Milk gets a bad rap.
It’s accused of causing bloating, gas and mucus.
And, perhaps this is your experience with milk, but, it doesn’t have to be……
Milk is a traditional and time-tested nourishing food.
Milk (that’s organic cow’s milk I’m referring to), helps to build all of the tissues in the body and has the ability to calm the mind, nerves and emotions.
It is an excellent nutritive food that is especially good for our children, the elderly, pregnant and postpartum women as well as any weak or convalescent people (high vata or high pitta types).
However, milk can be heavy, hard to digest and mucus forming especially when taken cold. Or when factory, farmed.
Ayurveda teaches us that opposites bring balance, so in order to benefit from milk’s nourishment we must counter it’s cold, heavy and mucus forming qualities by warming and spicing it.
Heat is the direct opposite of cold.
When we warm milk we begin to aid in its ability to be digested. The application of heat (or fire) to a substance immediately begins to transform it. In this context, the heat begins to breakdown the hard to digest proteins within milk. It is recommended to boil milk for one minute then allow it to cool to a comfortable warmth or room temperature before drinking.
Traditionally, milk would have been enjoyed fresh and at room temperature. The advent of the refrigerator (and perhaps the peanut and jelly sandwich) has lead to drinking it cold as a quick and convenient meal.
Add Some Warming Spices!
Adding spices to warm milk further helps to aid in its digestion as well as to counter its heavy and mucus forming properties. Spices like cardamom and cinnamon are particularly great to take with milk.
- Cardamom has a special ability to not only stimulate digestion, but to also reduce and expel mucus from the body.
- Cinnamon is a warming and circulating spice which helps to lighten and digest milk.
- Other spices that are warming and stimulating are great as well. Spices like turmeric, black pepper and fresh or dry ginger.
Choose to benefit from milk’s nourishment by warming and spicing it.
Try a cup once or twice a week as an afternoon snack (add a dash of maple syrup) or as a natural sedative before bed (add some calming nutmeg). And you may begin to experience for yourself how it calms and soothes the mind, softens the skin and aids over-heated digestion or dry elimination.
Whether you add milk to your morning coffee, afternoon tea, a quick bowl of cereal or your baby’s bottle, warm and spice it first. Trust me, its worth the effort!