Sowa Rigpa Point of View
Gyu shi, 4 Medical Tantras of Tibetan Medicine praise milk as a beverage with many benefits. With its sweet taste and heavy and oily qualities it helps grow bodily constituents, pacifies disorders of Lung (Wind) and Tripa (Fire), increases virility, cures pulmonary disorders and chronic infections and emaciation, and is rejuvenating.
Milk from different animals differ - cow milk is cool, goat milk even more so, while sheep, horse and yak milk is more warming. Also they way of preparation affects the quality of milk - cold or unboiled (like straight from the fridge) is very heavy and cooling and aggravates Beken (Phlegm) disorders and is heavy to digest; warm, boiled becomes lighter and warmer. Freshly collected milk that is still warm is considered to be a true nectar.
With these traditional explanations one would say, yes, let’s drink it! Yet in my practice I meet many patients who much improve on dairy-free diet. How can that be?
Functional Medicine Point of View
In Functional and Alternative medicine (as well as Chinese) milk is often advised against. There are both scientific and experiencial proofs for milk to cause low grade chronic inflammation, acne, digestive disorders, heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Let's have a look on possible cause of that.
Have a look on our modern milk, and compare it with milk just a few hundreds, or thousands years ago. Mass produced, coming in UHT boxes, with 0,5% fat, staying intact for 6 months, is it really milk?
How the cows are bred also matters. You know, we are what we eat, and so are the cows. Milk form grass-fed cows in natural pasture will have a highter content of nutrients than those fed with corn and grains (which increases the pro-inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids). It is also a common practice to remove horns in baby calves, which is a very painful procedure and may influence their calcium metabolism.
2) Milk content
Milk had its role in ancient times, when it allowed our ancestors to live in conditions where nutrients were scarce, and starvation was common. Nowadays in the developed countries we have an abundance of highly caloric foods, unfortunatelly of very poor quality when it comes to nutrient density. The dairy in the shops today is a far resemblance of what it was even 50 years ago. It's mass-produced and comes from cows pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, so it has become a really inflammatory food. I would advice to take it moderately, if at all. As usually, it is best to observe how your body reacts to its consumption, and listen to it.
- Gyu Shi, 4 Medical Tantras, Yuthok Yonten Gonpo
- Period Repair Manual, Lara Briden
-Comparative evaluation of cow B casein variants (A1/A2) consumption on Th2 mwdiated infkammatory response in mouse gut, Ul Haq MR et col, Pubmed PMID 24166511
-https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27680716// Clinical evaluation of glutathione concentrations after consumption of milk containing different subtypes of β-casein: results from a randomized, cross-over clinical trial, Richard Deth 1 , Andrew Clarke 2 , Jiayi Ni 3 , Malav Trivedi 4
-Three daily servings of reduced-fat milk: an evidence-based recommendation? David S Ludwig 1 , Walter C Willett
-PMID: 23818041 DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2408
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