Salty is the one of the Ayurveda tastes and a very popular taste in our society. Many people use salt to combat fatigue and do not even realize that they are doing it. The salty taste is primarily made up of water and fire and because it is more water than fire it is only slightly heating to the system It's qualities are warm moist and heavy. But salty is not a heavy as sweet taste. Vata people benefit most from this taste as the heating moisture is beneficial to the dry cold nature of Vata. The warm moisture is is hydrating to the tissues, because of its sweet post digestive effect, and nourishing for the blood tissue (rasa dhatu) but taken in excess it can create lymphatic congestion, edema especially to the kapha constitution.
too much salt can weaken the kidneys, contribute to hypertension, contribute to hair loss and premature greying and cause the skin to wrinkle.
Salt has the unique effect of being mildly sedating and if a person is having an anxiety attack a 1/2 tsp. of salt on the tongue can be useful.
Psychologically salt removes fear, increases a persons taste for life, and creates courage and bravery.
Good Salt is found in a salts, seaweeds, kelp and seafood. bad salts are found in all processed and fast food. some salts are better than others for specific doshas, and example is that rock salt is better for Vata than sea salt.
As always with Ayurveda it is all about balance. If you have symptoms of edema, hypertension, kidney issues or hair loss you may want to look at your salt intake.
Taste is assigned a much deeper significance in Ayurveda than we are accustomed to in the West. Taste, or rasa, is considered critically important in determining the effect that various foods, spices and therapeutic herbs will have on our state of balance – body, mind, and spirit. Ayurveda recognizes six tastes. Each of the six has a vital role to play in our health, wellbeing and nutritional satisfaction. They are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Sour is a taste found in sour fruits like lemons and limes and in sour dairy products like yogurt, cheese and sour cream. Fermented foods, like vinegar, pickles, sauerkraut and soy sauce also fall into Ayurveda’s sour category. You may be surprised to learn that fermented drinks, like wine, beer and liquor, are considered “sour,” too.
The sour taste is made up of fire and earth element. Its qualities are heave, hot, moist and stable making it a good taste to reduce the Vata dosha. The earth element in sour can be nourishing and tonifying to the tissues, except the reproductive system. Being the second warmest taste it helps increase agni, improve digestion and circulation.
Sour foods have a cleansing effect, stimulating the appetite and sharpening the senses. For that reason, many folks start the day with a mug of hot lemon tea.
The sour taste also stimulates saliva production. The first step in the long process of digestion begins in the mouth. Sour helps relieve thirst, too. A sweet-and-sour Georgia peach can quench a thirst while helping the body absorb minerals like iron from our foods.
But too much sour taste can damage the small intestine and create hyper acidity.
Psychologically the sour taste improves discrimination and too much sour taste can make a person critical, sharp and angry.
The sour taste is great for Vata body-mind types. They need lots of warmth and moisture. Sour may be balancing for Vatas, but can cause Pittas to spin out (with aggression) from the excess heat. Sour also needs to be eaten in moderation for Kaphas. Sour can increase the heaviness and wetness associated with Kapha dosha.
It is important to remember that all taste are needed in the diet on a daily basis and need to be balanced depending on the needs of the constitution.
Here are a few musings of moments in my life that I would like to share with you. They may not be fancy or elaborate. But they are a continuing and moving story book of what I am keeping up to these days.