Ayurvedic text and teachings show milk to be a great way of taking in nutrition and fortifying our bodies against various diseases. Charaka Samhita (in Ayurveda) has shown the problems associated with its overuse as well as misuse. Ayurveda has been in use for almost 5000 years among the yogis and the common man of India whereas milk has proven effects in maintaining our health.
The qualities of milk that have been described in Charaka Samhita list that it is cold, soft, sweet, lubricant, oily, slippery, smooth, heavy, pleasant and slow. Ayurvedic rules and teachings say that it should always be taken warm; cold milk is difficult to digest and it converts to its nature from sattvic into tamasic. In Sattvic state, things are light, calm, serene and clear and if we talk about milk, it provides fortification, vigor and power. In Tamasic state the things are dull, confused and sloth and in case of cold milk it means low quality, ill health and with no fortification or immunity.
Thus, the ways of using milk create a huge difference and this is not the only thing that makes a difference as there are various other matters of discussion when we are talking about milk as it should be taken according to the Ayurvedic principles. Milk has always been revered and thought of as the blessing of God; another reason of it being revered is due to its association with cow that is considered as the most sacred animal among Indians for thousands of years. Ayurvedic studies have shown that cold milk causes allergies and should be warm when we are taking it in. It is full of strength if taken in the Ayurvedic way and will lead the user to be stronger and healthier.
Compromised Milk can never prove that beneficial
Milk comes from the source, mother. She is very cautious of eating the things that are full of nutrients. She knows that whatever she eats will be moved to her baby’s stomach in the form of milk; so she takes care of it and doesn’t eat foods that may create problems for the baby. She keeps away from drugs, alcohol, smoking, hard to digest foods, medicines that may affect her baby and so on. She does all this as she knows that the food eaten by her will be delivered to the kid when it will suck it from her breasts. She has full confidence that milk is the concentrate of diet, health and emotional condition. Life has its own problems and difficulties and it presents a different set of problems and conditions to every mother. Sometimes, she is forced to eat food that may not be better for producing milk and lives under constant dread of death so she compromises on the quality of milk that she is giving to the kid.
The Ayurvedic Charaka Samhita rules listed in the books list eight sources of milk among which milk from cow, mare, elephant, sheep and woman is important. It gives the characteristics of each of these types of milk. Of all these, the best milk for human beings is considered to be the milk of cow. It increases ‘ojas’(vigor in Sanskrit) which, in its turn, is the crux of body immunity and vigor. So, the strength and vitality attached to milk is of great consequence and the people may drink it to gain the advantages that have been enumerated in these writings.
Today, milk is associated with a lot of risks and warnings. Its benefits have gone in the background and the milk users are told to remain careful of the product as it may create problems in various systems inside the body. The risks of which we are frightened include rise in cholesterol level, cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure, lactose indigestion problem, constipation, allergies and so on. Actually milk is presented to the people, now-a-days- just like a syrup or medicine. This sort of presentation of milk leads us to think of it as a thing that requires us to be highly cautious before taking it in. This wasn’t the way with Ayurvedic yogis. They never taught this sort of things rather they respected cow as well as its milk and revered both as a religious compulsion.
Milk in Charaka Samhita and in the whole world was considered to be invigorative and refreshing and it was taken to provide vigor to the body but now it seems that the concept of milk is changing. Now milk is taken from a mother (cow) in a way just a chemist manufactures his medicine in a factory. We treat the source of milk in a way that is quite inhumane, that is, devoid of all emotions. A mother giving milk without emotions can’t put wholesomeness in it.
Clients come to me and complain about various problems of drinking milk and I advise them not to drink it the way they have been drinking rather they should change the whole scenario. My suggestion is to let your cow graze in a pasture at her own will, then let its calf drink as much milk from its udders as it wishes. When the cow and its calf are satisfied and satiated, look into the loving eyes of the cow, put a pail under her and you may get the milk with as much ease as possible. This milk will be wholesome and will be such that no other food in the world will be like it. This milk may be taken as fresh, raw and warm. This scenario seems to be difficult as the world has grown so irrelevant to the emotions and feelings of animals and especially the mother cows that everything has become without sentiments. Message of love and sympathy is there when we drink such milk as mother cow, in this condition, gives us such milk that had been a demand of the yogis.
Thus, the milk taken from mother or cow has become compromised and we are forced to drink it only for its taste and not for its nourishment and emotional qualities. We are getting this milk but without love from cow and its nourishing qualities are lesser as the cow is not eating food that she should eat.