Cow’s Milk Benefits According To Ayurveda

cow milk

Various products of cow are used in innumerable ways in Ayurveda. Cow milk stands first in them. Cow milk benefits are innumerable. Let us find out the effect of cow milk on Tridosha, when we can have cow milk, when we should not, in what diseases it is helpful and more. 

Cow milk benefits

  • Sweet in taste (Swadu paka), heavy to digest, has coolant effect on the body (and mind).
  • Improves Ojas – Ojas is considered as the factor responsible for immunity of the body.  (Ojovardhaka)
  • Nourishes the body tissues (Dhatu vardhaka)
  • Acts as a natural aphrodisiac.
  • Rejuvenates, increases life expectancy.
  • Improves intelligence, strength
  • Increases breast milk in a feeding mother.
  • Assists in easy movement (peristalsis) of intestines.
  • Relieves tiredness, dizziness, excessive thirst and hunger.
  • Useful in diseases like severe debility, relieving stage of fever, diseases related to urinary system, bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding etc,
  • Cow milk for newborn  – Cow milk is the next best thing to breast milk for the newborn.

Cow milk has ten properties viz,
Swadu – Sweetness
Sheeta – cold
Mrudu – soft
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Bahala – dense, thick
Shlakshna – smoothness,
Picchila – slimeness, stickiness
Guru – heavy
Manda – slowness
Prasanna – calming, clarity.
These are also the properties of Ojas. So milk having identical properties is conducive to the promotion of Ojas, thus milk is an elixir par excellence (Rasyana)

Cow milk uses as per Ashtanga Sangraha text book:
Jeevaneeya – enlivening
Rasayana – rejuvenating, anti aging
Medhya – Brain tonic, improves intelligence
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Stanya – improves lactation
Sara – laxative, promotes movement of liquids in channels

General properties as per Bhojana kutuhala

According to Bhojana kutuhala milk instantly increases semen, is conducive for the body, helps to nourish the body, enliving, imparts strength, improves intellect and is an excellent aphrodisiac. It delays ageing, increases life span, rejoins the broken tissues and rejuvenates the body tissues. It is equally conducive for people who have undergone shodana procedures and milk is also known to increase ojas.

Consumption of milk is advised by seers to those suffering from colicky pain, udavarta, gulma, urinary bladder disorder, hemorrhoids, bleeding disorders, genital disorders, weakness, debility etc as is healthy at all times. For both young and old, for those who have become thin due to hunger it is said to be extremely good.

Cow’s milk indications

Indicated in –
Kshataksheena – chest injury
Shrama – tiredness
Bhrama – dizziness, psychosis
Mada – intoxication
Alakshmi – inauspiciousness
Shwasa – asthma, respiratory disorders involving difficulty in breathing
Kasa – cold, cough
Trut – excess thirst
Kshudha – excess hunger
Jeernajwara – end stage of fever
Mutrakrichra – dysuria, difficulty to pass urine
Raktapitta  – bleeding disorders like nasal bleeding, Ulcerative colitis and menorrhagia

Effect on Tridosha

Cow milk calms Vata and Pitta. Increases Kapha.

Who should not drink cow milk? 

Uses of cow’s milk in Ayurveda

Various uses of cow milk in Ayurveda –
1. Milk with herbs: When we wish to use certain herbs with pungent and hot properties in children, or in a person with less strength, those herbs are processed with cow milk. This serves three purposes –

a. The herbal remedy gets the extra nutritional quality of milk

b. The pungency and the strength of the herb is lowered. Thus the herbal formula is made suitable for patients with less strength.

c. Milk acts as a fat and water soluble media for the active principles in the herb.

Example: Garlic processed with milk, used in digestion problems.

2. Cow milk in Ayurvedic oils – In processing many oils, where the oil is desired to have nourishing and rejuvenating effects, milk is added and processed along with oil and other herbs.

This is especially beneficial in Ayurveda oils that are

  • used for massage against degenerative diseases like Osteo arthritis,
  • used to calm burning sensation,
  • used to heal nerve irritation and nerve pain.
  • used to nourish and strengthen muscles and ligaments.

Example: Ksheerabala Taila.

Most of the herbal oils, which are used for nasal instillation or for internal administration are processed along with milk.

3. Shirodhara with Cow milk – Shirodhara is a procedure, where a continuous stream of liquid is directed uniformly over the forehead region. Milk is used in cases where Vata and Pitta are involved. Like – headache and dizziness, which mainly have Vata and Pitta imbalance.

