Milk is believed to be the nectar. In India cow’s milk is believed to be the purest and the best. There are several myths and facts related to milk. Today we will be telling you the characteristics of milk from the view-point of Ayurveda. It will describe the benefits, types, disadvantages and other things about milk.
What is Ayurveda?
The word Ayurveda is the combination of two words: “Ayush” which means life and “Veda” which means science. Hence, Ayurveda means the ‘Science of life’. Yet this science is not theoretical or superficial knowledge about diseases and their remedies, but a profound understanding of the essence or true nature of things.
Simply, Ayurveda is the art of living in harmony with the science of life and is not only confined to disease and its treatment.
Now, let us talk about the characteristics of milk from the point of view of Ayurveda.
Characteristics of different types of Milk:
- From the health point of view, goat’s milk alleviates all three dosas.
- The milk of a Jersey cow is least effective in its properties.
- Though camel’s milk is salty in taste, it boosts the strength and energy.
- Generally the taste of all types of milk is sweet (except the camel’s milk), its digestive effect is sweet, oily and heavy. It alleviates Pitta and Vata and increases Kapha.
- Among all types of milk, cow’s milk is the best and sheep’s milk is the least nourishing.
Now, we will be talking about the milk of different animals.
Among Indian breeds of cows, there are about 50 varieties. The milk of those cows is considered to be the best who graze in the forest on several types of vegetation and medicinal herbs. The milk of such cows is the best and considered as heavenly nectar.
Properties of Cow’s milk-
- Cow’s milk is sweet, oily, heavy, cool and nourishing.
- It calms Vata and Pitta dosa.
- The milk from a young cow is sweet, rejuvenating, nourishing and pacifies all three dosas.
- Similarly, milk from a black cow calms Vata dosa and is better in quality than milk from a yellow or white cow.
Advantages of Cow’s milk-
- Cow’s milk boosts the strength and intellect.
- It improves lactation in nursing women and strengthen the life-force.
- It is beneficial in cough, chest injuries, chronic fever, internal bleeding and other ailments.
Buffalo milk is very white and pleasantly smooth. It has higher total solid fat content than cow’s milk. It has more creamy texture and is very thick.
Properties of Buffalo milk-
- Buffalo milk is much cooler, heavier and more oily than cow’s milk.
Advantages of Buffalo’s milk-
- It is very good for people with sharp or ‘burning’ digestive fire.
- Buffalo milk is considered as one of the best sedative for people suffering from insomnia.
- Buffalo milk contains a large quantity of ghee compared to cow’s milk.
It increases Vata, accumulates in the srotas and causes blockages.
Goat milk is not widely used as cow and buffalo milk but it is also used medicinally. It is easy to digest and very beneficial for infants and patients.
Properties of Goat milk-
- It is sweet with an astringent flavor, cool and light in attributes.
- It is anti-diarrheal and absorbs water from the intestines. Due to this property, it is called ‘grahi‘ in Ayurveda.
Advantages of Goat milk-
- It boosts digestion by increasing digestive fire and strengthens the appetite.
- Goat milk is very beneficial in tuberculosis, fever, bronchial asthma, internal bleeding, cough and poisoning.
Suggestions for taking Milk:
Milk is nectar, yet this nectar can turn into poison if you don;t follow the tips given below-
- Do not take salty and sour things with milk. It is an opposite combination and can lead to skin diseases such as dermatitis.
- Do not use milk if the taste, colour and smell is altered or the milk is fermented.
- Adding spices such as long pepper, dry ginger, turmeric and liquorice while boiling, reduce Kapha aggravating properties.
- According to Ayurveda, stale and old milk is not fit to use and is very harmful because after a certain time of pasteurization, microbial colonization from the external environment may again hamper its quality.
So, by the above description we came across several important facts about Milk. These were the characteristics of milk from the Ayurveda point of view. Take care and live well!