The Dosha Life

S8 E6 Secrets of Eating and Taste with Ayurveda

September 20, 2022 Kelly Marie Mills Season 8 Episode 6
The Dosha Life
S8 E6 Secrets of Eating and Taste with Ayurveda
Show Notes Transcript

Keep an eye out on my Facebook Group : The Dosha Life with Kelly for new offerings and Ayurveda supports. Plus and also find me on Instagram kelly_marie_mills and FB @kellymariemills Coming into balance, secretly seeking sattva, we come to terms with our own nourishment. 
To come to terms with our own nourishment. The fact is there are five vital components to eating: 


What, When, How and who - as much as it can all be a bit confusing at first.
A bit like Abbott and Costello with whose on first follow the link:

Here is a fun clip of people trying an Ayurvedic herb - Triphala which has pungent, bitter and astringent tastes - and can be a bit on the Holy Cow !! side of the spectrum of not liked tastes... but they didnt help themselves taking it as directed by Ayurveda. We never take herbs or spices dry. Ever.

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Kelly Marie Mills: 0:00 

For Yoga Ayurveda Living, I am Kelly Marie Mills and this is The Dosha Life.  A podcast for wellness seekers and happiness curators, interested in the secrets and wisdom coming from Yoga and Ayurveda.
This is Series 8 episode 6

You are on the secrets of 

Over the last few weeks we have opened our view to food …you're not leaving what you know behind. but you are adding to your knowledge base. 

Your experience of foods and wisdom of what you love and what your body does not love is super important to embrace the six tastes but also to work with your inner balance and other words… It is a part of the sattvic living practice. 

To come to terms with our own nourishment. The fact is there are five vital components to eating: 


What, When, How and who - as much as it can all be a bit confusing at first, a bit like Abbott and Costello with who's on first - you can find their skit in the link on the description…

These keywords help us develop awareness of what is going on and in hopes that we may be enjoying our food. If not, then there are only two hopes left -no hope and well, once upon a time, bob hope . 

When I first learned of the six tastes, I had to keep leaving them behind, or sit down, because much of my focus was on herbs and their use for myself first and then for my clients. 

Herbs are the next level up of food in ayurveda - they are like supercharged foods…they are the more refined form of food, so they have a faster action on the material body than foods themselves.

Now…please don't get me wrong…omg…what we eat is THE ONLY WAY to ensure we have a means to sustainable health..and it is, for most of us at least,  our own making how our body is today, understanding that birth karmas, accidents and actions pressed into our lives by the karmas of other …still in all once you are over thirty…and karma says, as it is made, so you can unmake it. 

And food is like the most important thing we bring into our body…often without any thought or presence of mind…but almost in our own mindless state of rushing or watching something or eating it and wondering where did it go… and it is exactly the same for our mind…thoughts, reactions and sensation feed our mind - it is what we use to live by…so by both of those tremendously catalytic statements …

Is it this habit…habit? Hahaha…this requirement but we make a habit of some particular tastes…it is these particular tastes we love and those we refrain from eating that Ayurveda addresses with the six tastes. Cause if you can't taste it then you don't know what you are eating

as a bi-line: soma is the first essence of support from which space arrived - but you know how i am always talking about agni this or that..yah well, Ayurveda knows there is Agni in the smallest principles of life, way before the agni in every cell of your body - just like everything else, we come from the unseen first. Of course science calls it nuclear and atomic, but ayurveda we call it truth - boom!

Oddly, it is human nature to keep ourselves limited to this body…wouldn’t you think so. Now we would be celebrating a little bit more our own personal celestial ness? You know even our body and the silence in our mind knows that agni is existent in all of life, like Dr. Frawley says, the agni can be considered the metabolism of the universe. 


And please remember, this is from what I understand, so for me to understand it, I have kept it simple - sort of like my math. If things don't add up, i go back, start from what I know is correct and then spread out the puzzle again, slow it down, break it down and then give it to my accountant hahahaha but thats why the samkhya system is reliable, you can move forward  and back and never get lost -just a little boggled in the intricate details- but you don't need the details to love ayurveda…seriously you don't. To be a good therapist you need a lot more detail, but to live with ayurveda, you just gotta listen more. Open the inner ears, inner eyes, all the tastes…and become vigilant to how you are. Just you. 

Of course naturally the basics seem complicated in the early days, isn't it always! but we started with the importance of awareness and patience…,  keeping it simple - just begin with the tastes you know about. And I almost always veer to the tastes I know are not helping my system, and for me it's the modern version of sweet - the sweet tooth of my old past little girl running around gathering oreos in one hand so my brothers didn't get to eat more than me…

Oh yes, remember that medhure rasa is neutral, the taste that creates the most tissue increase…in english it does translate as  sweet..and if you think of all the wonderful things we eat like meat, and dairy, and nuts and seeds and oils and butter and grains and vegetables…they all have some form of sweet taste on our taste buds. Now of course because we are raised to feel sweet is an apple tart or french toast with syrup..well our sweet taste is pretty out of masterful intelligence - so to begin in your reduction of sugar intake in as much as you can would be an amazing thing to do for your body and whole system.

