Anyone who reads this blog knows that I subscribe to and practice medical principles with a history of several thousand years.
There are so many contradictory spins on milk consumption right now that we’ll never see cream. I feel compelled to expose readers to some ‘milk knowledge’ which has withstood the test of time — time most of us cannot comprehend.
Given the current agitated state of milk, it’s easy to understand the confusion.
- Yes, the dairy industry in this country is a travesty of greed, ignorance, and deceit.
- Yes, its products are not worthy of consideration by any thinking individual who values their health.
- Yes, milk off a grocery store shelf bears little meaningful resemblance — in taste or nutrition — to what comes out of a teat.
- Yes, industry, through government, is suppressing the availability of truly healthy milk.
- Yes, the milk industry has thoroughly sold our culture on the erroneous idea that milk is indispensable to a life of purity, strong bones, and good health.
- Yes, US consumers pack away far too much milk and dairy products — of any kind.
- And, yes, over-consumption of milk (the American norm) is a setup for a wide range of degenerative diseases.
But to demonize the proper consumption of conscientiously produced raw milk is nothing more than a reflection of our culture’s tendency toward polarized extremes. Black, white. Love, hate. Hot, cold. The closest relationship we have with ‘balance’ is when we briefly catch a glimpse of it as we go screaming past on our headlong dive from one extreme to the other.
Could we please take several deep breaths (in the belly, not the chest), still our media-fed mind, and consider what human beings have known for a long, long time?
I’m going to draw heavily on Ayureda for this discussion. As a cultural, medical paradigm, its five thousand year history with milk is better established than anyone else’s, and their perspective is deep and reflects wisdom rather than reaction.
Ayurveda holds milk in high regard.
To enjoy its benefits, it must be consumed properly. Here is the Ayuvedic perspective on how that’s done. It’s simple, straightforward, not difficult to remember, not challenging to do.
These are general, basic guidelines for the consumption of high-quality raw milk:
- In small amounts (½ to 1 cup)
- Diluted with water
- Heated (thermally)
- Spiced with energetically warming ingredients (cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, coriander, ginger work nicely)
- ‘Chewed’ slowly in moderation, if your constitution and health status suggest it would be beneficial for you.
That’s a little different than grabbing a frigid 12 oz. glass of commercial ‘milk’ straight out of the refrigerator and guzzling it, isn’t it?
What I did not mention in my post on ice cream is that dairy is cooling. It’s also tonifying, so imbibing in excess creates stagnation. Consuming dairy in the volume and manner that Americans do creates massive stagnation of both cold and dampness. These may not sound alarming to you, but several of their manifestations will take you to an early grave. Many resulting conditions affect both sexes, but a common example of cold and damp stagnation would be cysts and tumors of the female reproductive organs.
So, once again, I would entice you away from looking at concerns such as pathogens, size of molecules, or calcium deposits in arteries, and toward the ‘qualities’ of milk. Therein lies a clearer and more effortless path to wisdom and informed choices.
Good milk can be highly beneficial to those individuals with a constitution to benefit from it, and who know how to use it.
If you care to try a sample of this approach, here’s a favorite of ours from Amadea Morningstar’s Ayurvedic Cookbook (which is a lovely introduction to Ayurvedic cooking adapted to American familiarities).
- ½ cup plain goat yogurt
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tsp honey
- ⅛ tsp each:
- dry ginger powder
- ground cumin
- black pepper
- Seeds from one fat cardamom pod
Blend, preferably at low speed.
This recipe is offered simply as an intriguing introduction to dairy à la Ayurveda. The recipe is specifically for Kaphas, so don’t make a habit of this unless it’s your constitutional tendency. Buy Amadea’s book or perhaps Robert Svoboda’s Prakriti, Your Ayurvedic Constitution, and familiarize yourself with some delicious concepts with longevity!