The Raw Milk Cure

 

Towards the end of May I started something that sounded so crazy I was hesitant to disclose to anyone what I was attempting to do.  Upon much research and the encouragement of my husband, Jason, I put the fresh raw milk we were getting daily from our Jersey cow to an extreme test. I set out to live exclusively on five quarts of raw milk a day for four weeks.

Over one hundred years ago, before pasteurization of milk became the standard of American society, the cow which fed on green pastures and produced wholesome milk, promoted the wellness of the people. There existed sanitariums in which people with chronic diseases were fed milk alone and given bed rest and the results were staggering. They were either cured or benefited greatly from the diet. I read the work of Dr. Charles Sanford Porter, Milk Diet as Remedy for Chronic Disease, published in 1923 and was astounded to hear of his thousands of documented patients who improved upon taking milk alone for at least one month. Chronic diseases ranging from brain and nerve disorders, heart and kidney disease, colitis, paralysis and nutrient deficiencies all benefited from an exclusive milk diet. As the large amount of milk was digested by these individuals, the body increased the blood supply and pumped blood to all parts of the body, making the diet incredible for circulation and nutrient assimilation.

Raw milk is a powerhouse of nutrition. It contains fat soluble vitamins A, D and K, it’s high in Omega 3’s, high in minerals and electrolytes, high in Vitamin C and the B Vitamins and has all of the enzymes needed by the body to assimilate it. As Dr. Weston Price concluded, (Raw milk is) “nature’s only complete diet for mammalian infants and by far the single item of food for growing human beings in all periods of stress.”

In 2009 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. From that time on I have been on the road to recovering my health. But in these eight years I have failed to put on any weight, even though I have stuck religiously to a gluten free diet and have seen naturopaths and gone to extreme measures to heal my gut. As Jason and I read these ancient books on this milk cure diet, we decided that I had nothing to lose! In fact, I had everything to gain! Why not try it?

So the first thing I did was get some blood work done. I ordered a full blood count, B Vitamins and Folate and hormone panel. My results did not look so bad, however, I had low alkaline phosphatase, high cholesterol and high eosinophils. A low alkaline phosphatase is common in people with Celiac Disease who have a difficult time absorbing nutrients. This didn’t surprise me, as my low weight has been an issue for a while now. The cholesterol baffled me, but it was in my research on my high eosinophil count that caught my attention. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell, specifically engaged by the body to attack parasites. If my body had been harboring parasites for a long time, even the most nutrient rich diet was not going to cause me to gain weight! As I continued researching I was appalled to discover that up to 50 percent of people probably have undiagnosed parasites. And parasites may even be linked to a possible cause of autoimmune disease!

Another part of my research led me to discover that parasites absolutely love milk. They love sugar and there is natural sugar in raw milk. In drinking milk, I could essentially draw out the parasites from whatever organs they might be inhabiting and bring them to my gut. Lovely thought.

The next piece to this puzzling experiment had been right in front of us for a while. We are homesteaders and try to feed our animals as naturally as we can. We have opted to use food grade diatomaceous earth to treat our pigs, chickens, cows and dogs for parasites instead of using commercial wormers. Diatomaceous earth is composed of the silica made from fossilized aquatic organisms. It is one of the best natural parasite killers. I researched its effect on parasites in humans and saw great results. Along with the five quarts of raw milk a day, I decided to add food grade diatomaceous earth, or DE. Using the recommendations of Dr. Josh Axe, (see The Most Versatile Detoxifier Around) I began to take one teaspoon of DE in about 8 ounces of water before bed.
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I wish I could tell you that drinking five quarts of milk everyday was a romantic experience. The truth is that it was very difficult. Every hour from 7 AM until 7 PM, with the exception of two hours during that time, I drank 16 ounces of milk very slowly. There is a formula in the books that I read that explains how to calculate the amount of milk one needs based on body weight. For me, I needed just about five quarts. You’d be surprised just how quickly an hour goes by and how satiated you feel on a full glass of milk. The first two days were miserable for me because I cut out coffee and so I dealt with horrible headaches and nausea from the lack of caffeine and the increase of milk. The addition of the DE in the evenings caused some interesting bathroom habits, which I will not go into here, but the bedrest was the most difficult part of the diet. The first couple days were easy to rest because I felt so horrible, but after the pain went away and I felt better, I was lucky if I got an afternoon nap daily for the rest of the four weeks. I just could not wrap my mind around laying in bed when there were things to do and children and animals to attend to.

