I never understood how a flavor could affect the body, now I am beginning to. Pungent or acrid flavors move the Qi, open the pores and release the exterior. Sour flavors astringe, constrict, congeal (pucker.) Sweet nourishes and sedates. Bitter drains damp and heat. Salty softens and tenderizes. Bland gently leaches damp. If you pay attention this is noticeable - how attentive the ancient discoverers of the art must have been and how sensitive to develop herbal formulas. We naturally balance flavors (Rhubarb pie) but over the long run habitual use of various flavors can turn the ship (our body.)
After all, this is a fundamental way we interact with the world and plants were here soooo long before we were and they are the master chemists of the world, why wouldn't plants want to use flavor to communicate with us or to change our behavior.
Sensitivity is developed by simplifying the lifestyle one leads, being attentive, mindful. Not accepting the sales pitch of advertisers and manufacturers and accepting that your body is unique (only you can really know how something affects you but being singular is written into a herd animal's constitution as a threat.) Raising and expanding Kindness allows us to accept and respond appropriately to our unique constitution. This is one way we can manage our Qi, by learning to feed the energy body instead of the physical or emotional body or by paying attention to how the flavors you use affect how you think. Every flavor is associated with a spiritual and emotional and many physical aspects of You.
Do you habitually use a certain flavor or combination?