Everything You Need to Know About Horse MilkHorse milk, also known as mare's milk, has been used for millennia as a nutritional beverage, a cosmetic solution or more recently as a dietary supplement. Understanding the history and benefits of horse milk is essential to ensure that you enjoy the greatest benefits from this product. At Equilac, we make it easy to access the benefits of mare's milk in a convenient way. Here are some of the most important points about horse milk and its beneficial effects on your health.
History of Horse Milk
Mare’s milk offers significant health benefits for modern users and has had a real impact on the health and well-being of many individuals throughout history as a cosmetic preparation and as a healthy beverage. Here is a quick look at the most important uses of horse milk in the past and present.
The Scythians were nomadic warriors who lived in southern Siberia from about 900 BC to 200 BC. These tribes depended on their horses for transportation and, as genetic studies have found, most likely drank mare's milk as part of their regular diet. Researchers have found that the ancient Scythians most likely bred horses with a propensity not only for strength and mobility but also for the ability to produce milk in adequate supplies.
Historians have found that the legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra bathed in donkey milk as a way to reduce wrinkles and retain her youthful beauty. Cleopatra, who ruled as pharaoh of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt from about 51 BC to 30 BC, used sour mare's milk or donkey milk as a rejuvenating treatment for her entire body. Sour horse milk acts as a mild chemical peel, stripping away dead cells and revealing smoother and more beautiful skin beneath. Since Cleopatra is still remembered as one of the most beautiful women of all time, her treatment regimen must have created the desired results.
The ancient Greeks believed that the Amazons, a legendary tribe of women warriors, nursed their children on mare's milk. This beverage, however, may have actually been an alcoholic drink known as koumiss that was popular throughout Mongolia and most of Asia. The practice of drinking horse milk may date back even further. Archeologists have found traces of mare's milk on bowls from the Botai culture that date back to 3500 BC, well before Herodotus witnessed the churning of horse milk on the Black Sea in 450 BC.
In the middle of the 19th century, Russian physicians recommended fermented mare's milk as a treatment for patients with tuberculosis. While the effectiveness of this recommendation is not known, Russian writers like Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov were advocates for the benefits of horse milk as a key to better health.
In an appearance on the HBO show "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver", the Dalai Lama described how he reduced the incidence of alcoholism in Mongolia by convincing his followers to switch from vodka to a fermented horse milk beverage known as airag. This beverage has a much lower alcohol content, which allowed the Dalai Lama to wean the Mongolian people off vodka and its 30 to 40 percent alcohol content to the much lower alcohol content of airag. It is believed that the Dalai Lama made this appeal in 1995 during his fourth visit to Mongolia.
Many people are discovering the benefits of mare's milk for everyday consumption. Europe has been particularly quick to catch on to the advantages of substituting or augmenting other milk consumption with the nutrient-packed beverage. Horse milk is becoming more popular and more available both online and through local horse dairy farms. With more than two millennia of history backing its health benefits, it is a safe bet that mare's milk is here to stay.
Nutritional Value of Horse Milk
The composition of horse milk is closest to human milk and different from the milk produced by cows and goats. As a result, mare's milk is often recommended as an alternative to traditional dairy and a healthful supplement to everyday dietary intake. Horse milk offers a number of important benefits, including higher protein, plentiful vitamins and minerals, lower calories and a number of reported health benefits for those who consume horse milk.
The antibacterial properties of equine milk are prized both when it is applied to the skin and also when it is consumed as a beverage or dietary supplement. One study, which was published in European Food Research and Technology, indicated that lactoferrin, lysozyme and calcium acted together as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents. This can be very important for individuals with autoimmune disorders related to the skin, allergies and other issues.
High Protein Content
Horse milk is known for its high protein content. About 40 percent of the content of mare's milk consists of whey, which is approximately double the amount found in cow's milk. This leads to improved absorption and digestion as compared with traditional dairy products. Some of the most important proteins in horse milk include lysozymes and lactoferrine, which are known to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal substances.
Mare's milk contains about half the amount of caseins compared with cow's milk. Caseins have been linked to allergic responses and gastrointestinal distress in some individuals. Whey, by contrast, is much less likely to cause stomach upset and other gastrointestinal upsets. This can sometimes provide added comfort for those who react badly to caseins and are not as sensitive to whey in their dairy intake. The lack of caseins, unfortunately, make horse milk unsuitable for producing cheeses. It can, however, be used to create other dairy products such as ice cream.
Increased Nutritional Value
Horse milk is also known for its high nutritional value. It contains healthy portions of Vitamins B complex, C, E and A along with a number of B vitamins. It contains roughly the same level of Vitamin D as cow's milk. Minerals are also found in ample quantities in horse milk, which has a more balanced ratio of calcium to phosphorus than most other types of milk. This allows improved absorption of calcium for use throughout the body.
