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Making Milk (Even Raw Milk) Easier to Digest

While doing some research on Ayurvedic health, I came across some interesting ideas in regards to the most digestible way of drinking milk. Ani and I are now drinking our goat Zipporah’s milk. I am only milking about a 1/2 pint per day because I am only milking her in the mornings and her little buck is on her 24/7. Both Ani and I have trouble digesting cows milk, even raw. Raw goats and sheep milk seem to be much easier on us, however I have noticed that after drinking it cold, I still feel a little sickly in my throat and nose. I am hoping to find good results from the advice below by warming my milk (warm not hot…don’t want to pasteurize my milk) and adding some spices. I do enjoy a good cup of chai! And I am also looking forward to getting some kefir grains from my mom this week. Cultured dairy is much easier on the gut and sooo tasty. 

The following quote was taken from Katherine Czapp’s  Conserving the Digestive Fire 


milkWhen speaking of the use of milk in the diet, modern Ayurvedic commentators point out that in the West, milk is treated in ways not considered by the ancients. First, it is pasteurized and homogenized, which, all agree, create a mostly indigestible product for numerous reasons.

Second, milk is usually served cold, straight from the refrigerator. As milk is already a cold food by nature, ingesting it cold increases that quality, along with its heaviness and difficulty to digest. For those people whose own constitutions have a tendency toward coldness, slowness of metabolism and heaviness, drinking cold milk can provoke production of mucus or phlegm and slow down digestion. For anyone, however, cold milk will be something of a douse to his digestive fire. Depending on the inherent strength of one’s digestive capacities, this effect might be barely noticeable, or could produce an unpleasant heaviness in the stomach.

Third, milk is served unspiced. A simple way to mitigate the coldness and heaviness of milk is to warm it and add warming spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper or saffron. Honey, which is light and dry by nature, also balances these qualities.

Fourth, milk is often taken in excess, and in combination with other foods; notable difficult combinations are milk with fruit, leafy vegetables, fish and sour things. Milk is a complex and complete food, and is best regarded as such, rather than as a beverage to be consumed with a meal. It can be cooked successfully with other foods such as grains or in custards, where it lends many nutritive qualities in easily digested forms. The common American breakfast habit of eating cold cereal with cold milk and fruit is quite hard on the stomach, and the worst fruit to eat with milk is bananas (though sweet to the taste, they have a sour post-digestive effect, whereas milk’s is sweet).

Related posts: Drinking Sheep’s Milk vs. Goat’s & Another Reason to Drink Sheep’s Milk

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