The Six Ayurvedic Tastes

Updated: May 14


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The Six Ayurvedic Tastes

There are six distinct tastes and each, as all of nature, is composed of elements. The overall qualities of the taste will either be harmonious or disharmonious to a doshic imbalance. The tastes form the basis of your food program and your herbal medicines.

SWEET: earth and water

  • Is heavy, moist, and cool and increases

  • Kapha while decreasing Vata and Pitta. Some examples are nuts, grains and most dairy.


SOUR: fire and earth

  • Is heavy, moist, and hot and increases Pitta and Kapha while decreasing Vata. Some examples are fermented foods like yogurt and tempeh.

SALTY: water and fire

  • Is heavy, moist, and hot and increases Pitta and Kapha while decreasing Vata. Some examples are seaweeds and seafood.

PUNGENT: fire and air

  • Is light, dry, and hot and increases Pitta and Vata while decreasing Kapha. Some examples are chili peppers, ginger and black pepper.

ASTRINGENT: earth and air

  • Is dry and cool and neither too heavy nor too light, and increases Vata while decreasing Pitta and Kapha. Some examples are most beans, cranberries, and pomegranates.

BITTER: air and ether

  • Is light, dry, and cool, and increases Vata while decreasing Pitta and Kapha. Some examples are leafy greens and herbs like goldenseal.


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