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.

    Salty is Softening and Purging. Softening can be used to treat hardness, such as nodules or masses. Purging can be used to promote elimination, especially via the bowels, and can be used to treat some kinds of constipation.

    Ayurveda medicine: Salty Taste. “Composed by Water and Fire elements, Salty Taste found in table salt or seaweed, improves digestion, gives flavor to the food, is laxative, increases secretion in the mouth and liquefies mucus (decongestant). This taste would increase Pitta and Kapha when taken in excess. It would weaken the muscles, increase toxins, induce premature wrinkles on the skin, may cause gray hair and baldness. Salty Taste would decrease Vata Dosha.”, according to Dr. Ram Tamang of The Healing Gardens of Ayurveda.

from “Chrak Samhita”:
XVI. 43

III. Salty

    Salty taste promotes digestion, is moistening, enkindles digestive fire; it is cutting, biting, sharp, fluid. It works as a sedative, laxative, deobstruent. Salty taste alleviates Vata, relieves stiffness, contractions, softens accumulations, and nullifies all other tastes. It promotes salivation, liquifies Kapha, cleanses the vessels, softens all the organs of the body, gives taste to food. It is heavy, oily and hot.
    Yet when used too much by itself or in excess it aggravates Pitta, causes stagnation of blood, creates thirst, fainting and the sensation of burning, erosion and wasting of muscles. It aggravates infectious skin conf=ditions, causes symptoms of poisoning, causes tumors to break open, makes the teeth fall, decreases virility, obstructs the functioning of the senses, causes wrinkling of the skin, greying and falling of the hair. Salty taste promotes bleeding diseases, hyperacidity of digestion, inflammatory skin diseases, gout and other mainly Pitta diseases.

from “The Art of War”:
Chapter 5
by Sun Tzu


    There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, and bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.

slightly salty foods and herbs

salty foods and herbs

Chinese flavors

See also yin foods, yang foods, and neutral foods

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