Ayurvedic texts describe milk as having a sweet taste (madhura rasa) and a cooling energy (sheeta virya). Here are some common effects of milk on the body according to Ayurveda:
- Nourishing and Strength-building: Milk is considered a highly nutritious food that provides essential nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. It is known to promote physical and mental strength and is often recommended for individuals who need to gain weight or recover from illness.
- Cooling Properties: Ayurveda categorizes foods based on their heating or cooling effects on the body. Milk is classified as a cooling food, which means it can help balance excess heat (pitta dosha) in the body. This makes it suitable for individuals with a pitta constitution or those experiencing conditions like acidity or inflammation.
- Promotes Ojas: In Ayurveda, “ojas” is considered the essence of vitality and immunity. Consuming milk is believed to enhance ojas and contribute to overall well-being and vitality.
- Soothing for the Digestive System: Milk is often used to soothe and protect the digestive system. It is considered easy to digest, making it a suitable option for individuals with sensitive digestive systems.
- Rejuvenating: Milk is sometimes used in Ayurvedic preparations known as “rasayanas,” which are believed to have rejuvenating effects on the body. These preparations aim to promote longevity, enhance vitality, and slow down the aging process.
- Promotes Good Sleep: Warm milk with spices like nutmeg or cardamom is a traditional remedy for promoting restful sleep. It is thought to have a calming effect on the mind and body.
- Balancing Vata Dosha: Milk is used to balance the vata dosha, which is associated with qualities like dryness, coldness, and instability. Warm milk is often recommended for individuals with a vata constitution or those experiencing vata imbalances.