Chaas or buttermilk has been used by Ayurveda for centuries as one of the best cooling drinks for summer. Also known as Takra and Ayran in some cuisines, it is obtained from curd and has numerous health benefits for our body. According to Ayurveda, Takra or Chaas is the nectar for humans. It can be used in the treatment of many disorders such as diarrhea, piles, etc. Due to the Gunas or properties present in buttermilk, it is capable of balancing not just one but all three Doshas.
In the summer season, Pitta Dosha is aggravated due to intense heat in the environment, impacting the digestive fire in our bodies. Cooling foods in summer are essential to maintain the proper functioning of the body and to restore balance. Chaas is one of the best ways to do that. By including Chaas in your summer diet, you can beat the heat effectively.
Nutritional Value of Buttermilk
Here is a table that depicts the nutritional value table of buttermilk followed by a few facts:
|Total Fat||2.2 gm||4%|
|Saturated Fat||1 gm||8%|
|Total Carbohydrates||10 g||4%|
|Vitamin A||130 IU||2%|
|Vitamin C||5 mg||4%|
- One cup of buttermilk contains 99 calories and 2.2 grams of fat.
- Buttermilk contains vitamins, potassium, calcium, and traces of phosphorus.
- Fat and Protein are important components of any milk-derivative.
- Other minerals present in buttermilk are Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. 
Benefits of Buttermilk
- Chaas or buttermilk is one of the best foods to help the body detoxify.
- The cooling properties of buttermilk help to pacify the aggravated Pitta Dosha in summer.
- Buttermilk boosts digestion and helps to reduce acidity.
- It also stimulates bowel movements and aids in cases of constipation.
- It keeps your electrolytes in balance and hydrates the body effectively, making it one of the best cooling foods for summer.
- Buttermilk is rich in minerals and nutrients. It can help vastly in case of vitamin deficiencies.
- It is rich in calcium and is even suitable for lactose-intolerant people.
- Chaas aids in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body.
- According to Ayurveda, buttermilk can help prevent any disease or disorder. It is considered Tridosha Shamak which means that it can balance all three Doshas.
Types of Chaas
Ayurveda mentions five different types of Chaas, based on the preparation of the drink. Depending on the water added to the curd and cream involved in the drink, all five types of Chaas have their own characteristics.
Ghola: In this buttermilk, the curd is churned without adding water and without removing cream. This is very effective in pacifying Vata and Kapha Dosha.
Mathita: Easy for digestion, this buttermilk is prepared without adding water to the curd. However, the cream is removed in this buttermilk. It helps to alleviate Pitta and Kapha Dosha.
Udashvit: This buttermilk helps the body to remove Ama or toxins. It is prepared using half part water and half part curd. By aggravating Kapha, Udashvit brings strength to the body and helps eliminate fatigue.
Takra: This buttermilk is prepared by adding four times of water to the curd. Easy to digest, the pacifying properties of Takra nourish the body from within. It pacifies Vata Dosha with Amla Rasa or sour taste, Pitta Dosha through Madhura or sweet Rasa, and Kapha Dosha by its Kashya or astringent taste. Takra is considered the best cooling food for summer in Ayurveda.
Why is Buttermilk the Best Cooling Food for Summer?
Summers aggravate the Pitta Dosha and bring dryness to the body. During summers everyone needs a drink that can keep the body hydrated and fresh. Buttermilk is the best option as it not only hydrates the body but also provides numerous health benefits to the body. Summers can also bring many digestion-related disorders to the body. Buttermilk boosts metabolism and digestion by helping the digestive system absorb nutrients better and by removing Ama from the body. Hence, buttermilk or Chaas is the best cooling food for summer.
How to Make Chaas or Buttermilk?
There are many ways to make Chaas. The best buttermilk for summer is Takra, in which we add four times of water to the curd. In this recipe, we also add rock salt as it helps to keep electrolytes balanced in the body during summer. We also use cumin powder and coriander leaves owing to their cooling properties.
Step 1: Put 1 cup of curd into the blender jar
Step 2: Add 4 cups of water to the jar along with ½ teaspoon cumin powder
Step 3: Add salt to taste, preferably rock salt
Step 4: Blend it properly
Step 5: Add coriander leaves to bring more freshness and coolness to the drink
Ways to consume Chaas
Chaas is an integral part of a lot of Indian folk cuisines, more prominently in hot or humid regions like Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Gujarat, etc. Here are the few ways in which people generally consume chaas:
- Since buttermilk aids digestion, it is often recommended that one should drink Chaas right after a full hearty meal.
- Since buttermilk makes your stomach feel lighter, some people prefer to drink it before meals too. It works as an appetite stimulant.
- Buttermilk can be taken in between meals. Some people prefer to drink it on its own. It can help you reduce meal gaps while keeping the nutrition intact.
Side Effects of Chaas:
- Lactose-intolerant people shouldn’t consume Chaas which has cream in it.
- Industrially prepared buttermilk might have some sugar content which wouldn’t be ideal for those who are trying to lose weight or lower their blood sugar levels.
- Some people might be allergic to the components that go inside Buttermilk. Even though it isn’t a one recipe fit all, people should be aware of their allergies before taking Buttermilk.
- It should be consumed in moderation. Excess of anything can cause health issues.
1. How is Chaas good for digestion?
Buttermilk boosts digestion and helps to reduce acidity.
• It also stimulates bowel movements and aids in cases of constipation.
• It works as an appetite stimulant.
2. How is buttermilk prepared?
The best buttermilk for summer is Takra, in which we add four times of water to the curd. In this recipe, we also add rock salt as it helps to keep electrolytes balanced in the body during summer. We also use cumin powder and coriander leaves owing to their cooling properties.
3. What doshas can Buttermilk pacify?
According to Ayurveda, buttermilk can help prevent any disease and disorder. It is considered Tridosha Shamak which means that it can balance all three Doshas.
Buttermilk comes with many advantages for the health of the person, but the most important use of buttermilk is as a cooling food in summer. You can easily cool down your body heat and restore the balance in the body and mind with buttermilk. The versatility of Chaas is reflected in its various types, each addressing specific health concerns. Easily prepared, the Takra variant, infused with rock salt, cumin powder, and coriander leaves, stands out as a refreshing and rejuvenating option. Despite its benefits, caution is advised for lactose-intolerant individuals and those with allergies. In moderation, Chaas emerges not just as a summer refresher but as a time-honored health tonic rooted in Ayurvedic wisdom, promoting overall well-being.
The information provided here does not intend to replace professional advice or treatment.