Ayurveda Tastes: Katu Rasa

Ayurveda Tastes

Katu Rasa: 

Katu Rasa is the pungent taste, one amongst the six tastes explained by ayurveda. This one is dry, heated and can be found in spicy foods, herbs, like mustard. Katu rasa stimulates the tissues and nerve endings in the mouth and has a heat sensation.

It tastes very hot. Katu rasa balances the Kapha and aggravates Pitta and Vata. The quality of this flavor is hot, dry, and light in nature. The two elements that comprise together for katu are fire and air. The pungent taste can lead to the situation of excess heat, excess acidity, or a deficiency in the reproductive system.


Katu rasa stimulates the feelings of enthusiasm, excitement, curiosity, clarity, vitality, vigor, concentration, and expansiveness it directly affects the stomach, heart blood and reproductive tissues.

Benefits of katu rasa

  1. It improves digestion.
  2. It stimulates the digestive fire in the body.
  3. It improves circulations and clears the channels.
  4. It causes instant watering of eyes and nose if consumed directly. 
  5. It warms the body and breaks clots controlling excess fat.
  6. It aids the clarity of mind, increases attention and brings clarity of perception.
  7. It warms the body
  8. It helps cleanse the mouth
  9. It basically clears the sense organs
  10. It helps enhance the taste and flavors of other foods.
  11. It effectively clears moisture and congestion. 
  12. It encourages sweating, eliminates itching, clears toxins, cleanses the blood and the muscles, and reduces cholesterol.
  13. It also improves metabolism and relieves nerve pain.

Consumption in excess

Katu rasa, if consumed in excess quantities causes irritation, inflammation and diarrhea. It may lead to insomnia and skin conditions if consumed widely. And may harm you leading to problems like depression, mental confusion etc.
The long term effects are such foods are drying and may cause muscle pain. They can kill sperm, and one may experience dizziness, fainting, heartburn, constipation, excessive thirst. It triggers the feeling of aggressiveness, anger, competitiveness.

Food sources of Katu Rasa

There are categorically so many foods, that are pungent in taste, these categories involve, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, spices, etc. Vegetables like chillies, garlic, onions, mustard seeds, raw spinach are prominently pungent. Grains like buckwheat and nuts like mustard seeds are some sources of Katu Rasa.
Most spices are actually pungent, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, hing, paprika, and ginger. Apart from all these, radish, and wasabi are some pungent flavors.
The katu rasa is good as it keep thinning the blood and clear out blockages, however, in excess can increase thirst, lead to depletion of reproductive fluid and strength, fainting, waist/back pain, irritability, anger, impatience.

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