Shad Rasas

According to Ayurveda, there are six tastes or rasas that have different effects on the body and mind. They are as follows:

  • Sweet (madhura): This taste is composed of earth and water elements. It is nourishing, cooling, and calming. It balances vata and pitta doshas, but increases kapha dosha. It can also enhance ojas, the vital essence of life. Examples of sweet foods are grains, dairy products, fruits, and honey.
  • Sour (amla): This taste is composed of earth and fire elements. It is stimulating, warming, and energizing. It balances vata dosha, but increases pitta and kapha doshas. It can also improve appetite, digestion, and elimination. Examples of sour foods are citrus fruits, yogurt, vinegar, and fermented foods.
  • Salty (lavana): This taste is composed of water and fire elements. It is moistening, heating, and grounding. It balances vata dosha, but increases pitta and kapha doshas. It can also enhance flavor, stimulate salivation, and maintain electrolyte balance. Examples of salty foods are sea salt, rock salt, seaweed, and salted nuts.
  • Pungent (katu): This taste is composed of fire and air elements. It is drying, heating, and lightening. It balances kapha dosha, but increases vata and pitta doshas. It can also clear the sinuses, increase circulation, and promote sweating. Examples of pungent foods are chili peppers, garlic, ginger, mustard, and black pepper.
  • Bitter (tikta): This taste is composed of air and ether elements. It is cooling, drying, and detoxifying. It balances pitta and kapha doshas, but increases vata dosha. It can also cleanse the blood, liver, and skin, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the appetite. Examples of bitter foods are leafy greens, turmeric, neem, coffee, and chocolate.
  • Astringent (kashaya): This taste is composed of air and earth elements. It is contracting, cooling, and heavy. It balances pitta and kapha doshas, but increases vata dosha. It can also tighten the tissues, absorb excess fluids, and heal wounds. Examples of astringent foods are beans, lentils, tea, pomegranate, and cranberries.

RasaElementDoshaExample
Madhura ( Sweet )Earth and waterVata and pittaGrains, dairy products, fruits, and honey
Amla ( Sour )Earth and fireVataCitrus fruits, yogurt, vinegar, and fermented foods
Lavana ( Salty ) Water and fireVataSea salt, rock salt, seaweed, and salted nuts
Katu ( Pungent ) Fire and air KaphaChili peppers, garlic, ginger, mustard, and black pepper
Tikta ( Bitter ) Air and etherPitta and KaphaLeafy greens, turmeric, neem, coffee, and chocolate
Kashaya ( Astringent )Air and earthPitta and KaphaBeans, lentils, tea, pomegranate, and cranberries

I hope this table helps you understand the six tastes in Ayurveda better.

Leave a Reply