Definition - What does Lavana mean?
Ayurveda identifies six predominant tastes; sweet (madhura), sour (amla), pungent (katu), bitter (tikta), astringent (kashaya) and salty (lavana). Each of these tastes is made up of a combination of the five elements, and lavana is considered to be predominantly water and fire. Salty foods tend to be oily and heavy in nature. Lavana is known to pacify Kapha, but increases Pitta and Vata.
Yogapedia explains Lavana
According to Ayurveda, the experience of taste (rasa) influences every aspect of the mind and body. Taste can have a pacifying or aggravating effect on the doshas, be cooling or heating to the body, impact emotional wellbeing and even influence the nourishment of individual cells.
Lavana or salty taste has a laxative effect, liquefies mucus, removes obstructions and clears the channels in the body. It also improves salivation, in turn aiding digestion, and helps to maintain blood pressure by balancing electrolytes and minerals. Lavana tends to enhance enthusiasm, but may lead to addiction when consumed in excess.
Lavana foods include:
- Sea salt
- Rock salt
- Table salt
- Salted chips
- Salted nuts
Salty foods should be consumed in moderation, as excess consumption of Lavana may lead to water retention, edema, premature aging, high blood pressure, hyperacidity or inflammatory diseases.