Yep, you read correctly — Camel Milk! When my little turned one, I decided to introduce camel milk to her. I’m not a milk drinker (lactose intolerant). I knew regular cow’s milk wasn’t going to work for us. My mom says I was a colicky baby and had to remove cow’s milk from my diet. A perfect example of unhappy stomach means unhappy little.
That leads me to the introduction of camel milk. A main draw was that camel milk is considered hypoallergenic. Similar to human milk and unlike cow, sheep & goat’s milk, it doesn’t contain any β-lactoglobulin (whey protein) . β-lactoglobulin tends to be the main cause for milk allergies in individuals. In a preliminary study, camel milk was shown an option for those who are lactose intolerant to cow milk. Those individuals were able to digest camel milk with little to no side effects. I can concur, when I drink camel milk, I don’t have the same bloating, gassy reactions that I do after consuming cow milk.
Camel milk is nutritionally packed. It’s high in amounts of anti-bacterial, anti-viral substances such as lactoferrin, immunoglobulins and lysozyme; Translation: the good guys that help defend against infections. It’s also packed with nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, copper, sodium, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and three times the amount of vitamin C of other milks. For more information on the nutritional value, click here .
Amazingly, there are claims that camel milk is healing for those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One double-blinded study found that after 2 weeks of consecutive camel milk consumption, significant changes were detected. Another mother reports the dramatic changes she witnessed in her ASD son after consuming the “miracle” milk. There are also studies showing it to have favorable effects on diabetes.
At the least, I figured, I couldn’t go wrong with trying it out. I approached it as being the same trial and error as most things with a little. After much research, it seemed to be the best route with minimal downside. I started with a lightly pasteurized version and later transitioned to the raw variety.
Where to buy Camel Milk? Online is the only way for most. If you have or know of a camel farm close to Austin, Tx, would you please inform me about it? One thing to mention, it is a bit pricey. Since camels have long pregnancies and their gestation periods can last 12-15 months (and I thought 10 months was long!), it takes longer to produce a lactating camel. Then they only lactate for about a year with their calf. In addition, there are not that many camel farms in the US — most are Amish Farmers, but not all. Hmmm — maybe a new venture for me?
Here are the places I have ordered from:
- desertfarms.com — They source from numerous camel farmers throughout the US. They offer lightly pasteurized, raw, frozen or fresh.
- camelmilkassociation.org — Amish turned Mennonite family in Michigan. They have the best customer service — someone even answered the phone when I called on a Saturday morning with an ordering question. In order to purchase camel milk from them, you have to become a member, which is $25 and includes a lifetime membership. They offer fresh or frozen as well as glass bottles.
From my 9 months’ observation of daily (3- 4oz) camel milk for my little, she seems to be doing positively well on this milk. If you are looking for an alternative to cow’s milk, I suggest you try camel milk.
In the Christmas spirit, one must wonder if the three “wise” men also drank camel milk.