Is cow's milk valuable in Ayurvedic terms?

Ist Kuhmilch ayurvedisch wertvoll?

Yes, if fresh, untreated and/or organic

In Ayurveda, fresh cow's milk is considered a food that gives us satisfaction, life energy (prana) and purity. Furthermore, it falls into the category of “Rasayanas” . These are foods and plants that keep us healthy by rejuvenating our cells and achieving a revitalizing effect. However, this effect only applies to milk and not to other dairy products.

But does all milk have this effect on our body and mind? Industrially produced milk cartons from the supermarket, which are heavily treated to have a long shelf life, do not have this effect. Fresh raw milk from surrounding farms that has not been treated is considered to be of the highest quality. This must be boiled before consumption. Alternatively, you can use non-homogenized organic cow's milk from pasture-raised cows. You can get them in almost every organic store.

Proper preparation and consumption of cow's milk

In Ayurveda, the preparation of milk is crucial for how it comes to us. Milk should never be drunk cold as it is difficult to metabolize when cold. It is recommended to drink milk in small quantities and boiled, if desired with spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom or ginger. The milk is also often used for administering Ayurvedic medicinal plants as it is an optimal carrier.

You shouldn't eat anything else with the hot milk, apart from a few almonds or dried fruits. This combination would be an optimal start to the day for “non-breakfast eaters” because the milk has a perfect nutrient profile with proteins, carbohydrates and fats. A coffee with milk after a meal is not recommended. It weakens our digestive power. Milk should not be consumed with salty or acidic foods, other animal products (e.g. meat or fish), as these combinations disrupt digestion.

Effect of milk on the doshas

The characteristics of cow's milk are soft, oily and cold. Its taste is sweet and generally does not increase any of the doshas. However, Kapha should be consumed with caution due to its nutritional properties. Milk generally makes stools softer. This effect often makes it appear that lactose or protein intolerance may exist. However, in Europe there are rare cases who cannot digest lactose due to a lack of digestive enzymes. Goat's milk is easier to digest and is therefore a good alternative to cow's milk. If you don't want to consume animal milk, plant drinks made from oats, rice, almonds or spelled are a good alternative.

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