Cow Milk Benefits - All cows are not the same
Updated: Jun 23
The concept of vegetarianism is the privilege of a very advanced, evolved and spiritually mature society.
Contrary to the current western idea ( which in our opinion ) seems to explode every little relevant or irrelevant finding – especially one that states cow milk is bad for health, can not be digested and can cause troubles in human body, Ayurveda the ancient Indian science of healing has a very different opinion of milk coming from animals and especially that coming from the revered Indian cow. It is to be noted here that cow milk , can not and should not be put in the same category as Buffalo milk or any other artificial milk made from seeds or plants such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk.
“Rasayana” in Ayurveda refers to a food or food substances that are highly nourishing and even revitalizing to the human body. Milk from the Indian cows comes in this category of Rasayana classification. Ayurveda has specified eight types of milk acquired from different animal sources, and the vanity of the place has been given to Cow milk of desk breeds of India (Ksheera varge agryam).
Cow milk has been specified as nutritive and good for the vital organs such as the Eyes, Brain and the Heart. It holds sweet taste (Madhura rasa) and is cooling (Sheetha veerya) in nature. Cow milk increases immunity and acts as Rasayana and ojovardhaka ( booster of immunity )
Ojasis a novel concept put forward by Ayurveda physicians. It is primarily quoted in Atharva Veda, where Agni (fire) which is worshipped for Bala ( strength ) , Ayu ( long age ) and
( being free from disease ) is termed as Ojas. It is analogized with sun at some places which is believed to be functioning in threefold manner throughout universe. Its presence is accepted in whole body andis responsible for health & diseased state. Hence, according to veda, ojas refers to things indicative of strength andvigour in the body and the entities responsible for good health, prevention and cure of diseases.
Now before we proceed further – we must take into account just like all animals are not same, not all cows milk is the same. Especially in this context we will bring the concept of Indian breed of indigenous cows (desi cow) vis a vis non indian cows ( or the western cows ) . Why is this reference important to understand because – apart from the breed of the cow what is also essentially different about these two breeds is how they are treated and how they are used for processing of milk. Also the fact that the milk these cows produce. While the western cow milk contains A1 and a little A2 protein ( A1 seems quite difficult to digest ) the desi cow milk comprises purely of A2 protein that makes it light and very easy to digest and also has far more benefits.
In the western world, the cows are treated with various kinds of unnatural methods and substances in order to draw the highest quantity of milk. These range from feeding minced meat ( actually cows meat ) in fodder, to injecting cows with various protein and milk enhancing injections and chemicals ( some even approved by the FDA), that can result in an unnatural increase in production of milk, as well as result in toxicity, since these include chemical substances that in human body can cause resistance, and various side effects leading to imbalance rather than healing or rejuvenation. Such treatment of cows including no free range grass fed cows , separating the calf from the mother – can lead to substantially reduced quality of milk . For reasons such as these and more, a lot of vegan movements have popped up and rightly so deserve a voice of their own.
Outright it must be made clear, veganism is not an Indian concept and neither is it a Yoga or an Ayurveda concept. It is largely an American concept and from there for good reasons it caught upon, in different parts of the world.
In Ayurveda best practices, it is always suggested that milk used in any form, from a cow must be taken for human consumption only after the baby calf has been fed properly. It does not encourage the idea of cruelty to cow or its baby to derive the largest quantity of milk. In the vedic times and even in the past centuries in India, a cow was very much a part of a household much like today’s refrigerator and also treated as a family member. The milk coming from a cow in one household was more than sufficient for a family without having any need for milking excessive quantities. The animal for very good reasons is worshipped as a mother and even though in current changing urban times where western mindset is dominantly wiping out the understanding of the ancient Indian culture, this can still be seen in a lot of rural areas, easily accessible by foreigners or tourists, such as Pushkar and a lot of village households spread across the Indian sub continent.
So why is this Milk in Ayurveda so important and what are the benefits arising from this milk to the human body ?
1. It is easy to digest
Contrary to what most people believe , indigenous Cow milk is very light and easy to digest. It is easy on the stomach and not only it provides energy to us, but also aids the digestive process. Compare this to milk coming from Buffalo – can cause heaviness , lethargy and is actually very hard for the stomach to digest. A very good example of this is in the by product ( Ghee ) coming from cow and buffalo. If you were to eat something made in cow ghee – for example Paranthas ( popular stuffed north indian bread ) made in cow ghee it will be light and easy on stomach and will get digested easily with after effects of increased energy. However when the same is made in buffalo ghee, you will be able to eat less and find it quite hard to digest, with after affects ranging from lethargy to indigestion in body.
Ayurveda also recommends cow milk as the best substitute of breast milk for infants who have weak digestion, frequently suffer from frequent vomiting and loose motions. In the case of recurrent episodes of diarrhoea, it may lead to malnutrition and growth retardation. For such children, indigenous breeds of cow milk is a better alternative because it is easy to digest and is more nutritious.
2. It improves Immune system ( Ojavardhaka )
Anyone suffering from recurrent infections, fevers must be introduced to cow milk from the indigenous cow ( also known as desi cow ) . Such milk can not only prevent such future infections but also aid in development and growth of such a persons health as well as mind.
