Healing Properties and Health Benefits of Camel Milk

When I first heard of drinking camel milk, my initial reaction was 'Ahh?' However, after spending a few years working in the Middle East, I am now familiar with the goodness of camel milk.

Dates and camel milk have been the staple foods for the Bedouin Arabs for centuries. In the harsh and arid desert country, camel milk not just replaces water in their diet, but also provide the essential nutrients.

The Bedouin Arabs believed the goodness of dates and healing properties of camel milk will keep them healthy.

They drink camel milk fresh. Sometimes, they drink it when it is slightly sour, in the fermented form as they believed that the pasteurized version may lose some of its nutritional and healing qualities.

Healing Properties of Camel Milk

Camel milk's numerous medicinal values have benefited the Bedouins for centuries. They believed the camel's diet must consist of certain plants to enhance the curative powers of camel milk. Researches have shown that even without these special plants[1] the milk is still good for most ailments which are:

  • General Well-being: The numerous nutrients in camel milk help promote the body natural defenses[1]
  • Anti-aging: Alpha hydroxyl acid that is present in camel milk help smooths fine lines[7]
  • Cancer: Camel milk has anti-tumor properties[6]
  • Diabetic: The presence of high-level of insulin-like protein in camel milk (about 52 micro units/ml) help reduce the effect of diabetes[3][4]
  • Liver disease: Camel milk has antiviral properties that help reduce liver inflammation. The milk also has many nutrients that are required for healthy liver function[1]
  • Autism: It is rich in immunoglobulin that will strengthen the body's autoimmune system. This help treats and heal autism[5]
  • Thalassemia: The curative properties of camel milk protect our body from oxidative injury[9]
  • Acne and Eczema: The anti-microbial properties will act as natural cleanser[6]
  • Arthritis: The lactoferrin in camel milk will remove the free iron from joints of arthritic patients[1][6]
  • Tuberculosis: The antibacterial and antiviral is known to destroy the mycobacterium tuberculosis[8]
  • AIDS: AIDS patients in Africa were fed with camel milk to help them recover[7]

Many people can benefit from camel's milk healing properties. However, as with any alternative and traditional remedies, please seek your doctor's advice before starting on this camel milk program.

A Mother's Story of How She Treat her Autistic Child with Camel's Milk

A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention, and Recovery
A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention, and Recovery

When the mother learnt that her son had autism, she did everything she could including several hours of therapy, and most important of all, changing the diet.

 

Research Works on Healing Properties of Camel Milk

Several research works were conducted to confirm and document these benefits and some of these works are as follows:

  • Camel Milk is Safe for Children: Gulf News reported that studies done by Pediatric Allergy-Immunology Clinics of the Hamad Medical Corporation showed children that are allergic to cow's milk can safely take camel's milk.
  • Camel Milk's Effect on Cancer Growth Cell: Studies done by King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, and University of Alberta, Canada showed successful applications of camel milk for cancer treatment.
  • Effect of Camel Milk on Autism: Prof. Reuven Yagil of Ben-Gurion University, Israel concluded the benefits of camel milk in treating an autistic child
  • Hepatitis C Virus (HCV): Studies on the effect of camel milk on Hepatitis C Virus, showed positive results in impeding growth of HCV. This study was funded by Egyptian-Spanish joint fund and published in Virology Journal (September 2012 issue)
  • Is Pasteurized Camel Milk Effective?: The Bedouins believed that only fresh camel milk is effective in healing ailments. However, studies by Dr. Millie Hinkle, of 'Camel Milk USA' showed positive results for similar ailments even with pasteurized camel milk

For more published reports and research works on the healing properties of camel milk, see 'Reference and Further Reading' section, below.

Bedouins on long journey in arid desert depend on Camel Milk for hydration and nutrition
Bedouins on long journey in arid desert depend on Camel Milk for hydration and nutrition | Source

Camel Milk vs. Cow Milk

Cow's milk is easily available and cheaper but it has its side effect. One example is lactose intolerance. This is where camel milk excels.

