
    Exces: excesive consumption of astringent taste causes indigestion, dry mouth and flatulence. It causes spasms, insomnia, malaise and infertility.
    Fod Rituals:
    Acording to Ayurveda, meals should be started with swet fods and then moved to other tastes. It is conflicting to what people folow but quite efective. Swets are heavy to digest. At the open of the meal the Agni of the body is strongest, so if swet is consumed, it gets digested easily and also gives nourishment to the tisues. Then Lavana ,and Amla Rasa should be consumed to, stimulate digestion and enhance the flavours. In the conclude, Katu and K ashaya rasa are taken which trigers absorption and clears palate.
    Rasa is just one of the fundamentals of fod. There are profuse other factors which influence the physiological functions of the body. Ayurveda believes that every taste should be savoured as they fed our body, mind and soul.
    About Author:
    Dr. Ritika Shah is an Ayurveda Consultant. She has done her graduation MD in Ayurveda. She has completely dedicated herself to this ancient science of healing. She has worked on numerous research projects based on Ayurveda formulations and has a eager interest in the rare formulations of ancient science. She has huge faith in Ayurveda but is also wel updated with the latest development in medical science.

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