Revisiting Cleopatra’s remedies

Undoubtedly, many of you have heard of the famous milk baths that Cleopatra used to take daily, which were believed to be her secret to beauty and irresistibility. Not surprisingly, Cleopatra’s example was followed by many of famous women in history (and may be many more less famous?) like Elisabeth I of England and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Often these baths would contain (milk from a donkey of course!) lavender, honey, essential oils, herbs, sea salt, oatmeal and whatnot. Donkey milk has been prescribed by age old doctors to treat infectious diseases, fever, poisonings (most types of milk are good for this really), liver maladies, and even some wounds too.

Now it turns out that the ancient Egyptians might have been onto something more than just weird experimental mixtures. Research has shown that donkey milk is very rich in micro nutrients and vitamins – A, B1 and 2, C, E, sodium, zinc, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, to name only a few. Apart from this, donkey milk contains as little as a third of the fat the cow milk does, and its pH is practically the same as the one of human milk. It is also believed that donkey milk is hypo-allergenic, hence it’s been used as a substitute for children with allergy problems. The addition of herbs and essential oils with their know medicinal properties would just add up to the over all beneficial effect of such product. Another research from 2007 focused on donkey’s milk being of use for prevention of atherosclerosis (disease of the arteries, where fat deposits on their wall leading to partial or full blockage, which is often lethal).

So it’s not a surprise that for thousands of years donkey milk has been a cosmetic and medical product, but with the latest research being done, we have the knowledge of why it has been ever so popular like one. What is more – in the last couple of decades several companies invested in research focused on donkey milk and several products have already been available on the market, advertising their antioxidant and high on nutrient properties. Already yogurt of donkey milk with or without the supplement of probiotics exist on the market. On the cosmetic shelves, facial and hand creams, and soap can be found without too much trouble.

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