Tastes in Nature

Spices and herbs.

Thousands of years ago the Ayurvedic seers found out that there are six basic tastes in nature.  While this may seem too simple, it is as relevant today as it was in ancient times.  Today we know that a meal including all six tastes is nutritionally balanced and will leave us feeling satisfied.  This will actually reduce our cravings during the day, contributing to weight loss!

As soon as a taste hits our tongue, it begins to have an effect on our mind-body physiology.  Learn about what each taste provides:

Sweet – Builds and strengthens the bodily tissues. It harmonizes the mind and promotes a sense of contentment. It is soothing to the mucus membranes, expectorant, and mildly laxative.

Sour – Stimulating, gas-dispelling, nourishing, and thirst-relieving. It awakens the mind and senses, promotes circulation and strengthens the heart. It enhances the appetite and aids in digestion. It builds all tissues except the reproductive tissues.

Salty – Softening, laxative, and sedative. In small amounts it stimulates digestion; in moderate amounts it is purgative, and in very large amounts it causes vomiting. It helps soften hard tumors and decongest hard phlegm masses. It calms the nerves and relieves anxiety.

Pungent – Stimulating, carminative, and promotes sweating.  It improves metabolism and promotes all organic functions. It increases heat, aids digestion and counters cold sensations. It also improves circulation and helps resolve stagnant blood or blood clots. It opens the mind and senses and clears the channels, relieving nerve pain and muscle tension.

Bitter – Detoxifying, cleansing, and blood purifying. It depletes all bodily tissues and increases lightness in the mind.  It is anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiseptic and also clears and cleanses the mind and emotions. In small amounts, it is a digestive stimulant. It helps digest sugar and fat.

Astringent – Helps in wound healing, reduces bleeding and excess sweating.  It promotes healing of the skin and mucus membranes. It is an expectorant and diuretic, as well as constipating. It tightens tissues.