Chinese medicine divides foods and herbs into seven flavors, each representing a basic Energetic property. Note that the flavors are based on the effects on the body and may differ from actual taste.
Stringent is Contracting and can be used to treat certain types of diarrhea and can be used to treat spontaneous or excessive sweating. Stringent is similar to sour, but stronger.
Ayurveda medicine: Astringent Taste. Astringent Taste is composed of Earth and Air element. The character of Astringent Taste is dry, cold and heavy found in herbs containing Tannins like alum and witch hazel. Foods like beans though its character is heating. Many green herbaceous plants are astringent in taste like lettuce, alfalfa, dandelion, plantain etc. Pitta and Kapha is reduced by this Taste but increases the Vata. This taste purifies the blood, removes excess watery wastes like mucus, sweat, diarrhea. In excess Astringent Taste produces dryness in the mouth and skin, obstructs the channels and produces gas in the stomach and intestines., according to Dr. Ram Tamang of The Healing Gardens of Ayurveda.
from Chrak Samhita: XVI. 43
DESCRIPTION OF THE SIX TASTES
Astringent taste is a sedative, stops diarrhea, aids in healing joints, promotes the closing and healing of sores and wounds. it is drying, firming, contracting. It alleviates Kapha,Pitta and stops bleeding. Astringent taste promotes absorption of bodily fluids; it is dry, cooling and light.
Yet when used too much by itself or in excess, it causes drying of the mouth, produces pain in the heart, causes constipation, weakens the voice, obstructs channels of circulation, makes the skin dark, weakens vitality, causes premature aging. Astringent taste causes the retention of gas, urine and feces, creates emaciation, weariness, thirst and stiffness. Owing to its natural properties of roughness, dryness and clearness, it causes Vata-diseases like paralysis, spasms and convulsions.
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