Saturday, 20 February 2016

Cheek or Bovine Colostrum

Bovine colostrum or cheek (चीक) is the lactating cow or buffalo's first milk. It's availability depends upon the species of cattle, since different species produce colostrum for different time spans, after which the cattle continue to produce 'regular' milk' throughout the rest of the offspring's suckling stage.Colostrum is vastly different in it's nutritional composition than regular milk and this is what makes it one of the most powerful rejuvenative anti-ageing foods available.
A package of frozen buffalo colostrum
It has potent natural activators which are believed to lead to lean mass and better bone density.The functional thymus gland plays a central role in human immune health and the gland is known to be shriveled in adults. Studies have shown that raw colostrum can actually begin to re-grow this gland. The health benefits of colostrum can be attributed to the fact that it contains 97 immune factors (constituents that build and improve different aspects of the immune system), 87 growth factors (bio-identical hormones and hormone precursors) and a variety of different probiotics and prebiotics that help grow and feed the beneficial flora in the gut. Colostrum is believed to prevent or even treat gingivitis and may be able to help re-grow a receding gum-line.
When my mother was a kid, she tells me that cheek vendors carrying large aluminium milk cans would go around residential areas, yelling "cheek ghyaicha ka cheek" in the lazy afternoons. Ladies would then buy the colostrum in shers ( 1 sher ≃ 1 litre), a unit of volume from the pre-akbar system of measurement. The vendor would then pour the cheek into their milk pans.Thus the milk was farm fresh and never frozen or packaged. Also, when you're working with cheek, it is important to know it's source day, since that will decide the amount of regular milk to be added to it. Back in the day, the milk vendors always told you of the source day.
These days, the colostrum is sold packaged and frozen in dairies and lacks detailed information regarding it's source day. Nevertheless, it's popularity remains unchanged. The most popular recipe using bovine colostrum is undoubtedly kharvas, one of my favourites. These days though, most people prefer to buy it from the sweet shop than make it at home. When I was a kid, this was one sweet my grandfather always got for me whenever he visited.

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