India brought us the science of Ayurveda and it has also brought us the Kama Sutra. Ayurveda declares that the emotions of the cook play a significant role in how we digest our food and how satisfied we feel. Ayurveda categorizes six tastes, or shad rasa in our diet: sweet (madhu), sour (amla), salty (lavana), bitter (tikta), pungent (katu), and astringent (kashaya). I have taken you on a culinary journey through each of these shad rasa. The rasa is the first taste we experience when we eat or drink something. The Kama Sutra was a treatise on how to savor the rasa, or the nectar, of life. According to the Vedic texts, Ayurveda is one of the highest of the 64 kalas, or skills, that we can master. Part of Ayurveda includes the art of cooking and eating the right foods, at the right time, based on one’s constitution. The Kama Sutra contains information on how to spice up your love life with Ayurveda.
Have you ever relished a simple meal that was so delectable because of the loving way in which it was prepared? On the other hand, have you eaten at a top rated restaurant and then wondered what all the fuss was about at the conclusion of the meal? This may be attributable to who was cooking the food and the emotions that went into preparing the meal.
Ayurveda places great emphasis between food and emotions. My Ayurvedic teacher advised us never to cook when angry or upset as those emotions would go into our food and we would ingest them. Concurrently, my Vedic astrology teacher said that one way to sustain a relationship is if the couple eats the same food. Thus, their bodies share a similar culinary experience and they are getting the same nutrition and tastes in their diet. This is one step towards fostering compatibility in relationship astrology. Traditionally in India, a female head of the household did the cooking. She prepared meals lovingly and they were served warm, using the proper spices, grains, vegetables, etc. She knew what each family member enjoyed and what foods were suitable for a particular time of the year.
Ayurveda also has medicinal uses to its spices. What we call “folk medicine” was used to heal minor ailments without requiring a trip to a doctor. The healing properties of common household herbs and tonics are still well known in Indian households. When people rave about the aromatic flavors and smells of an Indian meal, they rarely think of how the food is doing more than just satisfying their tastes buds. Multiple spices aid with digestion, assimilation, and absorption, such as cumin (jira), coriander (dhanya), fennel (saunf), and turmeric (haldi).
To spice up your love life with Ayurveda, we first need to nurture our ojas. Ojas is the subtle essence of the food we digest. It is known as the subtle manifestation of Kapha, the energy of structure and lubrication. According to Ayurveda, ojas is responsible for our immunity. When our immune system is functioning at its optimal level, then we can get the inner glow. Healthy ojas creates vigor, lustrous skin, a sparkle in the eyes, lightness, stamina, and strengthens the reproductive systems (shukra and artava dhatu) for both genders. Strong ojas makes us healthy and happy.
Ojas is needed to have healthy rasa dhatu. Rasa dhatu is the plasma, the first line of defense in our body and the tissue system that can make us glow, or make us worn out when depleted. The replenishing of rasa is vital for ojas. We require ojas to have vigor. The function of rasa dhatu is prinan, or nutrition. It is a cognate of the word Preeti, which means love.
Vajikarana means viralization. It is the process through which vigor is created. “Vaji” means horse and is a cognate of the word “vigor”. Horses are known for being vigorous, active animals. A rasyana is a rejuvenative tonic. It create healthy tissues for vigor – for whatever purpose. Aphrodisiacs (vajikaranas) and rejuvenating tonics (rasayanas) are considered essential to nourishing ojas. These can help you spice up your love life.
Aphrodisiacs kindle our inner fires, get our juices flowing, and invigorate us so that we may enjoy the many great wonders of being alive and have the resilience we need to gracefully face the challenges that we experience in our life.
Rejuvenation is a return to the sweetness. Most of us start off life being mostly sweet, but as we age, we tend to lose contact with the inner sweetness. Rasayanas usually address the sweet taste. People often allow sweetness to slip out of their lives. Sweetness nourishes the tissues, and if we can digest it, it provides the rasa that we need to nourish our bodies. “All things in moderation” is the dictum of Ayurveda.
Some wonderfully delicious Ayurveda treats to nourish rasa dhatu are offered by Kitchen Alchemy. Your taste buds will relish these delectable delights.
Ayurveda categorizes foods such as figs, avocados, bananas, almonds, walnuts, dates, saffron, white sesame seeds, as well as poppy seeds, mangoes and raw, uncooked honey as aphrodisiacs. You can use these for yourself or your loved one, according to each person’s Ayurvedic constitution to spice up your love life. These are included in balanced Ayurvedic meals.
And lest we leave out chocolate. The word translates as “food of the gods”. The Aztecs may have been the first to draw a link between the cocoa bean and romantic desire: the emperor Montezuma was said to consume the bean in copious amounts to fuel his romantic trysts. It is believed that Casonova was a great chocolate fanatic. Today, chocolate is scientifically known to contain chemicals related with love and euphoria.
Certain Ayurvedic herbs also are known for their aphrodisiac properties. These should be taken with the proper guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner. Otherwise, taking these in excess if they are not suitable to your constitution can result in a greater imbalance (vikruti).
Elements of daily routine play a key role in the health of our tissues and our ojas. Ayurveda focuses on preventing disease through a deeper connection between our mind and body. According to the Ayurvedic perspective, being “healthy” is more than the absence of disease – it is a state of “total health,” a radiant state of increased vigor, energy, and balance. The better the balance, the greater your health. The more vibrant your health, then the greater your capacity to love everything in your life and to express that love for others. And thus, the more easy it is to spice up your love life with Ayurveda, or just to spice up your love of life!
Also published on Medium.