Let’s think about the Yin and Yang of tastes.
Sweet, sour and spicy hot belong to Yin taste. Salty and bitter belong to Yang taste.
Yin taste loosens up your body. Yang taste tightens up your body. When you feel tense, if you take something sweet, you can feel relaxed. When you cough because your bronchioles are tightened up, drink a glass of water with some drops of vinegar, and you will ease the cough.
You need to be careful about the spicy hot taste, because most people think it warms up the body. Yes, spicy hot taste temporarily warms up the body, but after that, it chills the body. Spicy hot is good to take in the summer, but if you take it a lot in the winter, it will be a cause of coldness in your body, resulting in various kinds of disease. That is why spicy food is usually eaten in hot countries. Korea is not a hot country, but Korean people eat a lot of spicy food; for example, Kimchee. Before red pepper was sent to Korea from Japan, their Kimchee was not hot. Since they started eating a lot of spicy food, it is said that Korean women have had a lot of gynecological diseases, because it makes their body cold.
In western medicine, salt is treated as a bad guy, but salt is very important for the body. What you need to do is take good salt instead of refined salt. It is recommended to take good sea salt, because good sea salt contains a lot of different kinds of minerals and will not cause high blood pressure. Salt contracts our body. If you are lacking in salt, you can’t move your body. Also, salt can stop bleeding. If you have a bleeding stomach ulcer, it is good to take sea salt and ground sesame covered by a cachet. Salt also has the power to sterilize. If you have a urinary tract infection, it is effective to put a handful of salt in the bathtub and warm your lower body.
Bitter taste has the function of neutralizing the taste in your mouth. If you eat spicy food and still feel heat in your mouth, you can take something bitter and the spicy taste in your mouth will disappear. Salt tightens your body and get rid of water from the body so it is not good to take salty taste too much, but bitter taste just tightens the body so there is no too much to take bitter taste.
I was talking about the Yin and Yang of the 5 tastes up until now, and I would like to talk about one more taste which is very important. That is astringency. This taste may not be familiar to you. When you eat a young persimmon, you experience this taste. Astringency has very strong Yang energy and has the function of contraction. Dried persimmons have even more Yang energy because water, which is Yin energy, has been removed. So when women eat persimmons after childbirth, their uterus and abdominal muscles get firm, resulting in having early menstruation. Persimmons are also effective for continual diarrhea. Even if the persimmons are not dried, as long as they are all natural, they are still effective. In the case of bleeding within the brain (cerebral hemorrhage), it is good to drink the extracted astringency of persimmons in order to stop bleeding. Astringency of a persimmon has the function of dissolving blood clots, so in the case of chronic cerebral infarction or hemorrhage, it is good to do the following:
Put ground persimmon (1 lb.) in one cup of black or brown rice vinegar (200 cc) and keep it over night. The next day strain and drink it by the amount of one quarter cup (50 cc) everyday.
However, you need to know that unnatural persimmons, in which astringency is removed by alcohol, have strong Yin energy. Therefore, on the contrary, they make the body cold.