curd Curd or yogurt is a lactic fermentation of milk. It is esteemed for its smoothness, its pleasant and refreshing taste. It is highly versatile and health-promoting and one of the most valuable therapeutic foods.

Food Value

Curd is a very nourishing food. It is a valuable source of protein, essential vitamins and minerals. It is also a rich source of calcium and riboflavin. The proteins in curd is more readily digested than the protein in milk. It has been estimated that regular milk is only 32% digested after an hour in the digestive tract, whereas 91% of curd is digested within the same period of time. It is, therefore, an ideal diet for those with sensitive digestive systems, particularly young children and elderly persons.

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties

Although curd has a nutritive content similar to fresh milk, it has extensive special values for therapeutic purposes. During the process of making curd, bacteria convert milk into curd and predigest milk protein. These bacteria then inhibit the growth of hostile or illness-causing bacteria inside the intestinal tract and promote beneficial bacteria needed for digestion. These friendly bacteria facilitate the absorption of minerals and aid in the synthesis of vitamins of B group. Buttermilk, which has same nutritive and curative value as curd, is prepared by churning curd and adding some water, removing the fat in the form of butter.

Curd is also considered one of the best aids to natural good looks. It supplies the nerves and the skin with healthy ingredients and counteracts the ill-effects of exposure to the scorching sun. The bacteria in curd make the skin soft and glowing. Curd mixed with orange or lemon juice is a good face cleanser. It supplies moisture to the skin and fruit juice provides the essential vitamin C. One tablespoonful of juice should be mixed in one cup of curd. This should be applied to face and neck and allowed to dry for 15 minutes. It should then be wiped off with a soft tissue and washed with water.

A mixture of oatmeal flour and yogurt has been found effective in making the skin fairer and softer. This mixture should be kept on the facial skin for 15-20 minutes and then washed off with warm water. For pimples, a paste of curd and Bengal gram flour or besan should be applied on the face and then washed off.

Curd is also considered valuable in conditioning the hair. It makes the hair soft, healthy and strong. Curd should be massaged right into the roots of the hair before being washed off. Dandruff can be removed by massaging one’s hair for half an hour with curd which has been kept in the open for three days.

Gastro-intestinal Disorders

Apart from the lactic acid organisms placed in the milk for the purpose of souring it, the acid of sour milk and its lectose content are important curative factors in a number of diseases. Curd brings relief to patients suffering from gastro-intestinal disorders such as chronic constipation and diarrhoea.

Besides aiding in the digestion of food, curd decreases dryness and gas in the stomach by helping in secretion of hydrochloric acid, pepsin and renin.

The germs which give rise to infection and inflammation such as those which cause appendicitis, diarrhoea and dysentery, cannot thrive in the presence of lactic acid found in curd and buttermilk. Beneficial results have been achieved by the use of buttermilk in the cases of colitis. Buttermilk enemas have been found beneficial in the treatment of colitis, chronic constipation, diarrhoea, dysentery, chronic appendicitis and gastric ulcer.

Insomnia

Curd is valuable in the treatment of insomnia. The patient should take plenty of curd and massage it on the head. This will induce sleep.

Premature Ageing

Curd has been associated with longevity. Premature old age and decay could be prevented by taking sufficient curd in the daily diet. The body is slowly being poisoned and its resistance weakened by man’s normal diet and that this poisoning process could be arrested and the intestinal tract kept healthy by the constant, regular use of yogurt or some variety of acidophilus milk.

Hepatitis and Jaundice

Excessive liberation of ammonia, which is one of the major causes of coma in hepatitis, can be prevented by liberal use of curd. The lectic acid organisms in the curd counteracts the formation of ammonia. In jaundice, curd or buttermilk sweetened with honey, makes an ideal diet.

Skin Disorders

The use of curd in the form of buttermilk is highly beneficial in the treatment of obstinate skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema. The application of buttermilk compresses will also be useful in these conditions. Pads of muslin or thin cloth saturated with buttermilk may be applied to broad surface. The compresses may be worn continuously or only at night. The surface should be properly cleaned when the compress is removed. The compresses are very effective in case of skin inflammation. The intense skin irritation generally disappears quickly after the application of buttermilk compresses.