milk III


In my second blog I discussed different types of milk and its advantages and their respective properties. I also touched upon varying views about its consumption. This time I bring to you a few views that explain why milk becomes intolerable to a few…

Like in every field even here also we have two schools of thought. One that propagates consuming milk in the morning if you are the body building type or are involved in extreme physical work. To get even more benefits, one can have it with energy boosting tonics like Ashwagandha. While the other thought maintains that milk consumed in the morning, becomes quite heavy to digest. It also makes you lethargic. People who drink milk right in the morning often complain of having acidity. We generally do not recommend milk in the morning to patients above 5 years.

It is also an absolute ‘NO-NO’ to have salty foods along with milk. In many parts of India it is quite customary to have a milk-mixed-tea post breakfast. And the breakfast which usually contains salt. My patients also tell me that they have been having their milk teas immediately after such salty breakfasts for ages and nothing is wrong. WRONG! such practice always begins with a bit of heaviness and ends up with acidity induced ailments.


Milk should be organic, whole and non-homogenized. Homogenized milk is very difficult to digest. It is also possible that the milk that is not certified as organic may contain rBGH. This is a hormone that artificially increases milk production in the cow. The only way we know to avoid rBGH is to purchase organic milk, avoiding milk & milk products that may have come from cows injected with this hormone.

Many patients tell me that they are allergic to milk which broadly means that they are lactose intolerant. While it is true that most people show their intolerance to lactose early in life, people can also get it in their teenage years or even in adulthood. Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency in the enzyme lactase in the inner lining of the GI wall. Since the GI track cannot absorb lactose whole (it must be broken down), it stays in the gut. This causes water to move into the gut which results in diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Most people with lactose intolerance have their symptoms when they consume lactose containing foods too.

Ayurveda recommends against the following combinations with milk:

  • Milk + Sour Buttermilk: This will result in curdling in the digestive tract and will be more difficult to digest
  • Milk + Meat
  • Milk + Fish
  • Milk + Sprouted Grains
  • Milk + Yeast: increases Pitta
  • Milk + Radish: Radish is pungent (ushna virya) and milk is sweet (sheet virya)& that is why the two do not mix well
  • Garlic + Milk: The exception is Garlic Milk (follow Ayurved recommended recipe given at the end of this blog)
  • Milk + Holy Basil
  • Milk + Sour Fruits
  • Milk + Citrus Fruits: The acidity of the citrus will cause curdling of the milk in the stomach and make it harder to digest
  • Milk + Fruit Juice: Most juices will cause milk to separate and agglutinate, making it hard to absorb and digest.

To make Garlic Milk:

  • Crush 4-8 cloves of garlic and place in a clean muslin cloth pouch
  • Mix ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of water in a clean vessel or saucepan
  • Place the pouch into the milk-and-water mixture
  • Boil & reduce the mixture until only ½ cup remains while stirring occasionally
  • Squeeze the milk out of the pouch and allow it to cool to lukewarm before drinking

I am sure that by now you have a fairly good idea as to how to select the right kind of milk and reap the benefits! In case you still have any doubts, you can always visit my clinic.



milk part II

In my last blog I gave you an overview of milk and milk types as well as general indications for
making milk consumption conducive for us. Let us now take it a little forward…
Ayurveda strongly recommends having milk in the evening or night time for its incredible digestive
properties. In addition to its many health and beauty benefits, drinking milk, promotes Ojas. Apart
from this, milk is packed with calcium and due to the low activity levels in the night, calcium is easily
absorbed by the body. The high protein content may also prove beneficial for those who are trying
to gain body mass, as during night the wear and tear is the least.
Milk also has sedative properties, so drinking milk before bedtime may also help you calm down and
the serotonin content in the milk will help in inducing a good and sound sleep.
Several nutritionists have raised their concern on drinking or eating anything too close to bed time
as it prevents the brain to power down by providing energy when the body is preparing to relax. But
Ayurveda for the longest time has espoused the idea of having milk during the night for its digestive
and sedative properties. You may want to have your glass of milk late in the evening to be on a safer
side. Either way, you must never miss out on having this most amazing beverage.
If you have trouble digesting milk and have not consumed it for a while, then it is recommended that
you start again gradually to help your body get used to it. You may begin with just ⅛ of a cup of the
boiled milk with dry ginger. Then gradually increase the amount to about a cup over a ten-day
Cow milk has ten inherent properties namely, Shita (Cool), Mridu (Soft), Snigdha (Unctuous), Bahala
(thick), Picchila (Viscous), Guru (Heavy), Manda (Mild), Prasanna (Pleasant) and Madhura (Sweet),
which are also attributed to Ojas (Essence of all the tissues). Since ojas is responsible for the vitality
and immunity, cow milk is thus said to improve general health status.
Ayurveda suggests that :
 All types of milk except human breast milk should be boiled before use as raw milk is heavy
to digest
 Excessively boiled milk is too heavy, so should be occasionally used with due consideration
of the Agni
 Milk boiled with half volume of water, when taken lukewarm is like nectar
 The milk obtained in the morning is heavier because the animal has had minimal physical
activity in night, whereas the milk obtained in the evening is comparatively lighter due to the
physical activity of the animal during the day
 Discard milk having sour taste, foul smell and abnormal colour
 Milk should never be used with salt.
Cow’s Milk 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 dosha

