Saturday, 8 October 2011


Butter milk -The healthy drink

Butter milk is known as “Takra” in ayurveda. Its properties and medicinal qualities are described in as follows.

Takram laghu kashayaamlam deepanam kaphavaatajit ||
Showphodaraarshowgrahanidoshamootragrahaaruchee |
Pleehagulmaghritavyaapadgarpaanduvaamayaan jayeth ||
– Ashtanga Hridaya, Sutra Sthana – 5th chapter 
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(Irritable bowel Syndrome). 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 vit B12.
Preparation of butter milk:
Thick curd should be whipped to separate butter. The liquid portion which remains after separating butter is called as butter milk or “takra”. When this butter milk is mixed with water , it is called as “sajala takra”. If the buttermilk is used without adding water, it is called as “nirjala takra”.
Buttermilk is one of the widely used diet article in Ayurvedic treatment. There is a simile given for buttermilk. Nector is for Gods and Goddesses, buttermilk is for human beings. 
Benefits Butter milk 
  • 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, digestive disorders, 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
Types of buttermilk
Full cream buttermilk: Full cream buttermilk added with sugar calms Vata and Pitta. Very nourishing in nature. It is similar to curds in qualities. Not to be consumed in cases of excessive Kapha conditions like cold, cough etc.
No cream buttermilk: It calms Kapha and Pitta. It is good for people with diabetes.
Buttermilk: Qualities are explained above.
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.
Contraindications of Buttermilk:

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.

How to Make proper Buttermilk?
To make buttermilk, follow this simple recipe. Please note that ayurvedic buttermilk is not the same as the buttermilk you buy in the store. This recipe helps restore the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract, thus helping digestion and assimilation.
Ayurvedic Buttermilk Ingredients:
  • 1/4 c. fresh cold yogurt (For best results, use freshly made yogurt. 
  • 3/4 c. purified cold water (the temperature must be cold for this recipe to work)
  • 1/4 t. cumin powder
  • 1/4 t. coriander leaf 
  • 1 pinch of rock salt (Saidhava lavana)
Directions: Place the freshly-made yogurt in the blender and blend for three to five minutes. Add the cold water, and blend again on low for three to five minutes. You will notice that a fatty foam has collected at the top of the yogurt. Skim it off with a spoon and discard. Repeat the blending and removing of the fatty foam if the yogurt remains thick, white and solid. When the yogurt has become watery but still cloudy in color, you have made buttermilk. Add the spices and stir by hand briefly to mix the spices evenly. Serve at room temperature.
Home remedies using buttermilk:
1. Mix a pinch of  Saindhava salt, ½ tea spoon ginger juice and crushed cumin seeds to a glass of butter milk. This relieves acidity, constipation and symptoms of piles.
2. Add a pinch of Saindhava salt, a tea spoon of sugar to a glass of butter milk diluted with water. This acts as a very good rehydrating formula in diarrhea and dehydration. It supplies energy instantaneously and reduces frequency of stools.
  1. It is a healthy drink for people who suffer from obesity, piles and inflamed colon or IBS.
  2. Massage a mixture of butter milk and salt on pores caused by acne and pimples. Then wash it off with warm water and rinse once again with cold water.This helps to reduce the pores.
  3. Regular consumption of butter milk strengthens the digestive system and keeps it free from infections.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Ghee -The Nectar for good Health

Most of us keep ghee at arm’s length and look at it with a jaundiced eye, because ghee is mainly saturated fat. We relate saturated fats with the thickening of arteries – the obvious result of which is heart attacks. However, according to Ayurveda some saturated fats are healthy, and fat from ghee actually builds and strengthens cell walls and improves absorption.
Today let us understand about Ghee, the healthy fat which with optimum and regular use prevents you from many ailments. For those who follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle, medicated ghee proves to be an important source for healthy oils. Medicated ghee- ghee with herbs provide health benefits when used both topically and orally.

What is Ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter. Butter is heated at a low temperature till the water content evaporates and the lactose becomes a solid mass. Ghee keeps well even without refrigeration. It has a heavenly aroma. When cooking with ghee we can get away with using half the amount that we would use of any other oil. It has a very high smoking point – 485 degrees – so logically it is very good for frying and cooking.

Ghee and Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a proponent of ghee for a variety of reasons:

  • It acts like a preservative; herbs mixed with ghee have a longer shelf life.
  • It bonds well with lipid soluble nutrients, making absorption by cell walls efficient.
  • Ghee forms a lining on the stomach wall; so acidity is reduced to a great extent.
  • Applying ghee to a scald or a burn prevents the formation of blisters (the ghee should be cool and not the melted variety).
  • It balances the physical body and the mental faculties like memory and learning.
  • It increases the digestive fire thereby helping you to digest your food properly.
  • It balances all the doshas viz,. Vaata, Pitta and Kapha.

