Rasas

According to Ayurveda, food plays a vital role on our health and well-being. A food is determined by its own identity card. Among these different criteria we find, the tastes (flavors) or rasas.In order to determine the effect of food, Ayurveda establishes correlations between the taste of food and their role in the body.There are 6 rasas / 6 tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent.This is the first taste of a food, the primary flavor. Then comes secondary flavors: anurasas. For example:

  • Garlic (pungent rasa, acidic/sweet, salty/bitter anurasa)
  • Yellow lemon (acidic rasa, astringent anurasa)
  • Raw spinach (sweet rasa, bitter anurasa)
  • Green apple (acidic/sweet rasa, astringent anurasa)

Sweet rasa - Sweet (consisting of Earth and Water)

Energy: Cold - heavy, moist and unctuous.
  • The most common flavor found in most foods
  • Beware that highly concentrated sugar can have a pungent rasa
Found, for example, in:

It increases Kapha, decreases Vata and Pitta

Beneficial benefits:
  • nourishes tissues and promotes growth
  • alleviates prickly burn
  • gives strength and vitality to the body
But in excess:
  • increases mucus production
  • wants to urinate often
  • increases weight gain
  • leads to heaviness and sluggishness
  • excessive sleep
  • disturbs digestion
  • leads to constipation
  • provokes eye disorders
  • diminishes Agni (digestive fire)
  • disbalances intestinal flora
The first signs of too much sugar are: a dull complexion, constant fatigue, a whitish tongue...

Acid rasa - (made up of Earth and Fire)

Energy : Hot - Light and smoothAcidity is found in:

It increases Pitta and Kapha, decreases Vata

Effects:
  • stimulates appetite
  • increases saliva production
  • diuretic effect, retains body fluids (urine, sweat...)
Sometimes the result of a fermentation process

Beneficial benefits: Soothes Vata

  • Aids digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Contributes to the breakdown of fats
  • Makes the body salivate, moisturizes and softens tissues
  • Acts excretory functions
But in excess: worsens Pitta and Kapha
  • gives intense thirsty feeling
  • provokes alternating constipation and diarrhea
  • dental problems
  • hair loss
  • dry skin
  • skin problems (acne, itching, irritation...)
  • Burns, ulcers in stomach and esophagus
  • dizziness
  • vision problems

Salt rasa - (made up of Earth and Water)

Energy: Hot - Heavy, moist and creamyPresented by sea salt, sodium chloride and other organic and mineral salts This flavor is present only in trace amounts in food.

It decreases Vata, but increases Pitta and Kapha.

It is found in:

Beneficial benefits: soothes Vata

  • Digestive stimulant. Increases salivation
  • laxative power
  • retains water in the body
  • maintains mineral balance in the body
In excess : Aggravates Pitta and Kapha
  • cause water retention
  • increases heart pressure - Hypertension
  • induces a feeling of fatigue - Aggravates baldness, accelerates graying of hair
  • aggravates rheumatism
  • increases skin problems and bleeding
  • Obstructs pores
  • In great excess: Causes sodium poisoning: delirium, convulsion, pupil contraction.

Bitter rasa (made up of Ether and Air)

Energy: fresh - Light and harshIt is found mainly in:
  • Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, arugula, dandelion, endive, cabbage, kale, turnip, Jerusalem artichoke
  • Herb infusions: wormwood, catnip, yarrow, burdock, rhubarb
  • Fruits: bitter almonds
  • Other: Curcuma, coffee, chicory
It decreases Pitta and Kapha, increases Vata.

Beneficial benefits: soothes Pitta and Kapha

  • bactericidal power
  • detoxifies the body
  • dries out fat
  • relieves craving for sugar
  • solves the feeling of thirst and heat
  • solves nausea
  • stimulates appetite and supports the liver
  • solves skin problems and itching
  • improves memory
But consumed in excess : Aggravates Vata
  • excessive dryness causes emaciation
  • dries and stiffens skin
  • may cause constipation
  • Induces weakness, dizziness

Pungent rasa (made up of Fire and Air)

Warm energy - Light and creamy.Perceived as a feeling of irritation and painIt decreases Kapha but increases Vata and Pitta.

Beneficial benefits: soothes Kapha

  • stimulates salivation, appetite and digestion
  • stimulates the senses
  • activates the metabolism, warms and eliminates excess fat
  • eliminates bacteria and parasites
  • purifies the body
  • decreases the feeling of cold
  • alleviates skin problems
But consumed in excess : worsens Vata and Pitta
  • irritations with burning sensation
  • loses energy
  • engenders heartburn
  • dries mouth and throat, increases sensation of thirst
  • increases acidity produced by the body
  • weakens the body, causes emaciation
  • decreases sperm motility
  • causes tremors, fainting, vomiting and pain

Astringent rasa (made up of Earth and Air)

Cold energy - Dry, rough and lightPerceived as a dry, tight feelingFound in:

Beneficial Benefits: soothes Pitta and Kapha

  • quenching, depurative
  • improves skin appearance, tightens pores
  • decreases ulcerations
  • provokes expulsion of flatulence and stool
But consumed in excess: aggravates Vata, and may be responsible for:
  • constipation
  • tingling
  • clogging of skin pores
  • drying and stiffening of the body
  • thirsty
  • decreases the amount of reproductive fluids
  • tightness in the chest
  • Circulatory problems
To summarize, A big part of our dietary balance is insisting on foods with the flavors and textures that work best for our individual constitution type and health status.

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The best way to solve any problem is to sit down and talk about it.

Dalai Lama

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