Camel products are increasingly getting acceptance worldwide. They are used as a source of medicine and food as well as raw material in the manufacture of different health products such as soap and shampoos.
Camel milk is high in calcium, therefore it helps in developing stronger bones among many other benefits.
But even with the numerous health benefits, people undergoing surgery are cautioned against taking the milk. According to Dr. Millie Hinkle, founder of Camel Milk USA, patients undergoing surgery should avoid consuming camel milk.
“Patients undergoing any surgery requiring anesthesia should discontinue consuming camel milk”, warns Dr. Hinkle. There is a specific time frame that camel milk consumption must be discontinued before administering anesthesia.
“I have so observed the requirement for additional anesthesia when localized anesthesia such as in dental offices is needed. Patients on pain medication require more medication for pain management as well,” notes Dr. Hinkle.
Lovers of the dessert mammal milk say that the only way to understand the benefits it has is by consuming the real thing. No amount of research would reveal the hidden medicinal value that it has.
Mr Abadalla Rashid, Norwegian Refugee Council worker, states that camel milk has a number of health benefits.
“I drink camel milk and all I can say is that it makes the bones strong, gives energy to the body and cleans up the digestive system, ” argues Mr Rashid who is a regular consumer of camel milk.
Mr Rashid says that camel milk is good for diabetics as it helps in reducing blood sugar level and the amount of insulin in the body.
Even though most people would like to consume this crown jewel of health, the prices are prohibitive and may not be sustainable.
“Well camel milk is my favourite and I would love to consume it frequently; at least a cup or two daily.
“The milk is expensive especially in Nairobi for the common mwananchi; a liter goes for Kshs 150 in the market. A glass of the same product goes for Kshs 150 in local restaurants” says Mohamed Ali, an engineering student at the Technical university of Kenya.
Far from the known health benefits, among the Somalis in Kenya and Horn of Africa, camel products have a cultural significance. When a person is to be anointed, the milk is poured on them as a symbol of community leadership. In other significant events like wedding, visitors are massively received with fresh camel milk.
Below are some of the known health benefits of consuming camel milk:
1) It provides energy which sustains the body for a whole day. Having 2-3 glasses of camel milk will push you through the whole day without complaining of hunger. It curbs hunger
2) Unlike others like cow milk, it contains short chained fat, which enhances body weight loss. For instance, cow milk will increase the size of your tummy due to the availability of fats in the milk. Who is ready for heavy and big tummy? Not me. The milk from the camel is low in cholesterol.
3) Camel milk contains 10 times more iron than cow milk. It modulates the immune system with the presence of immunoglobulin and antibodies. Iron from the milk maintains proper regulation of blood. High level of vitamin C is found abundantly in the milk also.
4) Camel milk enhances the optimum management of diabetes. Research shows the insulin-like protein in camel milk helps in controlling blood sugar level. According to DR. RP Agrawal, a leading researcher, 500 ml of raw, fresh camel milk daily improves the lives of diabetics due to the existence of the insulin protein in the milk.
“Type I and Type II diabetics need specific doses of the camel milk for their insulin levels, and should not be consuming any dairy products other than camel milk while they are trying to reduce their glucose levels. Studies have shown that cow’s milk can raise glucose levels and cholesterol, while camel milk has shown to reduce glucose and cholesterol levels in trial studies,” explains Dr. Hinkle.
5) The milk treats allergy. A study published in the December 2005 edition of the “Israel medical Association Journal” says that investigation on some children revealed a positive response where they were given camel milk as treatment and get cured with no side effect.
6) It helps reduce belly fat. This will flush out waste from the stomach. Who doesn’t want to have a flat tummy? You absolutely do. Camel milk provides the best alternative.
7) It controls high blood pressure. Instead of using tablets with a negative effect, the milk should be your companion for faster healing and protection.
8) The milk also provides anti-aging properties. Instead of applying chemicals which may have a negative impact on your body choose camel milk. It contains Alpha hydroxyl acid, which helps the skin to be smooth. For older people, this seems heaven sent but what are you waiting for?
9) United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognized camel milk to be an important aspect of human health development of the animal products. To devotees, camel milk is pure nectar. While slightly saltier than cow’s milk, it is very good for you. It is three times as rich in vitamin C as cow’s milk.
10) Aid in treatments of cancer. Studies conducted by King Saud University, Saudi Arabia and the University of Alberta, Canada, revealed successful applications of camel milk for the treatment of cancer and other health complications.
11) Strong bone development. It contains calcium for the development of strong bones. Those who consume the milk on a daily basis have stronger bones and can easily maintain body fitness.
12) Reduces anxiety and stress. Camel milk aids in reducing the level of anxiety and stress as well improves mood. GABA also called gamma-Aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in the normal functioning of the brain. Camel milk is reported to contain more GABA than cow’s milk. Lower levels of the neurotransmitter is associated with anxiety, epilepsy and mood disorder. The milk performs better in activating the Gama thus enhances relaxation.
13) Good for the heart. Eating a balanced diet and exercising every day is the most recommended way to maintain good cardiovascular health. But if you happen to have a habit of enjoying fatty, cholesterol-rich foods, adding camel milk to your diet could help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.