Compared with cow's milk, horse milk is much lower in calories that can be attributed to the lower fat content in horse milk. Despite its sweeter taste, horse milk can be a valuable and nutritious addition to a low-calorie diet and could even assist those interested in losing weight and improving their health and longevity.
Horse Milk vs. Cow's Milk and Goat's Milk
The composition of horse milk is closest to human milk. Understanding the differences between mare's milk, cow's milk and goat's milk can help you and your family decide if horse milk is right for you. In many cases, mare's milk has been shown to have a beneficial effect without some of the side effects of goat's milk or cow's milk.
Research published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that horse milk contained a greater percentage of water and higher levels of ascorbic acid than cow's milk. Horse milk also contains calcium and phosphorus in what is considered a desirable ratio for optimal absorption and nutritional value. The lower calorie content of horse milk is usually attributed to its lower fat content, which makes it a solid choice for those on a diet.
As with cow's milk, the percentage of water in mare's milk is significantly higher than that of goat's milk. Mare's milk contains less protein than either goat's milk or cow's milk, which makes it less likely to produce allergic reactions than either of these two dairy products.
Health Benefits of Horse Milk
Horse milk offers some significant health benefits for those who consume this daily. Mare's milk is fast becoming one of the most popular dietary supplements for treating a wide range of health issues. Some of the most common of these ailments are skin disorders, Crohn's disease, asthma, issues with the immune system and allergies or sensitivities to cow's milk. Its natural antibacterial ingredients, like lactoferrin, have made it a popular dietary supplement that is used to treat various health issues.
While all the benefits of horse milk have not yet been fully researched, scientific studies on mare's milk indicate that it can have significant benefits when consumed by humans. It is especially recommended for people who may have allergies and for those with autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis, eczema or atopic dermatitis. Here are some of the most important benefits of horse milk for people with a variety of health conditions.
Mare's milk for skin issues
Mare's milk is most commonly used to help reduce symptoms of psoriasis, but also eczema and acne. The difference with traditional medicine to treat these issues is that mare's milk treats the problem from the inside out and fights the source of the skin disease instead of supressing only the symptoms. Below the results after 3 months of taking Equilac mare's milk capsules to treat psoriasis.
Research on horse milk of a double-blind trial was published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition and found that patients who were using mare's milk during the study experienced a reduction in their Severity Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) from 30.1 to 25.3 after a period of 12 weeks. This represents a significant improvement that could affect the quality of life and comfort of these patients.
Crohn's disease is an illness of the bowel caused by inflammation of the digestive tract. Some of the symptoms of this serious condition include pain, diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue. According to scientific studies, regular ingestion of mare's milk by patients with Crohn's disease can reduce pain, reduce the amount of blood visible in stools and can lower the dependence of patients on other medications to manage their condition.
Some of the suggested explanations for these positive effects include the anti-inflammatory properties of mare's milk and its antibacterial capabilities. By drinking horse milk, patients may be able to stop the progress of Crohn's disease or even reverse some of its most serious effects. Researchers have also noticed an improvement in the symptoms reported by patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, which is also related to inflammation of the digestive tract and bowels.
Asthma and Respiratory Disorders
Consumption of pasteurized cow's milk has been linked in some studies with an increased risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Pasteurization is necessary as part of the regular process of making cow's milk safe for human consumption. By consuming mare's milk as a substitute for some or all of the cow's milk normally consumed by children, adolescents and adults, it may be possible to reduce the severity and number of asthma attacks among susceptible individuals. The anti-inflammatory properties of horse milk can also provide added protection against some forms of asthma in babies and very young children.
Immune System Disorders
Horse milk is rich in immunoglobulins, which are special proteins that can promote the health of the immune system. Consuming horse milk daily, will allow you to enjoy increased resistance to most minor illnesses and viruses with which you come in contact. The beneficial effects of mare's milk are especially important for children, elderly people and those who may come in contact with more than their fair share of viruses and bacterial illnesses on a regular basis.
A study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that individuals with extreme sensitivities to proteins found in cow's milk reacted well to equine milk. Researchers found that horse milk is much closer to human milk, which reduces the immune system response to this substance. The unique properties of mare's milk reduced the rate of inflammatory responses and the extent to which immune system responses were triggered based on the consumption of horse milk. Another study, which was published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, found positive results for children who suffered from allergies to cow's milk. Mare's milk was found to be better tolerated than goat's milk and much less likely to create allergic responses in these children.
One often-overlooked benefit of mare's milk is its low casein content. Casein is a protein that stays in a liquid form in cow's milk but solidifies into curds in human digestive juices. This can slow digestion and cause issues with heartburn and other stomach upsets for vulnerable individuals.
