Pungent Taste Foods & Herbs List: An Ayurveda Perspective
The Six Tastes: Pungent
Balance My Excess Sharpness / Pungency (Sharp Guna, Pungent Taste) $15.95 Pungent Recipes Pungent Ingredients Pungent Herbs & Supplements Pungent Stats
Balance My Excess Sharpness / Pungency (Sharp Guna, Pungent Taste)
Get the 45 minute presentation 'Balance My Excess Sharpness / Pungency (Sharp Guna, Pungent Taste)' given by Joyful Belly founder and director John Immel. This presentation will show you Ayurvedic essentials on fixing this imbalance, including diet, lifestyle, and herbal tips from Ayurveda. Price: $15.95
AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE ON PUNGENT
Pungent taste is what makes spicy foods hot. Pungent spices stimulate by irritating the lining of the digestive tract and other membranes. Made of fire element, pungent taste is sharp and concentrated, fast acting and intense, spreading quickly to all tissues. Penetrating substances, like digestive enzymes, and anything that "penetrates" all tissues, like the nervous system and the blood, are pungent. Aggressive substances, like the immune system, and intelligent tissues, like the analytical centers of the brain, have pungency or sharpness. The forceful, constant contact of fire element penetrates, burns, ulcerates, cuts and cauterizes.
Types of PungentsBlack pepper and chilis are quintessential pungents. Hard liquor is pungent and burning. Sour taste, which increases secretions, is sharp but not pungent. At Joyful Belly we've lumped together pungent taste and the sharp quality because they share many similarities. Acrid is a subtype of pungent, used for foods that aren't spicy but have a burning sensation, like tobacco. Aromatic is a subtype of pungent reserved for herbs and spices that have a strong smell, like peppermint. Herbal resins like frankincense and myrrh have a distinct pungent taste as well.
Circulation & ImmunityThe body flushes pungent irritants by thinning the blood, dilating blood vessels, and increasing the heart rate. Pungent taste thus improves circulation, liquefies, softens, secretes, and flushes, breaking up and dissolving thick or hardened masses such as mucus. As it moves blood, pungent taste warms the liver, forcing it to work harder. Warming the liver is helpful if blood is cold and liver is stagnant. However, the surge of blood stimulated by pungent taste can overtax the liver's cleansing capacity if Pitta is already aggravated. Pungent taste stimulates courage and valor because blood flow is movement of . The immune system exists mainly in the blood. Therefore, good circulation, stimulated by ginger, black pepper, and other pungents helps improve immunity and resolve sore throats.
Pungent & KaphaPungent taste is the best taste for Kapha. Circulation increases heat, metabolism, and agni (digestive strength). It burns off all Kapha tissues, creating lightness. It helps the body sweat, clearing and flushing all secretions. It breaks up and dries mucus in the GI tract and in the lungs. It wakes up the sleepy Kapha mind and brings focus to mental activity.
Pungent & VataVata should be careful with excess use of pungent taste. A small amount of pungent taste warms Vata, but pungents should not be used to stimulate deficient organs. They increase Vata's already high metabolism, which burns fluids (ojas), causing tissues to dry out. Instead, nourishment is the best way to rebuild organ strength for Vata. Excess pungent taste overstimulates the Vata mind. Ginger, pippali, guduchi, and garlic are exceptions.
Pathological PungencyExcess sharpness and pungent taste aggravates Pitta and could lead to bleeding disorders, bruises, ulcers, inflammation, and rashes. After encouraging secretions, excess pungent taste leaves behind thirst and dryness, much as the hot sun dries the desert.
Treatment of Excess PungentsSweet, gooey foods coat and soothe excess pungency. Cooling demulcents like licorice ghee and shatavari are also indicated. Astringents like amalaki and arjuna cool inflammation.
OTHER HERB ACTIONS AFFECTING HEART-CIRCULATION-BLOOD
HELPFUL FOR*'Pungent' may be helpful for these symptoms and causes below.
