Milk Only Diet: Benefits, Uses, Indications, Side Effects

Ayurveda explains milk as one of the important drinks for maintenance of health. Like any other dietary ingredients, milk has been recommended and also advised to be avoided in certain health conditions. Let us look at a few instances where
a. Only milk is advised as diet throughout the day
b. milk with rice or with some Ayurvedic medicine is advised throughout the day.

Not Healthy For All People

There is a concept called Oka Satmya. Here, a person gets habituated to a wrong diet. Eg: Taking food of only one taste. As per Ayurveda, a meal should comprise of all six tastes – sweet, sour, salt, bitter, astringent and pungent. Milk is sweet. So, consuming only milk throughout the day for a very long period is not ideal for a healthy person. She may miss out on some nutrients required by the body.

With anti-aging medicines

Ayurveda explains about a therapy called Rasayana. It rejuvenates the body and makes the person live longer with good health. In this therapy, a big dose of herbal jam is given to the person in the morning. For example, Chyawanprash, Brahma Rasayan etc.

Living only with milk and cooked rice

After this medicine gets digested and when the person starts feeling hungry again, then milk with cooked rice is given as food.
This specific diet is explained by Acharya Charaka, while administering
Brahma Rasayana (Charaka, Chikitsa Sthana 1.1 Abhaya Amalakeeya Rasayana pada)
Amalaka Rasayana (Charaka, Chikitsa Sthana 1.1 Abhaya Amalakeeya Rasayana pada)
Haritaki Rasayana (Charaka, Chikitsa Sthana 1.1 Abhaya Amalakeeya Rasayana pada)
Amalaka Ghrita Rasayana (Charaka, Chikitsa Sthana 1.2 Prana kameeya Rasayana)
Nagabala Rasayana (Charaka, Chikitsa Sthana 1.2 Prana kameeya Rasayana)
Bhallataka Ksheera (Charaka, Chikitsa Sthana 1.2 Prana kameeya Rasayana)
Indrokta Rasayana (Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 1.4 Ayurveda Samutthaniya Rasayan Pada)

Vardhamana Pippali rasayana – where, long pepper fruit is administered in gradually increasing and decreasing dosage. (Charaka Chikitsa, 1.3) It is also mentioned in Ashtanga Hrudaya Chikitsa Sthana 62-63, in the context of treatment for hemorrhoids.

दशादिदशकैर्वृद्धाः पिप्पलीर्द्विपिचुं तिलान् ॥ ६२ ॥
पीत्वा क्षीरेण लभते बलं देहहुताशयोः ।
daśādidaśakairvṛddhāḥ pippalīr dvipicuṃ tilān || 62 ||
pītvā kṣīreṇa labhate balaṃ dehahutāśayoḥ |

Living only on milk

Kevala Amalaka Rasayana (Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 1.3 Kara Prachitiya Rasayan) – Here, the person is made to live among cows, consuming only cow milk for 1 year, reciting Savitri Mantra, with celibacy and control on sense organs. After one year of such living, on a suitable day of white fortnight (15 days, leading to full moon day) of Pushya (January- February), Magha (February- March) or Phalguna (March-April), observe fast for 3 days and Enter into a garden of Amla fruits. He should then climb upon an Amla tree, laden with big fruits. Holding one such fruit in hand, he should stay there reciting Brahma Mantra till the fruit gets impregnated with Amruta (Ambrosia). Ambrosia will come to that fruit for a moment due to the Sacred effect of Mantra, these fruits become sweet like sugar and honey in taste, unctuous and soft.

Shilajatu Rasayana – The person should live on milk while taking this anti-aging medicine. (Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 1.3 Kara Prachitiya Rasayan).

Divya Aushadha rasayana – certain celestial herbs are explained as anti-aging. While taking these anti-aging medicines, only goat milk should be administered. (Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 1.4 Ayurveda Samutthaniya Rasayan Pada)

Nagabala Yoga (Ashtanga Hrudaya, Uttara Sthana 39/54-55) – In the month of Sharath (Autumn), on Pushya Nakshatra day, 12 grams of Nagabala powder is administered with milk, ghee or honey. This is consumed for one year with a milk only diet. By this, the person lives for 100 years.

शरन्मुखे नागबलां पुष्ययोगे समुद्धरेत् ।
अक्षमात्रं ततो मूलाच्चूर्णितात्पयसा पिबेत् ॥ ५४ ॥
लिह्यान्मधुघृताभ्यां वा क्षीरवृत्तिरनन्नभुक् ।
एवं वर्षप्रयोगेन जीवेद्वर्षशतं बली ॥ ५५ ॥
śaranmukhe nāgabalāṃ puṣyayoge samuddharet |
akṣamātraṃ tato mūlāccūrṇitātpayasā pibet || 54 ||
lihyānmadhughṛtābhyāṃ vā kṣīravṛttiranannabhuk |
evaṃ varṣaprayogena jīvedvarṣaśataṃ balī || 55 ||

Varahi Kanda Yoga (Ashtanga Hrudaya, Uttara Sthana 39/58)- Moist, cooked Varahikanda (Dioscorea bulbifera) rhizomes are consumed with milk and the patient is given milk only diet for one month and then milk with cooked rice for the next month.
Similarly Sahasra Pippali Yoga is also administered.

वाराहीकन्दमार्द्रार्द्रं क्षीरेण क्षीरपः पिबेत् ।
मासं निरन्नो मासं च क्षीरान्नादो जरां जयेत् ॥ ५८ ॥
vārāhīkandamārdrārdraṃ kṣīreṇa kṣīrapaḥ pibet |
māsaṃ niranno māsaṃ ca kṣīrānnādo jarāṃ jayet || 58 ||

Bhringaraja Rasayana Yoga – (Ashtanga Hrudaya, Uttara Sthana 39/162) – One who consumes juice extract of Bhringaraja, while consuming only milk throughout the day, will live for 100 years.

ये मासमेकं स्वरसं पिबन्ति दिने दिने भृङ्गरजःसमुत्थम् ।
क्षीराशिनस्ते बलवीर्ययुक्ताः समाः शतं जीवितमाप्नुवन्ति ॥ १६२ ॥
ye māsamekaṃ svarasaṃ pibanti dine dine bhṛṅgarajaḥsamuttham |
kṣīrāśinaste balavīryayuktāḥ samāḥ śataṃ jīvitamāpnuvanti || 162 ||

Lodhradi Yoga (Ashtanga Hrudaya, Chikitsa Sthana 8/112-113 – administered with cow milk and rice diet throughout the day.

लोध्रं तिलान् मोचरसं समङ्गां चन्दनोत्पलम् ॥ ११२ ॥
पाययित्वाऽजदुग्धेन शालींस्तेनैव भोजयेत् ।
lodhraṃ tilān mocarasaṃ samaṅgāṃ candanotpalam || 112 ||
pāyayitvā’jadugdhena śālīṃstenaiva bhojayet

Consuming only milk for weight loss

If an obese person consumes only milk throughout the day for weight loss, it can work, but this should not be continued beyond 2 – 3 weeks.


For a specific disease, while taking specific medicine, milk can be consumed throughout the day for a limited time period.
Written by Dr JV Hebbar and Dr Shilpa Ramdas of Easy Ayurveda Hospital, Mangaluru, karnataka

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