That sweet taste on the tip of your tongue has a sweet-sounding name in the Sanskrit expression of tastes in Ayurveda: Madhura.
Not so long ago I cleaned out the once active, now denounced items in my pantry. Gone went my jumbo sized bag of artificial sweetener. Much like Gone Girl, the recent film, my artificial sweetener was a complicated mixture that was really just hiding a lack of substance from me.
0 calories, 0 fat, 0 carbohydrates, 0 nutritional value.
In fact it IS the tip of the tongue where the complex system of digestion begins by recognizing the taste we call sweet. It alerts the thyroid that metabolism of food is now beginning its journey through the body. As an aside, the thyroid is also the seat of repressed emotions, grief and sadness being chief characters in the drama of repressed emotions. Sweet assuages sadness as grief is opened in the yoga pose, Fish, where the throat, the heart, the fifth chakra are exposed and deep down, the thyroid gland is massaged.
Without my beloved artificial sugars where have i turned?
There are plant-based sweeteners and they get a lot of support because they are easy . Open a package and off you go. But I’d rather eat local, seasonal food that give me a few calories (because of the Moderation rule) and lots of nutrition.
Sugar Cane. Yes that is a natural. But by the time it has finished its route through processing and sitting around in a packet, it has lost the moisture and the coolness that are so beneficial in balancing doshas with calmness.
HONEY…yes, we call sweet people “Honey” do we not? Honey has always been healing. Honey does NOT like to be hot. Left in a hot place it will ferment and in baking it creates ama — the sticky debris of digestion. So add your honey to any hot food at the very end just before you drink your tea, for example.
MAPLE SYRUP. What is more local all around than the native North American syrup from the indigenous maple tree forests of Pennsylvania to Vermont. Not easy to tap, Maple syrup can be expensive so moderation is important. it calms both Vata and Pitta. And it can be heated so it is useful in baking.
MOLASSES. Hot, heavy, oily, wonderful for Vata imbalance during cold, windy winter days. Light, unsulphured molasses is the mildest form. If you aren’t a fan of the molasses family then Blackstrap might be too heavy an application for you. I have been using molasses to hold together a mixture of black mustard seeds, flax seeds, and powdered ginger, an exotic combination that instantly satisfies my sweet tooth and my love of the pungent ginger, so good for its digestive qualities and a fine counterpoint to sweet.