Everyone must have heard of cow, buffalo, goat or even camel’s milk. Even Yak’s milk is consumed in the mountains. But ever heard about donkey’s milk..?! But a Donkey Dairy is set up in the Hisar district of Haryana.
Starting the Donkey Dairy
Many milch animals are reared in India for their milk. These include cow, buffalo and goat. But, it is for the first time that a dairy of donkey milk is going to open in the country. The National Horse Research Centre is going to open a donkey dairy in the Hisar district of Haryana.
As the Halari breed of donkeys is found in Gujarat, for opening this dairy, 10 donkeys of “Halari Breed” have been ordered from Gujarat. These donkeys are being bred so as to increase their number. For this purpose, scientists of Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) are helping the breeding of these donkeys.
Ex-Director of NRCE, Dr B.N. Tripathi was the first person to start research on Donkey’s Milk. Interestingly, according to the present Director of NRCE, Dr Yashpal, donkey’s milk contains negligible fats.
Operations will commence in the dairy as soon as the breeding is accomplished.
Counting Some Health Benefits of Donkey Milk
There are accounts of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, extolling the virtues of donkey milk. Also, there are records of its popularity in ancient Rome. It was even used medicinally in France up to the 20th century. Thus, drinking donkey milk is not unprecedented.
Interesting specifications include:
- Donkey milk has many medicinal properties. It is also used in several medicines.
- Based on its pH level and nutritional makeup, it is very similar to the human mother’s breast milk. Also, it is rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids. Its fat content is lower than cow’s milk.
- Donkey milk is also used for treating some types of carcinoma, obesity and several kinds of allergic diseases.
- Most importantly, donkey’s milk is said to have properties aiding a good immune system.
- Donkey milk is best for children. It can never be allergic. Thus, it is a great option for children allergic to cow or buffalo milk.
- Drinking Donkey milk prevents artery hardening, due to its ability to dilate blood vessels.
- It contains inflammation-reducing fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids) that can boost heart health.
- It tastes better than it sounds. As per the available information, it is odourless and the texture resembles low-fat cow’s milk.
Thus, “donkey milk” is a deemed “pharmafood” or “superfood” for its nutritional, nutraceutical and functional properties.
Application in Cosmetics
Cleopatra used to bathe in donkey milk to preserve her legendary beauty as per the information available. And now more than 2000 years later Donkey Milk is back in fashion. In cosmetics, donkey milk is used for cleaning and hydrating action. Adding on is its antioxidant content that prevents ageing. Donkey milk has anti-ageing, anti-oxidant and regenerating compounds. Thus, it is also used to prepare soaps, lip balm and body lotions. Many ayurvedic doctors prescribe it to treat skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
Pricing of Donkey Milk
Donkeys do not produce as much milk as cows do. In fact, it reportedly takes around 4 donkeys to produce a single litre of milk. Thus, it contributes to the high prices of donkey milk. One litre donkey milk is priced at Rs. 7,000. In the market, the price of Donkey Milk ranges from Rs. 2,000- Rs. 7,000. Subsequently, beauty products made from donkey’s milk are also expensive.
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