About Salty Taste in Ayurveda
Salty refers to anything with salt, or high mineral content.
The Six Tastes: Salty
Presentation on Salty $15.95 Salty Recipes Salty Ingredients Salty Products
AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE ON SALTY
Salt & FlavorSalt brings out the flavor in food and brings enthusiasm for life. It stimulates secretions, thus improving digestion. Salt is a laxative, breaking up all hard masses in the digestive tract. Salt in excess obliterates all other tastes and causes thirst.
Salt & LiquificationSalt causes water retention, increases blood pressure, and effectively combats dryness in Vata. It cleanses the body by breaking up obstructions in all channels. It nourishes the nerve tissue. Salt liquefies Kapha mucus in the lungs and sinuses, allowing for easier removal.
Salt is used to induce vomiting in pancha karma cleansing therapies. Yogis drink a quart of water with two teaspoons of salt to completely purge the GI tract.
Overuse of SaltAyurveda recommends limited use of mineral salts only. Refined salts should be avoided. Excess salt increases flabbiness and wrinkling of the skin. Salt pulls water into the intercellular space through osmosis, separating ojas from the tissues. It delays healing by causing secretions in wounds. In excess, salt damages fluids, decreases libido, hardens muscles, damages bones, causes premature aging, and spoils the blood.
The average human loses 2 grams of salt per day. This amount increases to 30 grams (6 tsp) when exercising in hot weather. You may have noticed a crust on your skin after sweating on a hot day. In the summer it is vitally important to maintain electrolytes. Every year people who over-exert themselves on hot days die not of dehydration, but salt deficiency. At one time, salt, like sugar, was worth its weight in gold. The British controlled India through a tax on salt. Ancestrally, humans obtained most of their salt from the blood and muscle of their prey.
Salt, the Kidney, & Managing FluidsThe kidneys manage the ocean of water in the body. Vata people with leaky kidneys sometimes benefit from anti-diuretics, like salt, licorice, and Rehmannia root. Anti-diuretics help rebuild fluids and counteract the diuretic effect of Vata type ama (toxicity).
Salty taste includes all foods that are rich in minerals, such as nettles. For the same reason, soil is considered salty. Many foods high in potassium, like potatoes, dandelions, and beans, are diuretics. Potassium and salt work like opposites in the body, both in fluid retention and on a cellular level (recall the sodium potassium pump). Salt aggravates Kapha. Potassium pacifies Kapha.
INGREDIENTS THAT ARE SALTY
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. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. 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.