Various products of cow are used in innumerable ways in Ayurveda. Cow milk stands first in them. Cow milk benefits are innumerable. Let us find out the effect of cow milk on Tridosha, when we can have cow milk, when we should not, in what diseases it is helpful and more.
Cow milk benefits:
- Sweet in taste (Swadu paka), heavy to digest, has coolant effect on the body (and mind).
- improves Ojas – Ojas is considered as the factor responsible for the immunity of the body. (Ojovardhaka)
- Nourishes the body tissues (Dhatu vardhaka)
- Acts as natural aphrodisiac.
- Does rejuvenation, increases life expectancy.
- Improves intelligence, strength
- Increases breast milk in the feeding mother.
- Assists in easy movement (peristalsis) of intestines.
- Relieves tiredness, dizziness, excessive thirst and hunger.
- Useful in diseases like severe debility, relieving stage of fever, diseases related to urinary system, bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding etc,
- Cow milk for newborn – Cow milk is the next best thing to breast milk for the newborn.
Effect of cow milk on Tridosha
Cow milk calms Vata and Pitta. Increases Kapha.
Who should not drink cow milk?
- Those who are allergic to cow milk.
- Who have Kapha imbalance symptoms
- Who are obese.
- Who have severe low digestion power
Various uses of cow milk in Ayurveda -
1. Milk with herbs: When we wish to use certain herbs with pungent and hot properties in children, or in person with less strength, those herbs are processed with cow milk. This serves three purposes
a. The herbal remedy gets the extra nutritional quality of milk
b. The pungency and the strength of the herb is lowered. Thus the herbal formula is made suitable for patient with less strength.
c. Milk acts as a fat and water soluble media for the active principles in the herb.
Example: Garlic processed with milk, used in digestion problems.
2. Cow milk in Ayurvedic oils – In processing many oils, where the oil is desired to have nourishing and rejuvenating effects, milk is added and processed along with oil and other herbs.
This is especially beneficial in Ayurveda oils that are
- used for massage against degenerative diseases like Osteo arthritis,
- used to calm burning sensation,
- used to heal nerve irritation and nerve pain.
- used to nourish and strengthen muscles and ligaments.
Example: Ksheerabala Taila.
Most of the herbal oils, which are used for nasal instillation or for internal administration are processed along with milk.
3. Shirodhara with Cow milk – Shirodhara is a procedure, where continuous stream of liquid is directed uniformly over the forehead region. Milk is used in cases where Vata and Pitta are involved. Like – headache and dizziness, which mainly have Vata and Pitta imbalance.
4. Cow Milk in Basti – Basti is a Panchakarma procedure, it is a type of enema. Milk processed with herbs is used for Basti in many acid peptic disorders, in Ayurveda.
5. Cow milk for gargling: To relieve burning sensation and to relieve oral ulcers.
Controversy with the modern science: Many argue that as we grow old, the enzymes useful for digestion and metabolism of milk no more exists in the body. Note that Ayurveda not only takes chemical effect of any substance into account, it also considers the physical effect of the substance as well.
Milk – a source of calcium
Milk is a rich source of calcium. A study conducted by researchers at Institute of Aging Research, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, has found that regular intake of milk and yogurt is associated with higher bone mineral desnity in the hip. The study also suggested that choosing low-fat milk / yogurt over cream can increase intake of protein, calcium and vitamin D while limiting intake of saturated fats.
Research on Milk
College going kids who don’t consume at least three servings of milk / dairy daily are three times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those who do,as per the research conducted by University of Illinois. In the study, 339 Mexican college applicants filled out a food frequency questionnaire and were then evaluated for metabolic syndrome risk factors.
Incompatibility with other substances:
Milk along with sour substances and sour fruits is not recommended.
Milk along with horse gram is not recommended, because milk is coolant and Horse gram is hot in nature.
After consuming green leafy vegetables and radish drinking milk should be avoided.