Ayurvedic Buttermilk (Takra), The Divine Healer

“He who uses takra daily does not suffer from diseases, and diseases cured by takra do not recur; just as amrita (divine nectar) is for the gods, takra is to humans.”  from the ancient Ayurvedic text Bhavaprakasha Chpt 6.7

Takra or buttermilk, not to be confused with the  fermented buttermilk we buy from the store Ayurvedic buttermilk is freshly made by continuously churning yogurt in water. A refreshing, cool drink made from yogurt and digestive spices such as cumin, coriander and mint, and salt, takra is used as a treatment for poor digestion, hemorrhoids, tumors, edema, diarrhea, anemia, and urinary diseases and is especially beneficial for digestive disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Here are nine reasons you should drink buttermilk every day + an easy recipe to help you do just that:

1. HELPS CALM THE STOMACH AFTER A SPICY MEAL

Made with cool, watered down yogurt, buttermilk is perfect to soothe the stomach. As you drink it the cool buttermilk washes down the spices, calming an irritated stomach lining. The added digestive cooling spices also relieves the stomach of irritation.

2. WASHES DOWN FATS

Had a heavy meal? If you feel like you have a brick in your stomach after eating too much, then drinking a small glass of buttermilk can be effective in washing down the fats or oils that normally coat the inner walls of your digestive system and stomach.

3. AIDS IN DIGESTION

The carminative properties of the spices coupled with the soothing and refreshing properties of buttermilk improve digestion by decreasing gas accumulation and stimulating the production of digestion-facilities enzymes. 

4.  A GREAT TOOL AGAINST DEHYDRATION

Packed with electrolytes and lots of water, buttermilk is the best thing you can give your body to fight dehydration. During the heat of summer or when you're feeling under the weather, a glass of buttermilk can offer some much-needed relief and rejuvenation.

5. GIVES YOU CALCIUM WITHOUT THE FAT

Lactose intolerance means many people miss out on natural calcium. This is where buttermilk comes to the rescue. Research has shown that people with lactose intolerance or low tolerance can digestion buttermilk without the symptoms they experience from consuming milk or cheese. In India its the most common way to get daily calcium sans the fat normally found in cow's milk — making it perfect for a daily diet.

6. PREVENTS VITAMIN DEFICIENCY

Buttermilk is a great source of vitamins like vitamin B complex, especially riboflavin, which is essential for the conversion of food to energy, secretion of hormones and digestion. 

7.  REDUCES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) found in buttermilk is rich in unique bioactive protein that has cholesterol-lowering, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. In this study, scientists found that drinking buttermilk significantly lowered blood pressure, when research subjects drank at least one glass daily.

8.  BRINGS ABOUT A DROP IN CHOLESTEROL

Another study published by the US National Institute of health found that components in buttermilk are very effective in keeping your cholesterol levels under check.

9. COMBATS ACIDITY

A potent tool to fight acidity, buttermilk naturally cools and tempers the burning sensation felt during a bout of acidity. Moreover, the coriander in this buttermilk cools the stomach and reduces irritation in the GI tract from acid reflux.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup organic yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • mint leaves
  • coriander leaves
  • chopped ginger
  • salt to taste
  • green chilies (optional)

Instructions: 

  • Add yogurt, water, mint and roasted cumin powder to a mixing bowl.
  • With a hand blender, mix the ingredients.
  • Add in salt to taste.
  • Pour into a glass and garnish with coriander leaves and chopped ginger.
  • For some heat, add the chopped green chilies.

Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.