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The Six Tastes Of Ayurveda

Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent

Ayurveda teaches that all six tastes should be eaten at every meal for us to feel satisfied and to ensure that all major food groups and nutrients are represented.

Here's why. Each taste has an intimate relationship with the doshas and personal balance.


Sweet to Strengthen Kapha


Sweet or madhura taste is a builder of those tissues that are formed from earth and water. Hence, sweet substances strengthen Kapha. An overload of sweets, on the other hand, can create a Kapha imbalance, which needs to be corrected with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes and warming foods.


Salty, Sour, Pungent to Strengthen Pitta


Salty, sour and pungent tastes strengthen Pitta. That is, they strengthen all those functions associated with a rise in temperature: metabolic processes, for example. An excess of these tastes, however, aggravates Pitta and needs balancing out with sweet, cooling foods.


Pungent, Bitter Astringent to Strengthen Vata


Pungent, bitter and astringent tastes increase Vata and all phenomena to do with movement, penetration and cleansing of channels. If you need to pacify Vata, therefore, you need to focus on the sweet, sour and salty tastes and eat more warm foods.


Centuries of observation


This analysis of taste and its properties was made over centuries of observation by ancient ayurvedic healers many millennia ago, but they make as much sense today.


Six tastes of Ayurveda


Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent


Each taste is associated with certain chemicals that your body needs:

  1. Sweet: carbohydrates, sugars, fats, amino acids (mainly found in sugar, milk, bread, rice, wheat, pasta, and other grains)
  2. Sour: organic acids (mainly found in yoghurt, cheese, citrus and other sour fruits, tomato, carbonated drinks)
  3. Salty: salts (found in salt)
  4. Pungent: volatile oils (mainly found in spicy foods, cumin, ginger, pepper)
  5. Bitter: alkaloids, glycosides (mainly found in green leafy vegetables)
  6. Astringent: tannin (mainly found in beans, lentils, pomegranate, some apples)


If you are unable to take a balanced meal adding Maharishi AyurVeda Vata, Pitta or Kapha Churna spice mixes to your meal will go a long way to making it balanced.


Maharishi AyurVeda Spice Blends


Maharishi Ayurveda supplies a number of Vata, Pitta and Kapha seasonings and spice mixes, called Churnas. These Churnas can be added to any meal in order to promote balance for each individual throughout the year. Spices are not just great flavour-enhancers, they help detoxify the body, aid digestion and have numerous therapeutic properties. They also ensure that each meal contains all the six-tastes that Ayurveda sees as essential for our body to feel fully satisfied and to thereby eliminate food cravings.


Vata, Pitta, Kapha Churnas


  • Organic Vata Aromatic Seasoning - This soothing blend of spices supports appetite and digestion. It enhances nutrition by supplying all six tastes and its warming effect enhances stability.
  • Organic Pitta Mild Seasoning - This aromatic blend enhances the digestive fire without over-heating those who need to keep cool. It contains all 6 tastes for optimum nutrition and balance.
  • Organic Kapha Spicy Seasoning - This spicy, stimulating and warming blend enlivens appetite, digestion, assimilation of food and metabolism thus helping to balance weight.

Shop for Spice Blends

So, in a nutshell


Vata-dominant people should favour foods that are sweet, sour and salty.

Pitta-dominant people should favour foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent.

Kapha body-types work better when they consume more of bitter, pungent as well as astringent tastes.


DISCLAIMER: The information in this document is presented for the sole purpose of imparting education on Maharishi AyurVeda and neither the information nor the products are intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, or are pregnant or lactating, please consult a health professional and it is recommended that you speak with your physician before making significant changes to your diet or routine.


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