And another problem in the modern world…too much of sweet as in whole nourishing foods, even if its good for you, too much or too little is not serving to enhance your sattva

So let's go over them again in a shorter modified version - My KAyu Detox, secretly seeking sattva will begin in its timely fashion to help us shift from season to season, further news on this will be in my updates or shpeels with kelly…

I am always hoping to teach people to test the taste buds on their tongue, as this is the only place to start learning about Rasa, the essence of the food itself, like the first impression. First understand this… for the most part,we  do not like pain. Pain arises from not getting things to go our own way. We had an agenda and it often gets disrupted or plain old sidetracked. So with that in mind, imagine that you were offered herbs to help your system work better, and you can take it loose in water, where you will taste every bit of this herb or take it capsule form, where you will taste nothing of this herb. 

Which would you choose? I know…many of us would choose the second option, why taste something that has the possibility of tasting nasty, when we can take it in a capsule or such thing with no pain point at all! 

Well…ayurveda knew all those years ago that we start our digestive journey…from our lips to the mouth, tongue and taste buds…and our mouth informs the digestion to get ready something is about to come down the hatch and it's not chewed properly either! 

We all have to remember that chewing is such a vital component of eating. Of enjoyment of stopping.

Without chewing we give our body a much harder task than we need, and for some, this is a good reason why you may feel shlumpy after your lunch in the day. Of course in the day, it also may be that you have not made time to breathe better before you eat- adn to be honest, giving thanks for what we eat too, that we have this grace in our life, 

This rule of taste wont work on medical science because of the way science formulates the prescriptions…if you have ever chewed medicine it is often so bitter and astringent it's 300 % worse than herbs with no water!

And for me, one of the worst herbs to ever hold in my mouth for a few minutes with all my ayurveda friends is definitely powdered pure valerian …omg absolutely indescribably and disgustingly nasty …

but back to triphala…it is

one of the herbal blends most promoted and used from ayurveda… to be fair people, it's a bit of nasty when you first taste it, many are left with an oddly intense bitterness and in this video  you can see their personal reaction but then they are taking it totally dry. You don't have to do that with ayurveda, ever. If you did you could probably keel over. Because it will increase vata ….and we are living in a field of non harming  - in

Ayurveda we use something called the Anupana, it's like a boat, that helps to bring the herbs or spices to where they need to go. And some boats or service taxis work better with aloe vera, some with ginger root tea, and some need just to remember to do it and get the anupana right later!

  …Triphala amongst all its fierce oddness…it has five of the six tastes, and that means technically and in reality,   it can be a major help in our own inner healing and balance, depending on your dosha balance.  

You know if you have something wrong with your smell, if you smell is deficient, so is your sense of taste. As it is only through smell that the taste buds expand and help us enjoy our food…a bit like feeding our eyes before we eat. If it looks beautiful it will add to our taste experience too…but of course contrary to this…if it looks good and tastes bad..??? Hahahah well that will definitely destroy that experience !

here is our little review board - 

Sweet, made of earth and water, so it causes problems for kapha because kapha is made of these elements, but these earth elements make them ideal for balancing vata and pitta…

The sweet taste effect  in our system is cooling (Not cold, i like to think of it as soothing like moonlight, calming and supportive. Its long term behavior in the body is sweet and translates that as soothing and supportive .

Like plain boiled rice or a grain…this is the deep sweet neutral taste that Ayurveda is talking about. Sweet is our main nutritional source, we use the other tastes to keep sweet in balance and support the body to its best intelligence. support kapha enough but not in excess, support pitta and vata so they don't lose their foundations.

Madhura is the life support covering the majority of our foods - 

That said, there is plenty of wiggle room to get in the other taste to enhance our neutral basic foods and  support dosha balance and a sattvic life.

Sour is made of earth and fire…so it's the saucy tangy one! Its initial taste is heating/warm but its longer term behaviour in the body is sour - and it's that sourness that bothers pitta and kapha so they have to be careful with this - for a long time I totally forgot that sour is made of earth and that it adds to anyone with earth or fire in the make up - aka kapha is earth and water and Pitta is fire and water so it's no friend to either - and now can you see if you are a pitta kapha or a pk type how sour will creates some fun for you— except if you keep it in small discernible amounts.

I think of sour as more of a condiment, rather than a full on part of the meal. Vata really likes it, and it helps vata because it is also  moderately nutritious. Good sour balance helps with the balance of our thirst and maintaining correct acid balance. 