3. It improves intelligence and memory
Cow’s milk has the effect of improving Medha (or intellect) and is also good at memory strengthening. It is ideal as a brain tonic because according to Ayurveda it has the ability to pacify vata dosha that is responsible for the improper functioning of the nervous system. It is common in India for forefathers to be always advising cow’s milk and cow butter as the best brain tonic.
4. Useful in brain’s growth / reducing anxiety
Beyond the caloric value of milk, it has been found to have a calming effect on the mind. Ayurveda states that cow’s milk improves the “Sattva Guna” in us that leads to the improvement of the positive characteristics of a person. For people suffering from sleepnesses anxiety, taking a glass of luke warm cow milk at bedtime can bring several benefits from sleep to quick healing of the body and reducing the anxiety caused due to excess vata or wind element in the mind.
5. Strengthens bones & teeth
Both indian and western cultures have known for thousands of centuries that drinking of milk ( which is a rich source of calcium ) results in stronger bones and healing from problems of arthritis and related diseases. Apart from calcium it is also a great source of Vitamin D, which helps in absorption of calcium in the body leading to better bone density and healing.
5. Improves Heart health
Grass-fed cows tend to have a high content of omega-3 fats in their milk, and while this varies depending on where the animal grazes, and on what, the benefits are still present in most varieties of milk. Omega-3 fatty acids are the “good” form of cholesterol in the body, which can actually help improve heart health and prevent the onset of cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks or strokes
6. Fat present in cow milk and ghee helps against Brain Tumors
Recent studies conducted have shown that fats especially present in the cow milk are especially very good for the functioning of brain and the presence of fats ( Omega-3 ) coming from cow milk can even inhibit growth of tumors and the omega presence of these fats can be like poison for the tumors present in the brain region.
So-called “good fatty acids” are essential for human health and much sought after by those who try to eat healthily. Among the Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is crucial to brain function, vision and the regulation of inflammatory phenomena.
In addition to these virtues, DHA is also associated with a reduction in the incidence of cancer. How it works is the subject of a major discovery by a multidisciplinary team of University of Louvain (UCLouvain) researchers, who have just elucidated the biochemical mechanism that allows DHA and other related fatty acids to slow the development of tumours. This is a major advance that has recently been published in the prestigious journal Cell Metabolism. Ghee made by bilona vedic process, from cow milk is a rich source of these fats.
7. Fresh Cream from milk is a great toner for skin
Looking for the next best anti aging creaming costing several hundred dollars, then look no further. Just get full fat milk, boil it and let it cool in the refrigerator. Take the layer of cream obtained after refrigeration, mash it and before sleep apply it on your face. Let it dry naturally and wash your face next morning. You will be amazed at the glow and tenderness your skin will exhibit after merely one application.
8. Acts as a laxative / great in condition of Piles
Cow milk the best consumption time of which is at bedtime also acts as a laxative and aids not only better digestion but also improved excretion process thereby helping in cases of constipation. It can be especially useful for people suffering from Piles, having haemorrhoids with severe pain and burning sensation
9. Conditions to use Cow Milk
Ayurveda, has suggested various conditions in which cow milk helps a lot and must be used as an aid to the healing of the said condition.
These range from
Chest Injury, Tiredness, Dizziness , Psychosis, Intoxication, Inauspiciousness , Asthma and Respiratory disorders, Cold & Cough, Excessive Thirst or Hunger, Dysuria , end stage of Fever, Stomach issues such as ulcerative Colitis.
10. Increase in Semen production / Sexual Disorders / Aphrodisiac
As per Bhojana Kutuhala , consumption of milk increases instant semen production, and is also conducive to the body, imparts strength, delays aging , heals broken tissues, bones , helps in genital disorders, urinary and bleeding disorders.
11. Helpful with Alcohol Hangover
For those affected by hangovers and excessive drinking, cow milk nourishes the body and rejuvenates the body back to normalcy. In such a case it has a detox kind of affect.
12. Increases Lactation or Production of Breast Milk
Feeding mothers can sometimes find it very difficult to keep up their nourishment and health , while feeding a new born several times a day. In such cases consumption of unadulterated, whole fat cow milk helps in providing nourishment as well as strength to the lactating mother and also increases milk production in the breasts.
13. Helps in Insomnia
For people who find it hard to sleep during the night, Cow milk is a great for inducing calmness in the mind and inducing restful sleep. Do remember to try at home before jumping in bed.
14. Treats most disorders of the Ear, Nose , Tongue, Neck and Brain
The ghee procured from the cow can treat a lot of disorders relating to the head area of the body. Conditions such as tinnitus, snoring, anxiety, restlessness, sinus blockage, dry eyes, eye infections, and even spondylitis.
Amongst all the bad and refined stuff, we can consume in todays world, having a fresh glass of cow milk that is treated properly and one that is drawn keeping in mind the principles of Ayurveda – is of great essence and one of the best things you can give to your body, in order to heal, stay healthy and slow down the aging process.
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