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Nutrition Aspect of Madhura rasa (Sweetness)
|by Dr. Savitha Suri|
Madhura rasa is one of the six tastes described in ayurveda. It is the sweet taste.The madhura rasa or sweet taste usually gives a sticky sensation in mouth. It satisfies hunger and food craving. This rasa is made up of 2 fundamental elements - Prithvi (earth element) and ambu (water element).
Effect of madhura rasa on body - Human body is accustomed to this taste by birth. It increases the strength of seven tissues or dhatus (ayurveda dhatus). Madhura rasa or sweet foods are very essential to boost body energy of children, aged persons and diseased ones. It fills body bulk of emaciated persons.
The herbs which have sweet taste enhance body complexion and increase fairness. Sweet herbs and foods prepared with these herbs increase hair growth and prevent hair loss. They also nourish tissues of sense organs. Sweet tasting herbs sooth dried throat, increase breast milk secretion and also help in erectile dysfunction in men. Usually herbs which have sweet as dominant taste are used in herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction.
When this type of food and herbs are consumed in excess, they cause obesity, obesity related diseases, and diabetes. These are kapha increasing foods or kapha foods.
The sweet tasting food and herbs are usually rich in simple sugars or carbohydrates. Hence they provide plenty of calories when consumed. These calories provide abundant energy. When these types of foods are consumed in large quantity, the supply of calories will also be in surplus. This exceeds the desired level of calorie requirement. The excess amount of calories are stored as fat. Thus increased accumulation of fat leads to obesity. Chronic obesity leads to other metabolic disease diabetes. Obesity also paves way for heart diseases.
Ghee, milk, sugar cane, sugar, jaggery, ripe mango, grapes and many more have madhura rasa or sweet taste. When foods like ghee, milk etc are eaten in excess for a long time, it may lead to accumulation of cholesterol. Hence ayurveda acharyas recommend madhura rasa or sweet foods to those people who require a good supply of calories. Persons who have heavy physical work, pregnant women, lactating mothers, kids who are active in outdoor games, recuperating patients and patients who need a quick supply of energy can consume these foods in excess.
Sedentary workers, diabetic patients, people who are struggling to lose weight and obese patients are advised to use this on the advice of an ayurveda nutritionist. Madhura rasa foods and herbs are rich in medicinal properties. Ayurveda acharyas have explained many methods to harness these medicinal properties through food combinations. These combinations balance the effect of sweetness or madhura rasa.
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