Salty, is the elements of water and fire - its first effect on the body is heating, and its long term behaviour in the body is sweet…bizarre isn't it, but don't ask questions, it's a good time to just go with flow, allow understanding to arrive  later - see we need all the cogs to complete the clock, we don't need to know everything about every cog until we need to know! 

So salt being made of water and fire, means because it has air in it, vata loves this stuff and it's  good for vata because of the water, even its long term effect is good for vata cause its sweet,and think of the sweet taste, it's all the stuff vata needs!… 

but the other element is water, so kapha needs to watch out - it can be mildly okay for kapha but really i try to stay away from it except on occasion as it aggravates all kapha problems in a flash…

and  pitta, yeesh, they are the same makeup as salt, made of water and fire so if a pitta types eats way too much salt,  it will create hot and flashy forest fires if in excess, perhaps excess heat in their digestion, organs or blood  ….remember - all things in moderation…

but we can find the sat dot dot dot of the earth or ocean - take a pinch, throw half of that pinch over your shoulder and you probably have all you need for the day! Then dry your tongue(got to be the weirdest thing i will say to anyone today or probably this week…hey! Go get a piece of kitchen paper and dry your tongue! )…then place that half pinch of any salt on your tongue and keep your mouth open a bit…no taste! What?

 Yep now add water or basically, just close your mouth and see what happens to the tongue...without water we have no taste at all. 

Pungent…it is the hottest of all the tastes - it has an initial warming effect on the body , but also its long term behaviour to the body is warm or pungent 

Plus it's mildly nutritious depending on the source. Things like radishes, spinach, turnips…all have pungency in them naturally. 

 It's best for kapha, it helps our appetite for life, our digestive power and metabolism. Try it in its pure form as a hot chili or cayenne…go easy Julia and pitta types, you are now warned, anything that has a warming element in it, may not do you any favors, especially if you tend to eat it on a regular weekly basis over the years.  

For all of us to know, that any taste in its pure form can very quickly whack out the whole system way fast - for all doshas be careful with the tastes - I am referring to cayenne pepper…oh sure I remember trying it out …yikes ! generally though as we work with food, and we begin to see it as medicine, or a way to enhance our life, we learn that we can develop our body the way we want - - from today - learning of the tastes, and whatever big dates is coming next, and for my timeline right now …it's christmas so I am hoping to have more body intelligence by December ….knowing what will work best, what to really avoid so we don't have food hangovers or any hangovers…and see that we can actually start to live our medicine… and if you want to have support over this time of internal awareness, connect with me for more information on the detox - or its actually secretly seeking sattva, just at a time in the world that the more intelligence we have of any sort, the more we will be able to withstand what all the media are throwing at us - Sattva could never be so important - 


Bitter is the aloe gel - bitter is the coldest taste but in long term use it creates a pungent behaviour, 

Bitter is really good for pitta and pretty okay for kapha too, but because it is cold, so is kapha so you need to help it not be too big in your meals or for any dosha too dominant ….

OH! Remember if you are taking aloe gel that try to let it set out for a few minutes out of the refrigerator so it doesn't cool your agni down, we aren't trying to disrupt our agni, but reduce or rebalance pitta in our digestion -they are very different aspects that can get confused…the  pure form of this bitter taste is goldenseal,  aloe gel is recommended for many pitta imbalances - for most of us we will find bitter in our leafy greens, which often combine with astringency too…and 

Astringent is the cool taste, not cold..but cool as a cucumber-actually more like the cranberries …and then its long term effect or its on behaviour after a while is pungent, so its like warming..

Can you believe this is available in a tiny little fruit… a wee raspberry but you can and you probably will know it better in tannins too - it makes us smack our tongue…of course tannins are in many things like tea and red wine, and its definitely in Turmeric with Bitterness too, but it's in the greens, check out your greens - like my main go to now for the end of my meals is a  few bits of alfalfa sprouts that i have sprouted at home, no other hands or machinery involved and it pure prana coming in!! 

So for now do your taste test reminder for a few days in a row…most of all notice where on your tongue you taste these things, 

And any changes to how you taste food after the first week and progressively….this will all 

Remind your cellular memory what it is you have been missing in your diet…

I suggest investing time to in the tastes of pungent bitter and astringent,,, especially the last two 

When we find that we have all six tastes in every meal…then we know we are on a solid route to health and fantastic happiness 

The body has a mind of its own …connected to the material manifestation of the five elements we see in this world we live in. we just need to start to listen and see so we can hear and perceive what the body and the elements are trying to say

And we come to the end of this series. Thank you for listening, and thank you for encouraging Ayurveda to be a resource for your happiness and self understanding. If I helped you in any way, rating this podcast helps encourage continued community.

But yea it is Already the end of. This series. I will take a break now. you will hear new offerings coming in the updates and also in my newsletter. 

But for now, may we all find sattva in the field we live in, that non harming is the energy we wake with in our hearts every day. 

thank you for joining me x