The antibacterial nature of horse milk can promote a healthier balance of bacteria and flora in the human digestive system. This can improve the function of the digestive tract and can reduce the symptoms of some disorders, including Crohn's disease and other chronic conditions of the stomach and intestines.
Cow's Milk Allergy
Studies have demonstrated that horse milk is well tolerated in up to 96 percent of children who have been diagnosed with allergies to cow's milk. This does not relate to lactose intolerance, which is a sensitivity and not technically an allergic response. One study found that adding horse milk to the diet increased the number of beneficial microbes in the gut, which can be an important factor in reducing allergic responses to foods and drinks. By increasing the health of the digestive system and reducing inflammation, mare's milk can often have a significant and positive effect on the overall response to consumed allergens for some patients.
Horse Milk Products
There are different ways to consume mare's milk depending on the area you live or the reasons why you consume it. Some use it as a dietary supplement, an alcoholic drink, a beauty treatment or as an gastronomic adventure when traveling to Mongolia.
Fresh or Frozen Horse Milk
For those lucky enough to live near a horse dairy farm that offers these products, fresh or frozen horse milk is generally considered to be best for human consumption. These farms are mostly located in France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Unpasteurized horse milk is suitable for consumption for up to three days and frozen horse milk can be kept for up to 6 months at -18 degrees Celsius. It is not safe to drink raw (unpasteurized) horse milk during pregnancy.
Fermented Horse Milk
Pasteurized mare's milk or yoghurt can be stored for a longer period of time. Fermented horse milk, or koumiss, is popular in Mongolia and Kazakhstan and is prized for its medicinal properties.
Horse Milk Cosmetics
The antioxidant and antibacterial properties of horse milk have made it a popular addition to many beauty products such as creams, lotions, shampoos and soaps. These topical applications are often used as complementary treatment for acne, eczema or psoriasis.
Powdered Horse Milk
Horse milk powder is a more practical solution for long-term shelf life and can be mixed in cold water or dairy products such as yoghurt.
Horse Milk Capsules or Tablets
Horse milk in a fresh, frozen or fermented form is difficult to come by in most regions. As a result, dietary supplements based on concentrated horse milk in capsules or tablets are consumed.
Most experts recommend using mare's milk capsules for at least three months to determine whether these are having the desired effect on your health. A product like Equilac makes it easier to access the benefits of horse milk without a trip to Mongolia or horse dairy farm. This ensures an uninterrupted supply of mare's milk for the full three months needed to determine if horse milk capsules are right for you. Horse milk is suitable for use by children aged four years and up in fresh, pasteurized and in powdered milk form.
The capsules available from Equilac® are the perfect solution for balancing convenience and health benefits for you and your family. Some of the most important advantages of mare's milk capsules include the following:
- Horse milk capsules are the perfect supplement to use at home or while traveling. By packing an array of health benefits in a capsule, mare's milk capsules are a portable and practical solution for everyone interested in taking mare's milk as health product.
- Because mare's milk has a higher sugar content and a lower fat content than cow's milk, the fresh mare's milk can taste odd to many people. Capsules make it easy to access the benefits of mare's milk without the unfamiliar taste.
- The extended shelf life, made possible by adding powdered mare's milk into capsules, allows it to be shipped anywhere in the world. This expands the number of people who can benefit from horse milk.
Horse Dairy Farm
Mare's milk is obtained from horses that have recently given birth to a foal. Depending on where in the world the horse milk is produced, it may be obtained by hand-milking a mare or by using a milking machine that makes it much easier to standardize the production of horse milk. In both cases, mares must be treated gently to ensure that they can secret milk in an animal-friendly way.
In most cases, foals stay with their mothers for the first two months after birth and consume all the milk produced by the mare. After this period the mare is separated from her foal for a few hours each day. Depending on the breed and size of the horse, about 10 liters of milk is produced per mare each day. Only two liters of milk per day is used for human consumption, which ensures that the growing foals have adequate nutrition to grow up healthy and strong. The period of separation allows foals to play with each other and to eat hay and grass, which can help in their development.
Mare's milk may be consumed unpasteurized or may be pasteurized to extend its shelf life. In France, fresh mare's milk can also be found under the Bio Milk label that indicates that it is an organic product and is free of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics. For most people, however, mare's milk capsules or powder are the most practical option for long-term use.
Where to Buy Horse Milk
Liquid mare's milk is for sale directly from horse dairy farms or at local health food stores as either fresh unpasteurized or frozen mare's milk.
Equilac® is available online from this website or at pharmacies in Belgium. Our product can be shipped anywhere in the world and offer superior shelf life. This ensures that you can access the consumption of horse milk from wherever you are. The remarkable health benefits have made it a popular product among consumers all over the world.