Raw Milk – Health Promoting or Health Hazard?

Raw Milk – Health Promoting or Health Hazard?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 13:42

In the news this week was a major article about whether raw milk (unpasteurised) was healthy or harmful. If you are not aware, there is quite a large underground movement of people who drink raw milk. I.e. milk that is unpasteurised. However, because unpasteurised milk is considered illegal by authorities (in Australia), health food shops that sell it, can only sell it for ‘cosmetic purposes’, often labelling it as ‘bath’ milk (e.g. Cleopatra’s Bath milk)..

What do I think?

I think it is absolutely fantastic. Raw milk is natural milk. The process of pasteurisation is said to disturb certain enzymes in milk that give it many of its health benefits. In countries like France, raw milk and raw milk cheeses are considered the standard for high quality dairy products, and many French cuisine traditionalists consider pasteurised products almost a sacrilege.

Many people who have reported switching from commercial milks to raw milk, have found that their eczema or other skin conditions have disappeared, and their digestion, among other things, has improved. The tide against unpasteurised milk, and the reason it is illegal in some countries (it’s legal and promoted in many others), is due to the increased possibility of problems relating to things like E. coli Listeria, and Salmonella,type. This is no doubt true with large-scale, commercial production of milk, but is much less of a problem if the milk goes direct from the farm to you in a localised way, or you can get it and drink it fresh.

Of course, it’s entirely up to you. Do your research, and see what feels right to you.

Sourcing Raw Milk:

Unfortunately, even if you like the idea of drinking raw milk, it is sometimes hard to get, depending on where you live. My wife and I spent a month in India recently, and we had fresh milk (you could literally taste that it wasn’t long from the cow), and it was absolutely beautiful – so different to commercial milks. I do not regularly have a source of fresh, raw milk near where I am at present, but whenever I get the chance, I drink it in favour of pasteurised milk. When I can’t get raw milk, the only milk I drink is organic, unhomogenised milk (The only one at supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths is a brand called ‘Pauls’ – look for a white carton with green writing).
But check out your local health food shops or organic suppliers, and see if they have raw milk and (if you are satisfied they do things safely) give it a try.

Note (Milk Should Be Boiled):

In Ayurveda, while pasteurisation is not considered ideal (well, one would assume so, considering that Ayurveda has been around for thousands of years ….well before pasteurisation even came into existence), it does recommend that milk is boiled first. Bringing milk to the boil in a saucepan is quite different to the process of pasteurisation, and is said to help make the milk easier to digest.
Ayurveda says that many of the problems people have with milk related allergies (sinus congestion, bloating etc), is commonly due to the fact that the milk is not boiled first. Cold milk drunk straight from the fridge, dampens the body’s digestive fire, tending to make it poorly digested, and leading to problems.

Helpful Hint:

To make milk even easier to digest, add a couple of pinches of fresh ginger powder. Additionally, to give it a nice sweet taste, add some cardamom. Cinnamon and licorice powder also go well with milk.

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers.  Mark is also CEO of David Lynch Foundation Australia.