the mad herbalist: spotlight


This spotlight is all about raw milk. I’ve been drinking it for months now, and let me tell you; it’s some of the most delicious stuff on the planet. Really. We discovered I’m slightly (or more than slightly) lactose intolerant, and store-bought milk gives me horrible stomach problems. So I hadn’t been drinking it for a while. I had a friend who used to drink raw milk, and always wanted to give it a try, but it’s a bit hard to get your hands on if you don’t know where to go. There’s a farm near our house, but they were very overpriced ($8/gal), and it was too much to keep it up. Then, another friend started a natural food co-op, and now we have access to raw milk, yogurt, grass-fed beef and chicken, etc. It’s been great. (Note: Organic or natural products are always more expensive than store-bought. That’s just the way it is, but I figure I get what I pay for.)

The best part is that I have absolutely no problems with drinking raw milk. I can drink quarts of it and not have any discomfort. In doing a little research, I found out why.

Here’s the thing; pasteurization, while excellent for killing nasty bacteria, also kills all the good bacteria. It kills the phosphatase; the necessary element that aids in the absorption of calcium (1). That’s generally why people who are lactose intolerant have no problems with raw milk. It retains the phosphatase, along with other good stuff. To get a full technical outline, see this website.

There’s also the fairly popular “Milk Cure,” which is a purely raw milk diet for at least three weeks, and is reported to aid in curing: rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, indigestion, congestive heart failure, asthma, hay fever, appendicitis, infertility, narcotic habits, insomnia, and migraines (2).

If you’re interested, I suggest you try to find a co-op in your area (3). But keep in mind, a lot of towns won’t have any close, and the laws for selling are pretty strict, so this may not be an option for you.


1 – We Want Organic (this whole article mostly outlines the harmful effects of pasteurization and homogenization)

2 – Milk Diet

3 – Coop Directory (not complete, so there may be more)


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