Tastes (introduction and type)
Rasa Utpatti (Origin of Taste) – The tastes are originated due to the combination of two Bhutas (primary elements) such as:
- Madhura (sweet) – Prithvi (earth) + Ap (water)
- Amla (sour) – Tejas (firew) + Ap (water)
- Lavana (salt) – Ap (water) + Tejas (fire)
- Tikta (bitter) – Akasa (sky) + Vayu (air)
- Katu (pungent) – Tejas (fire) + Vayu (air
- Kashaya (astringent) – Prithvi (earth) + Vayu (air).
Rasa Lakshana (characteristic of taste)
- Swadu or Madhura (Sweet) – It builds all seven Dhatus in the body. It gave strength and immunity to the body, and also provides lubrication, and improves complexion. It is even liked even by ants.
- The madhura taste present in food like sugar, honey, melon, potato milk, and rice have the madhura in rasa.
- Amla (sour) – Amla (sour) makes the mouth watery, causes erection of hairs, tingling of the teeth, and leads to closing of the eyes and brows. It induces appetite and acts as a heart tonic by regulating heart function. It is also good for the digestive system as it increases the Agni.
- The sour taste is present in foods like lemon, cheese, lime, and yogurt.
- Lavana (salt) – Lavana (salt) increase salivation in the mouth and burns sensation in the cheeks and throat. The intake of lavana rasa increases appetite and digestion.
- The lavana rasa is present in the foods like salted nuts and sauces.
- Tikta (bitter) – Tikta (bitter) cleanses the mouth and makes a perception of other tastes is impossible. Tikta rasa helps in decreasing swelling and fluid retention in the body also kills parasites and neutralizes the poisons in the body.
- Tikta rasa is present in foods like turmeric, aloe vera, and neem.
- Katu (pungent) – katu rasa causing irritation, drain out secretions from the eyes, nose, mouth, burning sensation of the cheeks, decreases swelling and reduces fat. It also cures nasal and chest infections.
- The katu rasa present in the foods like ginger, onion, garlic, and most spices.
- Kashaya (astringent) – Kashaya (astringent) this rasa inactivates the tongue means diminishes the capacity of taste perception and causes obstructions of the passage in the throat. This rasa helps to purify the blood and cleanse toxins from the skin.
Rasa Karma (action of taste)
1. Madhura Rasa (taste) – Sweet taste being habituated since birth, produces greater strength in the body tissues. It is good for children, the aged person, the wounded, the emaciated, improves the skin tone and complexion, hairs strength, sense organs strength and Ojas (immunity).
- The sweet taste makes the body strong, good for the throat, increases breast milk, unites fractured bones. Sweet taste is not easily digestible, helps in life activities, It is unctuous, alleviates Pitta, Vata, and Visha (poison).
- Excess use of madhura rasa cause obesity, asthma, unconsciousness, diabetes, enlargements of glands present in the neck, malignant tumor.
2. Amla (Sour and Salt tastes) – stimulates the Agni, unctuous, good for the heart, digestive appetizer, hot in potency, cold on touch, sour in taste satiates, moistening the skin, light for digestion, causes aggravation of Kapha, Pitta and blood and makes downwards movements of Vata.
- Excess use of sour taste causes looseness of the body, loss the strength, blindness, pallor, giddiness, and itching.
3. Lavana rasa (salt taste) – Lavana relieves rigidity, clears the obstructions of the channels and pores, increases digestive activities, lubricates, causes sweating, deeply penetrates into the tissues, improves taste.
- Excess use of lavana causes vitiation of blood and Vata, thirst, skin diseases, graying of hair, wrinkles of the skin, Visarpa, spreading skin disease, and decrease the strength of the body.
4. Tikta rasa (bitter taste): Tikta itself is not tasty, but it cures anorexia, worms, thirst, poison, skin diseases, loss of consciousness, fever, nausea, burning sensations, bitter alleviates Pitta and Kapha dosha, dries up moisture, fat, muscle-fat marrow, faces, and urine.
- Tikta Rasa digestible, increases intelligence, and cold is easily in potency causes dryness in the body, cleanses the breast milk, and throat.
- Excess use of tikta rasa causes depletion of Dhatus and origin of Vata diseases.
5. Katu Rasa Karma (Actions of pungent taste) – katu rasa cures throat diseases, allergic rashes, leprosy, and other skin diseases, Alasaka (indigestion), swelling, reduces the swelling of the ulcers, dries up the greasiness, fat, and moisture.
