I was surprised the first time I heard the expression, “True emotions last for about 7 seconds, everything else is holding on.” From this perspective, I was holding onto a lot…even at the age of 19. Oh, help.
Salt, a vital mineral to life, has been a part of our food and lives since time immemorial.
For centuries, salt was used as a form of payment. In fact, the word ‘salary’ comes from the tradition of paying Roman soldiers in salt rather than gold, silver or copper. Today, salt is readily available to most of us in many forms from luscious pink, to grey and gold, but what does the flavor do from a Chinese energetic perspective?
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, peppers and curry–who doesn’t love a little spice?
The Spicy or Pungent flavor are powerful movers–literally. They ‘disperse and create flow.’ Their scent and flavor stimulates our body on many levels promoting circulation and breaking up stagnation. They play an important role in diet along with the other four flavors. We use them to disperse toxins from the body and aid in circulation of Qi and blood, relieve excessive fullness and stimulate vitality.
Who doesn’t love a little sweet?
Of the 5 flavors, I can safely say, sweet is the most popular. It is also the most abundant naturally occurring flavor. Like sour, bitter, pungent and salty, sweet serves a purpose. But don’t run out and start doing sugar shots. Sweet is a little tricky and is vastly overused in the forms of candy and desserts. Too much sweet is detrimental to health so being able to recognize the sweet flavor that is healing is important.
Bitter is the flavor that makes many of us cringe just thinking about it. Just like the other 4 flavors it serves an important role in our digestion. The flavor is a powerful mover and enters the Heart. When Heart is in-balance we are joyful (without being overly so) and can act on life plans–engage!
Still frowning? You don’t need a lot of bitter, so just play along for a bit.
Lemons, limes and vinegar.
If you haven’t already started pursing your lips and salivating, you will soon. Each of the 5 Flavors (sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty) all have medicinal properties and correspond to a specific season and organ system. Learning how to use each flavor can work wonders for your body and health.
Like Yin/Yang theory, the 5 Elements (or Wu Hsing) are a founding principle of Chinese medicine. Each of the five elements (fire, earth, metal, water and wood) describes the natural dynamic flow of Qi through correspondences for season, flavor, organ, climate condition, sound, time of day, and emotion—just to name a few. Understanding the 5 elements we can use them to both prevent and treat imbalances. Here’s a (very) brief overview.