To start with, camel's milk is known to be the closest to human mother's milk and it is easier even for baby to consume[2]. Research studies from around the world also confirmed camel's milk as highly nutritious[1][7] and has many unique and amazing properties as compared to cow's milk.

The composition of whey proteins and caseins in camel's milk differs from cow’s milk, which could be the reasons for its healing properties.

Other differences are:

  • Lactose: Lower in camel milk, hence easier for someone who cannot drink cow's milk
  • Potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and sodium: Higher in camel milk
  • Cholesterol: Lower in camel milk
  • Vitamin C: Three times higher in camel milk
  • Iron: Ten times higher in camel milk
  • Unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins: Higher in camel milk
  • Vitamin A and B2: Higher in cow milk
  • Protein: Higher in camel milk
  • Antibacterial and antiviral properties: Ten times higher in camel's milk
  • Easily Absorb: Camel's milk doesn't coagulate easily even in an acid environment such as in our stomach. Hence, it is easily absorbed by our digestive system
  • Dissolves Better: Camel milk in powder form will dissolve better
  • Yield: Camel produces lower yield at 13 pints (6.2 liter) as compared to cow at 50 pints (23.7 liter)

With these benefits, camel milk does have its advantages. However, its scarcity makes it more expensive than cow's milk.

Camel Milk the Healthiest Animal Milk

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ranked camel's milk as the healthiest animal milk

How Does Camel Milk Taste Like?

In 2007, I had my first taste of camel's milk, freshly milked from a camel's farm in Dubai. It was fresh and warm and it smelled strong. It was also mildly salty. My stomach was not used to this milk and I had diarrhea for the next two days. Maybe I should have drunk it slowly to allow my stomach to digest. However, my Arab friend reassured me that this is a normal reaction for first timer, as it 'cleanses the system'.

Camel's milk taste varies according to the camel's diet and the amount of water it had drunk. Some say it is mildly sweet like in low fat cow's milk. Others say it tastes like salty vanilla flavored milk.

Unlike cow's milk, camel's milk is opaque white in color.

I have not tried the fermented camel milk and I don't think my stomach is strong enough for that. However, this form of camel milk is commonly consumed by the traveling Bedouins.

Camel's milk taste will vary according to the diet and the amount of water the camel had drunk.
Camel's milk taste will vary according to the diet and the amount of water the camel had drunk. | Source

Camel Milk Products

Besides consuming camel milk fresh or in fermented form, the followings are other camel milk products that are available, albeit in limited quantity.

Camel Cheese

The Bedouins and the camel herding tribes will turn excess camel milk into camel cheese. As camel milk does not coagulate easily, the usual method of using rennet does not work. It is instead made through a process known as lactic fermentation, where milk sugar is decomposed into lactic acid, which makes the milk sour. The cheese that you get, do not taste the same as what you are used to.

However, under the auspices of United Nation's FAO research work[7], camel milk can now coagulate using vegetable rennet and calcium phosphate. The end product is a low cholesterol cheese. Due to limited production, sale of camel cheese is small quantity.

Camel Milk Chocolate
Camel Milk Chocolate | Source

Butter from Camel Milk

Just like cheese, butter from camel milk is not easy to produce due to poor coagulation process and the longer time taken. However, some farms are able to come out with a preparation process that churns out decent camel milk butter. Again, this is in limited quantity and more expensive than other butters.

Camel Milk Ice-Cream and Chocolate

Chocolate and coffee flavored camel milk, ice-cream and chocolates from camel milk are now available for all to enjoy.

Recently, Al Ain Dairy from the UAE launched their ice cream made from fresh camel milk, which is suitable for people with lactose intolerance. it comes in chocolate, cardamom, saffron and the all-time favorite, vanilla flavors.

Soap from Camel Milk

Camel milk soap is very popular in the Middle Eastern countries as it is claimed to be good for people with eczema.