4. Cow Milk in Basti – Basti is a Panchakarma procedure, it is a type of enema. Milk processed with herbs is used for Basti in many acid peptic disorders, in Ayurveda.

5. Cow milk for gargling: To relieve burning sensation and to relieve oral ulcers.

Controversy with modern science: Many argue that as we grow old, the enzymes useful for digestion and metabolism of milk no more exists in the body. Note that Ayurveda not only takes the chemical effect of any substance into account, it also considers the physical effect of the substance as well.

Milk – a source of calcium

Milk is a rich source of calcium. A study conducted by researchers at Institute of Aging Research, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, has found that a regular intake of milk and yogurt is associated with higher bone mineral density in the hip. The study also suggested that choosing low-fat milk / yogurt over cream can increase intake of protein, calcium and vitamin D while limiting intake of saturated fats.

Research on Milk

College going kids who don’t consume at least three servings of milk / dairy daily are three times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those who do, as per the research conducted by University of Illinois. In the study, 339 Mexican college applicants filled out a food frequency questionnaire and were then evaluated for metabolic syndrome risk factors.

Cow’s milk incompatibility

Incompatibility with other substances:
Milk along with sour substances and sour fruits is not recommended.
Milk along with horse gram is not recommended, because milk is a coolant and Horse gram is hot in nature.
After consuming green leafy vegetables and radish, drinking milk should be avoided.

A1 or A2 – which type of milk is best for which people?
I think this classification of A1 and A 2 comes from the presence of A1 or A2 types of beta casein – milk protein.
There is lot of marketing strategy around this to promote certain type of milk as good for people of certain countries – Reference

Hence, I will have to restrict my statement to – “Milk from locally grown cows, in their most natural habitat is best”.
Locally grown cows will eat and live in the same environment as the  local population. Hence, the milk from such cows will surely be congenial to the local country people. Hence, that is best for them.

Cow’s milk for rejuvenation

Cow milk in anti aging – rejuvenation procedures:
Cow milk is administered as the only diet throughout the day, while administering some of the anti ageing recipes such as Shilajeet Rasayan (reference: Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 1.3/52-55.
Cow milk along with cooked rice is the diet of choice while administering many other rejuvenation medicines such as Brahma Rasayan and Chyawanprash.

Its nutritious qualities support the anti aging qualities of the Rasayana medicines.
It also nullifies the hot physical effects that may be generated due to long term administration of above medicines.

Cow’s milk recipes

Cow milk recipe for sexual strength:
Reference:
Charaka Samhita Chikitsa sthana 2.3
Milk should be collected from a cow who is fed with the
Leaves of Masha – Black gram
Stalks of sugarcane or Leaves of Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)
The cow should have delivered only once,
Is well-nourished
Has 4 nipples in her udder
Has a calf having identical color
Whose calf is alive
Who is red or black in color
Whose horns are projected upwards
Who is not ferocious and
Whose milk is thick.
Dosage: Such a cow’s milk can be taken after boiling or even without boiling by adding sugar, honey and ghee.
This is an excellent diet to promote virility – Vrushyam – Uttamam. 

Cow milk for purification of poisonous materials:
Milk is used in detoxifying many herbal and mineral Ayurvedic ingredients such as Gunja – Abrus seeds

Cow’s milk side effects

Excess intake of raw milk (not boiled, Ama Ksheera) may cause Hikka (hiccups) and Shwasa – respiratory disorders with difficulty in breathing. (Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 17)

Cow’s milk contraindications

In the below conditions, it is best to avoid consuming cow milk:
Navajwara – fever of recent onset
Mandagni – indigestion, low digestion strength. Cow milk being heavy to digest, may worsen low digestion strength.

Manure for plants:
Meat, along with sesame seeds, black gram and cow milk are used to prepare – Kunapa Jala – manure to improve plant growth. Reference: Vriksha Ayurveda

Cow milk in Rasashastra – Metallic medicines –
Cow milk is used for the special purification (Vishesha Shodhana) of Abhraka. Here, Abhraka is heated to red hot and dipped in cow milk for seven times. This procedure is called Nirvapa.

Milk at night

Milk at bed time is for people who are underweight, excessively tired,  those suffering from insomnia and low body weight.
It is not recommended in people with high Kapha conditions such as obesity, cold, cough, weak digestion etc.

