The astringent flavor is one among the six tastes in Ayurveda, and today we’re telling you everything you need to know about it. This is the least understood among the six tastes, since many are even unclear about what astringent even means. Well, food that creates a rough, dry, and chalky sensation in the mouth is astringent. Think of biting into a pomegranate or a raw banana…that’s what astringent feels like.
Effects On The Doshas
Astringent foods are governed by the air and ether elements. They are cooling, rough, and drying in nature. These foods are therefore aggravating for Vata, but they pacify Kapha as well as Pitta. But this doesn’t mean that Vatas should completely avoid them – unless in the case of aggravation, Vatas can eat astringent foods in small quantities and reap their benefits. Ayurveda recommends enjoying all six tastes.
List Of Healthy Astringent Foods
- Raw bananas
Benefits Of The Astringent Flavor
- Astringent food promotes cleansing in the body.
- It reduces inflammation.
- Among the top astringent uses is to cool down the body.
- This flavour promotes fat loss.
- Such food lowers water retention in the body.
- It pacifies Kapha and helps reduce chest congestion.
- The astringent uses include bulking up the stool.
- Such food promotes wound healing.
- Astringent herbs can be helpful in treating bleeding disorders.
- The astringent uses also include aiding blood clotting.
- Astringent food improves nutrient absorption.
- It can reduce sweating due to excess body heat.
Effects Of Astringents In Excess
- The astringent flavor in excess can create severe Vata imbalance.
- Being cooling, it can weaken the digestive fire when eaten in excess.
- It leads to an increase in gas and bloating.
- It can cause as well as aggravate constipation.
- Such food can also cause unwanted weight loss.
- It may lead to dry skin.
- It also causes dryness in the mouth and choking in some people.
- Since it provokes Vata, it can lead to nervousness and jitters.
- It may also cause insomnia.
- Astringent foods in excess can reduce libido.
So as you see, eating astringent foods in moderation (small quantities for Vatas) can help you reap the fantastic benefits while preventing the effects of excess. With this post, we come to the end of our series about the six tastes in Ayurveda. If you have any questions, write to us in the comments section!
Note: Posts on Ayurvedum are solely for the purpose of sharing the goodness of Ayurveda and bringing awareness about natural and healthy living. Please do not substitute it for professional medical advice. Ingredients discussed can interfere with certain medications. So, before using anything to treat yourself, always consult an Ayurveda doctor or practitioner.