People ask lots of questions regarding milk and other dairy products. Specially, because of the recent researches the number of questions has also increased. According to these researches milk is good for kids only. However, it is difficult to take any final decision over it, because discussion is going on it. In this case, Ayurvedic view point can be very important.
In Ayurveda many dairy products are used to treat many ailments and it is a part of many Ayurvedic medicines. Medicines made of milk and milk itself is particularly used in convalescence and as an immunity booster. These include medicated butter, ghee and other dairy products. Milk is good for not only children but also for the elderly people and also for the people who need strength.
In Ayurveda holistic medicine the dairy products are considered most valuable and beneficial. They provide special and unique nutrition. This nutrition can’t be derived from any other food product.
Milk has a sweet taste and a cooling effect. It balances all the three doshas. But it has more effect on Vata and Pitta and less of Kapha. It increases Kapha if consumed in an improper manner. When milk is consumed in a proper manner, it nourishes al tissues and balances the emotions.
We must remember that milk is one of the most important foods for the promotion of ojas. Ojas brings power, happiness, good immune system and general satisfaction.
In Ayurveda eight kinds of milk obtained from different animals have been described. But the recommended one is cow’s milk. According to Ayurveda it is the most nutritious and it has many benefits for human beings.
The cow milk is recommended for the following reasons:
• Cow milk is considered the best one as a substitute for mother’s milk. It is highly nutritious and easy to digest.
• The cow milk has in it a lot of vitamin D. It plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and thus strengthens the bones.
• Milk is good for people who often suffer from the diseases of upper respiratory system. It helps in improving the immune system. It helps in the diseases of urinary system. It is also useful for women who are nearing menopause.
The Proper Ways to Consume Milk & Other Dairy Products
• Milk should be consumed warm: The consumption of milk increases kapha. This may lead to enhance of mucus. Therefore, the ancient Ayurveda always recommends drinking milk warm.
• Milk should not be mixed with other foods or tastes: When mixed with other tastes or foods milk becomes indigestible. It causes accumulation of toxins in the body. Ayurveda says that milk should not be mixed with other foods like banana, sour fruits or vegetables. However, it can be taken with sweet tastes like coffee, cinnamon or rice.
• The curd should be dashed with water and spices before consuming. The traditional Indian drink with water is lassi and it is prepared from 250 ml water and cumin seeds, and a pinch of black pepper.
• The milk should be organic and non-pasteurized. The milk should be obtained from happy cows. Pasteurized milk should be avoided because it loses much of the nutritious value.
Use of Dairy Products in Ayurveda:
• Milk product is very useful for massages. It relieves the pain because of arthritis, for muscle strengthening, wound healing, etc.
• It is used in Shirodhara to treat headaches and imbalance of Vata and Pitta.
• It is also very useful in Panchkarma. It is useful with combination of various herbs to heal digestive disorders.
However, it is true that in many countries there are no old species of cows. The new species of cows give a lot of milk. These cows are given injections of hormones to increase the production of milk. This might lead to the loss of many good qualities of milk.