Milk as a food can be the nectar of life or poison. It all depends on who consumes it, when and how. The same thing, substance and action can be medicine or poison.
My opinion on milk and dairy products is often asked during consultations. Ayurveda, which is more comprehensible to an Estonian, could also be called peasant’s mind, grandmother’s wisdom or simply logical natural science, has led me in recent years to the opinion that every coin always has two sides. Nothing is good or bad by itself, it all depends on the context.
The same thing, substance and action can be medicine or poison.
Life brings us moments when we have to look through the fragmented field of information and accumulated beliefs around us and see the big picture where everything is connected. By changing one element, the whole system can become its opposite and the substance its antipode. Historically, this has been called alchemy. By perceiving matter and system, anyone today can be an alchemist and create more harmony in their lives and the world as a whole.
My exposure to the healing effects of milk dates back to about three years ago, when my child developed a degenerative nerve disease with learning and concentration difficulties. A repeat of the class course was being considered. Previous positive experiences with Ayurveda gave me the faith and confidence to take the help offered by traditional medicine to solve the situation. My child and I went to India twice a year apartpanchakarma doing the procedure. An important part of the home treatment in the meantime was drinking warm milk with medicinal herbs and also taking ghee with herbal mixtures. The course of the disease reversed and the child has recovered today.
In order to understand the effect of milk, let’s take a closer look at the properties of milk from an Ayurvedic point of view. On a physical level, milk has the ability to add structure, promote development and growth, rejuvenate and renew the organism. Milk nourishes plasma and skin, brain and nerves, supports the immune system, improves memory, promotes clear thinking and sleep. Milk is known as an aphrodisiac. On the mental level, milk calms, stabilizes and increases the feeling of contentment. Milk is nutritious but difficult to digest. Milk has a cooling effect by its nature, and to achieve its therapeutic properties, milk should always be consumed warm and as a separate meal. Honey added to warm milk increases the positive properties of milk. A cup of warm milk with honey and ¼ grated nutmeg before going to sleep is a very suitable remedy for sleep disorders.
There are healing propertieson natural mild (eco) raw milk. According to Ayurveda, all industrially processed foods produce poisons in the digestive tract on the physical level and dulled thoughts and negative emotions on the mental level. In this way, homogenization and pasteurization also change the structure of milk, as a result of which the milk becomes indigestible and produces mucus. If the digestive tract is around and toxins have been deposited on the intestinal walls for a long time, whether it is due to poor quality food, stress and disordered life or for some other reason, then even warm, mild raw milk has an effect of increasing the toxins. This is the case, for example, with lactose intolerance. By gently cleansing the body, it is possible to get rid of problems. Ayurveda haspanchakarma such a deep balancing procedure that cleanses and renews the body and mind. See the appendixFROM HERE.
There are three school children in our family. Every weekday morning we eat oatmeal cooked with milk. Few foods have such a powerful ability to convey a feeling of love, peace, stability and care for the whole day as a porridge made with mother’s love from the milk of a lovingly kept cow and organic grain grown with love. Cow’s milk cannot be replaced by almond, rice, soy or other “milks”, all of which are industrially processed when bought at the store. Goat’s milk also has no such effect.
Only when I cook porridge for myself, I don’t add milk. The reason is the structure-building effect of milk. With my current physical load, I don’t need it. When eating breakfast with the family, the joy of being together in the morning and the satisfaction and pleasure of the delicious porridge eaten together outweigh all rational considerations. It’s a nice and peaceful start to the day.
Milk should generally be enjoyed as a separate meal due to its incompatibility with other foods. The exception is whole grains, which can be boiled together with milk. Almonds and dates are ideal for sweetening porridge.
Cold dairy products are difficult to digest, cause blockages in the body and are not suitable for many people. Conscious consumption can reduce the adverse, clogging effect of dairy products on the body. If your food selection includes cheese, yogurt, kefir or other cold dairy products, eat them at lunch rather than in the evening. At the same time, cross-generational consumption habits create conformity. Our children, for example, are used to putting sour cream in soup and there are no problems with it. A cheese lover should rather eat high-quality cheese and less. Hardener and preservative are not included in high-quality cheese. Cold, industrially processed dairy products slow down digestion, make digested food harden and add toxins to the digestive system, causing excess weight, indigestion, allergies, food intolerance and negative thoughts. The negative properties of cold milk are further amplified by sugar. Sweet curd creams, sweetened yogurt and ice cream could therefore be extremely rare on our menu. If you want to lose weight, you could consider reducing cold dairy products in your menu or giving them up altogether.
Fortunately, according to Ayurveda, everything is a matter of dosage. If there are no digestive problems and possible extra kilos do not cause stress, then you can eat everything in moderation. The body copes with a little sin, if you generally follow the principles of a reasonable, healthy diet that suits you. From time to time, on a Sunday or a holiday, you can still offer your loved ones a sweet, warm homemade curd cake full of love and abundance, just like our mothers and grandmothers used to do.
When talking about dairy products, ghee, clarified butter or butter oil cannot be left out. Ghee is the “liquid gold” of Ayurveda, which is obtained as a result of an alchemical process, where a less valuable, more robust butter is transformed into a completely different substance with very special properties through long-term boiling. Ghee is a golden fat-liquid, an excellent food, medicine and cosmetic, which I will write about in a separate article.
All in all, milk is a food that should be treated with respect. In my opinion, the most important thing is that milk is a local Estonian whole food, it does not need to be processed or purchased. I like the approach where wholesome and suitable food could come from a place within a radius of 50-100 km. Milk could be available on this basis. By buying organic milk and traditional dairy products from small farmers close to us, we support life in the countryside and encourage a communal way of life. Even better, the family can communicate directly with the cow keeper and see with their own eyes that the cow is a beloved domestic animal on the farm and not just a revenue unit. In our climate, the cow has bonded families, fed communities and helped survive difficult times for centuries. The cow has been a symbol of wealth. Why can’t the cow become a symbol of caring communal action and a clean kekko? As it is in Switzerland, where the romantic smell of manure greets you in every Alpine village and you can buy artisanal cheese from almost every farm. Organic milk and organic butter are not luxury goods but show care. I recently heard the news about how Estonia plans to increase organic milk production. Unfortunately, not for the production of organic butter and organic cheese served at home, but to process the milk into milk powder and sell it across the border. It is sad because industrially processed dairy products lose their beneficial properties. The big picture is bigger than the profit cycle.
Instead of looking to the external enemy, be it milk, sugar, wheat, government, or anything else, one can look inward and lovingly examine the real causes of one’s dissatisfaction and ill health. Whether the reason is a disorderly life, excessive stimulation of the senses, stress, unsatisfying relationships, low-quality food or something else, it is always worthwhile to gently and lovingly calm the mind and create more simplicity, silence, peace and love within and around you. Even if, for example, drinking a glass of warm milk with honey.