Market available milk variants

Milk, filled, fluid, with blend of hydrogenated vegetable oils

Filled milk is any milk, cream, or skim milk that has been reconstituted with fats, usually vegetable oils, from sources other than dairy cows.
Adding these hydrogen atoms to the oil makes it more solid, raises the smoke point, and makes the oil more stable.
Taste – sweet
Qualities – very unctuous, heavy (due to vegetable oil which is heavy)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) -sweet
Effect on Doshas
Kapha increasing – due to sweet taste and cold properties
Vata balancing – due to sweet taste and vipaka, unctuousness and heaviness
Pitta balancing – due to sweet taste and vipaka, cold potency

Milk, filled, fluid, with lauric acid oil

Taste – sweet
Qualities – heavy, unctuous
Potency – cold in potency
After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Slightly balances Vata – due to sweet, unctuous and heavy nature, but cold potency tends to increase Vata.
Pitta balancing – due to sweet taste, cold potency
Kapha increasing – due to sweet taste, coldness, heaviness, unctuousness

Milk substitutes, fluid, with lauric acid oil

Taste – slightly sweet
Qualities – heavy, unctuous
Potency – cold in potency
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Slightly balances Vata – due to sweet, unctuous and heavy nature, but cold potency tends to increase Vata.
Pitta balancing – due to sweet taste, cold potency
Kapha increasing – due to sweet taste, coldness, heaviness, unctuousness

Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat, with added vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, producer, fluid, 3.7% milkfat

Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than whole milk)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added nonfat milk solids and vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than whole milk)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, protein fortified, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (even though fat is less compared to whole milk, protein fortification makes it heavy)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, lowfat, fluid, 1% milkfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat and whole milk)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, lowfat, fluid, 1% milkfat, with added nonfat milk solids, vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat and whole milk)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, lowfat, fluid, 1% milkfat, protein fortified, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (even though fat is less, it becomes heavy due to protein fortification)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added vitamin A and vitamin D (fat free or skim)
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than reduced fat milk and whole milk)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added nonfat milk solids, vitamin A and vitamin D (fat free or skim)
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than reduced fat milk and whole milk)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, nonfat, fluid, protein fortified, with added vitamin A and vitamin D (fat free and skim)
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than reduced fat milk and whole milk, but is heavy due to protein fortification)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, low sodium, fluid

Taste – sweet
Qualities – heavy, unctuous
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – du to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, coldness, heaviness, unctuousness, but not to such a great extent because of low sodium.

Milk, dry, whole, with added vitamin D

Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, dry, nonfat, regular, without added vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous when compared to whole milk powder)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, dry, nonfat, instant, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous when compared to whole milk powder)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, dry, nonfat, calcium reduced

Taste – sweet
Qualities – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous when compared to whole milk powder, less heavy when compared to whole milk powder as reduced calcium)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, canned, condensed, sweetened

Taste – sweet (innate nature of milk, and due to sweeteners)
Qualities – heavy, unctuous
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, canned, evaporated, with added vitamin D and without added vitamin A
Taste – sweet (innate nature of milk)
Qualities – heavy, unctuous
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness.

Milk, canned, evaporated, nonfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Taste – sweet (innate nature of milk)
Qualities – heavy, unctuous (less unctuous when compared to evaporated canned milk)
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, whole, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Raw cocoa has a very bitter taste (Taste), a pungent aftertaste (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)), is light and dry, and has a heating energy (Potency). It is rajasic as it stimulates the mind and can be difficult to digest.
Taste – sweet, slightly bitter
Qualities – unctuous, heavy
Potency – milk – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Dosha
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heavy, unctuous
Pitta neutral – due to pitta balancing properties of milk and pitta increasing qualities of cocoa like pungent After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) and hot Potency.
Kapha aggravating – due to sweetness, coldness, heaviness, unctuousness.

Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, reduced fat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Raw cocoa has a very bitter taste (Taste), a pungent aftertaste (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)), is light and dry, and has a heating energy (virya). It is rajasic as it stimulates the mind and can be difficult to digest.
Taste – sweet, slightly bitter
Qualities – unctuous, heavy
Potency – milk – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Dosha
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heavy, unctuous
Pitta neutral – due to pitta balancing properties of milk and pitta increasing qualities of cocoa like pungent After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) and hot Potency.
Kapha aggravating – due to sweetness, coldness, heaviness, unctuousness.

Milk, chocolate, lowfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
Raw cocoa has a very bitter taste (Taste), a pungent aftertaste (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)), is light and dry, and has a heating energy (virya). It is rajasic as it stimulates the mind and can be difficult to digest.
Taste – sweet, slightly bitter
Qualities – unctuous, heavy
Potency – milk – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Dosha
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heavy, unctuous
Pitta neutral – due to pitta balancing properties of milk and pitta increasing qualities of cocoa like pungent After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) and hot Potency.
Kapha aggravating – due to sweetness, coldness, heaviness, unctuousness.

