The Healing Benefits of the Milk Diet and My Own Expectations

Aside from the adventure of doing a completely unconventional experiment, why would anyone want to subsist on raw milk alone for several weeks at a time? Because traditionally this diet was used as a natural cure for many ailments. To start, here’s what Bernarr MacFadden had to say about the curative powers of the milk diet:
Among the many disorders successfully treated are nervous troubles of all sorts – including insomnia, neuralgia, neuritis, headache and migraine, nervous prostration and nerve irritability; also general debility, and stomach and intestinal indigestion, and their resulting auto-intoxification; ulcer of the stomach and intestines, acid stomach, and dilation of the stomach; prolapse of the stomach, intestines, kidneys, or uterus; pimples, boils, carbuncles, sallow, blotchy complexion, eczema, dandruff, anemia, biliousness, catarrh of the air passages or of the digestive tract, constipation, chronic diarrhea, and dysentery, asthma, hay fever, hardening of the arteries, piles, chronic appendicitis, rheumatism, arthritis and lumbago, hives, ovarian trouble and leucorrhea, impotence, liver trouble and gallstones, Bright’s disease and diabetes, tuberculosis in the early stages, and narcotic habits of all kinds. Also, in abnormal blood pressure conditions, whether too low or too high, the milk diet works almost miraculously.

Taken from the online copy of MacFadden’s book here.
MacFadden and experts like him took the healing properties of pure raw milk very seriously. Of particular interest is that those who recommend the milk diet are usually actively seeking methods of curing disease. Not just treating symptoms, but actually allowing many patients to achieve a full recovery from their various illnesses and regain the ability to live a normal, functioning life.

One thing I found very interesting was that the milk diet is supposedly able to cure digestive problems. This is quite unorthodox in our society where milk is often demonized as the cause behind digestive disorders. Even in the real food community, the exclusion of milk (even raw milk) is relatively common. Many real foodists are dairy-free or casein-free. Experts like Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome (or GAPS), recommend abstaining from any dairy for a period of time, with actual milk being reintroduced perhaps years down the road.

But on the other hand, according to advocates of the milk diet (or milk cure), raw milk is the answer to common digestive difficulties like indigestion and constipation. Many who previously believed they couldn’t tolerate milk found they did quite well on an all milk diet. Why? Possibly because raw milk contains beneficial enzymes and bacteria that not only aid in the digestion of its components, but can also help restore the balance of flora in the gut. From what research I’ve done, raw milk can be a very therapeutic food, so I wouldn’t put it past raw milk to tackle digestive issues as well.

So, what benefits am I expecting from the milk diet?

Fortunately, I’ve undergone a lot of healing during the my last year or more on a real foods diet, so I don’t have any outstanding conditions that need drastic improvement. However, there are some areas that I feel should be doing better and I’m hoping the milk diet will provide some positive results.

The Dreaded PMS

Sometimes I swear I wouldn’t think anything of my health if PMS didn’t rear its ugly head for about 10 days out of every month. It’s a reminder to me that things aren’t quite in total balance yet. I realize that some hormonal fluctuations are normal during the menstrual cycle, but in my opinion what I experience every month is not what nature intended (i.e. crazy mood swings and out-of-the-blue cravings for straight-up junk food). Whether the milk diet can help with this or not, I’m not certain, but it’s worth a shot to me as someone who’s tried every natural remedy under the sun at this point.

Other Hopes for the Milk Diet...

Otherwise I’d like to see improvements in some smaller matters, like my skin/complexion, cellulite, energy, sleep quality, body composition (especially after gaining some unwanted fat weight around my waist–thank you very much, low-carb dieting), and basal temperatures, which have been low for years.

To some degree or another I’m keeping track of all of these factors as a way to gauge the effect the milk diet is having on my body. I will be reporting at the end of the diet what kind of improvements I’ve seen. Overall I’m trying to be open-minded about what will happen over the course of the next few weeks. Who knows what lies ahead?

This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

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