Katu rasa is pungent taste. This taste is made up of fire element and air element. When foods with katu rasa are consumed, it excites nerve endings present in tip of the tongue. The irritation caused by katu rasa makes tears flow, increases salivation and stimulates nasal secretion. The foods which are pungent to taste can cause burning sensation in cheeks.
Herbs which have this taste can cure diseases of throat, skin rashes, leprosy and other skin diseases. They help to reduce swelling of wounds, dry body fat and increase the absorption of water. Consumption of herbs or foods with pungent taste can increase hunger, fasten digestion and improve sense of taste. Pungent tasting herbs reduce kapha, dilate micro channels, clear the blockage and help in digestion of accumulated toxins.
Increased use of pungent tasting herbs or foods increase thirst and deplete semen or shukra dhatu. This reduces sperm count and sperm motility. It also causes tremors and pain in muscles of back.