If you were to ask me two years ago “How is your digestion?” I would have sat you down and proceeded to let you know exactly how my digestion was doing… or should I say not doing. Painful, stomach aches during and after every meal, bloating, flatulence, loose elimination… and this repeated most days for years! I didn’t remember what it felt like to be pain-free and I had begun to believe that my discomfort and pain was me and this was just life. I had also chosen to eliminate dairy and gluten as these items seemed to be the only source I could think of that were causing my symptoms.
I didn’t remember what it felt like to be pain-free and I had begun to believe that my discomfort and pain was me and this was just life.
In 2014, I saw a recommended naturopathic doctor and was given a slew of supplements after blood tests resulted in lower than average vitamin and mineral levels. After several months I had spent over 5,000 dollars between doctor visits and vitamins, had no “diet” plan, no path for getting off supplements, and nothing that I could do for in-the-moment digestive care that would help ease my pain. Not to mention the anxiety and worry I would get before I even started to eat!
I will say that supplements helped me and I encourage others to take supplements and medication when needed. However, there should be an action plan and an understanding that routine and whole foods are the foundation of health.
My challenges put me on a path to explore and educate myself so I could heal. In that process I found Ayurveda. Think of Ayurveda as a grandmother who has a home remedy for everything. Burn your arm on the oven? Apply a paste of turmeric and honey. Constipation? Take raisins and prunes. Intestinal discomfort after eating? Drink a digestive Lassi! This brings me to our topic – the Lassi, aka Takra.
A Takra is a ratio combination of 4:1 water and yogurt. This produces a very watered down drink that when taken has been know to soothe IBS, Crohn’s disease, hemorrhoids, tumors, diarrhea, anemia, urinary disorders, bloating, intestinal irritation, and much more. It also promotes the growth and proliferation of natural pro-biotics! When comfortable with this recipe you can play around with the ratio for a thicker Takra if that is preferred. Today I am highlighting a digestive Takra with cumin and organic yogurt!
For those of you who are already thinking “I can’t take yogurt, this isn’t for me!” Keep reading. Unless you have been diagnosed Lactose Intolerant by your doctor, this
When indigestion is present, internal symptoms increase such acidic bile that your intestines cannot protect against, a deficiency of good bacteria, a low or absent digestive fire as well as other indications. This gives rise to lactose sensitivities as well as gluten and other foods [i.e. FODMAPS.] The villi and bacteria that live to protect your gut go M.I.A. and your once well-digested foods become your worst enemy! This is a domino effect and the outcome leads to bloating, flatulence, pain, loose elimination…The story of my life. It’s important to note that other organs like the liver or gallbladder may need attention as well. Although Takras are beneficial and can help, it’s important to get to the root of the problem.
Yogurt is fermented milk and considered a natural probiotic. This means that yogurt on its own promotes good intestinal bacteria as well as inhibits pathogenic organisms.
*If you are truly lactose intolerant, you can use fermented coconut yogurt.
There are three types of cumin and here, I am working with brown cumin, commonly found in your grocer’s spice aisle. Cumin’s not so secret powers: assist in digestion, diuretic, antispasmodic and carminative.
A carminative herb contains volatile oils that assist with gastric emptying, peristalsis, relieves cramping and expels intestinal gas.
This recipe is a general guideline and specific herbal proportions can be tailored to your imbalances.
Recipe: Takes 10 minutes, or less!
Mix 1⁄2 cup organic plain yogurt, 2 cups room temperature water, 1⁄4 tsp ground cumin, 1⁄4 tsp salt in a blender for 1-2 minutes. Skim foam off the top. Repeat till foam is barely visible. This makes enough for two large glasses. Enjoy your savory cool and delicious drink!
Drink immediately – do not refrigerate.
Drink 30 minutes before eating to stimulate your digestion or directly after eating to help calm and cool digestion.
If you have any discomfort the first few times you take this
Things to Consider
- You can play around with dry roasting the cumin. There are three objectives for dry roasting. You have damp spices you want to dry, you are looking for a more subtle rounded flavor, and the internal effect is more or less potent for you when dried versus roasted.
- Which yogurt to buy? Look for whole pasteurized organic milk. Straus and Pavel are good brands.
- Why the salt? Salt acts as another agent in assimilation as well as adds electrolytes! Pink Himalayan salt is useful for those challenged by high- blood pressure.
- Cumin is not the only spice you can add to you Lassi. There is room for creativity when you know what herbs and spices can help with your digestion.
Much love, Alexandra
The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, please connect with me. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.