In this article, I present to you how the taste buds and the tongue present themselves as two of the main vectors between food and the health of our bodies. Food in Ayurveda is a key element in the establishment of physical and mental balance. In Indian and Ayurvedic culinary traditions, the combination of the 6 flavors in meals, which I will explain to you shortly, is what makes all the difference in everyday life. Everything for efficient and balanced digestion and metabolization of the food we eat.
Agni (or our fire of digestion) is one of the three fundamental principles of Ayurveda. It governs how we digest our food, but also our emotions and thoughts.
What are the six tastes exactly?
There are six main flavors. Each of them has its own unique qualities and functions. Ideally, it is desired to experience the variety of these six flavors at every meal.
SWEET, SALTY, SOUR, BITTER, ASTRINGENT & PUNGENT.
While the first 4 act on our taste buds, the last two are more related to tactile sensations.
HOW EACH FLAVOR INFLUENCES THE DOSHAS
Each of the doshas has its role to play in the digestion process. This depends on your predominant dosha, you will need to minimize certain flavors to prevent imbalances.
Flavors linked to taste buds
Associated with the elements of earth and water. Aggravates Kapha & pacifies Vata and Pitta. Flavor perceived on the tip of the tongue. This flavor is hidden in a large majority of the foods we eat daily: fruits, legumes, grains, fats, and oils
Associated with the elements of water and fire. Aggravates Kapha and Pitta & pacifies Vata. Flavor perceived on the front sides of the tongue. This flavor includes all types of salts, but also meats, cheeses, herbs, and allies.
Associated with the elements of water and fire. Aggravates Kapha and Pitta & pacifies Vata. Flavor perceived on the back sides of the tongue. It is found in particular in dairy products, acidic fruits (such as citrus fruits), and fermented products.
Associated with the elements of space and air. Aggravates Vata & pacifies Kapha and Pitta. The flavor felt in the middle of the tongue, towards the back. The bitter taste is found in most leafy vegetables such as spinach, arugula, endive, radicchio,
Flavors linked to sensations
Associated with the elements of air and fire. Aggravates Vata and Pitta & pacifies Kapha. Causes a feeling of irritation or pain. Anything that has a strong flavor can be perceived as spicy, whether it is herbs, spices, or even vegetables like peppers or onion.
Associated with the elements of air and earth. Aggravates Vata & pacifies Kapha & Pitta. Shows a feeling of dryness or tightness. It is found in foods rich in tannins, especially in fruits that are not ripe enough, but also in certain legumes, walnuts, apple peel, cinnamon, and soy, for example this taste can reduce sweating.
That’s a wrap for the 6 flavors of Ayurveda. From now on, you may start to look at your meals in a whole new light,
Stay tuned for next week Pro-Tips