No ritual of this land ends without Prasad. No Prasad without Panchamrita (पञ्चामृत). It is a mixture of five foods used in Hindu worship and puja, usually honey, sugar, milk, yogurt, and ghee. I remember, how my mother used to stop me every time I start from home for exam. She would feed a spoon full of misti dahi (dahi and/or jaggery/sugar) as a शुकन token and my success in exams. In marriage ritual, पञ्चामृत is used profusely as it is major emotional event for both families. Mighty God Krishna is never seen without probiotic food.
Amazing science behind it! As I shared in last post about connection of CAT and अपशुकन in last post, here is the connection of पञ्चामृत and शुकन (Well-being or well-execution of future immediate actions). All thanks to tiny little microbes whom we are ready to kill everyday using anti-microbes weapons. 🙂
Lactobacilli bacteria in dahi reduces anxiety, chronic fatigue and depression. That is the magic of just one type of bacteria. Generally when dahi is fermented at home, it can have all beneficial bacteria. In पञ्चामृत, ghee and honey are potent probiotic food, increasing potency of altering our mood.
There is another bacteria in probiotic food: Bifidobacterium infantis. Probiotic treatment with B. infantis in a rat maternal separation model of depression resulted in a normal immune response, normal behavior, and normal levels of stress hormone in the brainstem compared to untreated rats. (As I’ve stated many times here, gut function affects all body parts, including the brain.)
So your mother or grandmother was more scientific than you and me who were laughing on them for blind rituals.
Things to take care for availing full benefits of probiotic Dahi
1) Fermentation must happen at home. Factory made Dahi will have bacteria from factory environment (other than Lactobacilli). Our home is full of bacteria suited for our body. So prepare dahi at home.
2) For probiotics to survive beyond acidic stomach pathway and establish themselves in GUT, milk, honey, jiggery used should be full of nutrition which bacteria can use for survival in harsh stomach conditions. Find Raw Desi Gay milk for it. Find chemical-free unprocessed honey and jiggery. Find unrefined non-white sugar.
3) Consume fresh Dahi. Do not refrigerate.
4) Prepare Panchamrit. Not exclusive dahi. Take in small quantity. For large quantity, prepare butter milk.
5) Avoid during monsoon due to unstable environment crowded so many different pathogens.