Got Milk? Ayurveda Says Yes to Raw Milk and Ghee
“She’s a rare breed. Youngest of 13 siblings. Never had a cavity. Drove a car until she was 97 years old. Attributes it all to whole milk, her pickles, and Jesus.”
My friend, Max, texted me that the other day about his 103-year-old grandmother. It made me chuckle, picturing this scenario. It also made me think about Ayurveda, a science near and dear to my heart. India’s 5,000-year-old traditional medicine would support Max’s claim that whole milk does, in fact, keep humans healthy. You see, Ayurveda is a huge fan of whole milk and ghee. This science believes that organic, fresh, pure dairy products can support a healthy, stable body.
Ayurveda recognizes that there are different body types which align with the three doshas -- vata, pitta and kapha -- and each body type has varying needs. For example, a vata body type can have a difficult time gaining weight and sustaining it, while a kapha body type has a hard time losing weight. As an Ayurvedic practitioner, I would recommend that a vata type person bring healthy fats into their diet. Things like ghee (clarified butter), raw whole milk, and even humanely raised, antibiotic-free meat and bone broth will give a vata body type the sustenance it needs to build healthy fat and tissue. For a kapha type person, I would recommend a 100% vegetarian diet with a focus on plenty of leafy green vegetables cooked in either coconut oil or ghee. It is interesting to note that Ayurveda recommends ghee for all doshic types, as it is an excellent source for digestive health. Due to this love of ghee for all body types, Ayurveda recommends a vegetarian diet over a vegan one.
Ghee, or clarified butter, is a huge staple in an Ayurvedic diet. It contains butyric acid, which is a short-chain fatty acid that heals the intestinal walls, strengthens the colon, and promotes regular elimination patterns. Ghee’s health benefits do not stop there! It helps lubricate the joints to keep the body healthy and limber as we age and is also a source of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. If you are interested in learning how to make your own ghee at home, check out an article written a few years ago on this very topic.
Whole, raw milk like Organic Pastures is an excellent source of probiotics, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. These actions promote a healthy immune system and create what Ayurveda calls ojas. Ojas is a Sanskrit term that refers to the body’s physical and emotional wellbeing. When we have healthy ojas, we have a strong immune system and the ability to withstand stress. Thus, if the body is feeling weak and depleted or emotional feelings of fragility and sensitivity are coming up, Ayurveda would recommend building ojas through the diet. Some of the main foods that build ojas are raw, whole milk, ghee, almonds and dates.
Overall, when a body is healthy and ojas is strong, Ayurveda supports a vegetarian diet over a vegan one due to the enormous health benefits that dairy can offer the physical and emotional body. It is important to consider that when Ayurveda was born over 5,000 years ago, there were no factory farms; all dairy products were raw, unadulterated, and from healthy cows living their lives in nature. But today, if you do feel that a vegetarian diet is optimal for your health and well-being over a vegan one, please always be mindful of where you source your dairy. Choose raw dairy products from companies with ethical practices, where animal well-being is just as or more important than the bottom dollar.
I strongly believe that my friend Max’s 103-year-old Grandmother, who was raised on a 400-acre organic dairy farm, has truly benefited from the fresh and high-quality dairy sources that were readily available in her day. As consumers, we vote with our dollar every time we make a purchase. Especially when buying dairy products, please keep in mind the sustainability and humane practices that the company may or may not implement.
If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda and what foods are best for your body type? Visit PAAVANI Ayurveda to learn more.
About the Author
Trudy Collings is co-founder of PAAVANI Ayurveda, a skincare and body therapy company located in Nevada City, CA.