However, camel milk soap is not 100% camel's milk. In most cases, it is only 25%.

Other ingredients that are added to the soap are fats. Buy those that do not use animal fat, but natural vegetable oil such as olive oil.

If you prefer scented camel milk soap, there are brands that sell lavender, sweet rose, peppermint and other essential oils scented soap.

Muhallabia, a Middle Eastern milk pudding, which can be made with camel milk
Muhallabia, a Middle Eastern milk pudding, which can be made with camel milk | Source

Muhallabia, Middle Eastern Dessert made with Camel Milk

Muhallabia is a Middle Eastern milk pudding with pistachio or almonds sprinkled on top of the pudding. Normally made using cow milk, it can also be made with ground rice.

For a change, some families replaced cow milk with camel milk and it is said to be creamier and tastier.

Where to Buy Camel Milk

If you live in the Middle East, parts of Africa, China, Russia or northern part of the Indian subcontinent, buying fresh camel milk is not a problem. In some of these countries, you can even buy them at supermarket.

If you live outside these countries or where camel rearing, is non-existent or in small numbers, the best bet is to buy powdered camel milk online. You can do this through Amazon.com

Alternatively, buy camel milk in capsule form, which is more convenient and can be taken with you to work or whenever you are away from your home. This is also available from Amazon.com

The Bedouins believed that to further enhanced the curative powers of camel milk, the camel's diet must consists of certain plants
The Bedouins believed that to further enhanced the curative powers of camel milk, the camel's diet must consists of certain plants | Source

Camel Milk to Raise Economic Standard

United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognized camel milk as an important commodity[7] to raise the economic standard for people that lived in the arid and semi-arid desert area. It will be marketed and sold based on its nutritional and health benefits. This will bring in additional income to these people.

Camel Milk Production in Non-Traditional Camel Rearing Countries

The followings are some examples of camel farming in the non-traditional camel producing countries, to show the growing importance of camel milk.

Sales of Camel Milk in the USA

It was illegal to sell or even produce camel milk in the USA and it was only in 2009 that the Food and Drug Administration 'legalized' the domestic production and consumption of camel milk. In 2012, the FDA finally gave approval for camel milk to be sold throughout the US.

Since production cost for camel milk is still expensive for the American camel breeders, current sales are limited to medical usage and as food for ethnic residents.

Camel Farm in Netherlands

Camel Farming in Netherlands

After his university research on the commercial viability of camel milk, Frank Smits was convinced that he should venture into this unknown territory. In 2006, he started the first and only commercial camel farm in Netherlands and Europe and now exports camel milk to Britain and Belgium.

Camel Research Center in India

To help improve the socio-economic status for people in the arid and semi-arid zone, the Indian government established The National Research Center on Camels in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. Camel was identified as an important animal for this harsh and fragile desert eco-system and researches were conducted to help both camel and camel owners to improve their economic status.

Part of the program is the production of camel milk to be sold at subsidized rate to poor families with diabetic patient or children with disabilities

Camel Industry in Australia

Camels were imported into Australia as early as 1860s and were mainly used as working camels in the semi-arid desert areas. Now, camels are reared for its milk and meat. With increased in demand for camel meat and milk in Asia and parts of the Middle East, Australia now export most of its supply of camel products.

Will You Try Camel Milk?

  • Yes I might
  • Not sure, still thinking
  • Maybe no for now
See results without voting

Will You Try Camel Milk?

Several studies on the healing properties of camel milk by reputable universities and institutions have led to its higher level of acceptance outside the traditional camel rearing communities.

What about you? Would you try camel milk if you know you suffer from the above ailments?

One Aussie girl gave it a try to see if it helps her bowel problem. Read her experience her on Yahoo News.

Camel Milk Production

© 2013 Mazlan

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Comments 33 comments

Priya Rajarajan 2 months ago

Anyone needs Camel Milk in and around Thanjavur on daily basis kindly contact Priya:8056908726


just4curiosity profile image

just4curiosity 14 months ago from INDIA

I have heard of other milks and I have read in a book that camel milks are very beneficial like other milk such as goat milk and cow milk. They contain some special nutritional profile. Love to find it here.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 18 months ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Ibrahim. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience. You are lucky to have fresh supply of cheap camel milk in your area!