- Pungent taste increases hunger improves digestion, improves taste, eliminates the Dosha, dries up the moisture of the food, breaks up the hard masses, dilates the channels, and balances Kapha dosha.
- Excess use of katu rasa causes thirst, depletion of Sukra (sperm) and strength, fainting, contractures, tremors and pain in the waist, and the back, etc.
6. Kashaya Rasa Karma (Actions of astringent taste) – Kashaya rasa balances Pitta and Kapha dosha, hard to digest, purifies the blood, healing ulcers, cold in potency, dries up the moisture and fat, improves digestion, and cure indigestion.
- Kashaya rasa is water absorbent, thereby causing constipation, dryness and cleanses the skin.
- Excess use of kashaya rasa causes stasis of food without digestion, flatulence, pain in the heart region, thirst, emaciation, loss of virility, and obstruction of the channel.
Madhura Gana – group of sweet substances:
- Ghrita (ghee, butter fat),
- Hema (gold),
- Guda (molasses),
- The three Bala (Bala, Atibala and Nagabala),
- The two Medas – Meda and Mahameda,
- The four Parni – Shalaparni, Prishnaparni, Mudgaparni, Mashaparni,
- Jivanti – Leptadenia reticulata,
- Jivaka – Malaxis acuminata D.Don / Microstylis wallichii Lindl. ,
- Madhuka – Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra,
- Madhuka – Madhuka longifolia,
- Bimbi – Coccinia grandis / indica,
- Vidari – Pueraria tuberosa,
- The two Sravani – Mundi and Sravani,
- Ksheerasukla, Tugaksiri,
- The two Ksheerini, Gambhari,
- The two Saha, milk, sugarcane,Gokshura, Ksaudra, Draksa etc. form the group of sweet substances.
Amla Gana – group of sour substances:
- Dhatriphala – Amla,
- Amlika – tamarind,
- Amlavetasa – Garcinia pedunculata Roxb,
- Dadima – Pomegranate,
- Rajata (Siver),
- Palevata, Dadhi – Curds, Mango,
- Bhavya – Dillenia indica,
- Kapittha – Feronia limonia,
- Karamardaka etc. form the sour group.
Lavana Gana – a group of salts:-
- Varam (Saindhava – Rock Salt),
- Sauvarcala (sochal salt),
- Krishna (black salt)
- Bida salt,
- Samudra (table salt),
- Seesa (lead) and Kshara (Alkalies)
Tikta Gana – group of bitter taste
- Trayanti – Gentiana kurroa,
- Usira – Vetiveria zizanioides,
- Chandana – Sandalwood,
- Bhunimba – The creat (whole plant)
- Nimba – Neem – Azadirachta indica,
- Katuka – Picrorhiza kurroa,
- Tagara – Indian Valerian (root)
- Vatsaka –
- Turmeric and tree turmeric,
- Musta – Nut grass (root) – Cyperus rotundus,
- Atarushaka – Adhatoda vasica,
- Patha – Cyclea peltata,
- Apamarga – Prickly Chaff Flower – Achyranthes Aspera,
- Kamsya (bronze), Ayas (iron),
- Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
- The two Vyaghri – Brihati and Kantakari,
- Visala, Ativisha, Vacha, etc.
Katu Gana – a group of pungent:-
- Hingu- Asa foetida
- Maricha – Black pepper,
- Krimijit – Vidanga,
- Panchakola – Chitraka, Pippalmoola, Pippali, Chitraka, and ginger,
- Leafy vegetables such as Kutheraka and other
- Pitta (bile of animals),
- Mutra (urines),
- Arushkara etc.
Kashaya Varga (Gana) – a group of astringents:
- Group of astringents consists of
- Pathya – Chebuic Myrobalan
- Aksha – Terminalia bellirica,
- Khadira – Black catechu (heartwood extract) – Acacia catechu,
- Madhu (honey), Kadamba, Udumbara,
- Mukta (Pearls), Pravala (Coral),
- Anjana – Aqueous extract of Berberis aristata (antimony),
- Gairika – Purified Red Ochre,
- Kharjura – dates,
- Bisa – lotus stalk,
- Padma – Nelumbium speciosum,
- Utpala – Nymphaea stellata etc
- General properties of tastes and exceptions:-
- Madhura – substances of sweet taste increase Kapha except for old Shali (more than one-year-old rice) and Yava (Barley)
- Mudga (green gram),
- Godhuma (wheat),
- Kshaudra (honey),
- Sita (sugar),
- the meat of desert animals (like lands)
- Amla – substances of sour taste aggravate Pitta, except Dadima (Pomegranate) and Amalaki.
