This is wonderful! I have loved having raw milk since moving to Idaho. It has already improved some of my health problems. A month or so ago I began considering a raw milk diet for 30 days, but felt something was missing so I didn’t start. The last few weeks I keep thinking “a land flowing with milk and honey.” I thought maybe I should do a raw milk diet and a bit of raw honey each day. Any thoughts or experience? Also, I would love to find a good naturopath in my area (Blackfoot) if you have any recommendations.
Raw Jersey cow milk is not a fad for me. It is a way of life. Before I started drinking it, I was very unhealthy. It all started when I was a teenager. I started to notice I felt tired all the time and was losing a lot of weight. The worst part of all was the hives. I would break out in them all over my body. Nothing I did helped them heal. They were itchy and swollen and eventually would crack open and ooze. I lost count of the number of staph and other bacterial infections I got from skin sores that never got better. Being a teen is hard enough without walking around with hives and oozing sores all over your skin. Trust me on that one.
The older I got, the unhealthier I became. I was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, chicken, and red meat. Doctors determined I had several autoimmune disorders that were the underlying cause of my growing list of allergies. I developed brain fog and migraines. I was so anemic that I hemorrhaged after the birth of the first 3 of my 5 children. By that point, the skin irritation was the least of my problems. The foods I could eat became fewer. I ended up living as a pescatarian for a long time since fish and vegetables were the only things that did not trigger a flare-up. Living that way did not improve my health or well-being. I could not get enough of the nutrients my body needed to be healthy. It was a downward spiral that finally came to a head.
Finding another way
Modern medical science was not helping me much, so I decided to think outside the box. I was crying out to God for a solution. I was in so much pain. Through various God ordained scenarios, I met a naturopathic doctor, who suggested I needed to get radical if I wanted to get better. Her suggestion was to do a raw milk diet for 30 days. The theory behind it is that drinking raw milk, and raw fermented Kefir, can help reset your entire system because it contains beneficial nutrients, microorganisms, and probiotics not found in pasteurized milk. It gives the digestive track time to reset and heal.
I will admit I thought it was a bit extreme, but at that point, I was willing to try anything to get some relief. The naturopath said I needed to make sure I was drinking A2/A2 milk since I had a milk allergy (I will explain why later). So, for the next 30 days, I consumed nothing but raw milk from my brother’s Jersey cows.
Overcoming the mental barrier
You start to think you might be losing your mind. At least that was how I felt when I was going through it. Overcoming the mental barrier was the hardest part of doing the raw milk diet for me. I spent many years believing I was broken. That I had every diseases in the book: auto-immune, allergies, lymes, hyperthyroidism, exhaustion, severe weight loss etc. I believed I was a vegan and having that lifestyle reinforced by traditional medical doctors who were focused on my allergies to dairy and meat. Their idea of helping me was to convince my avoidance of those things – plus treatment with traditional medications, like topical steroids – was the only way to manage my condition. Hence, I led a vegan lifestyle.
But it was failing me miserably, which led to a bit of an identity crisis for me. Vegans do not drink raw milk, and most definitely not vegans with a diagnosed dairy allergy. I ate vegetables and some fish, and that was it. Everything else was off the table, so to speak. When the naturopathic practitioner suggested I needed to drink nothing but dairy to overcome my pain, I must admit I thought it was crazy.
Raw Milk and the Bible
I had many conversations with myself and God. As a believer, I knew prayer was powerful and would help me through it. But I also knew that in scripture, there were certain things that God said were good and should be a blessing for my body. Like milk.
I would read my bible and see SO many references to milk, curds, whey, and fat. Almost all were spoken of positively. Some say, that in the above verse, it was God himself who visited Abraham. If curds and milk were good enough for my King, then they should be good enough for me.
Striving to be a normal mom living a normal life was exhausting. I would have done anything to not feel so exhausted and mentally unavailable to my family. Who knew that the thing I was told I didn’t need, was exactly what I needed?
God always provides a whey ( 😉 ) when we seek Him.
Once I got past the irrational thoughts and self-doubt, I did my due diligence about raw milk and decided it was worth making the effort to get my life back. Here is what I learned.
What is raw milk?
Raw milk comes straight from the tap, my friends, the way God and nature intended. It is neither pasteurized nor homogenized. These two practices leave milk devoid of nutrients. The goal of pasteurization is to remove harmful bacteria that can make people sick. The problem is that the process used to pasteurize milk also destroys all the beneficial microorganisms, including probiotics. Most raw milk comes from cows, but you also can get it from buffalo, camels, goats, and sheep.
Raw milk nutrition facts
What is it about raw milk that can help support a healthy immune system and provide other health benefits? Raw milk nutrition facts support what the more than 10 million raw milk consumers in the U.S. already know: raw is better. Raw milk qualifies as a complete protein. What, exactly, does that mean? Well, it means that raw milk contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies need for peak performance. That is not all. It is packed with nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and vitamin K. With 8 grams of protein per cup, it also helps build healthy bones and muscles.
