Tastes (part two)
In the last blog post I spoke about Sour and Bitter, now for one of the most dominant tastes - Sweet!
Sweet is a taste that of course includes sugar but also hidden in so many other foods. The sweet taste has so many positive actions, it nourishes the body, calms the nerves and helps to build body tissue. Whereas the sour, as mentioned before, has the function to astringe and help to absorb water, tightens tissues and dries out fats in the body, while the bitter detoxifies the body, the sweet nourishes. Sweet can be seen in so many foods such as bananas, apples, pears, grapes, cherries (in fact most fruits have fructose, a form of sugar), honey, grains, sweet potatoes, beetroot, carrots, apart from all the obvious confectionary everywhere. Dates are a marvellous source of sugar that is beneficial to the body, really helping to nourish the blood -as said, the sweet taste not only nourishes the body but also lubricates. Sweet can also neutralise toxic effects from other foods. Sweet helps the skin, hair, and even the voice but also because of it's lubricating properties can also aid the large intestine. There is always a contrary picture when too much sweet is consumed and it discloses itself in water retention a strange sort of phlegm that can form in the mouth.
Pungent is a wonderful taste of both stimulating the digestion and metabolism plus has the attribute of fighting out the cold. It does this by causing sweating. These foods would include garlic, fresh ginger, coriander, spearmint, turnips, mustard seed, chilli, curries (especially vindaloo) and some wines. In fact, if suffering from a chill, the best foods are hot curries to make you perspire and cause tears to run down your cheeks so as to expel the chill from the inside, almost as if pushing out the cold out from within.
Certain tastes have actions within them to direct downwards or upwards, also to astringe within or to push out, pungent is definitely to push out.
The last taste but certainly not least is Salty as this is the second strongest taste along with sugar, which is probably being the first. Our foods today are probably smothered in both sweet and salt. When one thinks back to the surfs in the old feudal system that were paid in salt because without a little salt food can be tasteless. A little is beneficial as it keeps our blood pressure at a good balance. However, too much can lead to tremendous retention of water in the body, puts a strain on the heart, kidneys, arteries, causing eventual heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease. One has to look no further than the sea itself to find salty foods, for example sea vegetables, also rich in iodine and extremely good for the thyroid. The sea foods don't stop there in sea shrimps, sea clams, oysters, crab, sea cucumber, also rich in iodine and extremely good for the thyroid. A little salt can have a moistening action and therefore very good for the large intestine as there is also a softening effect. So a moderation in salt can lubricate and also aid elimination of water, calm the nerves and promote growth in the body. Quite a lot going for salt but the word moderation is the key, in fact moderation in all things.
A little bit of something but not a lot of anything must be the motto. Everything in its right proportion.