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Meaning: Rasa means which can be perceived by the tongue or that which can be tasted.
 
Meaning: Rasa means which can be perceived by the tongue or that which can be tasted.
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In a nutshell,
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== Types of Rasas ==
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There are shadrasa meaning six in number: <blockquote>रसाः स्वाद्वम्ललवणतिक्तोषणकषायकाः||</blockquote><blockquote>षड् द्रव्यमाश्रितास्ते च यथापूर्वंबलावहाः (Asht. Hrud. 1.14-15)<ref>Ashtanga Hrudayam ([http://vedotpatti.in/samhita/Vag/ehrudayam/?mod=read&h=rasAH Sutrasthanam Adhyaya 1 Sutra 14-15])</ref></blockquote>Meaning: Madhura, Amla, Lavana, Katu, Tikta and Kashaya are 6 types of rasa which are present in substances. These rasas are in decreasing order of providing strength to the body.
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Svadu/Madhura(sweet), Amla(sour), Lavana(salty), Katu(pungent), Tikta(bitter) and Kashaya(astringent) are the 6 types of rasa. According to Ayurveda acharyas these rasas provide strength to the body when consumed through diet and medicines. Although all these rasas provide strength, not all of these have equal ability to provide strength. Acharya Vagbhata states that, these rasas are in decreasing order of providing strength to the body. This means madhura rasa imparts maximum strength whereas Kashaya rasa lowest.
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== Origin of rasa and their panchabhautikatavam ==
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Each of the 6 rasas constitutes of two mahabhutas. For every rasa those 2 mahabhutas which are dominantly found in it have been specifically mentioned by Ayurveda.<ref>Asthanga Hrudayam ([http://vedotpatti.in/samhita/Vag/ehrudayam/?mod=read Sutrasthanam Adhyaya 10 Sutra 1])</ref> The dominant mahabhutas for each rasa have been listed in the table below.
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
|Rasa
 
|Rasa
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|Vayu, prithvi(air+earth)
 
|Vayu, prithvi(air+earth)
 
