Ayurveda Health Benefits of Curd / Yogurt

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Ayurveda explains health benefits of Curd which is similar to western yogurt. This ingredient can be used as effective home remedy for many health conditions.

Before knowing about health benefits let us know about difference between curd and yogurt.

Difference between curd and yogurt:

Curd or Yogurt making dates back to 500 BC.

Curd or Dahi:

This is a dairy product obtained by the process of curdling. First milk is pasteurised and allowed to cool. When temperature dips to 30 to 40 degree ceilcius required amount of curd is added and stirred well. This is allowed to rest for 8 to 12 hours. After this the curd is ready to use. Indian curd contains “Lactobacillus” or Lactic acid bacteria. The taste of curd varies from sweet to tangy, depending on the storage temperature.

Nutritional facts of curd

Curd is a store house of probiotics, calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin-vitamin B2, iodine, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid-vitamin B5, zinc, potassium, molybdenum and protein. It also contains small amounts of vitamins A, E and K; iron, magnesium, sodium, copper, manganese, fluoride, selenium saturated fats, and oleic acid.

Yogurt:

This is also a diary product which is made by fermenting milk using yogurt cultures. Yogurt culture contains bacteria Lactobacillus Bulgaris and Streptococcus Thermophilus. Yogurt is more homogeneous and tangier than curd.

Nutrition facts of Yogurt

Yogurt is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin-vitamin B2, iodine, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid-vitamin B5, zinc, potassium, protein and molybdenum.

Ayurveda Health benefits of Curd or Yogurt

Texts of ayurveda explain health benefits of curd or yogurt as

रोचनं दीपनं वृष्यं स्नेहनं बलवर्धनम् |

पाकेऽम्लमुष्णं वातघ्नं मङ्गल्यं बृंहणं दधि ||

पीनसे चातिसारे च शीतके विषमज्वरे |

अरुचौ मूत्रकृच्छ्रे च कार्श्ये च दधि शस्यते ||

शरद्ग्रीष्मवसन्तेषु प्रायशो दधि गर्हितम् |

रक्तपित्तकफोत्थेषु विकारेष्वहितं च तत् ||

Based on ayurveda principles curd is sour to taste (
Amla rasa) and tastes sour even after digestion. It acts as good absorbent of water (Grahi) . It helps to absorb water from intestines. By the virtue of this property it is widely used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.It is heavy to digest (Guru) and causes heaviness when used in excess and may cause constipation. It has hot potency (Ushna). It balances vata and increases kapha. It boosts medha dhatu (body fat) , Shukra dhatu (semen), Agni (digestion strength), appetite,  and body strength (Balya).

Who should use curd or yogurt as diet

Curd is considered as auspicious. Curd or yogurt diet is recommended in common cold, diarrhoea, dysentry, fever with chills, malaria, anorexia, cystitis and UTI. Persons who want to gain weight can use this. It stimulates taste buds and acts as an appetizer. It is found beneficial in diseases of duodenum.The intestinal friendly bacteria which are present in curd help to keep the colon healthy.It is a good source of calcium which help in building and repair of bones. Hence children and women are advised to consume curd regularly

Who should not use curd or yogurt as diet

Persons who have diseases caused due to vitiation of rakta dhatu and pitta should say no to yogurt in their diet. Curd should not be used in diseases where blood is vitiated by doshas. Obese people and persons who want to lose weight should not use this in their diet. Regular consumption of this in pure form increases body fat and may cause obesity.

Curd or Yogurt at Night

Texts of ayurveda emphasise on not using curd at night. Since it is heavy to digest and sour in taste , it may cause problems during digestion at night. These problems disturbs night sleep and leads to liberation of ama or body toxin which is harmful to health. Eating curd or yogurt at night should be avoided.

Yogurt or curd benefits for women’s health

Cystitis and UTI are very common in women. Curd is very useful in cystitis and UTI. It soothes the inner layers of bladder and eases urination. It reduces irritability of bladder and helps in emptying bladder easily. Women who are weak and want to gain weight can add this to their diet. This diary product has good bacteria which help to maintain healthy PH of vaginal canal.

Yogurt or Curd Benefits for Men

This is the best vajikarana dravya (aphrodisiac). It improves quality and quantity of shukra dhatu (semen). This helps to rectify erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation (ED and PE) . It also  boosts male fertility.

Curd or Yogurt for Hair

Dandruff is a known cause of hair loss. Applying sour curd or yogurt as a hair pack to scalp and hair , once in a week prevents formation of dandruff. You can mix fenugreek seeds paste or neem to enhance the effectiveness. This hair pack not only nourishes scalp but also acts as conditioner.

Mix moong dal (green gram) powder with curd and massage it to scalp and brush it on hair. Wash it off after 1 hour. This helps to prevent hair loss and dandruff. It also helps to increase hair growth.

Curd or Yogurt for Skin

Dry orange peel in summer and powder it. Mix this powder with little curds massage it on face and neck. This acts as an excellent cleanser and cleanses clogged pores thus preventing acne and pimples. A mixture of besan (gram flour)  is an excellent  pack to rejuvenate facial skin and body skin. Just applying curd or yogurt on face helps to reduce dryness and also cleanses face.

Dos and donts for using curd or Yogurt:

  1. Curd should not be eaten at nights.
  2. It should not be boiled or heated as it loses its health benefits.
  3. Always it has to be mixed with honey or sugar or jaggery before consuming. Read health benefits of Curd and Sugar
  4. Its medicinal properties get enhanced by leaps and bounds when mixed with cooked green gram or ghee or Indian gooseberries (amla  , Embelica Officinalis).
  5. A well formed or completely coagulated curd should be used.
  6. Consumption of incompletely coagulated curd may flare up herpes outbreaks, psoriasis, bleeding in hemorrhoids, ibs etc. and may cause giddiness.

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