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Takram laghu Kashaya amlam deepanam kaphavatajit | Shopha udara arsha grahani dosha mootragraha aruchihi | pleeha gulma ghritavyapat gara paandu aamayaan jayet || –
Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutra sthana – 5th chapter
Buttermilk finds a special mention in Ayurveda, is described as a drink that even gods are envious of which shows the many benefits of this drink. It is said to improve circulation, detoxifies and cleanses the system and helpful to those with diarrhea and IBS. The other diseases that Buttermilk helps in treating are hypertension, arthrosclerosis and heart disease. Different ways of preparation along with the amount of water is used for different Kapha, Vata, Pitta systems.
Buttermilk- A Delight
- Butter milk does not cause heaviness when consumed. Hence it is known to have the quality “laghu”. It gets digested quickly and easily. Butter milk is usually sour in taste and acts as an astringent. (Due to this property butter milk helps in reducing pores caused by acne and pimples. It reduces hyper motility of intestines during diarrhea and IBS. This property also helps to shrink hemorrhoids).Aggravated Kapha and Vata are mitigated by buttermilk. It is the best appetizer. According to Ayurveda it reduces bloating of stomach, eases symptoms of hemorrhoids, soothes intestines in IBS and helps in indigestion. It also reduces effects of poison and is very useful in treating anemia.
- Butter milk detoxifies body and cleanses the intestines, relieves constipation and helps to replenish intestinal flora. It has less fat compared to milk and is rich in calcium, potassium and Vitamin B12.
- Takra cleanses the channels of circulation (srotas), as a result of which rasa, the end product of digestion of food, reaches the tissues properly. It creates proper nourishment, strength, and complexion. It cures one hundred diseases including those of Vata (80 in numbers) and Kapha (20 in numbers).
- The micro channels carrying nutrients to all cells in the body, when they get clogged or blocked due to any reason, the particular organ or system suffers in efficiency due to lack of nutrition. It is essential to remove such blockages. The herbs or their combinations which tackle these problems are termed “Rasayana” in Ayurveda. The forces which cause the blockage or resistance must be removed. The channels which cause transport are termed “strotas”. Acharya Charaka opines that buttermilk removes such blockages and purifies the “strotas”. This causes better movement (`ayana’) of `anna-rasa’, the nutrients. When adequate nutrition is obtained by cells (“koshas”), they start working with full force.
- Due to saturation or ageing of strotas during old-age, the control systems of the body do not get adequate nutrients, which cause aging symptoms such as reduction of memory (dementia), reduced vision, wrinkles on the skin, graying of hair, etc.
- But those who take buttermilk regularly, do not age faster, keep their arteries flexible for a longer time. Thus buttermilk is an elixir (param-amrutam) which keeps `Jara’ (old age) and `Vyadhi’ (disease) away. The Ayurveda treats buttermilk as an excellent food to keep cholesterol related problems miles away.
- With all of that said, you see how great Takra is for health of digestion and this means the entire health of the body and mind.
The properties and Actions of Takra
Rasa (Taste): Astringent, sour, and sweet
Anurasa (Secondary taste): Astringent
Veerya (Potency or energy): Hot
Vipaka (Post digestive effect): Sweet
Guna (Quality): Binding, light, dry
Actions: Digestive, promotes intellect and nourishes the brain tissues, promotes immunity, pacifies Vata, and gives satisfaction.
Types of buttermilk and benefits
- Full cream buttermilk: Full cream buttermilk added with sugar calms Vata and Pitta. Very nourishing in nature. It is similar to curds in qualities.
- No cream buttermilk: It calms Kapha and Pitta. It is good for people with diabetes.
- Half water buttermilk: Improves strength and digestive power.
- No fat buttermilk: Calms Pitta, natural coolant, relieves tiredness, calms Vata and Kapha.
- According to Ayurveda, Curd at night is contra indicated. During night, curd is substituted with buttermilk.
Buttermilk and its uses
- Ayurveda uses buttermilk both to maintain health and to treat diseases.
- Butter milk is easy to digest, has astringent and sour tastes and is hot in nature.
- Buttermilk improves digestion and mitigates Kapha and Vata.
- In Ayurvedic treatment, it is useful in the treatment of inflammation, gastro intestinal disorders, lack of appetite, spleen disorders and anemia.
- Buttermilk is highly beneficial during winter, in indigestion and in Vata imbalance related disorders.
- It is given in cases of excessive ghee consumption.
- In the disease like sprue, mixing powdered leaves of the holy fig tree and dry ginger in buttermilk and drinking it is very beneficial.
- Drinking buttermilk made from fresh milk of cow, without mixing salt in it purifies the blood. It gives strength and vitality. The complexion of the body improves. It destroys numerous disease related to Vata and Kapha doshas.
- If equal quantities of powdered dry ginger, powdered black pepper, powdered of the leaves of fig tree and powdered rock salt is mixed in buttermilk and then had, it cures indigestion. Similarly, if only powdered dry ginger and powdered black pepper is mixed with buttermilk, it too destroys indigestion.
- The pulp of wood apple, if mixed with the buttermilk, cures diarrhea, dysentery and excessive hemorrhage.
- Drinking buttermilk mixed with powdered asafetida powdered cumin seed and powdered rock salt, cures diarrhea and abdominal pains.
- Drinking buttermilk made out of cow's milk mixed with powdered black pepper powdered dry ginger, powdered leaves of fig tree and "Veed salt" cures abdominal pains.
- Drinking buttermilk mixed with raw sugar (gud) cures urinary disease especially Uremia.
- Giving buttermilk mixed with "Vayvidang" powder to the children cures them from the worms in their stomach.
Buttermilk contra indication
- Since Buttermilk is hot in nature, it is to be avoided
- During summer,
- In persons with injury
- In debilitated persons
- Person suffering from giddiness and in diseases related to Pitta imbalance.