Breast Milk - Alternative Uses For Breast Milk

Alternative Uses For Breast Milk

In addition to providing essential nourishment to infants, human milk; i.e., breast milk, has a number of valuable uses, especially medicinal uses, for both children and adults. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Breast milk contains strong antibodies and antitoxins that many people believe promote healing and better overall health. However, breast milk lacks sterile and antiseptic properties if a nursing mother is infected with certain communicable diseases, such as HIV and CMV, as breast milk can transmit such diseases to infants and other people.

Breast milk has been used as a home remedy for minor ailments, such as conjunctivitis, insect bites and stings, contact dermatitis, and infected wounds, burns, and abrasions. Breast milk has also been used alternatively to boost the immune system of ill persons having viral gastroenteritis, influenza, the common cold, pneumonia, etc., because of its immunologic properties. However, breast milk should never be seen or construed as a "cure-all". Some medical experts are convinced that breast milk can induce apoptosis in some types of cancer cells. However, more research and evidence are needed in this area of cancer treatment.

A minority of people, including restaurateur Hans Lochen of Switzerland and restaurateur Daniel Angerer of Austria, who operates a restaurant in New York City, have used human breast milk, or at least advocated its use, as a substitute for cow's milk in dairy products and food recipes. Tammy Frissell-Deppe, a family counselor specialized in attachment parenting, published a book, titled A Breastfeeding Mother's Secret Recipes, providing a lengthy compilation of detailed food and beverage recipes containing human breast milk. The animal rights organization known as PETA ignited a firestorm of criticism when it urged a dairy company to replace the cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk as a way to stop cattle abuse. Human breast milk is not produced or distributed industrially or commercially, because the use of human breast milk as an adult food is considered unusual to the majority of cultures around the world, and most disapprove of such a practice.

Attempts to formulate soap from breast milk have also been made, and those using it claim that its effectiveness as a cleanser is greater than, or equal to, that of traditional soaps.

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