Ayurveda considers milk to be an ojas (immunity) building food. However, in today’s day and age milk has become somewhat of an enemy to many, and at the very least is a controversial subject. So what is the problem with many of the milks we purchase in the supermarket today that makes it hard for us to digest? The main problems stem from the fact that today’s milk is overly processed: Hormones, chemicals and antibiotics are often added, it undergoes unnecessary homogenization and the wrong type of pasteurization is done. We need to look for milk that is vat pasteurized as this type of pasteurization doesn’t damage the milk proteins because it is a slow, safe heating process of the milk at temperatures of 135 degrees for 20 minutes.
I always recommend that you check out the milk at your health food stores and look for milk that is organic, with no added hormones, chemicals and antibiotics and that is non homogenized. Today most of our milk will also go through an ultra homogenization process that renders it impossible for our bodies to break down.
So milk is an ojas building food and we just have to be sure that we purchase the best milk we can if we don’t have access to a trusted farm. For more information on milk and the detrimental effects of homogenization, check out my blog from April of last year HERE.
The last component above is sleep and you might ask what does sleep have to do with milk and ojas. When ojas is depleted because of stress, lack of sleep, and poor digestion amongst other things, our body breaks down and our ojas (immunity) will suffer. This might show up in our systems as exhaustion, insomnia, stiff joints, and a reduced ability to fight off colds.
We often find in modern medicine that the traditions our families have espoused have true quantitative value. It should be no surprise then that for thousands of years, milk before bed has been used to aid in sleep so that we may get the rest necessary to enhance our immune system by building our ojas. Another example of how milk and sleep can work together harmoniously to help build ojas and heal from the inside. Look under the recipes section of my blog for a wonderful Bedtime Tumeric Milk to try before bed or click HERE.