Milk in supermarkets may be abundant and relatively inexpensive, but it also has the potential to cause serious digestive issues in some people (like me). Nearly 70 percent of the world’s population suffers from lactose intolerance. Consuming raw milk can help those who otherwise could not tolerate cow’s milk to enjoy it again.
One last nutrition fact about raw milk consumers may appreciate: raw butterfat is rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a trans-fatty acid that is counted among the good trans fats. That means it offers a myriad of health benefits, including supporting heart health and preventing adipose obesity. Grass-fed Jersey cattle produce raw milk with 4.5 percent butterfat, which is missing from pasteurized and skimmed milk.
Why raw Jersey cow milk from A2 cows is better
A2/A2 milk is better for people with dairy allergies because it is devoid of the A1 beta-casein protein, which is the cause of most milk allergies. Milk from A2/A2 cows contains a different type of casein. Consuming milk from cows that naturally produce only A2 beta-casein can help reduce the painful digestive issues that happen with a milk allergy. That is what happened to me when I started my A2 raw milk 30-day plan. I admittedly was a bit worried at first that drinking that much milk would make my condition worse. Then the naturopathic doctor explained the difference between A1 and A2 beta-casein and it made more sense.
It takes less time for the human body to digest milk from A2 cows. Some scientists think faster digestion reduces gastrointestinal inflammation and other GI issues that cause discomfort in those with milk allergies.
Not all Jersey cows produce A2 milk. If you want to buy a Jersey cow or buy cow shares to access A2 milk, you must have the cow’s DNA tested first to verify it is an A2 breed. If you decide to get your raw milk from Guernsey cows, you can skip the testing. All Guernsey are natural A2 milk producers.
How to do the raw milk diet
Before I tell you how I did the raw milk diet, I must stress that everyone is different. What worked for me may not be the best method for everyone. So, if you want to give the raw milk diet a try, please first consult with a naturopathic practitioner who can assess your specific health concerns and guide you through the process safely.
My journey with the raw milk diet started by finding an A2-A2 raw milk supply. As I mentioned before, my brother had A2-A2 jersey cattle, so I was able to get milk directly from him. For the first week, week-and-a-half, I drank nothing but that milk. I am not going to sugarcoat it. My body reacted harshly at first as it began to detox. Years on steroids had significantly weakened my immune system, so it had a strong response to the change.
For the first two weeks, I drank 8 ounces of raw A2-A2 milk or ate small amounts of kefir or yogurt made from A2-A2 raw milk. At first, I was not that hungry, but as my body began to adjust and detox, I felt hungrier and needed to consume more. It was nothing for me to consume 2 gallons of raw milk a day while I was doing this. The naturopath warned me that the purpose was not to fast, but to detox, so I had to consume enough that my body would not go into fasting mode.
To help control my body’s histamine reaction, I used pure lavender essential oil under my tongue. I also took detox baths once daily in a mixture of baking soda, Epsom salt, and hydrogen peroxide to mimic the effects of ocean water. Another unpleasant side effect was constipation. It took my system a few weeks to adjust, so in the meantime, I used a calcium and magnesium supplement to help soften my stool. That was the only supplement I included with this raw milk diet. The goal is to give your body a rest from everything, so if you do this, you will want to exclude any dietary supplements you take regularly.
For the first two weeks, I really struggled with whether I should continue with it and if it was working for me. By week three, I started to feel more normal, so I was glad I had stuck it out. After the 30 days were up, I started adding in soft foods – even some baby food and pureed foods – to reintroduce my body to them. The goal was to go slowly so if I had a reaction, I could back off before much damage was done. I am happy to report I could eat anything after that, including meat! That does not mean I go all out now and stuff my face with whatever I want. I still rely on raw Jersey milk products from our own A2-A2 cow and keep things as organic and natural as possible.
If you plan to try the raw milk diet, there is one more caveat. You must have a solid support system behind you. I really struggled because I was doing this as a mother to very young children. I am lucky and thankful that I have a super supportive husband who took time off work to help me through it. My amazing parents also chipped in and between them and my husband, I had the help I needed to turn things around.
Dairy cow environment is everything
If drinking milk that has not been pasteurized weirds you out, I want to assure you there are other ways to make sure raw milk is safe before consuming it. On our homestead, we follow strict cleanliness guidelines. Our multi-step milking process starts and ends with a clean cow and sterilized milking equipment. Then, we send it out to Udder Health Systems in Idaho to have it tested before we drink it or turn it into other milk products like cheese, ice cream, and yogurt.
If you have your own Jersey cow, you should follow similar steps to ensure your milk is free from harmful bacteria. One of the ways raw milk becomes infected with bacteria and pathogens is by leaving your cow stranded in its own manure. Dairy cows should spend plenty of time grazing in a pasture. Otherwise, they may end up wading in their own manure, which is filled with harmful bacteria that can end up in your milk. If you plan to do a cow share or buy your milk from a local dairy farmer, ask to see how they treat their cows before you buy from them. Request the opportunity to observe how they clean their cows before milking them. As if their cows spend ample time in the pasture. Finally, make sure they conduct routine testing for harmful bacteria.
