In India, cows are revered as sacred creatures, and their milk is seen to be a priceless gift from the Goddess. Since the beginning of time, milk has been revered in Ayurveda for its edifying and tonifying effects as well as its ability to strengthen Ojas, our vital immunity.
However, when it comes to her gifts, some of us consume the goddess’ nutrients more swiftly through mantras and kirtan than through cow dairy. An Ayurvedic perspective of milk is more nuanced than you may imagine, despite the fact that it is the creamy white nectar of the gods and something to be treasured.
When talking about milk and dairy products, it is vital to keep in mind the context of Ayurveda’s historical origins. This nature-based healing method developed in ancient India, long before synthetic hormones, industrial farms, food production facilities, or agribusiness were created.
Dairy goods, such as milk, are generally available, yet they frequently fall short of the high standards that were originally expected. However, just like so much of Ayurveda’s knowledge and practises that have lasted the test of time, the benefits of quality, organic milk continue to have a lot to offer.
The Qualities of Milk and its Effects on the Doshas
Dairy is a category of food created from the milk of mammals. Ayurvedic diet takes into account each food’s qualities (Gunas), such as the way the six flavours are balanced, how the meal affects the Doshas energetically, and how it makes you feel when you consume it (cold or hot). More Prana, or life force, can be provided by fresher milk.
Every food is unique and has a varied impact on the Doshas, or the three biological energies of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Additionally, every individual is unique and has a unique way of obtaining nourishment. Thank thing, there are milks made from both animals and plants, and what may not be great for one person may be ideal for another. There are numerous milk species, including those from cows, buffaloes, goats, camels, people, elephants, sheep, and one-hoofed animals (example: horse). Here is an Ayurvedic perspective on milk and its various types.
Cow’s milk is mucous-producing, cold, heavy, and laxative. It has a sweet taste (Rasa), a relaxing effect on the digestive system (Virya), and over time, it becomes sweeter (Vipaka). If you warm and spice it appropriately, cow’s milk is highly appreciated in Ayurveda for calming both Vata and Pitta. It can aggravate Kapha’s naturally cool disposition due to its frigid heaviness.
For goat’s milk, ras, virya, and vipaka are sweet, cold, and pungent. Similar to dairy from cows, it is nourishing and energising, but it is frequently lighter and less mucus-forming. According to our Ayurvedic doctor, milk is ideal for Kapha when drunk in moderation because it is Tridoshic (balanced for all three Doshas). Goat milk may cause some people’s Vata to become irritated because of its slight astringency.
Sheep’s milk is more warming in nature than cow or goat milk. However, it relaxes Vata while aggravating Pitta and Kapha.
The sages recommended buffalo milk for its sedative effects. Because it is colder and heavier than cow’s milk, it soothes Pitta and Vata while stimulating Kapha. It slows rapid elimination.
It would be simpler for you to choose the milk that will help you the most if you understand the Ayurvedic perspective of milk. Enjoy yourself while you search for the beverage that best nourishes your body, mind, and spirit while also making you joyful.