Chinese Five Tastes

chinese five tastes, 5 flavors

Become aware of the array of different aromas in the air like the sweet smell of honey suckle as it drifts passed and the pungent smell of the camphor laurel trees at certain times of the year.  Smell and taste come from the olfactory bulb involving the sense of smell. The olfactory information is further processed in the amygdala, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and the hippocampus where it plays a role in emotion, memory and learning. The five tastes correspond to the different organs and meridians of the body each with their correlating emotion and state of mind.  For instance when we feel resentful we need to work on forgiveness often associated with the bitterness of the heart.  Tastes and smells have always been associated with the emotions and give an insight into how we are affected so much by them.


Heart and Small Intestine - Fire


Stomach / spleen - Earth


Large Intestine and Lung


Liver / gall bladder - Wood


Kidney / bladder - Water

Disperses congestion and stagnation – increases blood and lymph flow while counteracting mucus production.  Spicy foods like ginger, chilli and garlic builds up the immunity before the onsite of winter.

Onion, garlic, leek, scallion, horseradish, , radish, black pepper, cayenne pepper, clove, cardamom, thyme, sage, rosemary and mint.

Feel into your body, become present as you take a bite and let yourself become aware of the subtle tastes and flavours as you chew and swallow. Observe where else in the body you feel the tastes and flavours.

  • Taste each one of the five tastes on the tongue and as you chew what are the tastes and sensations you are noticing? These may include antiseptic, acidity, astringent, sweet, spicy and salty flavours.

  • Swallow and observe what body sensations do you feel with these flavours? Is your heart racing blood through your veins? Or the pungency make you sneeze.

  • As you observe a little deeper where else do you?

  • Does this smell or taste take you into another time and place or perhaps a family member like a parent, aunty or uncle?

The metal element is to do with elimination of waste associated with large intestine and lungs in the body.  In Chinese medicine the metal element holds the emotion of grief and letting go of the past. People of the metal element love the outdoors are adventurous, adaptable and love to travel.  They are playful, content and show great inner strength. Unhealthy characteristics are depression, pessimism, recluse, withdrawal and living back in the past, the what ifs, the miser and the scrooge, somebody who hoards and can’t bear to let go of their possessions.  Without the letting go in autumn one cannot embrace the needed rest in winter for the renewal of activity in spring.

The autumn phase provides inspiration as well as releasing what is no longer needed indicated by falling leaves. Autumn is a stage of yin, quiet reflection from your daily activities transmuting nutrients preparing for dreaming mode of sleep.

Metals such as gold and jewellery create a presence on the earth and by experiencing metal you extract the finer meaning of your life.

Breathe deeply and give thanks out of your respect to the experiences of your own life. 

  1. How is the relationship with your father?

  2. How do you feel in autumn?

  3. When was the last time you had a good cry?

  4. Grieve for someone dear to you?

  5. What lost opportunities have left you in regret?

  6. Do you have any colon issues?

  7. Do you hold a grudge?

  8. How important is fresh, clean air to you?

  9. Do you feel abundant or experience lack?

  10. Do you make money for the sake of it?

  11. What ceremony and cultural traditions do you observe?

  12. How do you feel around authority figures?

  13. Do people have your respect?

  14. What do you do to gain respect?

  15. How do you feel when you make a mistake?

  16. Do you like pungent, spicy foods?

  17. Do you enjoy being an authority?

  18. What do you collect?

  19. What are you purist about?

  20. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?

  21. How much metal do you wear?

  22. How do you feel around strong men? Weak men?

  23. What is the most precious thing in your life?

Are there any areas of your life that depresses and saddens you and where in you can you source the strength and guidance to expand and grow?  Ask for guidance from the Great spirit for guidance and healing.

The heavily father that of Great Spirit and that of the sun provides the backbone for honour and respect in all living things.  Father sun teaches you to stand tall with your feet firmly planted to speak your truth and be accountable for the choices you make.  Great Spirit gives you the strength to overcome obstacles put in your path and to rise to face these challengers.