About Sweet Taste in Ayurveda
Sweet refers to anything builds tissue, including macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
The Six Tastes: Sweet
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Balance My Excess Sweet
Get the 45 minute presentation 'Balance My Excess Sweet' 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 SWEETojas because it nourishes the sap or blood plasma of the body.
Sweet taste is rare in nature, and desirable. We need sweet taste to survive. After the agricultural revolution, sweet taste became abundant. It dominates the modern grocery store, probably because this is the taste that humans are most attracted to.
Sweet Taste & CirculationExcess use of sweet taste, especially refined grains and refined sugars, thickens blood plasma. Thick, sticky blood plasma bogs circulation, causing stagnation and high blood pressure. Poor circulation also causes swelling in the hands and feet.
Sweet Taste in the SkinWhen circulation is excessively boggy, metabolic byproducts (cellular poop) get trapped in the lymphatic system, causing inflammation. To see this effect more clearly, make a thumbprint on your arm. A white thumbprint surrounded by red skin could mean the lymphatic system is stagnant and inflamed. Note: this effect is usually prominent on the arms and legs.
Sweet Taste, the Lungs, & the ThyroidHealthy lungs depend on good circulation to keep them hollow, otherwise, the lungs fill up with mucous and water. Excess sweet taste causes mucous buildup in the lungs and back of the throat. Boggy circulation and a thick layer of mucous covering the lungs reduces the circulation of oxygen (prana). The thyroid compensates by lowering metabolism. Many people have low thyroid activity without being aware of it. Symptoms of low thyroid include being overweight, cold body temperature, dry skin, and constipation.
Sweet Taste & the KidneysDense, gooey, sticky blood plasma causes water retention in the kidneys and may lead to edema. While Kapha types are prone and should discourage water retention, dry Vata types can use the sweet taste to help retain fluids.
Ayurvedic ClassificationsSweet taste is cooling, heavy, oily, and sticky. It brings softness and stability. Sweet taste coats the tongue and throat. It facilitates elimination of bowels. It is beneficial to children, the elderly, and in debilitated persons. Sweet taste alleviates thirst, pacifies Pitta and Vata, and nourishes the mind. Sweet taste helps in wound healing as long as the wound is not infected.
Remedies for Excess Sweet TasteAvoid refined sugar, candy, soda, ice-cream, and other processed foods with sugars. These foods confuse your 'appestat' - your body's natural appetite control mechanisms. Honey and fruits may be a safe way to satisfy your sweet cravings without weight gain, and are also much less addictive. Raw honey is a great natural fat metabolizer and stabilizes blood sugar, and its warming quality boosts your energy. Raw honey is known to help reduce the toxins off of the intestinal wall. You can also try date sugar, bananas, or raisins as sugar substitutes in your cooking.
Bitters like kale and dandelion leaves directly oppose sweet taste. They are drying, regulate blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and thin the blood. Pungent taste, including black pepper and ginger, stimulates circulation and heat.
Herbal actions common to many herbs listed in Sweet:
COLDCold refers to anything that reduces body temperature, metabolism, and blood flow.
BITTERBitter is disagreeable and stimulating rejection, and a strong taste often associated with black coffee, dark chocolate, and most salad greens.
TONICA tonic herb restores function through strengthening tissue. This can happen through a combination of nourishing the tissue, and invigorating tissue metabolism. The tonic should not be withering, as in caffeine.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORYReduces inflammation in the body. Different herbs and carriers target different body systems.
PUNGENTPungency is characterized by irritation, or sharp, spicy foods that irritate the mouth such as black pepper.
OILYIn Ayurveda, oily refers to anything moistening. More specifically, oily refers to building substances that increases fat, or are themselves fatty. For example, sugar is Oily.
Pitta Reducing (20)
OJASOjas is the essence of healthy tissue, immunity, stable energy and happiness. Substances that improve ojas are recommended after long-term illness, debility, emotional and physical trauma, and even sadness.
Vata Reducing (20)
NUTRITIVEAn herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
HEAVYHeavy is identified by sedation, sluggishness, or increased weight.
NERVINEHerbs that specifically go to the nervous system and brain. They can help with stress, memory, early alzheimer's, even chronic pain.
ASTRINGENTAstringency is characterized by constriction, drawing together, or drying.
ANALGESICRelieves or reduces feelings of pain without eliminating sensation.
DEMULCENTHerbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.
Reproductive Health (15)
DIURETICHerbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.
HOTHot is identified by increased body temperature, metabolism, or inflammation.
Mind Stress Sleep (14)
WATERResembles water (ap) in quality - fluid, sticky, soft, heavy, stable, cool.
HELPFUL FOR*'Sweet' may be helpful for these symptoms and causes below.
CONTRAINDICATIONS / AGGRAVATES / IS AGGRAVATED BY*'Sweet' may aggravate, or be aggravated by, these symptoms and causes below.
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.