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Monika Agrawal* and Makhan lal


Rasa is that padartha of dravya which is perceived by tongue. According to Ayurveda there are six rasas viz. madhura (sweet), amla (sour), lavana (salt), katu (pungent), tikta (bitter) and kashaya (astringent). Taste buds for tikta rasa are located at the back of the tongue where it is perceived. Tikta rasa is predominantly composed of vayu and akash mahabhuta. Tikta rasa is ruksha (dry), sheet (cold), laghu (light) in guna (property), sheet (cold) in virya (potency) and katu in vipaka (metabolism). It pacifies pitta and kapha while aggravates vata. Uniqueness about tikta rasa is that though it is somya (cold) in nature still it ignites digestive fire which is perhaps due to its kapha pacifying nature, stimulating Samanya vayu and the vishadata of srotas (cleaning of channels) it causes due to its akash entity. There are many tikta rasa pradhan dravyas e.g. Katuki (Picchrirhiza kurroa), Kiratikta (Swertia chirayta), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Vasa patra (Adhatoda vasica), Patola patra (Tricosanthes dioca) which are widely used in various diseseas like Medoroga (obesity), Madhumeha (Diabetes), Jwara (Fever), Kustha (Skin diseases), Amlapitta (Acidity), Stanya sodhan (purifies breast milk) etc., hence an effort has been made to scan Tikta rasa and its functioning for its rational use in treatment.

Keywords: Tikta, Rasa, Ayurveda, Taste, Bitter, Mahabhuta.

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