- Lavana – salts are bad for the eyes and vision except for Saindhava lavana (Rock Salt).
- Tikta and Katu – tikta and katu rasa and are non-aphrodisiacs increase Vata except for Amrita, Patoli, Shunthi (ginger), long pepper, and Rasona (Garlic)
- Kashaya – kashaya rasa is usually cold in potency and obstructive except Abhaya.
Tastes and potency
- Ushna veerya (Hot Potency) – Katu (pungent), Amla (sour), Lavana (salt) are hot in potency.
- Sheet veerya (Cold Potency) – Similarly Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent), and Madhura (sweet) are cold in potency.
- Ruksha (dry) – Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent), and Kashaya (astringent) are dry in nature and cause constipation.
- Snigdha – while salt, Amla (sour), Madhura (sweet) are unctuous and help eliminate faces, urine, and flatus.
- Guru (heavy) – Patu (salt), Kashaya (astringent), and Madhura (sweet) are heavy to digest.
Rasa Samyoga Samkhya (number of combination of tastes)
- The combination of tastes will be 57, but their actual counting will be 63, on the basis of their usage.
- Eliminating 1 rasa at each combination,
- the number of combination of 2 rasas each will be 15
In the combination of 3 races each,
- It will be 10 with svadu,
- 6 with amla,
- 3 with lavana,
- 1 with tikta
- total of 20
In the combination of 4 rasa
- It will be 10 with svadu,
- 4 with amla,
- 1 with lavana
- total 15
In the combination of 5 rasa
- It will be 1 with amla,
- 5 with svadu
- total of 6In the combination of all the 6 rasa
- It will be one each rasa individually will be 6. Thus forming 63 combinations in total.
Each taste separately = 6
Combination of 2 tastes = 15
- Madhura + amla
- Madhura + tikta
- Madhura + lavana
- Madhura + kashaya
- Madhura + katu
- Amla + lavana
- Amla+ tikta
- Amla + katu
- Amla +kashaya
- Lavana + tikta
- Lavana + katu
- Lavana +kashaya
- Tikta + katu
- Tikta+ kashaya
- Katu + kashaya
Combination of 3 tastes =20
- Madhura + amla + lavana
- Madhura+ amla + tikta
- Madhura+ amla + katu
- Madhura + amla + kashaya
- Madhura+ lavana + tikta
- Madhura + lavana + katu
- Madhura+ lavana + kashaya
- Madhura + tikta + katu
- Madhura+ tikta + kashaya
- Madhura + katu + kashaya
- Amla+ lavana + tikta
- Amla+ lavana + katu
- Amla+ lavana +kashaya
- Amla+ tikta + katu
- Amla+ tikta + kashaya
- Amla+ katu + kashaya
- Lavana+ tikta + katu
- Lavana+ tikta + kashaya
- Lavana+ katu + kashaya
- Tikta+ katu + kashaya
Combination of 4 tastes = 15
- Madhura + amla + lavana + tikta
- Madhura+ amla + lavana +katu
- Madhura+ amla + lavana +kashaya
- Madhura + amla + tikta+ katu
- Madhura+ amla + tikta+ kashaya
- Madhura+ amla + katu + kashaya
- Madhura+ lavana + tikta + katu
- Madhura+ lavana + tikta + kashaya
- Madhura+ lavana+ katu + kashaya
- Madhura + tikta + katu + kashaya
- Amla+ lavana + tikta+katu
- Amla+ lavana + tikta + kashaya
- Amla+ lavana + katu + kashaya
- Amla+ tikta + katu + kashaya
- Lavana + tikta + katu + kashaya
Combination of 5 tastes = 6
- Madhura + amla + lavana + tikta+ katu
- Madhura + amla + lavana + tikta+kashaya
- Madhura + amla + lavana +katu + kashaya
- Madhura + lavana + tikta+ katu + kashaya
- Madhura + amla + tikta+ katu + kashaya
- Amla + lavana + tikta + katu + kashaya
Combination of 6 rasa =1
- Madhura + Amla + lavana + tikta + katu + kashaya
These Rasa (primary tastes) and Anurasas (secondary tastes) in their proportional combinations become innumerable.