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For manifestation of any rasa jala mahabhuta and Prthvi mahabhuta are essential.
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== How to determine rasa ==
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Rasas are found in dravyas (substances). Thus, rasa of a dravya can be determined by either tasting that dravya (i.e. on contact of dravya with tongue/ sensory organ).<ref>Charaka Samhita ([https://niimh.nic.in/ebooks/ecaraka/?mod=read&h=nipAte Sutrasthanam Adhyaya 26 Sutram 66])</ref> According to [[Ayurveda and Darshanas (आयुर्वेदः दर्शनानि च)|Darshana shastras]] rasa can be determined by three modes as follows,
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# Pratyaksha (प्रत्यक्षम्। Direct perception by senses)- By directly tasting a dravya
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# Anumana (अनुमानम्। Inference drawn on the basis of well established relationships that are previously known to the individual)- On the basis of its effects on body after its contact and
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# Aptopadesha (आप्तोपदेशः। Knowledge obtained from trusted sources like classical treatises, Gurus etc)- As described in classical treatises/books
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Here mainly pratyaksha pramana is used. When any dravya(substance) comes in contact with rasanendriya (Gustatory sense organ or taste buds in tongue) a peculiar taste is perceived this is called rasana pratyaksha jnanam (Rasana- tongue, Pratyaksha-direct perception, Jnana-knowledge).
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== Concept of Anurasa ==
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Anurasa or uparasa are those which are not perceived at first (contact with body/organs) but are perceived at the end or not at all. Anurasas are perceived by anumana pramana (inference) but can only be understood by aptopdesha (ancient literature or classical treatises). For example, Ayurveda treatises have in depth description of various metals and minerals for medicinal use. In Ayurveda, the action of each of the medicinal drug is determined based on its rasa, veerya, vipaka, karma and prabhava. However, it is not possible to taste any raw metal/mineral to understand its rasa. In such cases, description of these medicinal substances available in classical treatises helps one to understand their various properties like rasa, veerya etc. On this basis madhura rasa in Suvarna (Gold), rajata (Silver) is not perceived but is known by reading classical literature which is authentic source of information on Ayurveda. This type of knowledge about rasa or anurasa is said to be through Aptopadesha pramana.
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== Properties of rasa ==
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Each of the six rasas possess peculiar properties. These properties are responsible for their specific action inside body. Therefore one can make therapeutic use of dravyas through their rasas only when one understands properties of each of these rasa as described in classical literature of Ayurveda. Effect of each rasa on various body components, consequences of excessive use of each rasa are described in brief here.
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=== Madhur rasa ===
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It nourishes the saptdhatu, provides longevity, helps maintaining health of sensory organs, enhances bodily strength and lusture. Helps pacifying pitta and vata dosha.  It also reduces burning sensation and excessive thirst. It is advantageous for skin, hair and throat. It promotes strength to those who are weak and emaciated. It has guna (properties) of being snigdha(unctuous), sheeta(cold) and guru(heavy). If consumed in excess amounts may lead to various abnormalities like obesity, laziness, excessive sleep, heaviness of the body etc.<ref>Charaka Samhita (Sutrasthanam Adhyaya 26 Sutra 43)</ref>
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Amla rasa:
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अम्लो रसो भक्तं रोचयति, अग्निं दीपयति, देहं बृंहयति ऊर्जयति, मनो बोधयति, इन्द्रियाणि दृढीकरोति, बलं वर्धयति, वातमनुलोमयति, हृदयं तर्पयति, आस्यमास्रावयति, भुक्तमपकर्षयति क्लेदयति जरयति, प्रीणयति, लघुरुष्णः स्निग्धश्च| स एवङ्गुणोऽप्येक एवात्यर्थमुपयुज्यमानो दन्तान् हर्षयति, तर्षयति, सम्मीलयत्यक्षिणी, संवेजयति लोमानि, कफं विलापयति, पित्तमभिवर्धयति, रक्तं दूषयति,मांसं विदहति, कायं शिथिलीकरोति, क्षीणक्षतकृशदुर्बलानां श्वयथुमापादयति, अपि च क्षताभिहतदष्टदग्धभग्नशूनप्रच्युतावमूत्रितपरिसर्पितमर्दितच्छिन्नभिन्नविश्लिष्टोद्विद्धोत्पिष्टादीनि पाचयत्याग्नेयस्वभावात्, परिदहति कण्ठमुरो हृदयं च |(char.su 26.43.2)
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Amla rasa dravya or sour tasting substances are appetizing, improves agni(digestivefire),enlightens mind, causes tingling over teeth, provides nourishment and energy. Enhances sensory organs and strengthens body.maintains normal flow of vata dosha in body.is good for heart. It increases salivation, helps moisten the food and aids digestion.it has guna (properties) of being laghu(light),snigdha( unctuous) and ushna(heat).
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If consumed in excess amounts leads to teeth sensitivity, increases thirst,increases pitta dosha, weakeness in body, causes heart burn and burning sensation in throat.
