Blog‎ > ‎

Your Lungs Can Taste

posted Dec 22, 2013, 1:01 PM by Susan Bernhardt   [ updated Dec 22, 2013, 1:01 PM ]
Western science may be catching up to the ancient tradition of Ayurveda. Scientists have found that the lungs contain bitter taste receptors, just like the tongue. Bitter-tasting substances cause the airways to relax during an asthma attack by blocking calcium channels in the smooth muscle cells of the airways, preventing calcium from entering the cells and causing the muscles to contract. Ayurveda has always recommended bitter foods and herbs for those with asthma. Ayurveda places great importance on six tastes (“rasa”) of food and medicine: sweet; sour; salty; bitter; astringent; and pungent. When recommending that a person make dietary changes or take herbal remedies, an Ayurvedic practitioner considers how the six tastes relate to the imbalances being experienced by the person. Asthma typically involves excess kapha (a combination of water and earth elements). Tastes that are bitter, astringent, and pungent counteract kapha. So, herbs and foods used for asthma should include ones that are bitter. Beautiful and effective ancient wisdom, now with a western medical explanation.