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According to Ayurveda, there are six tastes, or rasas, in the food we eat. However, rasa has a much deeper significance in this ancient practice. It doesn’t just determine the physical attributes of the food or how it interacts with your taste buds. Rasa is critically important for our well being. It determines the effect that the foods, spices, and herbs will have on our constitution (doshas).
It builds all seven tissues (Dhatus) in the body. Apart from giving strength and immunity to the body, it also provides lubrication and improves your complexion. Food like sugar, honey, milk, melon, potato, and rice have the madhura rasa.
This rasa induces appetite and acts as a heart tonic by regulating the function of the heart. It is also good for the digestive system as it increases the digestive agni. The sour taste is present in foods like lemon, lime, yoghurt, and cheese.
With the intake of this rasa, you can increase your appetite and digestion. It also builds new cells and removes blockages in the channels. Salted nuts, sauces, and kelp are some of the foods that contain the lavana rasa.
It decreases swelling and helps reduce fat. It also cures nasal and chest infections. Foods like ginger, onion, garlic, and most spices have the katu rasa.
Having a diet that consists of the tikta rasa helps in decreasing swelling and fluid retention. It also kills parasites and neutralizes poisons in the body. Tikta rasa is present in foods like turmeric, rhubarb, aloe and neem.
This rasa purifies the blood and cleans out toxins from the skin. Apart from that, it also aids digestion and controls diarrhea.
For a healthy body, one must ensure a balanced intake of all six rasas. While a diet containing the appropriate proportions of all the six tastes provides the necessary nutrients to all dhatus, excessive intake of any one rasa can aggravate a particular organ or dosha. So make sure you don’t indulge in or ignore any one rasa. Because in their unity and balance lies the harmony of your body, mind, and soul.
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