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The Six Tastes: Astringent
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Astringent Ayurvedic Perspectives
Astringent
Reported by John Immel, Asheville, NC
Recipes Ingredients Products

Herbs that are drying, drawing, and constricting. Externally, Astringent herbs are used to stop bleeding and bring tissues together that have perforated. Internally, Astringent herbs are drying, so are very useful for diarrhea or excess sweating.

Vata aggravating

Elements: Air, Earth
Balanced by 'Salty', 'Sour', 'Sweet'.
ayurvedic notes
Astringent foods make the mouth feel rough or dry. Astringent taste cleanses the mouth but causes difficulty swallowing. Leafy greens, green bananas and cranberries are astringent. Astringent taste makes an apple crunchy. It makes lentils and peeled potatoes stick to each other. Externally, Astringent herbs are used to stop bleeding and bring tissues together that have perforated. Internally, Astringent herbs are drying, so are very useful for diarrhea or excess sweating.

Minerals & Astringency

A second definition of Astringency is high in minerals. Mineral rich foods tend to create a rough mouth feel. Salt, foods high in potassium, magnesium, etc are considered astringent. Pica is a medical disorder where people eat non-foods such as clay, soil, paint, or wood. Often this unusual craving can be satisfied with vitamin and mineral substances, supplying the missing nutrient.

Astringent & Waste Products

Astringent taste causes a tightening of tissues obstructing lymphatic flow, elimination of toxins, and may cause constipation. However if you are having diarrhea, a good astringent like cranberry or pomegranate juice can be very helpful. Astringent taste also dries up any secretions and absorbs mucus (Kapha).

Qualities of Astringent

Astringents are cooling and drying making them good for Pitta inflammation on the skin and in the gastro-intestinal tract. Exercise caution, however, if the source of the inflammation comes from dryness (Vata).

Astringent Taste & Emotions

Emotionally, astringent taste helps someone cool off and collect scattered thoughts. Astringency is the physical analog of fear causing the cells of the body to withdraw. Bodily tissues tense up to create a barrier to astringency.

Astringent Herbs

Triphpala, amalaki, haritaki, arjuna and manjistha.
herbs & products with Astringent quality
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Triphala
Vata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
$8.95
Ayurveda's most famous herbal formula. Promotes healthy bowel function and tone while gently detoxifying your body.

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Ashwagandha
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
$9.33
Calms the nerves while rebuilding strength and stability. Energy all day long and sound sleep are benefits of ashwagandha.

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Triphala Tablets
Vata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
$23.47
The classic Ayurvedic formula for regular elimination. Promotes healthy bowel function and tone and gently removes toxicity from the colon.

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Amalaki
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
$8.95
Ayurveda's most popular herb detoxifies while it rejuvenates! Especially useful for inflammation of the GI tract.

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Triphala Guggulu
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifying
$25.00
Famous Ayurvedic formula for weight loss & cholesterol reduction. Triphala, the classic detoxification and laxative combined with resinous guggulu scrapes excess fat from the system.

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Gymnema sylvestre
Vata aggravatingPitta pacifyingKapha pacifying
$8.95 $7.16
Reduces food cravings, especially for sugar. This Ayurvedic herb supports proper function of the pancreas to maintain healthy levels of blood sugar and insulin.

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