Breast milk is widely recognized as the optimal nutritional source for infants, as it contains vital nutrients and antibodies that are crucial for their overall growth and development. Breast milk has been investigated for alternative applications beyond its traditional use in nourishing infants. Some conditions respond very well to breastmilk home remedies.
Although certain applications of breast milk are still under investigation and may necessitate additional scientific verification, this article sheds some light on other uses of breast milk.
10 Surprising Uses of Breastmilk You Never Thought About
Breast milk exhibits strong immunological properties that protect infants against many diseases. It is currently widely acknowledged that human breast milk provides lifelong health advantages.
Here are just a few of human milk’s amazing components1:
- Vitamins A, C, and E– With anti-inflammatory effect
- Oligosaccharides- The consumption of human milk oligosaccharides helps to maintain a healthy and balanced gut microbiota. Human milk oligosaccharides can stimulate the production of neuroactive molecules.
- Phagocytes – Potentially absorb and ingest harmful organisms
- Lipase– Bacteriocidal activity
- Lymphocytes– Have an antiviral activity.
- Lactoferrin– Antibacterial
- Lysozyme- Bacteriocidal and anti-inflammatory
Research has demonstrated that breastfeeding confers protective benefits against a range of health conditions. However, there are many interesting facts about breastmilk that many of us don’t know much about. Breast milk is not only a valuable source of nutrition for infants, but it is also used in home remedies for treating various health conditions2.
Are you wondering what to do with breast milk instead of dumping it? Read on to know 10 surprising ”other uses of breastmilk”:
1. Offer relief from eye infections.
Many ancient cultures used human milk to treat eye infections, including conjunctivitis, which is an infection of the clear membrane that lines the eye. Human breast milk drops were found to promote faster and more complete healing of central corneal epithelial abnormalities than serum drops or artificial tears3.
Breast milk’s probiotic-rich, non-acidic liquid composition is well suited for the treatment of ocular infections such as conjunctivitis and pink eye. Usually, instilling a few drops into the eye is sufficient to initiate relief and combat infection.
2. Helps to reduce the pain of stings and bites
The antimicrobial properties of breastmilk4 can help soothe inflammation caused by stings and bites, as well as prevent infection. The itching and swelling can be alleviated with the help of this miraculous sterile liquid. It is the antiseptic properties of breast milk that speed the recovery of wounds caused by insect bites and stings.
3. Contributes to better skin health
Due to its potential moisturizing and antibacterial properties, you can use breast milk for skin care. It has been found that breast milk can be used as a cost-effective cleanser for the face and a remedy for various skin conditions. Human milk contains lauric acid, which may be beneficial for treating acne as well as other inflammatory skin conditions5.
Simply apply breast milk to the affected area and allow it to air dry to treat acne and other conditions. If you have leftover breast milk, try experimenting with a homemade face mask. Many women turn to breast milk for skin whitening.
Learn which ingredients to combine with breast milk to get the best results for your skin. One treatment often makes a noticeable difference. Breast milk can be used as a gentle skin cleanser. Cover your face with breast milk, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it off with a clean towel.
4. Breast milk for eczema
Several recent studies have investigated the potential topical anti-inflammatory properties of human breast milk for the management of skin conditions, including atopic eczema and nappy dermatitis. Research indicates that breast milk is equally efficacious as hydrocortisone cream in the treatment of eczema6.
Related Reading: 11 Easy Tips Glowing Skin During Pregnancy
Studies that demonstrate the same positive outcomes when using breast milk to treat diaper rash support this research. Adults might also benefit from using breast milk as a topical treatment for eczema. The same qualities that make it effective against childhood eczema may also make it beneficial against adult eczema. How you apply breast milk to your skin depends on the extent of the afflicted area, your milk supply, and your preferences.
5. Breast milk for sore throat
Breast milk may provide relief from sore throat symptoms for individuals of all ages, including babies, kids, and adults. Human milk contains antibodies and coating qualities that are beneficial7.
