There is a huge trend nowadays for the use of over the counter probiotics and digestive enzymes and I have certainly seen a rise in clients taking both of these supplements in their diet for maintaining digestive health or to help overcome digestive issues because of reading about the health claims. I’m not convinced that these are a holistic, balanced or a long term solution and the jury is still out there.
These ‘probiotics’ as live microorganisms, may provide health benefits when consumed however, they are certainly not a panacea for gut health. Research and development is still in the early stages for many of these products and there is a lack of rigorous scientific research to understand their safe and effective use. Addressing our overall gut health is a much safer and longer-term solution.
5000 years ago Ayurvedic buttermilk known as takra in Sanskrit was a useful refreshing yoghurt-based drink designed to restore a healthy gut microbiome. It was considered to be the divine healer for humans and a disease-preventing ingredient for those who consumed takra on a daily basis according to (Bhavaprakasha. Ch 6.V.7)
Takra, or chaas in my native language, Gujarati, is perfect as a summer cooler and should not be confused with conventional buttermilk available in the shops. Ayurvedic buttermilk is much thinner and packed with essential digestive microbes that support digestion and assimilation. This preparation is made by continuously churning a combination of fresh home-made yoghurt (not too sour) and water, while removing the fatty froth that forms at the top until what remains is a thin cloudy water with added spices that is easy to digest, supports the digestive process and balances all three doshas.
Takra is useful for consumption for conditions of oedema, haemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhoea, urine retention, anorexia, anaemia and high cholesterol. Takra is great for digestive stimulation, lack of appetite and indigestion.
As part of a balanced diet, takra is the most natural probiotic-rich drink to support your gut health and one that tastes delicious with any meal especially a spicy one! It’s a carminative for the digestive system and provides nourishment, hydration and strength to the body and mind. Along with live gut bacteria, takra contains many vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, B’s, C and minerals such as calcium and potassium. For a complete gut health assessment consult your Ayurvedic Practitioner.
Tip: fruits and dairy are an incompatible combination, so avoid having these at the same time.
¼ cup fresh natural set yogurt (make your own fresh if possible)
¾ cup purified cold water
¼ tsp (roasted) ground cumin
A few pinches of rock salt (pink Himalayan rock salt is best)
optional freshly and finely chopped coriander leaves
- Simply blend or churn the yogurt and water with a hand whisk or blender for 1 -2 minutes.
- Remove the froth that foams at the top- this is the fatty part
- Whisk again if foam is not fully extracted – it should look like opaque cloudy water
- add the spices and salt
- Stir and serve at room temperature