Blood and CirculationAtherosclerosis, Blood thick / Congested lymph, Bluish / Purple Tongue, Cold extremities, Cold to touch, Cramping back of leg, Diabetes (Adult Onset Type II), Heart Attack, Heaviness in heart area, High Blood Sugar, Insulin Resistance, Low energy, Raynauld's Syndrome, Slow Heartbeat, Sticky saliva, Teeth marks on tongue edges, Thick coating tongue, Tingling/Numbness, White tongue coating
DigestionBad breath, Foul taste on tongue, Frequent Burping, Lactose Intolerant, Limited sense of taste, Pancreatic Insufficiency, Quickly full / early satiety, Slow, heavy digestion, Smelly Gas, Vomiting Mucus
Mind Stress SleepBored easily, Conflict makes me depressed, lazy, Confusion / Cloudy Mind, Cry easily, Depressed, Depressed when stressed, Difficulty concentrating, Difficulty waking up, Excessive sleep, Low self esteem, Overwhelmed by responsibilities, Sleep deep & long, trouble waking up, Sleep during the day, Slow, monotonous speech, Tired in morning
Respiratory HealthChronic cough, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Clear mucus, Cough with mucus / wet cough, Cystic-Fibrosis, Difficulty expectorating, Green mucus, Large amounts of mucus, Laryngitis, Limited sense of smell, Mucus Congestion, Mucus/congestion in mornings, Pneumonia, Post nasal drip, Runny nose, Seasonal allergies, Shortness of Breath, Sinus Infection, Sinus pain around eyes, Sinus pain in cheeks, Sinus pain in forehead, Sore throat, Stuffed nose (can't breathe), Swallowing mucus, Thick mucus, Tickle in nose, Tightness in Chest when Breathing, Wheezing, White mucus, Yellow mucus
SkinBluish Skin, Cellulite, Cold aggravates my skin, Pale lips, Pale Skin, Purple/blue lips, Small pores
Weight LossAngry when someone eats my food, Eat when lonely / depressed, Emotional eating, Fat back of arms, Fat on back, Fat on buttocks, Fat on thighs, Feel overweight, Hypothyroid, Spending all day in the kitchen, Stomach fat, Trips to food stores daily, Trying to lose weight, Uneasy when food unavailable
CONTRAINDICATIONS / AGGRAVATES / IS AGGRAVATED BY*'Pungent' may aggravate, or be aggravated by, these symptoms and causes below.
Blood and CirculationAlcoholism, Autoimmune Disorders, Bloodshot Eyes, Blurry Vision, Bright red lips, face or palms, Bright red tongue, Clear / absent tongue coating, Dilated Pupil, Enlarged Spleen, Fever (current), Flushes Easily, Gallbladder Inflammation, Gallstones / Attack, General Inflammation, Hepatitis (Past/Current), High Blood Sugar, Hot Flashes, Hypoglycemic, Irregular heartbeat, Jaundice, Liver Degeneration, Liver Sore, Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), Night sweats, Prolonged bleeding when cut (Poor clotting), Red dots on tongue, Red sclera (white part of eyes), Red tip of tongue, Rheumatic Fever, Sensitive to Alcohol, Sensitivity to bright light, Sharp, gray, green, light brown eyes, Sores on tongue, Sour sweat, Staph infection, Stinging Eyes, Strong body odor, Sweat often, Thalassemia Minor, Yellow bump on eye, Yellow eyes / sclera, Yellow tongue coating, Yellowish skin
DigestionAnal Itching, Appendicitis, Bad breath, Burning abdominal pain, Citrus allergy, Crohn's Disease, Duodenal Ulcer, Even liquid foods aggravate abdominal pain, Food allergy, Frequent Nausea, Gastritis, Gastrointestinal Bleeding, H pylori infection, Hemorrhoids, Hyperacidity, Inflamed Rectum, Intestinal Perforation, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Metallic Taste in Mouth, Nut allergy, Pain above belly button, Pain left upper abdomen, Pain relieved by doubling over, Pancreatitis, Sharp abdominal pain, Smelly Gas, Sores inside mouth, Sour Taste in Mouth, Stomach Ulcer, Strong abdominal pulse, Strong hunger, Traveler's Diarrhea, Ulcerative Colitis, Vomiting, Vomiting Blood, Yellow teeth
LifestyleAvoids cold, Avoids heat, House hot, Long workday, Moderate pace, goal oriented activity, Thermostat set above 72
Mind Stress SleepAnger, irritable, ambitious, analytical, Burning sense of shame, Conflict makes me angry, irritable, Dizzy / Light-headed, Illegal Drugs (marijuana, cocaine, etc), Intelligent, efficient, perfectionist, Intense emotions, Jealous / envious, Judgmental, Migraines, Multiple Sclerosis, Preoccupied with sex / lust, Self Critical, Sharp language, Tobacco Cigarette Smoker (Current), Tobacco Cigarette Smoker (Past), Workaholic
PoopBloody stools, Diarrhea, Diarrhea quickly after eating, Explosive elimination, Foul odorous stool, Frothy Stool / with Bubbles, Green stool, Orange / Rubbery Stool, Pencil stool - thin & long, Pus in stool, Soft Stool, Stool entirely liquid, no solid pieces, Stool formed, but porous & airy, Stool in mushy pieces mixed with liquid, Stool thick mud, Tarry black stools, Yellow stool
SkinAcne - painful, Blisters, Boils, Bruise easily, Contact dermatitis, Easily hot, Eczema, Flat rash, Heat aggravates my skin, Hives, Inflamed skin, Itchy skin, Morgellons, Oozing Sores on Skin, Painful rash, Pink skin, Psoriasis, Raised & bumpy rash, Rashes, Red capillaries visible, Red/flushed skin, Rosaceae, Scaly / flaky skin, Sensitive to Poison Ivy, Skin problems entire body, Skin problems on eyelids, Skin problems on neck, Skin red after mild abrasion, Skin sensitivity to chemicals, Sun aggravates skin, Sun damage/burn, Sun sensitivity, Urticaria, Warm & rosy skin
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Get Ayurveda's approach to food cravings & emotional eating for balanced weight and health.