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 18 months ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Bilal. To be on the safe side, you must always boil camel milk. If you bought it 'fresh' from the farm and it turns 'lumpy' when you boiled, the milk is probably no longer fresh and has started to ferment. In hot weather, fresh camel milk do not keep for long.


Bilal 18 months ago

Assalam o alaikum Ibrahim and Hi everyone,

Can you or anyone else pls advise how to use camel milk, I mean if we have to boil it like cow milk. Actually I brought fresh camel milk yesterday from a farm and boiled it, however, it changed from its homogeneous form and little lumps appeared in it due to which we did not use it.

Thanks


Ibrahim 19 months ago

I live in Somalia, Baidoa town, I hve just drunk the camel milk and I use it every day because we have tought its benefits by our parents and grand parents so that is we rely on it. We have so many camels here and the milk is fresh and cheap.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 23 months ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Gode tia byrnes, yes you should give it a try. Research and studies have shown its effectiveness, and besides camel milk is a form of food and is not chemical like most medication. I pray that your daughter will respond well to this alternative remedy.


Gode tia byrnes 23 months ago

I think this is simply amazing, how it just has so many benefits and would love to try this product on my daugter diagnozed with diabeties type 1 2 years ago


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 23 months ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Diana, you are lucky to have a doctor who is not so hung up on the usual prescription medication. For the doctor to recommend camel milk shows his vast knowledge on what other options are available for your son.

Yes, of course you can have it with your porridge. Use it like you normally do with cow's milk.

Camel milk is expensive right now as there is no large commercial farm for the production. But you are lucky to get them in Kenya. We have to resort to the powder version, which is even more expensive.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience.


Diana 23 months ago

Thanks for all the commente a paeditrician recommended camel milk for my 5yr old son, at first i thought it was a bit joke i googled i think its good. Camel milk Is hard to get in Kenya i managed to get a few pints though its vert expensive. My question Is Can i take camel milk in porridge coz i can't stand the taste of milk in my mouth


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 24 months ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Romanian, if you google you might find a supplier of camel milk in your country. A supplier from the Netherlands sells camel milk powder online. You might want to check them out as well. Hope you succeed. Thanks for dropping by.


Romanian profile image

Romanian 24 months ago from Oradea, Romania

It's good to know this about camel milk. I will probably try it one day, but I can't find this in my country.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 2 years ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Tina. Yes, of course. In fact, as mentioned in my article, camel's milk is highly nutritious and is known to be the closest to human mother's milk. It is easier even for baby to consume, let alone a pregnant woman. The Bedouins have been doing this for centuries.


Tina 2 years ago

Can pregnant women drink it


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 2 years ago from Malaysia Author

Hi maryam. Yes you can heat camel milk, but do it gently and slowly. And of course, you can drink after that. I am not sure about reheating camel milk, but I guess reheated milk may present a bacteria risk just like cow milk.


maryam 2 years ago

wow. camel milk sure has its benefits. I wanted to know if we can boil camel milk and then drink it. plus is it safe to reheat camels milk before drinking. I like warm milk better than cold milk


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 2 years ago from Malaysia Author

@yasirchohan, camel milk is indeed an astonishing product that is very much under rated. Thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts.


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 2 years ago from Malaysia Author

Some people say that camel's milk is the next superfood. But right now many people are still 'in the dark' over its benefit, mainly because the milk production has not gone on a big commercial scale, as compared to cow's milk. It's a pity I don’t worked in the Middle East country anymore, otherwise camel's milk will be my daily morning drink.

