Virya-Potency, Vipaka-After Taste and Gunas-Qualities of Tastes-Eatables

Virya (Potency, During Digestion), Vipaka (After Taste):

‘Virya’ is the taste during the process of digestion. It can have various qualities like Guru, Snigdha, Sita, Mrdu, Laghu, Ruksha, Ushna & Tikshna, but the net effect is either heating or cooling.

‘Virya’ is the Potency of the substance that we intake. All substances eventually have either Heating or Cooling Energy.

‘Vipaka’ is the changes that result from the interaction of external tastes with the Jatharagni (The Enzymes Secreted, or gastric Juices present in our Digestive System). ­­ This aftertaste has its effect on a person’s constitution (V, P or K).

         Sweet & Salt becomes Sweet;

         Sour remains Sour;

         Bitter, Pungent & Astringent will generally become Pungent.­­

The action of taste/s felt in the mouth and the Vipaka tastes are similar.

I can’t stress it more vigorously that we should be in a complete peaceful state of mind while we are having our meals. Having meals in emotional or stressed state of mind, deranges the balance between The Food’s Energy and The Nutrition in our body and mind.

Qualities (Gunas):

Each eatable has quality/ies associated with itself, which has a corresponding effect on Doshas, Dhatus and Malas. Examples:

  • If one has a weak digestion, such that his Vata & Kapha are vitiated, he may not be given heavy and cold substances (Cold fruit juices, meat, cold buffalo milk, buffalo ghee.. are all a big NO-NO),
  • Hot and oily stuff heal Vata Dosha. A person suffering from Vata Disorders, like tremors or arthritis, give what medicines you may, can’t be expected to get cured if he doesn’t completely stop taking cold stuff, and how heavy a substance is for the patient, will be decided by the strength of the person’s Digestive Fire.
The 20 Qualities or Gunas are:

Heavy (Guru), Light (Laghu), Slow (Manda), Quick (Tikshna), Cold (Hima), Hot (Ushna), Oily (Snigdha), Dry (Rukshana), Smooth (Shlakshna), Rough (Khara), Solid (Sandra), Liquid (Drava), Soft (Mrdu), Hard (Kathina), Stable (Sthira), Moving (Chala), Subtle (Sukshma), Large (Sthula), Vishada (Non-Slimy), Slimy (Piccila).

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