For most people, drinking camel milk may not sound like an appetizing choice. However, new research has shown that camel milk is bursting with health benefits that will make you want to switch to it. Commonly used in Asia, North Africa and the Middle Eastern countries, camel milk is considered to be a health tonic owing to its numerous nutritional benefits. It is found to have the ability to help with many health disorders including allergies, diabetes and digestive problems. For people having lactose intolerance camel’s milk is a great choice as it can easily be digested.
Nutritional profile of Camel milk
Camel milk is a rich source of nutrients that is enough to sustain an individual throughout the day. It is a bit saltier and contains thrice the amount of vitamin C and ten times the amount of iron when compared to cow’s milk. It is lower in fat and cholesterol, and is a great source of protein and unsaturated fatty acids. It is also a good source of vitamin A, B vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc and phosphorus. Camel milk is easy to digest and is a natural pro-biotic that supports the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
Health benefits of Camel milk
The various nutrients in camel milk help in promoting general well-being and also in improving the body’s natural defenses against many diseases. Those who consume camel milk on a regular basis can definitely benefit from the wide range of health and medicinal properties it has to offer. Given below are a few of the health benefits of camel milk:
Benefits of Camel milk for diabetes
Camel milk is not only low in fat but is also high in many healthy vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. In addition to these nutrients it is also an excellent source of insulin. It has been found that camel milk provides a quart of insulin per liter, making it an ideal option for treating people suffering from diabetes. A study was conducted in the year 2005 by Bikaner Diabetes Care Research Center in India on the effects of camel milk on type 1 diabetes. The results indicated that drinking camel milk helped in reducing the insulin doses needed for controlling blood sugar level on a long-term basis. The study also suggested that the consumption of 500 ml of fresh and raw camel milk regularly can help the diabetic patients improve the quality of their lives. This is due to the presence of insulin like protein in camel milk that does not coagulate and is easily absorbed. However, further scientific research is still required to establish the efficacy of camel milk for the treatment of diabetes. Until then Insulin continues to be most effective treatment for this metabolic disorder.
Skin benefits of camel milk
Research shows that camel milk is very effective in moisturizing and nourishing the skin. The effective cleansing and healing properties of camel milk may be because of the biologically active proteins present in it. With its strong antibacterial properties, camel milk is capable of fighting off acne causing bacteria and keeping the skin free of acne and pimples. The amazing medicinal properties of camel milk have been utilized in a whole range of skin care products. It is a natural softening and moisturizing agent that can hydrate your skin and keep it smooth and supple. It contains elastin, lanolin and vitamin C, all of which promote anti-aging as well as contribute to healthy and beautiful looking skin. Camel milk has soothing effects that help in treating irritated or inflamed skin. Applying it on the skin can help relieve itching, flaking, soreness and dryness of the skin. It is also an effective remedy for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Camel milk boosts your immunity
Camel milk contains powerful immune-system components that might help in combating many diseases. The antibodies or immunoglobulins present in camel milk are tiny and hence it is easy for them to penetrate and destroy the antigens (disease-causing substances). The milk of camel is found to be beneficial for people suffering from disorders of the autoimmune system such as multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease. Autoimmune system disorder is a condition whereby the immune system of an individual mistakenly attacks his or her own healthy body tissues. Unlike traditional treatment methods that give emphasis on suppressing the activity of the immune system, camel milk goes a step further by actually enhancing the immune response.
Camel milk for food allergies
Camel milk contains immune system components that can be helpful for children having allergy to milk and certain types of food. Studies reveal that camel milk can be used as a substitute to cow’s milk for milk allergic children. Another study issued in the “Israel Medical Association Journal” (December 2005 edition) details about the research done on the effects of camel milk on eights kids suffering from serious food and milk allergies. These children were recommended to try camel milk daily after having no positive effects with the conventional treatment methods. The results were astonishing and indicated that all the children were completed cured with no side effects whatsoever. This allergy reducing effect may be attributed to the presence of powerful immunoglobulin that is capable of fighting diseases.
