Ayurveda- Understanding Sour Taste

Ayurveda - Understanding Sour Taste

The sour taste tends to be a fairly common flavor – we’ve all experienced the puckering zing of a lemon or other citrus fruits! Sour tastes can also occur naturally in the body – whether in the form of some reflux or a taste in the mouth. These are usually indications of digestive upset. Some may even experience this as a side effect to medication, as a result of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD), sinus infections, or respiratory problems. It can also be quite common in pregnancy.

But sour taste, as unpleasant as it may be to some, is also a sign of a healthy balanced diet. While sour taste as a side effect from the conditions listed above should be discussed with your doctor, it is important to make sure that you are getting foods classified as sour taste in Ayurveda in order to ensure you reap the benefits from a complete and balanced diet.

Ayurveda’s View -

Composition –Sour taste is composed of Fire and Earth elements.

Effect of sour taste on Tridosha –Sour taste decreases Vata. It increases Pitta and Kapha Dosha.

Example of sour tasting substances – Tamarind, lemon, oranges, pomegranate, wine, vinegar, tomato sauce, fermented foods, pickled foods.

Benefits of Sour Taste-

  • Causes salivation, secretion from internal organs
  • Induces sweating
  • Cleanses oral cavity
  • Improves taste
  • Satiates mind
  • Stabilizes sense organs
  • Increases digestion strength
  • Promotes natural movement of fluids and substances in body channels
  • Promotes heart health
  • Induces excess formation of urine
  • Increases strength
  • Nourishes

Excess of sour causes increase of Pitta leading to the following symptoms –

  • Tingling sensation in teeth
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unable to open eyes easily
  • Liquefies Kapha Dosha and causes spread of Kapha all over the body
  • Increases Pitta
  • Causes burning sensation in muscles
  • Destabilizes body
  • Causes/worsens inflammatory conditions
  • Causes pus formation in wounds
  • Burning sensation in throat
  • Burning sensation in chest


It is always better to avoid sour taste during summer, or hot humid days, especially for those whose predominant dosha is Pitta or Kapha. As always, moderation is key.


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