Donkey Milk: Ancient Elixir for Your Modern Life

Donkeys have mainly been used as pack and ride animals in developing economies. In late nineteenth century, donkey milk (ass milk/ jenny milk) gained a new perspective as it was used in feeding orphaned children in France.

The increase in cow’s milk protein allergy among children has led to search for alternatives. Researchers in Italy established that infants can tolerate the donkey better. In 2011, the BBC reported that more than 50% of the donkey milk produced at a farm outside Bologna, Italy, is sold to pediatric units, for children who can’t consume cow’s milk.

Compared to other types of animal milk, the donkey variety is actually closest to human breast milk, based on its pH level and nutritional makeup. It also contains less total fat than cow's milk, and packs more anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Natural substances in donkey milk have been shown to enhance immunity, which may be helpful for people with conditions like asthma, eczema, or psoriasis. Hippocrates (460 – 370 BC), the father of medicine, prescribed donkey’s milk for numerous purposes, such as liver troubles, infectious diseases, fevers, oedema, nose bleeds, poisonings, and wounds. In addition, it likely tastes better than it sounds; many people say it's odorless and the texture resembles low-fat cow's milk.

Donkey milk is also part of a beauty trend too. In the Roman age, the donkey milk was used for nutrition and skin care. A lot of skin care products nowadays featuring donkey milk as the star ingredient. Many people saw positive improvements in their eczema and with their sensitive skin after switching to donkey milk soap. There are even reports of Cleopatra bathing in donkey milk to keep her skin looking youthful.

Check out some donkey’s milk benefits listed here:
  1. It has high volumes of vitamin B, B12, C and nutrients in it.
  2. Donkey’s milk acts a good remedy to cure asthma and respiratory problems.
  3. It is a good Ayurvedic medicine for newborns who are suffering from asthma, throat infections and tuberculosis.
  4. It is poor in proteins and fats but rich in minerals and vitamins.
  5. Researchers have found that the allergy that is caused by cow’s milk can be cured well by giving donkey’s milk.
  6. It can be used to feed orphaned children as it has equal amounts of calories as breast milk of a mother.
  7. It can be given as a complete food for kids and it even cures few of skin diseases for infants.
  8. As it is rich in calcium this gives strong bones for babies and even protects baby from broken bones.
  9. When compared to human milk it has more than 60 times vitamin C content in it.
  10. It is one of the good ingredients for probiotic and healing foods.

However, donkeys don't produce as much milk as cows do. A jenny -- a female donkey -- produces just a liter of milk a day for six to seven months a year, while a cow can deliver 30 times as much. Also, a donkey won't produce milk unless it's stimulated by the presence of its foal, and milking has to be done manually. Donkey milk is very costly and in European countries the cheese that is made from donkey’s milk is one of the world’s costliest dairy products.

photo: express.co.uk

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