The cow has been given the status of mother in our culture. Both the milk and ghee made from the cow are considered healthy. Cow’s milk is considered most sacred amongst all other milk. It is lighter and easier to digest than most dairy products. Ayurveda regards cow’s milk as helpful for growth of the entire body.
Ayurveda recommends consumption of raw milk, but it should be boiled once. Boiling makes milk more digestible due to breakdown of protein to amino acids.
It is beneficial for pregnant, nursing mothers and children.
Boiling cow’s milk with a pinch of turmeric powder, black pepper, ginger pieces and cinnamon sticks reduces heaviness and lowers mucus causing side-effects.
It’s a rich source of Vitamin A, B2, B3, calcium and protein that helps boost immunity.
It helps reduce acidity and thus, chances of peptic ulcer.
Daily dose of yoghurt helps prevent expecting moms from miscarriage, premature delivery and other complications.
A glass of hot cow’s milk is good for sound sleep.
Ayurveda discourages consumption of cold milk as it turns off the digestive fire, thereby making digestive enzymes less effective and aiding the formation of mucus.
Ghee has a very high smoking point. Due to its rich flavor it is needed in half the amount as compared to other cooking oils. It is free of oxidised cholesterol or transfatty acids. It’s considered as the ultimate cooking medium in Ayurvedic texts with various mind and body benefits.
Ghee is a carrier of nutrients due to its ability to enter deep into tissues hence many Ayurvedic supplements are made in ghee. It is suitable for people allergic to dairy or suffering from lactose intolerance (as casein and lactose are removed during clarification).
Ghee can be used internally as a gentle laxative, topically as a moisturiser or as an eye wash to remove impurities from the eyes.
It’s recommended for body cleansing. One teaspoon ghee with hot water in the morning immediately causes bowel movement.
It helps boost overall body strength, beauty and glow.
It helps treat burns, blisters and scarring skin.
Though ghee has multiple benefits, you need to consume it in moderation. In general, not more than one teaspoon of melted ghee twice a day is recommended. Since ghee has a strong flavour compared to other cooking oils, a little is enough. People with high cholesterol and obesity are advised not to consume ghee.
Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.
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