5 Top Benefits & Uses of Buttermilk | Chaas For Skin, Hair & Health

When I was younger I used to love standing near and watching my grandma expertly churn yogurt into buttermilk. It was a ritual that was followed daily without fail and freshly made buttermilk from grass fed cows milk is a treat both to our stomach and heart. Since the amount of yogurt  to be churned was lot, the buttermilk churning was done in huge pots using a rope. After I got married, I was doing it the traditional way for some years but now even I have started using immersion blender for convenience sake. A few weeks back, I read a very sweet and interesting real life incident about using traditional buttermilk churning and it really made me smile. A middle aged women who has got constant aches and pains finds to her great dismay that her blender has stopped working. To further add to her misery her husband takes the blender to the repair shop and informs her that it will take a week for it to be repaired again. Grumbling and complaining she brings down her traditional grinding stone and churning machines from the attic and starts using them. A few days pass by and she suddenly realizes to her great amazement that her aches and pains have vanished. She was so excited that she decides to share her experience with everyone. All our traditional ways of grinding and churning are very good workouts that keep us flexible and healthy. I also have to add that even the simple act of using a rope for buttermilk churning is very calming. Homemade fresh buttermilk has amazing health and beauty benefits and we often use it in home remedies. For elderly people who find it difficult to digest yogurt will find buttermilk easier on their digestive system. Even diabetic patients and pregnant women can drink buttermilk daily. People who are suffering from piles will greatly benefit if they include a lot of buttermilk in their diet. If you are used to making buttermilk from processed milk curd, I would strongly advice making it from grass fed whole milk curd. Once you taste that buttermilk you will never stop drinking it. Here in my place people are so used to buttermilk that they can even distinguish it from what type of milk it is made from. For instance, buttermilk got from traditional cows (naatu madu in Tamil) has got the best flavor than the ones got from other cows and it is more healthy too……

1. Buttermilk For Menstrual Pain:

                    This remedy for menstrual pain made by mixing buttermilk with asafoetida has been used for ages in our
village side and can greatly reduce the discomfort during periods.
also called as hing is a dried gum obtained from a perennial herb. It has a strong pungent smell and we use asafoetida everyday in our
day to day cooking. It is available either in powder form or in small
slabs. I always buy it in slabs and break it into small pieces and sun
dry it till crisp and store in an airtight box. I feel that
asafoetida which comes in slab has better flavor and smell than the one
that comes in powder form.  This remedy is really a boon for women as it
helps to get rid of menstrual pain. For this remedy, fry a small piece of asafoetida in an empty kadai, powder it finely in a mortar and pestle and add it to 1/2 cup of buttermilk along with little bit of sugar. Women with menstrual pain can take a cup of this once everyday to get relief from menstrual pain. I read that
asafoetida contains special chemicals which can thin the blood thus
making the blood flow smooth. The only con about
this remedy is that the smell of asafoetida is very strong and it
lingers in the mouth for quiet some time. But I think we can overlook
that as it really helps one with menstrual pain……..


2. Buttermilk For Skin & Hair:

Once a reader of this blog wrote on the comment section that adding
milk in face packs was making her face oily. This happens if you have
normal to oily skin as the fat content in the milk makes the skin oilier. The best solution is to replace milk with either pure rose water or
buttermilk. Adding buttermilk to face masks prevents oiliness but at
the same conditions and softens the skin. You can mix buttermilk with besan or oatmeal powder or clay for a firming mask. You can also add it like
milk in the bath for a healing bath soak. Dabbing pure buttermilk on the
skin is a very good remedy for sunburned skin and it is a very cheap
and effective treatment. Try to include buttermilk often in your beauty
regimen and the best way to use it is in face packs. You can also use it
as a cleanser, dip a piece of cotton in buttermilk and use it to clean the face. It cleans the face well along with softening the skin.
Like for skin, buttermilk can be used for hair too. Sour buttermilk when
mixed with lemon juice acts as a good home remedy for dandruff when
massaged into the scalp. We can also use buttermilk for grinding fruits
like amla to use it as a hair mask, it does not make the scalp very greasy but it conditions really well.