 The milk from a young cow is sweet, rejuvenating, nourishing and pacifies all three doshas

 Similarly, milk from a black cow calms Vata dosha 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 mothers and strengthen the life-force.

 It is beneficial in cough, chest injuries, chronic fever, internal bleeding and other ailments.

Buffalo Milk 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 fat compared to cow’s milk


 It increases Vata, accumulates in the strotas and causes blockages.

Goat Milk 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. Although in many parts of rural India as well as the middle eastern Asian countries goat milk is quite the norm.

Properties of Goat milk

 It is sweet with an astringent flavour, 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

Caution: It is always advisable to consult your physician before starting a milk relevant dietary
plan since the type of milk and the timing of taking milk may create health problems




milk part I



Milk has been a part of our nutrition since time immemorial. Rich in nutrients, milk in its various forms has a long, long history…

Thousands of years ago when nomadic societies began settling down humans’ ingenuity led to domesticating certain animals and among these animals were the milking animals! Naturally then, these animals were considered something as a privilege of a very chosen few. In ancient Egypt milk and other dairy products were reserved for royalty, priests and the very wealthy. In ancient Egypt, By the 5th century AD, cows and sheep in Europe were prized for their milk. By the 14th century, cow’s milk became more popular than sheep’s milk.


Louis Pasteur, a French microbiologist, conducted the first pasteurization tests in 1862. Pasteur is credited with revolutionizing the safety of milk and in turn, the ability to store and distribute milk well beyond the farm. Commercial pasteurization machines were introduced in 1895.


The Ayurvedic View on Drinking Milk

According to ayurveda, milk provides special and unique nutrition that cannot be derived from any other type of food. Milk, when digested properly, nourishes all the tissues, promotes balanced emotions, and helps to balance all the doshas. It is one of the most important foods to promote ojas.

According to ayurveda, ojas is a refined substance the body produces from the most subtle level of proper digestion. Ojas brings strength, strong immunity, happiness, and contentment, according to ayurveda. Therefore, milk is a very important food to include regularly in one’s diet, especially if you follow a vegetarian lifestyle.

What Ayurved says about milk:

  • The milk is best when it is fresh
  • Ayurved says that the ‘Dharoshna’ milk that is the milk which is freshly collected from the animal, is the best but it is very heavy for digestion and can be consumed by the people who have strong digestive fire
  • It is healthy and provides energy to the body

Dr. Manjiri Joshi








Ayurved mentions about 8 types of milk which are considered ideal for human consumption

  • Cow
  • Buffalo
  • Goat
  • Donkey
  • Sheep
  • Elephant
  • One horned animals
  • breast fed


Ayurved further highlights that…

  • Out of these 8 types the cow’s milk is best to drink in the morning
  • Buffalo milk is good at night
  • The fresh milk is more heavy for digestion than the boiled milk


In order to digest milk properly, avoid drinking cold milk straight out of the refrigerator. Milk should be boiled. Heating the milk changes its molecular structure so it is much easier for human consumption, and it reduces Kapha, making it lighter to digest. While cooking it, you may add a pinch of ground turmeric, a pinch of ground black pepper, a cinnamon stick, or a few pinches of ginger to reduce the heaviness of the milk and reduce any mucus-causing side effect.

I am sure now that you have got the basics about Milk right. In my next blog in the milk series I shall elaborate more.