Camel milk for the treatment of autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a serious neurodevelopment disorder characterized by high prevalence of autoimmune disease, impairments in communication, social orientation, and repetitive behaviors, mental retardation, gastrointestinal disease and dysbiosis. Research has shown that oxidative stress may play an important role in the development of many neurological disorders including autism. Studies were conducted to determine the effect of consuming camel milk on oxidative stress biomarkers in children with autism. These results of the study suggested that camel milk may be helpful in reducing oxidative stress by changing the levels of antioxidant enzymes and nonenzymatic antioxidant molecules. Camel milk also helped in produced significant improvement of autistic behavior.
Camel milk and tuberculosis
The medicinal properties of camel milk have been found to be beneficial for the treatment of many diseases including tuberculosis. According to studies, people who used camel milk had a low prevalence of tuberculosis when compared to those who used dairy milk. Camel milk has also been found to help in lowering the chances of contracting tuberculosis.
Camel milk may help prevent cancer
According to a study published in the Journal of biomedicine and biotechnology, camel milk is capable of inducing aptosis or cancer cell death. This study was conducted to learn the effect and the basic mechanisms of camel milk on the propagation of human cancer cells. In vitro model of human breast (MCF7) and human hepatoma (HepG2) cancer cells were used for the study. The results indicated that camel milk was able to inhibit the proliferation of HepG2 and MCF7 cells and also induce cell death in both cell lines. The protein, lactoferrin present in camel milk is found to have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-tumor properties. This protein has been found to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. Camel milk has also been found to have a positive effect on other types of cancers like liver cancer and breast cancer. Moreover, the immunoglobulins in camel milk are helpful in protecting you from various kinds of cancers.
Camel milk for Alzheimer’s patients
Studies conducted to investigate the effects of camel milk on Alzheimer’s disease showed promising results. It was found that the consumption of camel milk helped the patients to sleep better, improve eating habits, improve interaction with others and improve memory and physical activity. It also helped in reducing confusion, mood swings, aggression and repetition.
Camel milk for Hepatitis
It has been found that the antiviral properties of camel milk helps in reducing the inflammation of the liver and the different nutrients found in the milk supports the healthy functioning of the liver. Studies on the effects of camel milk on Hepatitis B showed that it helped in strengthening the immune response, inhibiting the replication of the hepatitis virus DNA and also in promoting the recuperation of patients with chronic hepatitis B.
Healthy recipes from Camel milk
“From the desert to your dessert” – Camel milk is popularly used in making variety of desserts including shakes, custards, smoothies, cakes and others. In Middle East, Muhallabia is traditional dessert is pudding made from camel milk, almonds and pistachio. Flavored camel milk ice cream is also available at some locations.
Some people like the taste of coffe made from camel milk. Popularly known as – ‘camelccino’ or ‘camellatte’. Camel herding Bedouin tribes used to convert excess camel milk into camel cheese. Since process of coagulation of camel cheese is difficult, there is limited supply of camel cheese in the market. Al nassma camel milk chocolates are available these days. Camel Milk Kefir – is not real kefir, but fermented product of camel milk.
Any side effects of camel milk?
Often when people try camel milk for first time, they are not able to digest it and may report diarrhea. Some have reported nothing unusal, while some have reported feeling of improved mood or energy. This mild salty milk doesn’t have major side effects and any reported side effects disappear as body adjusts to the milk. However caution to be taken while consumption of camel milk.
Where to buy camel milk?
If you happen to be a resident of China, Russia, Middle East, Africa, or the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, getting fresh camel milk is pretty much not a problem. However, if you live in a country where there are no camels or camels are reared in small numbers then the best thing to do is to buy powdered camel milk online. It is also available in capsule form, which can be bought online.
Camel milk has been used for its medicinal properties by nomadic people for centuries. It is believed to be the closest to human breast milk. Although camel milk has been known and used widely in the Middle Eastern countries for a long time its popularity in other countries have started spreading only recently. It has become so popular that nowadays the demand is very high but the supply is very low. Camel milk tastes just like milk but is fulfilling and refreshing. With its myriad health benefits, camel milk is all set to make its way into the list of super foods.Image Credits: Remembering Letters