Milk, chocolate beverage, hot cocoa, homemade

Taste – sweet, bitter
Qualities – unctuous heavy
Potency – not very cold (milk is cold, cocoa is hot)
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heavy, unctuous
Pitta neutral – due to pitta balancing properties of milk and pitta increasing qualities of cocoa like pungent After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka) and hot Potency.
Kapha aggravating – due to sweetness, coldness, heaviness, unctuousness.

Milk, nonfat, fluid, without added vitamin A and vitamin D (fat free or skim)

Rasa – sweet
Guna – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than reduced fat milk and whole milk)
Veerya – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness (does not increase Kapha as much as milk non fat with added vitamins; vitamins improve body nourishment and strength and immunity, hence increases kapha dosha.

Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added nonfat milk solids, without added vitamin A

Rasa – sweet
Guna – unctuous, heavy (even though fat is less compared to whole milk, protein fortification makes it heavy)
Veerya – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness (does not increase Kapha as much as milk reduced fat with added vitamins; vitamins improve body nourishment and strength and immunity, hence increases kapha dosha.)

Milk, canned, evaporated, with added vitamin A

Rasa – sweet (innate nature of milk)
Guna – heavy, unctuous
Veerya – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness (increases kapha more than milk canned evaporated without added Vitamin A as addition of vitamins means more nourishment to the body and improved immunity)

Milk, dry, nonfat, regular, with added vitamin A and vitamin D

Rasa – sweet (innate nature of milk)
Guna – not very heavy
Veerya – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Slightly Vata balancing – due to sweetness, slight heaviness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness (fat content is reduced so does not increase kapha greatly but increases kapha as addition of vitamins means more nourishment to the body and improved immunity)

Milk, fluid, 1% fat, without added vitamin A and vitamin D

Rasa – sweet
Guna – unctuous, heavy (less unctuous than Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat and whole milk, less heavy and unctuous than milk fluid 1% fat with added vitamin A and D)
Veerya – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness

Milk, chocolate, fluid, commercial, reduced fat, with added calcium

Rasa – sweet, slightly bitter
Guna – slightly unctuous, heavy (reduced fat, but added calcium makes it more nourishing and heavy)
Veerya – milk – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Dosha
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heavy, unctuous
Pitta neutral – due to pitta balancing properties of milk and pitta increasing qualities of cocoa like pungent vipaka and hot veerya.
Slightly increases Kapha – due to sweetness, coldness, mild heaviness, mild unctuousness.
(less calcium – osteoporosis – vatakara; more calcium – kaphakara)

Milk, whole, 3.25% milkfat, without added vitamin A and vitamin D

Rasa – sweet
Guna – unctuous, heavy
Veerya – cold
Vipaka – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness
Pitta balancing – due to sweetness, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweetness, heaviness, unctuousness, coldness (added vitamins means more nourishing – hence more kapha increasing)



78 thoughts on “Cow’s Milk Benefits According To Ayurveda”

    • By adding a small pinch of turmeric to a cup of warm milk.
      No cold milk, no too much sugar. Not after meals.

      Reply
  1. Is garlic milk acceptable for people with low digestion power? Also, is it OK to mix other spices into the garlic milk and if so which are OK and which not and why? What about mixing herbal oils(pumpkin seed oil for example) with the garlic milk?

    Reply
    • It is not acidic in its nature. But it is categorized as slightly acid forming food. But that should not avoid anyone from enjoying other advantages of milk that are enlisted above. Of course, in case of indigestion, and high Kapha conditions, like cold, cough, vomiting, obesity etc, it is best to avoid milk.

      Reply
      • how much cow milk (quantity) should take per day,is’t correct to take both cow milk and cow ghee every day for adults.

        Reply
        • For a healthy person, without allergy to milk, two cups per day is good.
          It is good to have milk and ghee on daily basis. Ayurveda recommends it for rejuvenation and anti-aging purposes.

          Reply
  2. I heard that according to ayurveda you should not consume milk with meals, milk with fruits and also fruits with meals. Is this true and if so what is the reason behind this?

    Reply
    • Hi, there is no rule that milk should not be consumed along with milk. In fact, in many dishes, milk is used as ingredient. But if one is having low digestion strength, then it makes sense to avoid taking milk along with meals, because, it may lower digestion strength.
      Milk with fruits, especially having citric acid, causes curdling of milk, leading to indigestion. Hence the suggestion of avoiding them together.

