In recent years, donkey milk came into spotlight seeing as many parents whose children have problems with allergies and frequent respiratory tract infections accompanied by cough used it as a natural remedy. Donkey milk is also noted by many experts who refer to it as a precious, nutritious, and delicious nectar the multiple benefits of which are being gradually revealed through various researches. Namely, it has been discovered that donkey milk is the most similar to breast milk in composition, and that it is the best substitute for cow’s milk. It has been shown that children who are allergic to cow’s milk proteins accept donkey milk very well. Moreover, it is delicious, sweet, nutritious and it does not cause any allergic reactions.
On the one hand, donkey milk has a very low level of ‘bad’ saturated fat, but on the other hand it is very high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These good fats can commonly be found in fish and fish oil, and they have a positive effect on cognitive development and health. Perhaps their most important boons, when it comes to child development, are the fact that they lower the levels of blood cholesterol, enhance brain development, and help the body to use important vitamins and minerals from food. Moreover, they are important for the development and agency of all vital organs.
Donkey milk is rich in calcium, and it is well known that calcium is necessary for the healthy development of growing children. Moreover, the milk contains the enzyme lysozyme, the human body’s own antibiotic that has antibacterial and antiviral properties which prevent various inflammatory processes in the digestive system.
Many experts predict that the adapted formulas for infants will be produced out of donkey milk in the future, and the reasons for such a belief are that it is easy to digest, it is very nutritious, and a close relative to breast milk.
It is an interesting fact that donkey milk contains 60 times more vitamin C than cow’s milk, vitamins A, D, E and F, high amounts of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It treats or reduces the symptoms of asthma and cough in pulmonary diseases such as bronchitis and whooping cough. Perhaps the most important health benefit is that during colder periods it strengthens the immune system in children and adults.
There has been an increasing number of children, especially in industrialized areas and cities who suffer from various allergies. One of the most common types is lactose intolerance, allergy to cow’s milk and dairy products. Traditional substitutes for cow’s milk are goat’s or sheep’s milk, but in 90% of cases children are allergic to them as well because they contain the same allergens. The parents look to soy or rice milk as an alternative solution, but some do not find it satisfying because of their vegetable origin. An increasing number of parents resorts to light, sweet and delicious donkey milk.
Drinking donkey milk is not an innovation of the modern age. Our ancestors, especially in areas where donkeys were held as domestic animals, had been drinking donkey milk from the word go. Back in the 5th century BC, Hippocrates, the father of scientific medicine, used to prescribe donkey milk in order to treat various diseases, probably because of its antibacterial and antiviral activity in the digestive system.
Greeks were giving donkey milk to their children in large quantities and, during the Roman Empire, women used it for skin care. Cleopatra herself supposedly took long baths in donkey’s milk in order to maintain her youth and beauty. Up until the 19th century, donkey milk used to be sold as a replacement for breast milk. Afterwards, the cow’s milk industry started to take over because the demand for milk was constantly growing.
Jennets were never bred in order to replace the machines for milk production. That is why donkey’s milk is difficult to produce. Milking should be performed with caution because every confiscated drop means less food for the foal which suckles approximately every 15 – 30 minutes. Allowed daily milk yield is 0, 2 – 0, 5 deciliters.