Health Uses
To protect the nerves and receive health benefits associated with medicated ghee, take two teaspoons orally daily to meet your lipid requirement of your body. Take medicated ghee with warm milk and not in tea form.
In addition, medicated ghee can also be used topically as a base for massage oil to calm sensitive skin. Mix it with honey for application to wounds, inflammation and blisters. Ghee can also be used in eye washes and nasal rinses. Medicated ghee is used in Ayurveda for Special therapeutics of the eye Known as
Akshi Tarpana and as nasal instillation- Nasya.
Merits of Medicated Ghee
A spastic and lean man when made to undergo snehana (through ghee) shows a drastic change making him mentally balanced and stout. Ghee is best suited for improving intelligence, curing insanity, increasing sexual power, good eyesight, and good voice, those suffering from injury to chest, emaciation, visarpa, tuberculosis and fever. It is best among fatty materials. It is a good coolant thus it possesses one thousand good qualities and does thousand actions when used with proper processing.
Medicated Ghee
Persons who are not affectionate towards ghee may some time have to take treatment along with ghee. In that condition ghee processed along with suitable medicines might be useful. Also in certain conditions processed ghee is only prescribed. These medicated ghees have specific actions. 
For Example:
1. When there is fever in whole body, guduchi ghrita, Triphala Ghrita, Vaasa Ghrita etc. are used which give good results.
2. Processed ghee such as Panchakola Ghrita, Nagara Ghrita, Chitraka Ghrita are used in the treatment of udara roga (abdominal disorders), vatavishtambha, gulma and piles.
3. Ghee processed with bitter herbs like -Katunimba, Kutaki, Daruharidra, Chandana, Katuindravaruni, Licorice etc. is called 'Mahatiktaka ghrita' and it is an excellent remedy for skin diseases, Hyperacidity etc.
Shata Dhouta Ghrita (100 times washed ghrita) :
Ayurvedic Skin Cream - It's completely natural and chemical free. Very useful for achieving radiant and glowing skin.
Shatadhouta Ghrita is prepared from organic ghee (made from cow milk) by washing it repeatedly 100 times using specific method prescribed in Ayurveda. This process transforms the ghee into a soft ,cooling, nourishing, silky cream.
It is an excellent
Astringent, Moisturizer, Anti-wrinkle & Cleansing cream. Can be used as a daily moisturizer on the face (or whole body) or for facial massage. Also, has calming effect on reddish or burned skin, and on eczema and rosacea. 
Making Ghee
To make ghee, simply place one to two pounds of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Melt the butter until the curds separate and sink to the bottom. Discard curds and store the remaining oil in a jar. As long as it doesn't get near water, it doesn't need to be refrigerated.
To create medicated ghee, add fennel, dill, cumin, coriander, ajwain seeds or turmeric to the ghee.
Ghee is called old if it is stored for more than 6 months, newly prepared (fresh) ghee should not be used. Old ghee has various uses in diseased such as tension, disorders of head, ear, eye and uterus. It has been recently scientifically proved that it is very useful in treating wounds caused due to diabetes, fainting, and ulcers. People believe that intake of ghee causes increase of cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, jaundice which is totally unscientific.
Does ghee increase the cholesterol level?

Cholesterol helps cells to regenerate and maintains hormonal balance. This is damaged by free radicals, which in turn results in clogged arteries. Ghee actually maintains the ratio of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) levels.

Interestingly ghee works as an aphrodisiac and promotes longevity. Some fats are needed in the body to provide the essential fatty acids (EFAs). With ghee we have added benefits like a glowing complexion, increased stamina and intelligence.
Demerits or Contraindications of Ghee
Living life according to desha (habitat), kala (time) and along with morality is good life. And the science which shows light in this path is Ayurveda. This being nectar to life if not followed strictly will turn in to poison. Similarly ghee is also contraindicated for some individuals at certain times. Those being over obese and having kapha, medas in excess and those who do not do exercise should not take ghee in excess or regularly.
Those people suffering from oozing from mouth and anus, who have take alcoholic drink, whose doshas are accumulated in the body and those having tonsillitis should not consume ghee in excess. After having taken ghee one should not drink hot water immediately. These are some points to be kept in mind.

A wholesome Indian diet complete with ghee and sweets might make today’s health freaks shudder, but the near absence of modern day ailments among the older generation is testimony to its benefits. Include foods like Ghee, Buttermilk, turmeric, bran, honey and almonds in your diet and reap its benefits.