The Six Tastes, which like the Three Doshas are derived from the Five Great Elements, help to establish balance of the body’s Doshas by performing essential functions for the organism.
Sweet – Composed mainly of Earth and Water. Sweet increases Kapha, decreases Pitta and Vata.It is cooling and heavy. It nourishes and exhilarates the body and mind and relieves hunger and thirst. To the mind and emotion it is satisfactions or satiation. To our consciousness it increases the naturally inert, complacent Kapha, cools the anger of Pitta and comforts the fear of Vata.
Sour – Composed mainly of Earth and Fire. Sour increases Kapha and Pitta, decreases Vata, and is heating and heavy. Sour refreshes our being, encourages elimination of wastes, cleanses the body and improves appetite and digestion. To the mind and Emotion it is the searching outside oneself for things to possess. To our consciousness it increases Kapha, when envy incites you to clutch all the more firmly to your own belongings.
Salty – Composed mainly of Water and Fire. Salty increases Kapha and Pitta, decreases Vata, and is heavy and heating. Salty eliminates wastes, cleanses the body and increases digestive capacity and appetite. It softens and loosens tissues. To the mind and Emotion it is zest for life, which enhances all appetites. To our consciousness it increases complacency as long as you are able to indulge.
Pungent – Composed mainly of Fire and Air. Pungent (which is hot and spicy like chili peppers) increases Pitta and Vata, decreases Kapha. It is heating, light, and dry. Pungent flashes all types of secretions from the body and diminishes all Kapha-like tissues such as semen, milk and fat. It improves the appetite. To the mind and Emotion it is extroversion, the tendency to excitement and stimulation, and in particular the craving for intensity. To our consciousness it increases the flow of hormones and digestive juices, making it easier to digest of manifest anger.
Bitter – Composed mainly of Air and Space. Bitter increases Vata, decreases Pitta and Kapha. It is cooling, light and dry. Bitter purifies and dries all secretions, is an anti-aphrodisiac, and tones the organism by returning all Tastes to normal balance. It amplifies appetite and restrains skin diseases and fevers. To the mind and Emotion it is dissatisfaction, which produces a desire to change. To our consciousness it is best. It helps balance all other tastes in the body.
Astringent – Composed mainly of Air and Earth. Astringent (which makes your mouth pucker) increases Vata, decreases Pitta and Kapha. It is cooling, light and dry. Astringent heals, purifies and constricts all parts of the body. It reduces all secretions and is anti-Aphrodisiac. To the mind and Emotion it is introversion, which drags the mind away from excitement an stimulation. To our consciousness it constricts, drawing one away from the self-satisfaction of Kapha and the self-aggrandizement of Pita.
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