Traditional health sciences of India and China share many similiar concepts. Ayurveda, the ancient tradition of India, is usually translated as “science of life”. Chinese philosophy and social structure are integrally related to the harmony of body and spirit.

Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine see these concepts as instructional, rather than scientific, and aimed at enhancing life. Both systems focus on balancing Energy for optimum health.

In Chinese medicine the concepts of Yin and Yang and Five Elements have a strong influence, along with the internal organ systems (Zangfu).

In Ayurveda, the total system is complex, with a dominance of three Dosha (tridosha): kapha, pitta, vata (vayu). These are described in stages of transformation rather than physical structures and functional organs.

Many herbs used are similar and their healing actions are described in overlapping terms. The results from treatments of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine reveal one must look at underlying issues to treat a whole person. These issues can manifest physically through pain or poor health.

India and China share traditional ideas; Chinese describe conditions of excess and deficiency, while Ayurveda depicts excitation or disturbance (vitiation), and sluggishness of the doshas.

Taste groups are similar in both systems.

Ayurvedic: sweet, sour, salty, pungent/spicy, bitter and astringent

Chinese: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent/Spicy, Bitter and Blan

 

The next time you crave a certain taste, notice what is going on in your life. Perhaps that sugar craving is for more sweetness (Sukha) in your life, or salt to soften difficulties (Dukkha) you might be experiencing.

Whether the goal is to balance Chi (life force) or just heal a cold or allergies, we can benefit from this type of wholistic medicine physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Ayurvedic Tastes
Sweet strengthens, heals and purifies blood
Sour is digestive, expels wind and gathers waste
Salty purifies, relaxes and clears digestive system
Pungent/Spicy increases digestive power and purifies
Bitter improves and reduces secretions
Astringent cleans impurities and reduces moisture
Chinese Tastes
Sweet nourishes, tonifies and relieves pain.
Sour absorbs and controls secretions
Salty softens and treats constipation
Pungent/Spicy promotes circulation and invigorates
Bitter clears heat and fire, and removes dampness
Astringent is similar to Sour
Bland removes dampness