Milk is the good source of nutrition and also know as complete diet. As we talk about milk, cows’ milk and buffalo milk are common. Milk contains nutrients like protein, fat, mineral matter, water and lactose. Ayurveda has described about the milk and medicinal uses of various milk of animals under the head of “Dugdha Varga” in Astanga sangraha, Charaka samhita and various ayurveda text books.
Rig veda mentions milk as “Vrishnyam payam” “Balya” which means strength giving drink. According to principles of ayurveda milk is generally sweet and unctuous. It is believed that Milk increasing strength, improves memory, reduce exhaustion, maintains strength and milk contains all the elements necessary for the growth and nutrition of bones, nerves, muscles and other tissues. Milk is highly nutritious contains vitamins, minerals, which are nature’s antidotes to rickets, scurvy and other diseases, and protect from nutritional deficiency.
- Human milk: Human milk are most recommended diet for child and infants under age of 5 years. It is rich in colostrums, is rich in the immunoglobulin IgA which immunizes infants. Infants absorb iron more deficiency from human milk than any other form of milk. Ayurveda has described the importance of breast milk in Bala roga (paediatrics/kaumarvritya). Breast milk is used in Ayurveda for administration in nasal bleeding and in eyes disorder as eye drops. And used as one of the ingredients while preparing anjanum (collyrium) for eye diseases.
- Sheep milk : Sheep milk is very nutritious diet for weak and debilitated problems. Ayurveda has described the use of sheep milk in various disorders like tuberculosis, gonorrhea, cystitis, obesity and flatulence. It is also good for rheumatism and hectic cough symptoms. But over use of sheep milk is harmful for eyes disease as it alleviates phegm and bile production, and respiratory disorders.
- Goat Milk : Goats milk is best tonic for diabetes, asthma, night blindness, neuritis, constipation, sterility, rickets, hair fall, nervousness, headache. Gold milk is very sweet, cooling action and astringent and constipating properties. It is used for curing pitta disorder of bile, cough chronic diarrhea and vomiting. It also helps bring down of dyspnoea, chronic cases of enlarged liver and spleen and bronchitis. It is boiled and sweetened with honey and taken every night with banana can be taken.
- Donkey milk : Donkey milk has also very important medicinal uses. It is similar to that of human milk. It can be given to infants too. It is said that ass milk contains 1.5gm of fat, 2.1 gm of protein and 46kcal of energy per 100gm. It is good stomachic (improves digestion function of stomach) and cardiac stimulant also decrease phlegm. It is generally used for debility and urine disorder.
- Camel milk This camel milk are useful instead or shortage of other milks and it is light, slight saline and laxative properties. It is easily digestable and stomachic. It is used curing of disease like oedema, dropsy, asthma and poisoning, tuberculosis, leprosy, cancer, piles, intestinal worms, skin lesions, abdominal tumours according to Ayurveda.
- Elephant milk : Elephant milk is very good for eyes disease and vision. It is sweet, helps increasing vigour and strength as it is astringent and muscle builder properties.
- Cow’s milk : Ayurveda has described cow’s milk as the best and superior milk of all animals. But the chemical composition and nutritive values may differ according to cow and its countries and seasons. Ayurveda text book Charak Samhita described the milk of healthy black cow is the superior. Charak emphasizes the use of cow milk in treating of Tuberculosis, asthma, diabetes, food allergies, cough, protein deficiency, sexual vigour, hair fall, weakness of bones. It is also taken good for increase appetite, digestion and stomachic. Cow’s milk are supposed to be Tridoshic balancing of all three doshas. So everyone is recommended to take Cow’s milk in most of disorder from childhood to old age. Additional supplement for babies cow’s milk can be given without doubt alternate to breast milk as it is high nutritive values.
- Buffalo milk : Buffalo milk are usually used where cow’s milk are not available. Most house has either cow’s or buffalo. Additional supplement of buffalo milk are given instead of cow’s milk are not available in infants and child. It can be given to babies in sixth month. Adding a teaspoonful of sugar every ounce of milk. It is very nutritious for babies as well and given twice or thrice a day. It is good for catarrh of respiratory. It is easily digestable and stomachic.