Why drink raw Jersey cow milk
For the first time in more than 20 years, I feel like a normal person again. Raw milk worked wonders for me. My skin allergies have cleared up and I can eat anything again. I can confidently say I am happier and healthier since I made the switch, and I love to talk to others about my miraculous transformation.
This journey played a major role in my becoming a certified natural health practitioner. I wanted to help others the way this naturopathic doctor helped me. It also is the reason we live on a homestead with our own Jersey cow. Once I experienced the health benefits of consuming raw milk, I decided I never wanted to go back.
Here is a list of resources that I found and continue to find helpful in my health journey. May they be a benefit to you as well.
- Nourishing Traditions book. This has invaluable information on learning how to restore your gut and changing your overall lifestyle.
- The Weston A. Price Foundation
Here’s to your health, friends!
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Hi Michelle! Thanks for the comment.
Raw honey is good. Just keep in mind that a lot of healing comes from allowing your body time to not have to process sugar. Candida is a massive culprit in lack of good gut health. So I would add honey in near the end of your milk diet. Raw honey has amazing enzymes though and is my “go-to” for the best type of sweetener!
If I come across any Naturopath in your area that understands this mindset, i’ll be sure to let you know!
what should i consume for candida, ibs problems?
is oregano essential oil, honey, vitamin A+D+K with raw a2 milk (desi-Indian gir cows purest a2 milk) better to consume during this 30 days fasting? I’ve much of digestive issues so i am looking to doing this for once to detox.
I was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 1935. So that makes me 86 years old. No big deal, you say, here is my Jersey cow story. When I was born, prematuraly, my mother had no milk, she hemmoraged. When my Dad arrived at the hospital, after I had been born, the doctor told him that his wife was going to be alright. He said, What about the baby? We don'[t think she will live. My Dad said said she better Live! Three days later, we went home from the hospital in Perry, OK. The doctor told my Dad, If you can find milk from one Jersey Cow, you might raise this baby. My Dad couldn’t find anybody with One Jersey Cow, so he went to the sale barn, bought a Jersey Cow, rented a place to keep her at the edge of town. He hired a nurse to take care of me and so the nurse , my Daddy, and my 12 years old Sister took care of me. My Mother, and 4 year old brother broke out with Scarlet Fever, immediately and they were quartined in one part of our house, while the rest of us lived in the rest of the home. Daddy was employed by a natural gas company, but he went to milk that little Jersey Cow and as you can see, I lived. I never knew why the doctor said what he did to my Dad and always wondered. So my question is…How long has the A2 factor been known? Did that Country Doctor know what he was talking about, or maybe just thought Jersey cows were beautiful or what? I have told a lot of people my Jersey Cow story and have never heard of another person having a similar story. Just thought you might enjoy how a Jersey probably saved my life. So that’s my Jersey Cow Story.
Hello, I am moving to a small 12 acre farm. I will have a few horses and am thinking of getting a Jersey…my questions are these: would the cow be ok with the horses? Do they produce milk everyday even if they have not been bred?
Are they OK with out a 2nd cow? How are they in the winter-come into a stall, able to stay out in a protected lean to? As you can see I am new to this but would like to have fresh milk (how would I have it tested in Michigan (I would be near Michigan and Michigan State Universities), they may have agricultural programs???
Thank you for your help,
Congrats on the new farm Sandra!
Jersey will be ok with Horses, as long as temperaments are ok.
After calving, a Jersey cow can stay in milk for about 12 – 16 months. At about the 6-9 month mark is when we breed our Jersey cows. So, we are milking during most of her pregnancy. Then, about 2 months before she is due, we dry her up (stop milking – there is a process for that – blog article coming out soon detailing how this is done) and get her reading for Calving. Once she calves, we start milking and the whole process starts all over again. But the simple answer is, the cow does not produce milk if she has not had a calf.
They can be ok without a second cow but they are curious and social so they do better when there is more than one.
They are smart and like to stay dry and warm. So if you have a lean to that will keep them out of the elements, then they will use it.
I personally don’t know of any testing organizations in your state but I’m sure there are some! I would ask local farmers and your universities.
You’re on the right track! You’re doing great! Have fun with it.
Could you share what type of magnesium supplement you used? My whole family has switched to raw milk and almost all of us struggle with constipation now. I didn’t want to stop the raw milk and reading your story gives me hope we don’t have too.
My youngest son is 5 and really small for his age and has recently developed all over body eczema we have seen several doctors and are even going through an eczema healing program but it’s a LOT of supplements and a topical steroid/antibiotic combo (which seems to be the only thing keeping his skin clear) he is gluten free and dairy free for now but seems more reactive than ever to different things. He’s also developed nasal congestion. He also tested for high amounts of Candida. I’ve given him raw milk in the past but wondering if I should try again. Your story sounds so much like his. I know ultimately it’s a gut issue for him. The program we are in is very dependent on supplements and seems like so much for a child and he was already struggling to gain weight and he has gained nothing since being in this program.
Whew! Sorry I’m slightly venting on here. I’ve been up all night searching for things to try and help him