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Milk: The Ayurvedic Perspective

Just 6 months ago, my husband said to me for the very first time, “honey, I am thinking of eliminating milk from my diet.” “Why”, I asked. " 'Coz I read a new research stating that its not good for health. It is one of the reasons for cancer, causes cholesterol, acne, lactose intolerance and many more health issues”, he exclaimed! Well, he is not the only one! Thanks to a recent research study, quite a few number of people have come to believe the same.

Let's look at 3 things:

  1. The validity of this & other research studies

  2. Why trust Ayurvedic findings

  3. Ayurvedic perspective of milk

A few years ago, the news about cholesterol being bad for the human body made headlines. A few years down the line came the news that ‘only the bad cholesterol is bad for you and recent research findings claim that cholesterol is not bad for you after all and is needed for proper brain & heart function.

So, in this world of daily conflicting research articles making headlines; how is the reader supposed to know which research study to trust and which one to not!!?!

Before we start getting confused by all the conflicting research out there and new studies popping up daily about what is good and not; we need to be able to determine which study is legit and worth trusting and which one not.

What makes a research study legitimate and worth following? Some factors to consider before accepting the research study as legit: what was the sample size for the study? Is the sample size statistically significant? How long was the study performed for? Who is funding the study? Does the company funding the study have a hidden agenda for funding and promoting the study? Was the study peer reviewed?

If you look through the lens of the above questions; most of the research and studies which make headlines today would fall through the cracks and won’t be able to make it as legit trustworthy data.

Why trust Ayurveda and its findings?

Let’s talk about each of the points:

  1. Sample size & Length of study: Ayurvedic wisdom is over 5000 years old. People in southeast Asia have followed the Ayurvedic way of life as is evident from the ancient texts. So, the sample size has been large enough and also has withstood the test of time and different populations

  2. The Ayurvedic wisdom has been funded by nobody and is available for mankind to follow for their own benefit.

  3. Peer reviewed: Ayurvedic principles are based on nature and all the observations have been made by observing nature and human body and its interaction with its surroundings. There have been different sages (read scientists in modern terms) who have expounded a topic if it was unclear in the previous text about that article.

  4. Hidden Agenda: The only agenda of Ayurveda is the health and wellness of living beings so that they can live in harmony with nature at their highest health potential.

Ayurvedic research has been tested through the ages on different civilizations and populations and it has succeeded the test of time!

Milk : Who it is for & not?

Milk per the Vedas has been considered an elixir for human beings. Milk is one the most wholesome substances for the human body & is one of the very few substances which nourishes EACH and EVERY cell & tissue in the body.

Properties of milk per Ayurveda:

  1. Improves intelligence/intellect

  2. Promotes strength

  3. Reduces fatigue

  4. Supports long life

  5. Rejuvenates bodily tissues

  6. It’s an Aphrodisiac (stimulates sexual desire)

  7. Increases breast milk production for lactating mothers

  8. Helps easy movement of bowels

Clinically, milk helps in the following conditions:

  1. Exhaustion & Fatigue

  2. Dizziness

  3. Toxicity (which most of us do these days due to the exposure to synthetic chemicals either through the environment or through food, water & air)

  4. Severe hunger & thirst

  5. Long standing fever

  6. Dysuria (painful urination)

  7. Bleeding tendencies

Again, every person is unique and the diet suitable for one person is different from the diet beneficial for another person. So, who will milk NOT benefit?

  • If you are someone who experiences heaviness in the abdomen after eating the slightest amounts of food; milk might not be a good choice of food at this moment. Why is that? It’s not because milk is bad!! It’s because due to inappropriate food and lifestyle the enzymes in your stomach are unable to digest it just like at this point for you; eating meat is not recommended.

  • Similarly, if someone is experiencing cough and cold, milk could (please note I did NOT say should) be avoided since inherently its cold, sweet, soft and heavier for the digestive system

  • If you are someone you has flare ups of eczema, milk is not the best choice for you.

  • Lactose Intolerance: Lactose intolerance is nothing but an inability of the body to digest milk and other products containing lactose. But if this disease is studied closely Ayurvedically, we realize that it’s not just milk but other food items as well which result in symptoms such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, and gurgling sounds in your stomach, loose stools. But again, it’s not milk that’s bad; it’s the inability of the digestive system of that particular individual to digest, assimilate, absorb and digest that particular food item

Milk is highly recommended for all and should not be eliminated esp. from a child’s diet unless there are extremely strong reasons to do so. If a child has flare ups of eczema or has regular cough and cold, add a pinch to 2 pinches turmeric to their milk, boil and let it cool and you could feed that milk to the child.

So per Ayurveda, milk is a daily recommendation! The only thing to be aware of though; is the source! Where is your milk coming from? Is it organic? Is it from cows raised ethically? Is the milk from cows eating grass or was the cow fed corn and feed which is unnatural for their species? Are the cows given hormones for increasing production? Is this milk pasteurized or unpasteurized? Is the milk homogenized or non-homogenized? What kind of milk are you drinking? Let us know in the comments below.

May the wisdom of the Vedas shine upon your soul

Priyanka Agarwal

Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant

Yoga Instructor

Health & Fitness Blogger

Founder of Vedic Sanctuary : Health & Wellness

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