Herbs that are drying, drawing, and constricting. Externally, astringent herbs are used to stop bleeding and bring perforated tissues together. Internally, astringent herbs are drying, and are very useful for diarrhea or excess sweating.
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 perforated tissues together. Internally, astringent herbs are drying, and are very useful for diarrhea or excess sweating.
Minerals & Astringency
A second definition of astringency refers to foods that are high in minerals. Mineral rich foods tend to create a rough mouth feel. Salt and foods high in potassium and magnesium are considered astringent. Pica is a medical disorder characterized by people eating non-foods such as clay, soil, paint, or wood. This unusual craving can often be satisfied with vitamin and mineral substances, which supply the missing nutrient.
Astringent & Waste Products
Astringent taste causes a tightening of tissues obstructing lymphatic flow, elimination of toxins, and sometimes, constipation. Alternately, 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.
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