Astringent taste also known as ‘kashaya rasa ‘ in Ayurveda is not considered a taste according to the modern science as it is merely a sensation carried by somato sensory fibers to brain and not perceived by taste buds.
This taste is abundant in nature found in all the green leafy vegetables and raw fruits along with bitter taste.
Astringent taste is dry,cold and heavy .
The dryness of this taste reduces water while coldness reduces fire.It pacifies Pita, Kapha and Rakta while it aggravates Vata. It has very good wound healing properties,haemostasis action(stops bleeding from wounds),reduces secretions,controls diarrhea, controls excessive perspiration,reduce the flow of urine,
If astringent taste is consumed in excess it will lead to unwanted effects like puckered up mouth and throat,gas,constipation,pain in heart,hoarseness of voice,impotency,blockage of channels and other vata disorders like paralysis,bell’s palsy e.t.c.
It’s not the ideal taste to promote mental well being.
Ayurveda does not advocate consuming raw vegetables in excess. This is totally a western concept where it is considered fibre rich and good for constipation and intestinal health.But actually it will increase constipation in the long run because of aggravation of vata in the special seat of vata i.e. intestine.
Most green leafy vegetables and unripe fruits are astringent. Lettuce,cabbage,broccoli,sprouts are very good examples.Among the fruits persimmon(japani phal) is astringent.