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Lavana rasa:
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लवणो रसः पाचनः क्लेदनो दीपनश्च्यावनश्छेदनो भेदनस्तीक्ष्णः सरो विकास्यधःस्रंस्यवकाशकरो वातहरः स्तम्भबन्धसङ्घातविधमनः सर्वरसप्रत्यनीकभूतः, आस्यमास्रावयति, कफं विष्यन्दयति, मार्गान् विशोधयति, सर्वशरीरावयवान् मृदूकरोति, रोचयत्याहारम्, आहारयोगी, नात्यर्थं गुरुः स्निग्ध उष्णश्च| स एवङ्गुणोऽप्येक एवात्यर्थमुपयुज्यमानः पित्तं कोपयति, रक्तं वर्धयति, तर्षयति, मूर्च्छयति , तापयति, दारयति, कुष्णाति मांसानि, प्रगालयति कुष्ठानि, विषं वर्धयति, शोफान् स्फोटयति, दन्तांश्च्यावयति, पुंस्त्वमुपहन्ति, इन्द्रियाण्युपरुणद्भि, वलिपलितखालित्यमापादयति, अपि च लोहितपित्ताम्लपित्तविसर्पवातरक्तविचर्चिकेन्द्रलुप्तप्रभृतीन्विकारानुपजनयति |(char.su.26.43.3)
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Lavana rasa dravya aids digestion, is appetizing, expectorant,
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Pacifies vata dosha, increases salivation, improves circulation by cleansing the channels, provides laxity to the body, liquefies kapha, goes well with food, not very guru (heavy)in nature, is snigdha(unctuous),ushna( hot).
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When consumed in excess aggravates pitta dosha, excessive thirst, causes skin diseases, damages teeth, causes inflammations, leads to hairfall, greying of hair.
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Katu rasa:
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कटुको रसो वक्त्रं शोधयति, अग्निं दीपयति, भुक्तं शोषयति, घ्राणमास्रावयति, चक्षुर्विरेचयति, स्फुटीकरोतीन्द्रियाणि, अलसकश्वयथूपचयोदर्दाभिष्यन्दस्नेहस्वेदक्लेदमलानुपहन्ति, रोचयत्यशनं, कण्डूर्विनाशयति , व्रणानवसादयति, क्रिमीन् हिनस्ति, मांसं विलिखति, शोणितसङ्घातं भिनत्ति, बन्धांश्छिनत्ति, मार्गान् विवृणोति, श्लेष्माणं शमयति, लघुरुष्णो रूक्षश्च| स एवङ्गुणोऽप्येक एवात्यर्थमुपयुज्यमानो विपाकप्रभावात् पुंस्त्वमुपहन्ति, रसवीर्यप्रभावान्मोहयन्ति, ग्लापयति, सादयति, कर्शयति, मूर्च्छयति, नमयति, तमयति, भ्रमयति, कण्ठं परिदहति, शरीरतापमुपजनयति, बलं क्षिणोति, तृष्णां जनयति; अपि च वाय्वग्निगुणबाहुल्याद्भ्रमदवथुकम्पतोदभेदैश्चरणभुजपार्श्वपृष्ठप्रभृतिषु मारुतजान् विकारानुपजनयति |(char.su.26.43.4)
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Katu rasa helps to keep the mouth clean, improves digestion and food absorption, cleanses nasal channel, causes lacrimation, enhances sensory organs, alleviates alasaka(digestive disease), swellings, heaviness of body, improves appetite, relieves itching, heal wounds, kill worms, helps remove blood clots, cleanses bodily channels, pacifies kapha dosha, is laghu(light), ushna(hot) and ruksha(dry) in guna(property).
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If consumed in excess can cause malaise, weakness, loss of weight,burning sensation in throat,loss of strength, excess thirst.Giddiness, burning sensation in body, tremors, various vata disorders.
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Tikta rasa:
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तिक्तो रसः स्वयमरोचिष्णुरप्यरोचकघ्नो विषघ्नः क्रिमिघ्नो मूर्च्छादाहकण्डूकुष्ठतृष्णाप्रशमनस्त्वङ्मांसयोः स्थिरीकरणो ज्वरघ्नो दीपनः पाचनः स्तन्यशोधनो लेखनः क्लेदमेदोवसामज्जलसीकापूयस्वेदमूत्रपुरीषपित्तश्लेष्मोपशोषणो रूक्षः शीतो लघुश्च| स एवङ्गुणोऽप्येक एवात्यर्थमुपयुज्यमानो रौक्ष्यात्खरविषदस्वभावाच्च रसरुधिरमांसमेदोस्थिमज्जशुक्राण्युच्छोषयति, स्रोतसां खरत्वमुपपादयति, बलमादत्ते, कर्शयति, ग्लपयति, मोहयति, भ्रमयति, वदनमुपशोषयति, अपरांश्च वातविकारानुपजनयति |(char.su.26.43.5)
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Tikta rasa dravya even though are distasteful but increases appetite, counters poisons and worms, reduces giddiness, burning sensation, itching, various skin infections, thirst .Reduces fever, improves digestion, helps reduce excess moisture, fat, lymphatic fluid, sweat,pus,pitta dosha and kapha dosha. Reduces frequent urination and faeces .is ruksha(dry), sheeta(cold), laghu(light) in guna(property)
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If there is excess utilization it will cause weakness, fatigue, mental confusion, giddiness, dryness in mouth and various vata dosha related disorders.
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Kashaya rasa:
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कषायो रसः संशमनः सङ्ग्राही सन्धानकरः पीडनो रोपणः शोषणः स्तम्भनः श्लेष्मरक्तपित्तप्रशमनः शरीरक्लेदस्योपयोक्ता रूक्षः शीतोऽलघुश्च| स एवङ्गुणोऽप्येक एवात्यर्थमुपयुज्यमान आस्यं शोषयति, हृदयं पीडयति, उदरमाध्मापयति, वाचं निगृह्णाति, स्रोतांस्यवबध्नाति, श्यावत्वमापादयति, पुंस्त्वमुपहन्ति, विष्टभ्य जरां गच्छति, वातमूत्रपुरीषरेतांस्यवगृह्णाति, कर्शयति, ग्लपयति, तर्षयति, स्तम्भयति, खरविशदरूक्षत्वात् पक्षवधग्रहापतानकार्दितप्रभृतींश्च वातविकारानुपजनयति||(char.su.26.43)
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Kashaya rasa is constipating and binding in nature,helps in healing the affected part, pacifies kapha, pitta dosha and rakta dhatu .is ruksha(dry),sheeta(cold), heavy in guna(property)
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If there over utilization of this rasa it leads to dryness in mouth, abdominal distention, speech disturbances,darkening of complexion, indigestion, weakness. Causes various vata dosha disorders.
    
== Reference ==
 
== Reference ==
 
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