Benefits of Donkeys Milk
Donkeys milk is the only milk available in the UK that is naturally similar to human breast milk and proven to benefit 90% of all children and infants with cow’s milk allergy.
Better than any other animal milk on the market, and any plant based milk substitute, donkey milk not only is nutritious enough for a baby’s diet but also boosts the immune system due to its antibacterial qualities. And, as it has been shown to have low bacterial content it need not be pasteurised to be fit for human and infant consumption. Nevertheless, it is advisable to boil the milk before giving it to an infant or ill child.
Donkey milk has also been proven to be a health tonic in the elderly and assisted recovery times due to illness. But all this is not new. During the 1700’s-1800’s wealthy Parisian ladies drank a tonic of donkey milk which preported to better their complection and boost their overall health. All maternity hospitals in France has Assianes – donkey dairy farms – which supplied milk for infants. It has become a cliché but Cleopatra is famous for her 700 strong donkey herd which supplied her with milk for her baths. Donkey milk is still harvested by people in African countries for personal use. Nowadays donkey milk is rarely used in Western Europe, notable exception are parts of Italy where hospitals use the milk in paediatric clinics.
If asses milk is so good why don’t we see more of it?
Simply, donkeys don’t produce enough of it. Cows produces 10-40 litres of milk a day; goats about 3 litres a day; donkeys, 200ml to 1000ml per day in three milkings! Donkeys don’t have a large udder to store milk, so the donkey only produces enough to fill what space it has. Plus, where as a cow and calf are separated early on, sometimes in the first few weeks, a Jenny will not lactate unless she has her foal at foot and will only give you her milk if she can see her off-spring. Finally, a Jenny only lactates for 3-6 months of the year, peaking production at around 3 months (cows peak is more like 1-2 months) and will stop if her foal is weaned. So, that we have neglected this lactating miracle is not a surprise. Jennies require a lot of investment.
With such obvious health benefits it is unsurprising the cosmetics industry are interested in the stuff. Donkeys milk has been made into soaps, creams, gels, moisturisers.