Buttermilk has been a very popular preperation in India and has been regularly used irrespective of the season and time of the day…. It is said in Ayurveda texts that, just like gods have nector (Amrutha) to remain immortal, same way buttermilk is for human beings… It is a preperation made by churning curds…. So, let’s take a look at the types and properties and it’s uses as told in our textbooks…
1. Takra – is the popular name given in ayurveda classics for buttermilk in general. It is something which is very commonly and abundantly used as a summer drink. It is used both as preventive measures to avoid certain set of diseases and also as a treatment both for internal consumption and external therapies equally….. In an otherwise healthy person, it is a very good Digestive stimulant, helps in increasing hunger, and a very good source of hydration, specially in people who sweat too much in summer. Coming to the disease aspect, internal consumption of this preperation is advised very much successfully in conditions like, irritable bowel syndrome, low appetite, haemorrhoids, urine retention, anaemia and varieties of other inflammatory diseases and gastro – intestinal conditions. In general, it mitigates kapha and vata doshas very effectively and has hot potency. Owing to its multiple tastes like sweet, sour, astringent etc, it is beneficial in wide range of health concerns.
2. Types of buttermilk – according to the fat content and the amount of water to be added, buttermilk can be divided into three varieties. They are – a) Ghola – it is a type where full cream of curds is retained and no water is added. This can be compared to something like a lassi. This is thick in nature and full of fat content from curds. It helps in decreasing vata and pitta doshas due to its fat content. b) Mathita – here, curds without cream/heavy fat content is churned with minimal or no water. This is also thick but not as much as Ghola. It helps in breathing difficulties (shwasa) as per texts. c) Udashvita – It is the type of Buttermilk prepared with churning curds and adding one-fourth of water to it. It is comparatively lighter for digestion. It is said to decrease pitta and kapha. d) Takra – Here churned curds is added with one : half of water … It is said to be the best among the types and is lightest for digestion. It is used for regular consumption specially in various health issues as mentioned above.
3. Medicines and treatment forms with buttermilk – Takrarishta is one popular preperation which is used in many health issues specially when there is impairment of digestion. This formulation is made with many herbs with takra and fermented. It is carminative, improves digestion, thereby decreases ama ( a type of metabolic waste/toxins collected in the body), which is the major causative factor for variety of diseases.
4. External therapies with buttermilk – buttermilk is used in various types of dharas which is popularly called as Takradharas.. here dhara is nothing but pouring stream of medicated buttermilk on parts of the body where therapeutic effect is required…. There are varieties of this treatment like, shirodhara, kayadhara etc…
Shiro – dhara is pouring of medicated takra on the forehead of the patient. It is beneficial in various conditions like sleeplessness, anxiety, hypertension, diabetic neuropathy (i.e. usually a complication of Diabetes Mellitus manifesting in the form of impaired sensation, tingling sensation in the peripheral fingers, toes etc, burning sensation and so on).
Buttermilk is such a simple preperation but so immensely beneficial. No wonder it is compared to “Nector”. Let’s make use of these wonderful ayurveda therapies and tips when needed !!!!
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