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
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
DR. MANJIRI JOSHI