      Reply
  3. Is it ok to give cow milk to infants if i do not have breast milk…doctors say to give formula milk till the age of 1.

    Reply
    • warm cow milk can be taken at night. It is best to avoid in those with high Kapha symptoms like sinusitis, cold, cough, fever, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and so on.

      Reply
      • I am diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and my doctor suggested to take cow milk twice a day. I was planning for that. This reply has created confusion in me. Could you please elaborate why it is not advisable to take cow milk.

        Reply
        • Hi, do not worry and please go ahead with your doctor’s advice. If there is no “Ama” or indigestion factor, then milk can be consumed.

          Reply
  4. A nice article. Is it ok to give milk to children 2 times a day? Once in the morning on waking and before going to bed ( about 1 hour after dinner). Lot of new research is saying to avoid milk altogether. I give non homogenized organic milk.

    Reply
    • We give milk to or kids twice a day. No problem with that.
      Even I enjoy milk once a day. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Dear Dr Hebbar,

    I want to ask a question different than this topic. I have palpitations, sometimes high pulse rate, weakness etc. Allopathic doctor advised me to take Ciplar LA20 (propranolol) once daily.

    But that is not the solution. So I started taking arjunarisht+prabhakarvati. Is that OK? How much time would it take to heal me?

    I want to talk to you personally. Can you please provide your contact details?

    Thanks
    -mahesh

    Reply
    • Please note that I do not offer consultation by phone.
      It appears as if you have high BP. I suggest you to consult an Ayurvedic doctor in person rather than trying your own combinations.

      Reply
  6. sir now a days dairy milk is nitrogenoused pasteurised, skimmed , toned and some says they add chemicals for preservation. Is it good for health to consume this treated milk

    Reply
  7. Thanks for great articles. Which is better to use with ghee. Whole milk or 2% milk? Organic milk is too costly to drink everyday, so is using regular pastuerized mllk ok?. Thanks for answers.

    Reply
  8. Hi sir ! I had a lithotripsy for kidney stones 4 months back. If I drink cow’s milk regularly, will there be any chance of reforming the kidney stones again.

    Reply
    • Hi, Calcium from food does not increase the risk of calcium oxalate stones. Hence, you can consume milk.

      Reply
  9. Quite informative. I have also been hearing that the human body looses its ability to digest milk after age 4. As whatever did the job of digesting it is redundant after 4 yrs of age. What do you say.

    Reply
    • For children, anytime is fine.
      For adults, afternoon or evening is more appropriate time.

      Reply
  10. Hi Dr The texts say that milk should not be taken with salt. Does that mean that milk should not be added to salty dishes or that you should not have milk with anything salty, such as toast with glass of milk? Also that would mean no milk with meals.
    Is milk only restricted with sour fruits so are all sweet fruits apart from banana ok?

    Reply
  11. Doctor, the western medicine advises you to stop consuming dairy products- especially cheese and cowmilk, if you have acne. What are your thoughts on it, especially if one has a desire for drinking milk?
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge

    Reply
  12. I milk is acidic(pitta), it should help in digestion. Then why milk is not suggested for people with weak digestion?
    What are the symptoms to know if a person has weak digestion?

    Reply
    • Madam, Those who are having Mandagni or weak digestion eat very little and are unable to digest the smallest amount of food. Heaviness after a meal. sluggish bowels, feeling cold, sweet craving etc.,

      Reply
  13. According to Ayurveda, we should not combine milk with pungent and bitter taste food.But it is recommended to add turmeric and ginger to milk.Turmeric is bitter and ginger is pungent by nature.So how will this work? please help..

    Reply
  14. In high Pitta low Agni conditions, then bitter carminatives such as Ashwagandha, Guduchi, Neem along with spices in lower doses such as long pepper or ginger along with ghee is recommended.

    Reply
  15. Hi Doctor
    We are a family of average health (2 adults and 2 teenagers), except I have frozen shoulder issue.
    After reading your article, I would like to incorporate milk in our diet for intake of calcium.
    -Is it best to drink half to one cup of warm milk before sleep?
    -For preparation of milk, do we boil the milk first? and then drink it when warm?
    -Can we add turmeric sometimes, even when drinking before sleep?
    -Can we add honey to warm milk?
    Thank you!

    Reply
  16. Hi, Sorry that I do not know of any technique to differentiate Desi and Jersey cow milk.