Thanks missmarsh for dropping by and commenting.


missmarsh profile image

missmarsh 2 years ago from USA

Oh my! Thanks for all the great information on camel's milk. I never knew it could be used for so much or that so many things were made from it! Such an interesting article. I appreciate you sharing this!


yasirchohan profile image

yasirchohan 2 years ago from Reisterstown

Oh Wow! This is astonishing. Nothing has been made without its uses and purpose!


Roy 2 years ago

Hello everyone,

Would like to inform you that if anyone wants camel milk regular supply in Delhi and other nearby regions,feel free to call at +91-8130337895. Or drop a mail at sumwethz@gmail.com


jacki 2 years ago

i m very exciting to get camel milk,,, however and whatever i will get milk soon,, coz of,,, nothing is expansive then our health


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 2 years ago from Malaysia Author

@Lookingforacure, I asked the same question when I was in Saudi Arabia last year and the answer given was fresh camel milk is better. However, if there is none near where we live and if there are any, it could be expensive, then the powdered milk is the next best thing. You can get it through Amazon.com

The Smits camel farm in the Netherlands sells camel milk in capsule form; you may want to check with them on the pricing and shipping arrangement. Their web site is http://www.kamelenmelk.nl/index.php?lang=en

If the pricing is out of your budget, is goat's milk another possible option that your Holistic Doctor can consider?

Hope this will help you and wish you all the best


Lookingforacure 2 years ago

Is powdered camel milk as effective as fresh in healing? My wife has been suffering from Chronns Disease for 5 years and we are out of options. We recently spoke to a Holistic Dr and she suggested Camels milk; however, its out of our price range. Any help would be appreciated.


Rohit Nagpal 2 years ago

We make fresh camel milk available in India. If you are interested buying it you can contact me on rohit1983in@gmail.com


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 3 years ago from Malaysia Author

@TheKatsMeow, I am glad this article has help to enlighten you with the benefits of camel milk. Have a good day

@wqaindia, Thanks for the suggestion. It could be a long chapter if I include this. Best way is to buy camel milk powder online

@teaches12345, you are right. I should have boiled the camel milk before drinking. However, at that camel farm, this was not possible. Thanks for your support and the votes


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

I wonder if you had the camel milk heated, on your first try, it would digest easier? Anyway, interesting post on camel's milk. It does appear to have much to offer the body in vitamins and building the immune system. Voted up+++


wqaindia profile image

wqaindia 3 years ago from Rajpura 140401 Punjab India

Amazing! but I could not find any one selling fresh camel milk or packaged camel milk and cheese in or around 200 km of my city.

Can you add another chapter about availability of the fresh or processed and preserved camel milk or its products. It is a good business idea.


TheKatsMeow profile image

TheKatsMeow 3 years ago from Canada

Wow I had no idea that this stuff was so healthy! I will be honest and say that I have never tried camel's milk and before this article I never would have wanted to try it either! thanks for teaching me about something new!


greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 3 years ago from Malaysia Author

@kidscraft Thanks for dropping by and the votes. It is actually more expensive to rear cows in the desert. To start with, cows consumed more water than camel and that is not easy to find in the arid desert areas.

@Nell, It is strange how God make nature survived in whatever conditions they are in and in the arid desert, there are plants and animals that you can lived on for the required nutrition. Thanks for the vote and Share

@Rajan, do you know that they sell camel milk ice cream in Rajasthan? Rajasthan also have a good and highly respected research center on camel. Thanks again for the votes and Share


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

This is fantastic information. We do have lot of camels in Rajasthan, the desert state of India. It is great to know these awesome benefits that camel milk provides. Thanks for sharing.

Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing this hub.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Thats certainly fascinating news, who would have thought it? and well done for drinking some! lol! I often wondered how the people of the desert got their nutrition, fascinating hub, and voted and shared, nell


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

Wouaw... that's very interesting! But why not! We have to stay open to what people use in other corners of the Earth! It's for sure that I can envisionned any cows in the desert so they have to find other ways to have something to drink! Thank you very much for this in depth article about all the properties of camel milk. I learned a lot today!

Voted up, interesting and awesome!

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