My little one turned one year old. (Hooray!) Though he is still being breastfed, it is clear that he is not going to finish all the frozen breast milk stored in my freezer. While trying to donate the frozen milk to a local human milk bank, I found some of the milk was actually out of date; which is, more than 6 month old. That surprised me. The milk was no longer drinkable, but I hate the idea of throwing it away. After all, I worked hard to collect the milk.
So I did some research on the alternative uses for breast milk and made a bar of soap out of my own milk. Of course the best use for breast milk is to nourish the baby, but it can also benefit the whole household. Breast milk is anti-bacterial; contains immunological agents and other compounds that take action against viruses and parasites. It is believed that breast milk can be used to treat wounds, cure a few ailments, and even help people heal faster after organ transplants and other surgeries. Here are a few.
Preventing diaper rash. Breast milk can be used to treat and prevent normal nappy rash ( but not yeast infection).
Treating sore nipples. Putting some breast milk on the nipples can often heal them faster. It can also prevent cracking by keeping them supple. Not recommended for mothers with thrush.
Removing make-up and clean skin . Breast milk can naturally and easily remove make-up, even eye shadow and lipstick, and will leave the skin nourished and soft. Breast milk also gently cleanse skin and its antibacterial properties can prevent acne.
Treating dry skin. Breast milk can be used as moisturizer but needs to be rinsed off afterwards.
Treating chapped, cracked lips. Breast milk can keep lips moist for quite some time.
Reducing eye puffiness or redness. Breast milk is wonderful for removing puffiness, and is used just as cow’s milk for the same purpose. Simply dab on with a cotton ball.
Boosting immune system. Older children can be given a class of breast milk or more every day to boost their immune systems and keep them from becoming ill.
Easing cold or flu symptoms. Anyone can get over the cold quicker with some liquid gold breast milk.
Opening a stuffy nose. Breast milk is a great, natural alternative to medications. Just squirt a few drops into the patient’s nose while he is lying down and then use a bulb to suction the excess out from the nose.
Soothing sore throats. Swirling some of the breast milk around in the mouth and even gargling with it can help.
Treating insect bites. Rub a small amount on the bite to relieve the itching and promote the healing process.
Treating eczema and other skin rashes. Breast milk will keep the skin clean and will prevent flare ups. Just apply a thin layer of breast milk to the area, and allow to air dry.
Treating warts. Apply daily on the wart, until it dries up and falls off.
Relieving chicken pox itching. Apply the breast milk onto the skin just as using other ointment to relieve the itching.
Treating mild eye irritation or infection. Breast milk is an age-old treatment for viral conjunctivitis (eye infection). A few drops into the eyes will help keep the area clean and initiate healing. Also see your doctor in case the eye infection is due to a bacteria; you may need other medication as well.
Treating external ear infections. Squirt a few drops inside the ear for healing and pain relief. This can be used in infants and adults.
Making soap. Check out the recipe and directions here.
*Although breastmilk can be, and has been used as a traditional folk remedy for many ailments, it is not a substitute for appropriate medical care. The information above is a compilation of historical remedies, mothers” wisdom and some research studies. It is meant as general information, not medical advice.
TO-WEN TSENG 曾多聞