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
- 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.