The Ayurvedic holistic medicine places the milk and diary products among the most valuable and beneficial foods, because they provide special and unique nutrition that can‘t be derived from any other food product.
What makes the milk such a unique food according to Ayurveda?
Besides being an excellent source of fats and proteins, the milk is a sweet food (Rasa), and sweet taste is the taste that feeds all of our cells, tissues and organs.
Milk has a sweet taste, a cooling effect, balances all three doshas, but it has better effect with regard to balance, on Vata and Pitta constitutions, and lesser effect on Kapha dosha because it increases it if consumed in improper way.
When the milk is consumed properly and digested slowly, it nourishes all tissues and balances the emotions.
It is one of the most important foods for promotion of ojas, and ojas brings power, happiness, good immune system and general satisfaction.
Which milk is best for the health?
Ayurveda describes eight kinds of milk obtained from different animals, but recommends the consumption of cow‘s milk, because it is the most nutritious and has many benefits for the human organism, the most important of which are:
Easy to digest
Cow‘s milk is considered to be the best alternative to the mother‘s milk. Little children often suffer from weak digestion, leading to frequent vomiting. The regular consumption of warm, fresh milk is recommended for children, because it is a food that is easily digestible and highly nutritious.
Strengthens the bones
The milk obtained from cow contains a lot of vitamine D that has an important role in the absorption of calcium, which in turn stengthens the bones. Thanks to these properties the fresh cow’s milk is highly recommended for women in a menopause, because during the menopause the chances of osteoporosis are very high.
Improves the immune system
People who suffer from infections of the upper respiratory tract have to consume milk, because it helps to strengthen the immune system. Moreover, milk prevents diseases of the urinary system, as well it it good in cases of menstrual flow disorders.
Above we mentioned that the dairy products are one of the most beneficial and nutritious foods for our organism when consumed properly.
What does this mean?
According to the Vedas, in order the health to really benefit from the dairy product use, they have to be consumed in a certain way.
What is the proper way to consume dairy products according to Ayurveda?
The milk always have to be consumed warm
According to Ayurveda, the consumption of cold milk strengthens Kapha dosha, and this can lead to accumulation of mucus. Therefore, the ancient Indian medicine recommends drinking milk always warm, in small sips and possibly without sweeteners or with cane sugar. The preparation of the milk is also essential to its effectiveness. Here is how you can prepare an ayurvedic milk at home:
The fresh milk is placed on hot plate until it boils and obtains froth, then boil for another 5 – 10 minutes. This is required because when warmed the molecular structure of the milk changes and it gets easier to digest.
While the milk boils, you can add to it some grinded turmeric, a cinnamon stick, black pepper or some ginger, in order to be increased its beneficial effects.
The milk shouldn’t be mixed with other tastes and foods
Milk shouldn’t be mixed with other foods or tastes, because when mixed with incompatible flavors, it becomes indigestible and causes accumulation of toxins in the body.
According to Ayurveda, the dairy products shouldn’t be mixed with sour fruits, bananas, vegetables, bread and butter, bread with marmalade or meat. But they can be combined with sweet flavor such as rice, cinnamon or coffee.
The yoghurt has to be consumed dashed with water
The yoghurt is a heavy food and it is better to be consumed with water and spices. The traditional Indian drink with yoghurt and water is called Lassi and it is prepared from 250 ml water, cumin seeds, cardamom or a pinch of black pepper.
A sweet version of lassi also can be prepared, as the proportion of the milk and water is the same, and as sweeteners are used honey, brown sugar or mango.
It is important the milk to be organic, whole and non-pasteurized
The dairy products in Ayurveda which are not completely organic are forbidden to eat! It is very important the milk to be obtained from freely bred, happy cows, and to be used in the production of dairy products without any processing, because only then it is really beneficial for the organism.
Dairy products that are available in the commercial stores are not recommended for consumption, because the milk obtained from cows that are kept in closed premises are fed with hormones, antibiotics and with foods rich in pesticides and genetically modified foods. All these chemicals are absorbed into the tissues of the animals and get concentrated in the milk.
In order this milk to reach us, it undergoes pasteurization and homogenization, and this not only reduces to a great extent its good properties, but the regular use of milk and dairy products from animals bred this way can lead to accumulation of a mucus, and therefore to the occurrence of various diseases.
Ghee butter is always clarified
The creamy butter is an ideal tool for boosting the intelligence, memory, metabolism, increases the quality of life and the lifespan. Ghee is consumed only clarified! It is suitable for consumption for all three doshas. This unique product has countless healing properties and it is able to cure thousands of diseases.
Use of dairy products in Ayurveda:
- Ghee butter due to its regenerating and nourishing properties is used not only for consumption but also for massages (combined with various ayurveda herbs) to relieve the pain from arthritis, for muscle strenghtening, wound healing, etc.;
- Cow‘s milk is used in Shirodhara to treat headaches, nausea and imbalance of Vata and Pitta dosha;
- Also used in Panchakarma, where in combination with various herbs it heals digestive disorders.
Effect of the dairy products on the different constitutions
Vata needs moisturizing, nutritious and heavy food, so the milk and the dairy products are the ideal food for people with this constitution. Although these products are useful for Vata dosha, they can be heavy and difficult for digestion for the weak and unstable digestive fire of Vata. Therefore, it is recommended the Vata representatives to consume dairy products only when they are warm and with spices. Usually the fermented dairy products are absorbed better by people with Vata constitution because they have already fermented.
Dairy products are most beneficial for Pitta dosha, because milk calms down the excessive digestive fire and reduces the increased acidity, specific for Pitta. The milk diet is very useful for this constitution, because it reduces the agresiveness of Pitta and helps the harminization of the mind.
However, the people with Pitta constitution have to be careful with sour dairy products, because they increase the digestive fire, which is not recommendable for this constitution.
When possible, the Kapha dosha representatives, is good to limit or avoid the use of dairy products (except for low-fat milk). When Kapha dosha is imbalanced, the consumption of dairy products can lead to formation of mucus and adverse effects on health.
If, however, the representatives of this constitution consume dairy products, they have to be warm and with spices.
When the consumption of dairy products is most beneficial according to Ayurveda?
The Vedas include the milk to the list of „night” products, so they recommend this product to be consumed at night after sunset and in the morning before the sunrise.