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Donkey’s Milk Analisys

Historical Background

Forgotten lately, and used abundantly in ancient times, the donkey’s milk has been finding its way to the consumers slowly.

Judging from the Constantin Jirechek and his works “The History of Serbs” and “Hodoski Zbornik” from the 14th century and “Physiology” from the 15th century, the donkey’s milk has been used on these territories for centuries. It was used as a remedy for healing old wounds.

Ancient people highly appreciated the donkey’s milk. Egyptian Queen Cleopatra is known to have bathed in it in order to save the beauty of her skin. It had been also used as a kind of disinfectant. The Greeks regarded it as an excellent remedy, whereas the Romans considered it a luxury drink. Hippocratus would recommend it for treating different kinds of diseases, as well as a remedy against poisoning and healing wounds. He even recorded a recipe for one of the first treatment against acne and rosace. Apart from other ingredients the basic ones included donkey’s milk, too. That mixture would be kept in the sun for a few days. The prepared mixture represented a natural refreshener and the treatment for the skin reddishness and acne. Centuries after that this treatment was medicicinally confirmed. In the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century many people used it as a remedy. Simultaneously, especially in Paris, many shops selling donkey’s milk were opened, where the women from upper class could buy this precious drink. Later on, these shops turned into the shops selling milk for babies intended for mothers who did not have breast milk. The hospital “Hospital des Enfants Assistes” bred donkeys particularly for this purpose for a number of years.

Contemporary analysis

The donkey’s milk has the revitalizing impact on the whole organism. It is very effective for removing skin problems, as well as for boosting your immune system, for recovery and against chronic fatigue. Its ingredients are particularly useful for sportsmen, pregnant women, babies and people suffering from asthma. The donkey’s milk regenerates the intestine flora. It is like breast milk and is easily digested in human body.
Although it contains half less fat than the cow’s milk, it contains a significant amount of nutritious ingredients, it is rich in vitamins C, B and D12. It is especially rich in immunoglobulins which make it a perfect drink for the prevention and fighting against virus and bacteriological aggressors which often appear in winter such as colds, bronchitis, etc.
The donkey’s milk can be drunk with no need for pasteurisation, because, unlike cow’s milk, the donkey’s milk does not contain any bacterias, it is whiter and lighter than the cow’s milk and has lower fat content. The donkey’s milk contains only 0.6 g of fat in 100 g of fresh milk, which is much lower ratio compared to the cow’s milk which contains 3.7g approximately. What makes a significant difference in relation to the cow’s milk is the protein content. The average protein content is 1.72g and is characterized by a small percentage of casein.

The fact that the donkey’smilk is so similar to human milk is very important, because by its contents it does not cause any allergic reactions contrary to the cow’s milk which does cause allergies at 4% of the new-born babies, which are often overcome as late as at the age of 3.
The donkey’s milk contains also 60 times more vitamin C than the cow’smilk, and , since it has vitamins A, D and E and since it is a rich source of calcium and phosphorous it can be treated as a nutritious gold mine. This milk also contains immunoglobulin- protein which acts as an anti-body and improves the immune system.
The donkey’s milk contains a large quantity of ensimes defining it as an excellent antibiotic.
The donkey’s milk is particularly good for the following categories:

  • children allergic to proteins which can be found in traditional types of milk (goat, cow, etc.)
  • children in general, because it improves the growth
  • older population with the problem of osteoporosis
  • fast recovery
  • those who prefer healthy and natural food

Omega 3, Omega 6

Donkey’s Milk
For the donkey’s milk the fraction of lipids represents high level of essential fatty acids. Fatty acids have been qualified as essential because the body produces them in small quantities, if it can produce them at all, thus the necessary quantity must be provided from daily food in the form of adequate replacement.

Linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) are present to a high extent (8.15% and 6.32% of all fatty acids). The presence of semi-saturated fatty acids makes the donkey’s milk superior in relation to the cow’s milk (only 2.9% amount of fatty acids in total), which makes it similar to breast milk (11.3 of fatty acids in total).

Essential fatty acids have great influence on the development of brain and retina.The Omega 3 play a vital role in the heart protection, as they participate in the correction of the cardiovascular system functioning; they help in the treatment of thrombosis; they regulate the heart rhythm and improve the prevention of heart diseases. Some recent studies could show that fatty acids may be helpful in fighting the causes of Alcheimer’s disease and some rare types of cancer. The Omega 6 are very important for cosmetics.

Apart from the unsaturated fatty acids donkey’s milk contains a large number of vitamins::

  • Vitamin A - crucial for cell membrane recovery, facilitates the skin regeneration, simultaneously decreasing the effects of skin ageing
  • Vitamin B2 – the lack of which may cause the wounds on the skin and mucous so that the presence of this vitamin in milk improves immunity through its biological activity
  • Vitamin C – has anti-oxidant role and is on demand in cosmetics; it slows down the ageing process and accelerates the recovery mechanisms
  • Vitamin E is well-known as the essential and anti-oxidant because it slows down the skin ageing and ensures the cell structure stability

Mineral salts in the donkey’s milk help to purify the skin. They free the skin from dead cells and thereby leave the space for cells which live on the skin surface. This milk also has the implications of the cell growth. It contains a large amount of lipids which provide for the skin nourishment. Essential fatty acids such as omega 6 help the skin to absorb the vitamins in a better way. They account for the skin elasticity and ensure the prevention of skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.

Newspaper extracts about the donkey’s milk

The donkey’s milk has been welcomed as the secret of long life of the family from Equador. However, is there any scientific proof in that for the milk which is claimed to be the most similar to breast milk? The longevity of the oldest woman in the world Maria Esther de Capovilla from Equador has been greeted hopefully by the nutritionists. Maria de Capovilla died at the age 116. Oliver Denys from one Belgian farm of donkeys told us that he was surprised by that acknowledgement. Mr Denys has the most productive European dairy of the donkey’s milk which produces 2000-3000 litres of milk per year. Half of the production goes into the manufacture of cosmetics range. The rest goes into the consuming with no need for pasteurisation. There is no need for that, says Denys, contrary to the cow’s milk, the donkey’s milk does not contain any bacterias. Mr Denys described it as whiter and lighter than the cow’s one, with a lower fat content.

Extract from:
Science & Nutrition
Septembar 1, 2006.

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