The qualities of the different types of the milk products are as follows:
Butter Milk is astringent, light for digestion, cooling, appetising, nutritive and is a general fortifying tonic.
Curd or curdled milk is agreeable, wholesome, digestive and cooling. It is acidic and astringent. It alleviates vata disorders, promotes the production of bone marrow and semen; it increases strength and blood; helps in digestion and is an excellent appetiser. But it aggravates both pitta and kapha and if taken in excess it causes biliousness and catarrh for eg. running nose. It is very good for meat eaters in whom proleolytic coli predominates. It aggravates amylolytic fermentation and hence Ayurvedic physicians advise limited use of the curds for vegetarian persons.
Ghee is prepared mainly from the milk of cow or buffalo. Cow’s ghee is generally much praised. It is good for stomach, quite nutritive, a tonic, a counteracting agent for pitta and improves memory. In general, ghee is regarded as cooling, softening (hence advised for all injuries as an external application) and good for stomach. It increases the fatty tissues and mental powers. It also improves the quality of the voice as well as the general beauty of the persons and the complexion.
Whey has properties that are similar to those of curdled milk. It especially promotes the circulation of fluids and is therefore recommendedhighly in rectifying constipation. Whey from buffaloe’s milk is curative of kapha and also generates oedema or fluid filled swellings.
Curd of milk (kilataka in Sanskrit) is hard for digestion. But it is nourishing and a good tonic. It is much suited to persons who have strong digestive efficacies.
Cream is also hard for digestion, but is nourishing and a tonic. It is also agreeable and soothing. An interesting use of cream is that it is a much preferred cosmetic article for a facial uplift. It is also sometimes recommended as a healing application.
Powdered milk which is more popularly designated also as lactogen is regarded to be sterile (i.e. bacteria free), soluble in water with which it forms a homogeneous solution which does not produce any cream but forms small soft curds that are easily digestible.
Lactose is nutrient and is also an uterine tonic, in addition, it is a stimulant and a general tonic. It is harder, less soluble and less .sweet in comparison with ordinary viz. cane sugar. It is a very effective diuretic that causes profuse urination.