    Reply
  17. Hi,
    Early morning sun exposure, Salmon, Tuna, Cod liver oil, Fish, fortified cereals, oysters, fortified soy products, ham, dairy products, egg, mushroom,
    yogurt, cheese, orange juice, zuccini, tomato, are good source for vitamin D.

    Reply
  18. When Desi Cow is almost on the verge of extinction an online company shopapni.in in Chandigarh Tricity is providing A2 milk of Desi cow to it’s customers. Unless cow milk is turned in to a profitable commodity , Indian breed of cow can not be saved. This is what Veer Savarkar also opined.

    Reply
  19. My father has high Creatinine level of 13.75 mg.dL. I had been suggested to take desi cow milk and break it with lemon. Then take out the watery portion and provide him this water in small sips (through spoon) throughout the day.
    Is it recommended practice? Will it help solving kidney problem?

    Reply
  20. Hello doctor,

    Wonderful article. I am the USA since one year and the milk I get here doesn’t go well with my digestion. I get tired with body pain and my sinus is always congested plus chest too. When I stopped dairy in all forms, am good. This milk aggravates my candidature giving me pink tinea patches on my body too. I have to then do a colon cleanse to remove the toxins. What is the solution to this? My primary constitution is kapha and used to feel the same in India but with lesser intensity. Please reply.

    Reply
  21. hii sir
    sir most of the person says that drinking milk empty stomach is not good for digestive system.Is it true or it is a wrong rumour.

    Reply
  22. Hello sir, says that row milk is having heavy microbial load . Then why our rishis used to have milk directly derived as it is n didn’t any process? Waiting for ans. Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi, raw cow milk, from a genuine local species of healthy cow, without genetic modification, lactation enhancing injections etc, which were plenty in old times, was absolutely free from microbes, hence was very good to take it even without boiling.
      In ancient times also, many people were drinking it after boiling as well.

      Reply
  23. Thankfully to a visit on your website about a year ago, I decided to put boiled raw milk back in my daily food intake. The benefits I have observed since are so numerous and important that I wouldn’t even try to list them. Thank you for that.

    Each morning I drink 2.5 dl of warm boiled raw milk ( with 1 tsp ghee, 7 soaked almonds, a few raisins, 2 dates and spices ).

    Each evening I drink 2.5 dl of warm boiled raw milk ( with 1 tsp ghee, 6 crushed cashews, 5 raisins, spices and 1 tsp of honey ).

    Is the consumption of 5 dl of raw milk per day considered an amount which is safe for the health ( generally speaking, without particular kapha imbalance ), from an ayurvedic point of view ?

    Thank you in advance for your answer Sir.

    Reply
    • If you are fine with it and not getting any high Kapha symptom, then no problem with 5 dl of milk per day. 🙂

      Reply
  24. Sir, after having boiled the milk with spices, should one discard ( filter ) the spices themselves or ingest them along with the warm milk ?

    Reply
  25. I noticed one important point missing in the discussion which is critical for my problem. I am a BPH patient having high PSA running for last 10 years (my age is 70). I stopped taking milk for last two months as I noticed all cow milk available in market is contaminated with bovine growth hormone. Now my PSA is under control but I feel weak and depressed due to lowering of testerone. As you know PSA increases with increasing testosterone. Please suggest how I can balance these two opposing effects and also a source of milk without growth hormone. When we make Chana casein by adding lemon to milk, does bovine growth hormone passes out to water part or remains sttached to coagulated protein? Your thoughts will be very much helpful to me.

    Reply
  26. Can we drink milk im morning to gain weght alomg with mixing jaggery to it and eating munnaka anjeer badam and khjur with it , if not then how to take all these things ?

    Reply
  27. Sir I want to know that after drinking milk when can we have a meal….what should be the time gap between drinking milk and a complete meal??

    Reply
  28. Sir,

    1. There are many incompatible combination to be taken along with milk. One of them is salt. When ayurveda recommends to take milk as a post-meal drink is it good to take milk if the meal is salty ?

    2. Also ayurveda recommends milk to be drink at bedtime. Is this recommendation only for the people with sleep deprivation or for all ? Is there any difference in intake of milk at morning / evening time ? Why ayurveda particularly recommends to take milk at bedtime ?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  29. Pasteurized or Homogenized or Standardized or any processed milk is unhealthy.
    Organic milk is the best 🙂 Hybrid, foreign breed are unhealthy. Native Desi breed cows are best 🙂

    Reply

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