Sun, 14 Sep 2003

Hot and cold properties

As in Malay and other cultures, food in the Ayurvedic system is considered to have particular properties, which must be balanced to the respective dosha or constitution of a person, whether he is a pitta (fire, or bile dominated), kapha (water, or mucus dominated) or vata (air, or wind dominated).

Here is a list of common foods, spices and their properties in Ayurvedic medicine, according to Harish Johari's Ayurvedic Healing Cuisine (Healing Arts Press, Rochester, Vermont).

* wheat: sweet, cooling, increases mucus * rice: sweet, cooling, increases mucus * milk: sweet, cooling, increases mucus * banana: sweet, astringent, cooling, increases mucus and, in excess, bile * coconut: sweet, cooling, increases mucus * lemon: sour, heating, increases bile and mucus * mango: sweet, slightly sour, heating, balances all doshas * pineapple: sweet, sour, cooling, increases mucus in excess * papayas: sweet, astringent, slightly bitter, increases bile * spinach: astringent, cooling, increases wind and bile * tomato: sweet, sour, heating, increase mucus * cinammon: sweet, bitter, pungent, heating, balances all three doshas * cloves: pungent, heating, increases bile * garlic: pungent, salty, astringent, sour, bitter, heating, increases bile * onions: sweet, pungent, heating, increase bile and wind * honey: sweet, astringent, heating, increases bile * almonds: sweet, heating, increase bile and mucus