Arogya Jeewan

Arogya Jeewan

The Six Rasas

One of the interpratations of the term Rasa in Ayurveda is the taste of the substance. Rasa  is the foremost tool in Ayurveda to assess and determine the pharmacological properties and actions of the substance. Similarity in Rasa is said to signify similar structure and consequently similar pharmacological behavior. There are six Rasa in Ayurveda 

Ayurveda recommends including each Rasa in every meal of the day. In this way, nutrition can be well balanced and good health is achieved. The rasas have an effect on doshas and hence imbalance of doshas in the body can be repaired by adjusting the rasas in diet.1,2

Madhura- Sweet (Lowers Vata and Pitta, Enhances Kapha)1,2

  • Most nourishing rasa
  • Promotes longevity, strength, and healthy body fluids and tissues
  • Helps to gain weight by slow digestion
  • Soothing, calming and satisfactory effect on mind
  • Consumption in excess can cause obesity, diabetes, lethargy and anxiety
  • Foods (Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat): Wheat, rice, dairy, cereals, dates, pumpkins, maple syrup, licorice root, meat, chicken, fish, sugar, honey etc. 

Amla - Sour (decreases Vata, increases Pitta and Kapha)1,2

  • Awakens thoughts and emotions
  • Improves appetite, digestion, and elimination of waste from the body
  • Strengthens heart
  • Enhances intellectual activities
  • Consumption in excess can cause loss of strength, fever, thirst, resentment and jealousy, anger, impatience, hot temper
  • Foods (Organic acids): Lemon, citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, vinegars, pickled and fermented foods, tamarind, wine, salad dressing, yoghurt etc. 

Lavan - Salty (decreases Vata, increases Pitta and Kapha)1,2

  • Provides hydration
  • Stimulates digestion
  • Lubricates tissues
  • Maintains mineral balance
  • Enhances appetite and other tastes, enthusiasm, calms nerves and stops anxiety
  • Consumption in excess can cause wrinkles, thirst, loss of strength, baldness, cravings, anger, impatience, lethargy
  • Foods (Mineral salts): Table salt, soy sauce, black olives, salted meats, fish, seaweed etc. 

Katu - Pungent (increases Vata and Pitta, decreases Kapha)1,2

  • Stimulates digestion, improves appetite
  • Clears sinuses, stimulates blood circulation, and heightens the senses
  • Warms body and promotes sweating
  • Relieves nerve pain
  • Consumption in excess can cause thirst, depletion of reproductive fluid and strength, fainting, waist/back pain, irritability, anger, impatience
  • Foods (Essential oils): Peppers, chilies, onions, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, cloves, ginger, mustard, salsa, raddish, etc. 

Tikta -Bitter (increases Vata, decreases Pitta and Kapha)1,2

  • Detoxifying, help remove waste products from the body
  • Reduces excess fat and water
  • Relieves thirst and fever
  • Antibiotic effect
  • Helpful in managing food cravings, clears senses and emotions
  • Consumption in excess can cause gas or upset stomach, anxiety, fear, insomnia
  • Foods (Alkaloids or glycosides): Green leafy vegetables, green and yellow vegetables, kale, celery, broccoli, sprouts, beets, green, black and most herbal teas etc. 

Kashaya - Astringent (increases Vata, decreases Pitta and Kapha)1,2

  • Cleanses blood and helps maintaining healthy blood sugar level
  • Dries moisture and fat
  • Cools fiery minds, clears senses and emotions, removes lethargy
  • Consumption in excess can cause gas or constipation, thirst, anxiety, worry, fear, insomnia
  • Foods (Tannins):Amla, Unripe bananas, green grapes, pomegranates, cranberries, green beans, alfalfa sprouts, okra, lentils, broccoli, green apples, pears, cauliflower, cabbage, tea etc. 


  3. Charak Samhita of Agnivesha. Vidhyotini Hindi Vyakhya- Sastry K & Chaturvedi G – Editors. Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, Varanasi 221001. Reprint 2011.