Friday, September 17, 2010

Pungent Taste

Katu Ras

This is a taste that is much loved in Tropical countries like India, Thailand, parts of Africa rather than here in North America. Chillies or Spicy is something that is known to be integral part of one’s diet in those countries. Why is this taste so important in those countries and food? Here is some information about pungent taste and its importance.

What is Katu Ras?

In Ayurveda this taste is known as Katu Ras or Pungent Taste in English also known as spicy taste. One of important sign that tells you that one is eating this taste is burning sensation on the tip of the tongue and palate. Eyes, nostrils, and even in the mouth one can feel the burn resulting in excess salivation or tears or excess mucous secretion.

Food groups that are Spicy in Taste:

Well this group is obvious to all, spicy chillies peppers right, we all know!! Most of the group of peppers end in this taste. Jalapenos, black peppers, chilli peppers all those are spicy in taste. Asafoetida an important spice in Indian cooking is also spicy to taste.

Health Benefits of Spicy Taste :

1] The spicy nature  is known to increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach thus increasing the digestive fire which further increases the  metabolism
2] According Ayurvedic physiology Pungent taste is known to reduce excess kapha in the body. It also helps the body to break down excess “khled” .The role of this taste in keeping the weight in control is well known.
3] This taste is known to stimulate the taste buds thus helping them to re-boost the tastes.
4] It is also known to dissolves bonds between tough food materials in the system thus helping in the process of metabolism.

Excessive Consumption:

Excess consumption of this taste group can be dangerous for the body. Here are some of issues that the body can suffer.
1] Because of over indulgence in pungent taste the Vatta dosha might get aggravate causing increase sensation of thirst due to dryness.
2] It is said that although pungent taste stimulates sexual activity, excess use can actually reduce sperm count and vigour.
3] Long term this taste can cause tremors and convulsions too if eaten in excess.

Posted by Sudeep

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