3.Buttermilk For Indigestion & Diarrhea:

ginger is one ingredient that we use often as a home remedy and I
always have dry ginger at home. This remedy using buttermilk and ginger is used to treat flatulence
and upset stomach. This remedy was taught to me by my husband’s grandmother. She was really good with home remedies and lot of remedies in
this blog is from her. Dry ginger is called “Sukku” in Tamil and it is
easier to get sukku as it is available in all the departmental stores.
Ginger root contain gingerols, camphene and oleo resins. These
substances increase the gastric juices thus treating diarrhea, gastric
problems etc. Butter milk is also great for treating stomach ailments.
To make this remedy, grind a small piece of dry ginger using a day old buttermilk
(buttermilk which is a bit sour) and crystal salt to a fine paste. Thin
it down with fresh buttermilk, the mixture should be thin. If you are
not able to grind it finely, strain the mixture. This remedy can be
safely given to children, but reduce the quantity of dry ginger for
them. Drink this once and you will feel better in no time. This is not
bitter at all, only a bit spicy to drink.

4. Buttermilk for Weight Loss:

Nowadays drinks for weight loss are sold by the millions, everywhere you turn around you see advertisements promising zero fat, zero sugar and that it can be safely consumed by people who are on restricted calories. When you turn these bottles around you see a long list of chemicals that we can’t even pronounce. The manufactures have to add something to make the product taste good and that too after promising zero fat and zero sugar! They add all these chemicals to make up for the taste of fat and sugar. My point is when we have wonderful traditional drinks that are really of less calories, no chemicals added, costs only a fraction to make and above all tastes good, why consume something that we don’t know fully about? Try drinking spiced buttermilk daily instead of weight loss drinks and you have a wonderful weight loss aid. To make the spiced buttermilk, pound either fresh coriander or curry leaves along with required amount of crystal salt and cumin seeds finely in a mortar and pestle. Mix this finely crushed mixture in required amount of fresh homemade buttermilk and mix well. Strain and your refreshing spiced buttermilk is ready. I was making this mixture daily for my son during his summer holidays as he spends most of his time out playing or fishing under the hot sun, it kept his body cool and prevented summer boils.

5. Buttermilk For Stomach Burn:

                         I can’t think of buttermilk without thinking of palaysatham. During
the time the refrigerator didn’t make it’s way into our homes,
whenever there was left over cooked rice, boiled water was poured in the
left over rice and left overnight. The next day morning, it was mixed
with buttermilk and salt. This used to be the traditional breakfast with raw small onions as an accompaniment. We call it “Palaya sadham/
Neeragaram” in Tamil. Neeragaram has amazing health benefits. Having
palaya sadham for few days on an empty stomach cures stomach burns.
Palaya sadham is also rich in vitamin b12. It is also an amazing body
coolant and if you are a person who is out in the hot sun a lot, try
drinking this neeragaram before going out, your body will not develop
heat boils nor will it get dehydrated very soon. We make palaya sadham
often, though not regularly like in my grandparents times. But on a hot
summer morning, having “Palaya sadham” is literally heaven. We make
palaya sadham in different ways, the one I have posted is easy and
quick. To make palaya sadham, the previous night add little left over
rice in a cup. Pour boiled water and few drops of castor oil, close
it with a lid and leave it overnight. The next day morning, add little
buttermilk and salt and mix everything together well and have it in an
empty stomach. You can bite into the small onions for spiciness.
Continue having this for some time and you will feel much better. Both buttermilk and castor oil cools the body. For even healthier version, try
making this palaya sadham with brown rice.



  1. Anonymous
    June 23, 2015 / 2:14 am

    for pazhayasadam. boil the water, let it cool? then pour over the rice…which specific variety of rice is best for this there are many kinds.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 27, 2015 / 5:22 am

      You don't have to boil the water, if it is filtered. We usually use either Ponni or IR 20 variety rice, the best is to use hand pounded rice (kaikuthal rice)…

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2015 / 11:29 pm

      what i meant was should we pour boiling water over it or cooled water over it (which was boiled or filtered).have you tried unakkalari rice, matta, samba rice or idli rice?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 30, 2015 / 3:59 pm

      Pour cooled water over it :). I have tried with idli and hand pounded rice, yet to try with other variety of rices…

  2. Aditya Singh
    September 16, 2017 / 7:39 am

    Can we add turmeric into butter milk?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 18, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Yes, you can add turmeric to buttermilk…

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