VIP lecture, moderated by Win Silvester MA
Nutritional, pathogenic and therapeutic significance of amlarasa with particular emphasis on amlapitta as a clinical manifestation of it
Rasa (gustatory perception, or gustation) which is generally known as taste is the sensory perception of substances on the tongue and is one of the five senses. Modern science generally considers four basic tastes that are perceived by the taste buds such as sweetness, sourness, saltiness and bitterness. However, Ayurveda considers two more i.e. pungency and astringency. In fact, rasa is not mere a taste, but it is a total perception in buccal cavity when a substance is put into the mouth. Ayurveda considers six rasas viz. madhura (sweetness), amla (sourness), lavaṇa (saltiness) kaṭu (pungent) tikta (bitterness) and kaṣāya (astringent).
Amla (sourness) has dominance of prithivī and agni protoelements for its manifestation. This detects acidity. This shows a presence of some acidic components in a substance coming in the contact with tongue. This taste promotes salivary secretion in the mouth and produces a peculiar type of numb feeling on the teeth. Proper consumption of items with amla rasa supports in promoting agni and appetite, regulating vāta, pleases mind and satisfying the senses. However, an improper and excessive consumption may lead to inflammations, provocation of pitta, vitiation of rakta, looseness in the body, interference in wound healing.
As a clinical manifestation this is one of the clinical features of pitta provocation in the form of sour eructation. Amlapitta is a disease entity in which sour-bitter eructation is a presenting feature. This is mentioned first in carakasamhitā as a clinical consequence of āmaviṣa, produced due to indigestion and its association with pitta. However, later in mādhavanidāna this is described as a result of transformation of pitta due to pitta-provoking factors, in to vidagdha pitta (amla -pitta) which is sour in taste. Later bhāvaprakāśa had elaborated this further. It describes two clinical forms: adhoga and ūrdhvaga on the basis of primary descriptions of mādhavanidāna and madhukoṣa commentary on it. It also describes treatments in detail. In this way grossly the occurrence of amla -pitta would be in two forms. The treatment is to be planned according to that.