Milk is regarded by Charaka as the best of those substances that make you feel alive. 'Milk is the semen of the god of fire,' says the Shatapatha Brahmana. Ayurveda repeats it because it is the pure essence of the rasa of plants, concentrated into White Essence by the animal's organism. It is also the only common food in the world that can be collected with no violence whatsoever; in fact, a contented cow loves to give milk. Milk is good for infants, for people with a strong digestive fire, and for those who are emaciated, old, sexually active or sleepless. It is not good at night, cold or mixed with other foods (notably fruit, leafy vegetables, fish, sour things or salt). Warm milk straight from the cow is like ambrosia; homogenized milk is not. The Tibetans like to use skimmed milk to treat recurrent common colds, and to cause a moving sickness to settle in one place, from where it can then be removed with medicine. Though the many races who cannot digest cow's milk denigrate dairy products, the Aryans and the Masai, whose diet is almost entirely cow's milk, continue to enjoy it.

Cow's milk is sweet, cool, unctuous, thick, glossy, viscid, heavy, slow to digest and clear. Because it shares these qualities with ojas, it nourishes ojas. Fresh cow's milk is foremost among vitalizers and rejuvenators. Milk of the water buffalo, which is most commonly available in India today is heavier, fattier and more cooling than cow's milk. The water buffalo represents the embodiment of tamas, and its milk is good for insomnia and to calm an intense digestive fire. Goat's milk increases human milk production and removes emaciation and cough, while donkey's milk is a popular remedy for whooping cough. Human milk is vitalizing and is used as nose drops in nosebleeds and as an eye application in eye disorders. Other milks include those of the camel, mare, ewe and elephant.

Colostrum (the first milk a cow gives after delivery) and cream cheeses are heavy, nourishing, aphrodisiac and cure vata.

Ayurveda Life Health and Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda - Penguin Books.