According to principles of ayurveda functions of foods and herbs are determined based on taste. Taste of herb is one of the parameters to determine their effect on body. In previous posts the tastes of herbs and their functions based on taste have been explained. But there are few exceptions for this principle.
- Usually foods and herbs which taste sweet increase Kapha. But old shashtika shali rice (old brown rice), wheat, barley, green gram, honey and sugar do not vitiate kapaha even though they are sweet to taste.
- Generally sour tasting herbs vitiate pitta. But sour tasting pomegranate and Indian gooseberry or amla do not vitiate pitta .
- According to ayurveda acharyas salts are bad for health of eye. But Saindhava lavana or sendha namak (rock salt) does not harm eyes.
- Bitter tasting and pungent tasting herbs generally reduce shukra or quantity of semen. They are known to cause erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and low motility. But herbs like Guduchi, patola which are bitter and ginger, garlic which taste pungent increase the quantity of shukra dhatu. They are known libido enhancers and used in treatment of male infertility.
- Foods and herbs which are astringent in nature obstruct the path of doshas. But amla even though has astringent properties does not obstruct the paths.