Ojas is a refined substance the body produces from the most subtle level of proper digestion. Ojas brings strength, strong immunity, happiness, and contentment. And especially of you are vegetarian, this is a very important food to include regularly in your diet.
Here are the dos and don’ts for milk consumption according to Ayurveda.
- Avoid drinking it cold: In order to digest properly, one should avoid drinking it cold right out of the refrigerator. It should be brought to a boil. Allow it to foam up, and then bring the heat down so it’s on a slow boil for about 5 to 10 minutes. Heating milk changes its molecular structure so it is much easier for human consumption, and it reduces kapha, making it lighter to digest.
- Add spices: While cooking with milk, you may add a pinch of ground turmeric, a pinch of ground black pepper, a cinnamon stick, or a few pinches of ginger to reduce the heaviness and any mucus-causing side effect.
- Organic only: Milk should be organic, whole, and non-homogenized. If it’s not organic, it may contain rBGH, (these are hormones that artificially increase production in the cow) and the only way we know to avoid rBGH is to purchase organic milk. This is because the FDA does not require labeling on milk products that may have come from cows injected with the hormone.
- Non-Homogenized is best: Homogenized milk is very difficult to digest and can easily clog the finer channels of circulation.
- Do it gradually: If you have trouble digesting milk and have not consumed it for a while, then it is recommended that you start again in a gradual fashion to help your body acclimate to it. Start with drinking ⅛ of a cup with ginger. Then gradually increase the amount to about a cup. . . over a ten-day period.
- Stick to Cow or Goat: Cow’s milk is considered to be the best, but raw goat milk is fine too.
- Watch what you drink it with: It should not be mixed or eaten with sour, bitter, salty, astringent, or pungent tastes. That means the tradition of drinking a glass of cold milk with dinner should be avoided and have drinking water or juice instead. When combined with incompatible tastes, it becomes indigestible and causes the build-up of harmful toxins in the body. Meals cooked with milk and fish or meat should be avoided. . . (such as clam chowder).
- Have it sweet: Warm milk may be consumed with sweet tastes such as rice, cream of wheat, dates, mangos, and almonds.
- Wait one hour after eating or before bed: If you wish to have it warm, then it is best to wait at least one hour after you have eaten a meal. Warm milk consumed 30 minutes before bed can even aid in falling asleep.
- Makes a great snack: Warm milk with a little natural sweetener makes a great afternoon snack for kids when they come home after school.
Try this easy, delicious date shake recipe with cinnamon for more ojas!
5 dates, pitted
1 ½ cups cow, almond, or coconut milk
1 tbsp tahini
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp cinnamon
Directions: Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
This shake is perfect for vata types in Ayurveda, because it warms their delicate body type and calms an overactive mind. Tahini is high in protein and rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin B, and iron. Cinnamon improves circulation, which tends to run low in vata types. And vanilla has a relaxing effect on the mind.