Understanding 6 tastes according to Ayurveda

If we want to live a balanced life, we need balanced meal. We believe balanced meals make balanced person and balanced person create a balanced life.  We are blessed that we have wisdom of Ayurveda, and it has a wonderful way of devising a balanced meal. It is based on 6 tastes. And how we balance these 6 tastes in our meals would create a healthy and happy life and this balance results in nutritious and satisfying meals.

There are five fundamental elements Space, Water, Air, Fire and Earth, which are responsible for creation of all the substances. And these elements are present in various substances in different quantities. So which is element is less or more in a substance, it decides its taste, according to this we have 6 tastes with us; Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent (Spicy), Bitter and Astringent.

Sweet = Earth & Water, Sour = Earth & Fire, Salty = Water & Fire, Pungent = Air & Fire, Bitter = Air & Space, Astringent = Air & Earth.

We human beings also are made up of these basic 5 elements. To maintain our body and mind in equilibrium, we need a balance in these 5 elements. So it is necessary to create a correct balance of each of the 6 tastes if we want to achieve optimal healthy life. If we eat only few of these tastes, it will disturb our maintained balance and we would become unwell.

Also if we keep savouring any taste in excess or less, it will disturb the carefully maintained balance and would result in unwell. Nowadays our meals comprise with just 3 tastes which we feel the most gratifying ones. And these three tastes are Sweet, Salty and Sour. These three tastes are dominating our most of the meals and leaving us unsatisfied. We can understand it with this example if we think of chips/ fries; we have potatoes (Sweet), salt (Salty) and ketchup (Sour).

We need a correct balance of all these 6 tastes in our daily meals to achieve true health. We need the sweet taste to strengthen and nourish our tissues, the sour taste stimulates appetite and strengthens digestive fire, the salty taste It opens channels, liquefies blockages in the body and helps stimulate appetite and digestion, the pungent taste stimulate digestion and metabolism and help clear passages (such as sinuses), Foods containing bitter taste have detoxification properties and stimulate the digestive power, and last the astringent taste, which we forgot with time, It aids in healing ulcers and promotes clotting, preventing bleeding.

Try to eat your meals with correct balance of all the above 6 tastes to feel satisfied and nourished.

In the next blog we would share about each taste.

Till next time, take care of yourselves.

Happy Ayurveda!