Tastes and their effects on the system and dosha

Tastes and their effects on the system and dosha


The Ayurveda basically differentiates 6 flavors: sweet, sour, spicy, salty, bitter, acerbic. As the diagnosis of the diseases is done using doshas, the six tastes have important roles in their treatment. According to Ayurveda, flavors directly affect the functioning of our body. Each of the basic flavors contain two elements, has an increased cooling or heating effect, and strengthen or weaken the doshas:

  • sweet: milk, most of dairy products, sugars, white rice, white flour
  • sour: yogurt, cheese, citrus
  • spicy: chili, ginger, radish, horseradish, mustard, onion
  • salty: salts, spices containing mineral salt
  • bitter: almonds, bitter herbs, fresh lemon peel, fresh ginger
  • acerbic: berries, pomegranate, turmeric, quince

The energy of sweet, bitter and astringent flavors are COLD, while salty, sour and pungent flavors have WARM energetic.

  • Salty and sour flavors increase kapha and pitta and reduce the vata effect.
  • Sweet and spicy flavors reduce pitta and vata, while increasing kapha.
  • Bitter and acerbic flavors reduce kapha, pitta and increase the vata.

It is important to bear in mind that our body needs EVERY FLAVOR , and we really need to strive to adjust the proportion of flavors to our personal body type.

Some examples of where basic flavors can be found:

  • Sweet: milk, most of dairy products, sugars, white rice, white flour
  • Sour: yogurt, cheese, citrus
  • Bitter: almonds, bitter herbs, fresh lemon peel, fresh ginger
  • Spicy: chili, ginger, radish, horseradish, mustard, onion
  • Salty: salts, spices containing mineral salt
  • Acerbic: berries, turmeric, pomegranate, quince

Effect of flavors on the body:

  • Sweet flavor nourishes tissues, harmonizes the mind. Expectorant and mild laxative, soothes the mucous membrane.
  • The salty flavor is soothing. Depending on its quantity, it can have different effects: in small quantities it is a digestive stimulant, in a moderate amount it is laxative, and in large quantities it induces vomiting.
  • Sour flavor is the best thirst quencher. It is a carminative and stimulates perspiration. Tones the tissues.
  • The spicy flavor invigorates, carminative, stimulates perspiration and digestion, increases metabolism.
  • The bitter flavor is detoxifying and blood-purifying, consuming tissues and reducing the heaviness of the mind.
  • The acerbic flavor helps the coagulation of blood, has a healing effect on mucosa and skin. Helps to fight diarrhea.

If you are interested in your body type (dosha) complete our body type test.

Read more about dosha here.

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