According to Ayurveda, our body has doshas namely Vata, pitta, and Kapha, which are called tridosha in Ayurveda. Considering these doshas in-depth, we can see that life cycles, seasons, durations of a day, and differences in the quality and taste of food all affect them differently. Therefore, we will delve deeply into the impact of different tastes and different food qualities on the Ayurvedic tridosha. We will also learn about tridosha balancing foods.
6 Rasas in ayurveda
Ayurveda talks about 6 tastes that are called rasas. The food prepared according to Ayurveda contains these 6 rasas in different amounts. When all these rasas come together in the right amount, they create harmonious energy for our body and provide balanced nutrition to the body. Tridosha-balancing foods contain a balance of all six rasas.
These tastes are sweet (mitha), sour (khatta), salty (khara or nankeen), pungent (tikha), bitter (kadva), and astringent, which is a different kind of mouth-puckering taste.
- Sweet food includes – honey, sugar, grains like rice and wheat, and dairy products like milk and butter.
- Sour food includes – lemon, citric fruits, curd, etc.
- Salty food contains – salt and things made with the use of salt. th
- Pungent food includes – spices and spicy food.
- Bitter food has – bitter gourd, spinach, fenugreek, etc. thing and,
- Astringent food includes – beans and lentils, etc.
Impact of rasas on Ayurveda Tridosha
All these rasas have different impacts on doshas.
- Sweet, sour, and salty tastes balance Vata dosha, and all other tastes increase Vata. We all know that Vata is made of two elements, ‘sky and air’; hence, to balance it out, we need foods that contain more of the earth’s elements. Sweet, sour, and salty foods contain heaviness like earth and control the Vata. As opposed to this, light food already has Vata, so it increases Vata.
- Sweet, bitter, and astringent taste balances the pitta dosha, and the other three disbalance it. Pitta contains ‘fire and water’ these two elements from which, fire has more impact making the nature of pitta hot. Therefore to balance pitta, green veggies with a body cooling effect, sweet fruits, lentils, beans, etc. are essential for the body.
- Kapha balances with pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, but disbalances with the other three. Since Kapha is made of two elements ‘earth and water’ and to balance it, the body needs light foods with heat, exactly opposite to its nature. This food includes spices, green leafy vegetables, grains like dry oats and barley and sprouts, etc.
Food qualities and their impact
Just like the 6 tastes in Ayurveda, there are also 6 food qualities. These qualities are – heavy, light, oily, dry, hot, and cold.
If we divide the food into different food qualities, then Wheat, cheese, cottage cheese, curd, etc. are included in heavy food. Light food comprises of barley, corn, apple, spinach, etc. Dairy products and oils are included in oily food; barley, corn, and beans in dry food. All heating food and drinks in hot food and all cooling food and drinks are included in cold food.
How To Balance Tridosha?
- Oily, hot, and heavy food balances Vata because they have the ‘earth element’ which is missing in Vata with a dynamic culture.
- For pitta, oily, cold, and heavy foods are good because pitta is hot in nature.
- To balance out the Kapha; hot, light, and dry food is better because Kapha is cold in nature. Basically, this kind of food has more content of air and fire, which is necessary to balance the Kaha.
Apart from taste and quality, Ayurveda contains a list of some general food and drinks, which describes the impact of each fruit, vegetable, oil, spice, or dairy product on doshas. Consider the above-mentioned facts as your guide to tridosha balancing foods.
Importance of herbs in ayurveda
Ayurveda finds some special tridosha balancing herbs that have a good impact on different doshas.
- Black pepper, ginger, big cardamom, and other warming herbs are especially beneficial for Kapha dosha, since they balance its cold nature. That is why these herbs are especially used in winters to balance heat in the body.
- For Vata, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, ginger, etc. are useful because they prevent the formation of Vata in the body.
- Cinnamon, fennel seeds, dry coriander seeds, coriander leaves, and dill leaves are useful for pitta because these herbs give relief from the heat. This way the hot-nature pitta remains in control automatically.
According to Ayurveda, the nature of our body and the outside nature, which we know as the environment. It is essential to have coordination between the two, because the nature of the body differs from person to person. Food and drinks should be taken according to the impact of each dosha on someone’s body and the outside environment, in order to keep our bodies healthy.