Give the patient a couple of spoonfuls of the liquid to consume as part of the therapy. As an alternative, you may consider gargling with breast milk regularly throughout the day.
6. Ear infections can be treated with this miraculous fluid
Ear infections are most prevalent among children aged between six and 18 months. Breast milk contains antibodies that aid in the fight against infections. Breast milk is a simple yet effective solution that provides a concentrated dose of antibodies directly to the affected area8.
If the infection is located in the inner or middle ear, the milk will not come into contact with the infection. However, if the infection is in the outer ear, such as in the case of a “swimmer’s ear” condition, milk may be effective.
Typically, applying three to four drops of milk directly into the affected ear is sufficient to treat the issue. The drops should be applied to the entrance of the ear canal, rather than directly inside. This is equally effective for normal ear infections in adults as well.
7. Helps to soothe sunburn
The ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun are potent and have the potential to cause severe sunburn. It is crucial to protect oneself from the sun’s harmful rays, regardless of age, be it children or adults. Although it is always better to be safe than sorry, sunburns may sometimes happen despite all precautions because the sun is stronger than it seems.
Breast milk has been found to have soothing properties that can alleviate sunburn in both children and adults. If the sunburn is localized, you may dab on breast milk using cotton wool. This alleviates pain and promotes speedy skin healing. In case of a sunburn affecting a large area of skin, a breast milk bath will be more beneficial.
To prepare a breast milk bath, it is recommended to dilute 150-300ml of expressed breast milk in lukewarm water. Depending on the severity of the skin irritation, this can be repeated once or twice a week9.
8. Good remedy for sore nipple
The use of breast milk as a preventative measure against nipple irritation proved successful. Nipple soreness may be alleviated with the help of breast milk that has been extracted and used as a barrier to prevent the skin’s deeper layers from drying up. This promotes cellular development and reduces the risk of nipple injuries.
Nipple irritation or cracks might heal more quickly with the help of breast milk. After you’ve finished breastfeeding, you might benefit from manually extracting a tiny amount of milk and massaging it into your nipple and areola. The areola may benefit from a topical application of expressed breast milk, which has been shown to reduce discomfort and speed recovery10.
Related Reading: Which Herbs To Avoid While Breastfeeding?
9. Excellent remedy for clogged tear ducts in babies
Clogged tear ducts may cause watery eyes and a dry crust around a baby’s eyes. Babies often suffer from clogged tear ducts. Breast milk has a long and proven history of use as an eye care remedy.
Conjunctivitis and other eye infections may be avoided with the use of this age-old remedy. Breast milk may help clear a blocked eye by lubricating the eyelid11. Immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lysozyme, oligosaccharides, and subsets of immune cells are only some of the beneficial components found in breast milk. Breastmilk eye drops have shown promise in tests and may be the initial therapy option for babies less than six months who have ocular discharge12.
10. Remedy for hair fall
When it comes to breastmilk uses other than feeding, do you know whether there is breast milk therapy for hair? Indian physician Dr. Preety Maggo has created a novel hair treatment that makes use of breast milk’s health advantages13.
Stress, hormone imbalances, and an unhealthy diet are just a few of the factors that can cause hair loss and damage. Breast milk is viewed as a safe and efficient therapy since it is a natural medicine.
Related Reading: 12 Home Remedies To Treat Hair Fall After Delivery
Enzymes in breast milk nourish the scalp and enhance the hair’s texture, while antibodies in breast milk strengthen the hair roots and prevent hair loss. Applying breast milk to your scalp, leaving it on for a while, and then thoroughly rinsing it off with water is all that is required.
Breast milk serves purposes beyond infant nutrition. This substance has versatile medicinal properties. The disinfecting and healing properties of this substance surpass those of chemically-produced modern medical drugs that undergo rigorous testing and regulation.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the main purpose of breast milk is to provide infants with the necessary nutrients for their growth and development. Although there have been anecdotal reports of alternative uses for breast milk, it is important to conduct further scientific research to confirm their safety and effectiveness. It is recommended that you seek advice from a healthcare professional if you have any particular concerns or medical conditions.