The Six Tastes ~

Posted by Lala Naidu on

Ayurveda identifies Six Tastes by which all foods can be categorized. The Six Tastes are the fundamental basis of Ayurvedic dietary and herbal therapies.

  • Sweet – earth & water – cool (virya) and sweet (vipaka)

  • Sour – fire & earth – warm (virya) and sour (vipaka)

  • Salty – fire & water – warm (virya) and sweet (vipaka)

  • Bitter – air & ether – cool (virya) and pungent (vipaka)

  • Pungent – air & fire – warm (virya) and pungent (vipaka)

  • Astringent – earth & air – cool (virya) and pungent (vipaka)

“Virya” heating or cooling effects; “Vipaka” post digestive effects

Similarly to the mindbody’s constitutional makeup, The Six Tastes are combinations of the 5 Elements. By knowing your unique constitution prakruti, and your current condition vikruti a food program can be synthesized highlighting the tastes to harmonize the elemental energies in your body.

Taste and Food Examples:

  • Sweet – wheat, rice, dariy, dates, molasses, bananas

  • Sour – yogurt, cheeses, citrus, fermented foods

  • Salty – seaweeds, sea salt, celery

  • Pungent – onion, garlic, peppercorn, chili, ginger

  • Bitter – dandelion greens, fenugreek seeds, bitter melon

  • Astringent – pomegranate, turmeric, tart cherries, many herbs

As a general rule, incorporating The Six tastes into every meals is balancing to the body and satisfying to the mind. Consuming too much or too little of one taste category can lead to dissatisfaction and unhealthy cravings.

Ayurveda Nutrition

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