Sweet taste is probably the most liked taste of the world. Let us learn in detail, the benefits of sweet taste, its effect on body, general qualities of substances having sweet taste, who should have sweet and who should not etc.
Effect of sweet taste on Tridosha
Sweet increases Kapha Dosha, decreases Pitta and Vata Dosha.
Sweet taste is constituted by earth and water elements. Both these add the qualities of coldness and heaviness to the body, because both earth and water are cold and heavy. Hence, it increases Kapha, which has similar qualities.
Pitta can be compared to fire. Imagine, if you want to put off fire, you would through water and sand (earth material) over the fire to put it off. So, sweet helps to pacify Pitta.
Vata dosha is like air. Since sweet does not contain any air or ether element, it pacifies Vata Dosha.
Indriya Prasadana – boosts strength of sense organs, nourishes sense organs.
Sweet taste is composed of following Mahabhuta (basic elements) – Pruthvi – solid (earth) and Ap – water
Snigdha sheeto guruscha – unctuous, coolant and heavy to digest.
Hence softness, coldness due to water and heaviness due to solid are the two qualities of Sweet taste. So substances with sweet taste are usually heavy to digest, soft, unctuous and cold.
Effect of sweet taste on body and mind
Shareera Satmya – congenial to the body by birth, wholesome
Rasa, Rudhira, Mamsa Medo Asthi Majja Oja Shukra Abhivardhana – improves – Rasa(body fluid), blood, muscle, fat, bone, marrow, ojas, semen and longevity.
Prahladana – Brings happiness to mind
Brimhana – nourishing
Tarpana – Nourishes sense organs
Shadindriya Prasadana – They are soothing to the six sense organs. (5 + mind)
Jeevana – enlivening, promotes growth and enhances quality of life
Mukha Upalepa – coats the tongue
Anulomana – promotes natural path for movement of fluids and matter inside the body.
Trushnanigrahana – satiating, quenches thirst
Sandhaneeya – brings about quick fracture healing
Vrusha -acts as aphrodisiac, promotes pregnancy, promotes lactation.
Relieves burning sensation, improves skin complexion.
Useful in relieving the effects of external trauma,
Nourishes all the body tissues, promotes growth.
Balya – increases strength
Varnakara – influences skin colour
Vishaghna – anti toxic
Sthairyakara – improves body stability
Ayushya – increases life expectancy
Ghrana Mukha Kantha Oshta Jihva Prahladana – soothing to the nose, mouth, throat, lips and tongue.
Benefits of sweet taste
Sweet taste is understood by its quality of sticking in the oral cavity, providing a feeling of contentment and pleasure to the body and comfort to the sense organs. It is liked even by ants.
Sweet taste being accustomed since birth, produces greater strength in the body tissues. It is very good for children, the aged, the wounded, the emaciated, improves skin complexion, hairs, strength of sense organs and Ojas (essence of the tissues, immunity).
Sweet taste causes stoutness of the body, good for the throat, increases breast milk, unites fractured bones.
Sweet taste is not easily digestible, prolongs life, helps life activities;
It is unctuous, mitigates Pitta, Vata and poison.
By excess use it produces diseases arising from fat and Kapha, obesity, Asthma, unconsciousness, diabetes, enlargement of glands of the neck, malignant tumours (cancer) and such others.
Generally, substances of sweet taste increase Kapha except old rice (more than a year old) and barley, green gram, wheat, honey, sugar, and meat of desert animals.
Example for sweet tasting herbs and substances
Sweet food should be consumed first –
It is told in Ayurveda that, sweet food should be consumed first, during meals. It is because, just before meal time, there is Vata increase in the stomach. Hence, sweet helps to palliate Vata Dosha.
Symptoms due to excessive sweet taste consumption
Excess of sweet causes – increase of Kapha, which leads to following symptoms –
Sthaulya – obesity
Mardava – increase of moisture component, increased softness
Alasya – lethargy
Atiswapna – Feeling sleepy all the time
Gaurava – increased heaviness of the body
Aruchi – anorexia, lack of interest in food
Alasaka, Agnimandya – lack of digestion strength
Mamsavruddhi in Mukha and Kantha – growth / lipoma over face and throat
Shwasa, Kasa, Pratishyaya – worsening of respiratory diseases like cough, cold, asthma, rhinitis
Sheetajwara – fever with chills
Anaha – bloating
Mukhamadhura – sweet taste on the tongue
Vamana – vomiting
Sanjnanasha – lack of sensation
Svarabhanga – voice changes
Krumi – intestinal worms
Arbuda, Shleepada – excessive growths and tumors
Netraroga – eye disorders.
Characteristic features of sweet taste
Sweetness is ascertained by
Snehana – oiliness, unctuousness,
Preenana – deliciousness,
Ahlada – delightfulness
Mardava – softness.
When consumed, it pervades all over the mouth as it is adherent to the mouth.Reference: Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrasthana 10th chapter
Sweets should be eaten first in meals
As per Ayurveda, sweet tasting foods should be taken as first part of meals. Ahead of meals, the person will be excessively hungry. Sweet brings satiation and contentment.
Sweets are usually avoided at the end of the meals.
As per Ayurveda, soon after food intake, digestion process starts and during this time, the Kapha Dosha will be dominant. That’s why we feel full and lethargic
soon after taking food. Sweet can directly increase Kapha Dosha, which is undesired, soon after meals. Hence, sweets are taken as first part of food.