There are five kinds of products the cow offers to us: milk, butter, yogurt, urine and dung. All of them have a great healing potency. In ancient times, rishis would put a combination of all those products into the fire and chant a sacred mantra. As a result, a giant energy was released, which they used to influence the weather, avoid wars and nature disasters, and so on. Today that knowledge is concealed from the man due to our irresponsibility and militantness. But we still can use cow’s offerings to live healthier and happier lives.
MILK Ayurveda states that milk is the most blessed product on Earth given to us by God as a special gift. If you think about the milk with its white structure and cool energy you’ll understand, that milk is a lunar product. Therefore, it is digested with the power of the Moon before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Taken at that time, it is beneficial for everyone. Hot milk with a pinch of sugar before bed is said not only to promote good sleep but also purify our consciousness during the sleep. Some people with weak Moon in their Horoscope may have problems with milk digestion. They should start with tiny doses of very warm sweetened milk (1/2 teaspoon) and their digestion will improve gradually.
Why is milk unique between other food? Every time we eat, we take someone’s life, that will produce karmic reactions. The worse ones are from killing domestic animals since they are like kids: harmless and trusting. Further from heaviest to lightest: wild animals, birds, fish, sea creatures. Plants have a soul too but their consciousness is kind of dull so if we offer the food to God first by saying prayers before meals those reactions can be processed. And only milk is a pure gift of love that a cow offers to her baby and shares with us as well. The more mild the raising circumstances of cows are, the more healing properties the milk has.
GHEE (Clarified butter) Ghee (gee) is concentrated Sun energy derived from milk. This pure agni (fire) is used to improve a weak digestive fire (suck on a table spoon of Ghee in the mouth before and after meal and then swallow it). Ghee improves metabolism, and as the result, toxins from undigested food can be burnt. People with normal digestion will get maximum benefit when having Ghee when the sun is most active: from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m.
If dealing with migraines, rub a small amount of Ghee (1/2 – 1 tsp) into temples, feet and hands before bed for 10 – 15 days. Your progress greatly depends on whether you are vegetarian or not.
Ghee, just like the Sun, can make you more optimistic. Vedas recommend using a Ghee lamp (when a fuse is saturated in liquid Ghee) during meditation or just to cheer you up.
YOGURT and KEFIR as we know them are cooling and heavy; they are recommended in the summer with a pinch of sugar in the morning and some salt at noon. They are too heavy in the afternoon or in the evening.
But you can make homemade yogurt which have warming qualities and is good to eat in cool seasons. Put 1 table spoon of sour cream into every quart of boiled and then cooled to 100 F milk. Stir and keep warm for 10 – 15 hours (wrap with a towel or blanket or put into the oven with very low heat). After it thickens, keep refrigerated.
In very hot weather dilute yogurt with water 1:1 and add salt.
LASSI – diluted yogurt or butter milk with spices is a delicious aid to digestion. (See Lassi – yogurt that is good for you).
SOUR CREAM is quite warming and good for winter. Normally sour cream is recommended in the morning, but weak persons, breast feeding moms, and kids can benefit from it until 6 p.m. And if underweight, have sour cream at 6 – 7 p.m.
Wrinkles will appear much later if using sour cream as a face mask.
CURD is slightly cooling and is recommended in warm seasons. Curd activates the nervous system and strengthens the nerve tissue. Sweetened curd in the morning will regenerate conductivity of nerve fibers.
Curd helps build up bones and strengthens the spine. It pairs well with honey and nuts.
To make curd, warm butter milk on low heat until it separates into curd flakes and whey. Let sit for at least 20 minutes and strain. Do not throw away the whey. It’s a valuable drink (see Whey).
WHEY is left when we make curd, paneer or dehin. It activates fermentative processes in the body. Whey is known to normalize both high and low stomach acidity. Sometimes if acidity is very high it can cause heartburn. In that case butter whey may be used (see below). Whey should be taken warm before meal. Black pepper, dill, cumin, dill seed, parsley, oregano, basil, or salt can be added if desired.
CHEESE gives strength and endurance. It directs prana (the life force) into all muscles of the body including those of the inner organs. Thus cheese heals varicose veins and tights tissues by hernia or prolapse of internal organs.
Cheese is the lightest of milk products and almost never causes allergy. Later, when the immune system improves, the allergy to other milk products can be relieved.
Make sure you are buying cheese made without animal enzymes – rennet, which is taken from the stomach of cows or sheep. There are a lot of cheeses made with vegetable enzymes available, just pay attention.
DEHIN – very light cheese with delicate flavor. It is best to use home made yogurt, but fresh yogurt from the store will do as well. You can experiment with adding salt and spices that are good for your dosha and the season of the year. All you need is a strainer and cheese cloth. Put cheese cloth into the strainer, pour the yogurt into it and distribute it evenly to enable a faster separation. Cover the yogurt with the cloth ends. Put the strainer into a pot that is big enough for the coming off whey. Wrap all with clear wrap and put into refrigerator for 12 – 18 hours for soft and 24 – 36 for hard dehin. Do not throw away the whey. It’s a valuable drink (see Whey).
PANEER is delicious curd – like product with nice tender flavor.
Put 1/2 gallon of milk to the boiling point and then squeeze juice of three lemons into it. You might need more or less lemons depending on their juiciness. When curd flakes separate from whey turn the heat off and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy. You can also put paneer under a press to make it as thick as needed. Do not throw away the whey. It’s a valuable drink (see Whey).
BUTTERFAT WHEY is a wonder remedy for the entire gastro – intestinal tract. It is helpful for gastritis, hepatitis, pancreatitis and cholecystits.
Leave sour cream in a warm place so it turns a little more sour and then churn it with a whisk or blender. Take the liquid part before and during lunch. Sometimes it is recommended to do a one day fast only on butterfat whey.
TODAY’S TIP: Vedic knowledge states that food affects not only our gross body but the subtle body as well. Some food awakes sattvic qualities such as kindness, modesty and prudence. Rice, honey, fruits, and milk are some examples. Some food is rajasic (passionate), for example yeast, pickles, olives, and vinegar. The others are tamasic (ignorant) : alcohol, garlic, hot pepper, left overs, ice cream. You can find a more detailed list in (How food affects the mind).See also Dairy products in Ayurveda.