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After three weeks on the milk diet I was ready to give it all up. I was so sick of milk. I hated it. We had gone out to lunch after church with friends of ours to Chipotle and I declared that I was done with taking my little cooler with glass jars full of milk any time we left the house. I was tired of drinking and so desperately wanted to chew something. Anything! Jason just looked at me and said, “Whatever you want to do, I will support that.” I ate some guacamole in pure rebellion. However, when we got back home I changed my mind and decided to go one more week. I made a list of foods that I was going to eat once I was able to eat again and the last week went by incredibly fast. I had made it! Four weeks on milk alone.

Here are some of the results that I experienced:

I gained six pounds! I know this doesn’t sound like much, but to someone who has been just under 115 pounds for almost a decade, getting to 120 is an accomplishment.

I gained an inch around my waist, two inches around my hips, an inch around my thighs and my arms grew slightly bigger. My face is fuller.

I have noticed improvements in female issues I have dealt with, as well as improvement in hemorrhoids.

My skin and complexion is soft and radiant.

Toenail fungus completely cleared up.

I just bought a dress one size bigger than usual!

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I am still in the process of finishing up the regimen of diatomaceous earth and then I will order new blood tests to see if the parasites are gone. All in all, the raw milk diet has been a surprising success in my life. It was worth the pain and the discipline of drinking all that milk. And to quote Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”

 

References:

  1. The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid, ND, 2009
  2. The Miracle of Milk by Bernarr Macfadden, 1923
  3. Milk Diet as a Remedy for Chronic Disease by Charles Sanford Porter, 1923
  4. The Weston A. Price Foundation

My Journey with Celiac Disease

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I can still remember the urgency in which my midwife, Hillary, pleaded with me.

“There is something wrong. With all of the supplements and pills you are on, there is some reason your body is not absorbing the iron that it needs. You must see a doctor and get to the bottom of this!”

That was five years ago today. The very day after my youngest, Thaddaeus Joseph, was born.

I had been somewhat anemic for a while. I remember being turned down in college to give blood because my hemoglobin was too low. At that point I didn’t really mind being relieved of the blood-letting. But throughout college and even into my married life I remember having episodes of having to sit down on the shower floor because it felt like I was about to pass out. Having babies was when the anemia kicked in full gear. I was put on an iron supplement in the middle of my pregnancy with Addie, but because I was delivering at the hospital, my doctor was not so much concerned about low iron. Jeremiah’s birth was a different story because we decided to go the home birth route. However, HIllary had me on so many supplements, including blackstrap molasses and chlorophyll and floradix and liver, that my iron levels improved slightly and I was able to safely deliver Jeremiah at home. When Thaddaeus came around, I immediately started with the iron supplements and kicked it into high gear at the very end because my levels continued to drop. Hillary delivered a shot of pitocin right after Thadd was born in order to help my uterus to contract and to prevent hemorrhaging. And the Lord enabled me to deliver a healthy baby boy at home. But I knew that there was something wrong with me.

My midwife gave me the name of a family doctor who practiced naturopathy up in McKinney, TX. Dr. Chartrand. I made a visit to see him and thus began about a three month journey of trying different supplements with my iron levels continuing to drop. I remember Dr. Chartrand looking at me one day and saying, “Your iron level is about that of an eighty-year-old woman. It is amazing to me that you are still standing up.”

And so I began my own research, which led me to some forgotten website that listed off different symptoms of an autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease. The common symptoms were digestive, but “unexplained iron deficiency” was on the list. So as soon as I met again with Dr. Chartrand, I asked him to do a Celiac screen and that very day he tested me.

I remember being down in Houston visiting my in-laws when I received the call from Dr. Chartrand telling me that the results had come in from the test and yes, I had tested positive for Celiac Disease. So, he told me, allI I had to do now was completely avoid gluten. FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!

The weight of that sentence hung about me like an iron skillet. I had no idea what gluten really was, and what in the world did or didn’t have it in it. But my very first reaction to the news I received that day completely took me off-guard. I responded with thanksgiving. I remember being outside of my sister-in-law, Jen’s house in the early Spring of Texas, the birds busy about me, the live oak trees growing in their new leaves, and I remember breathing in life and audibly praising God that a diagnosis had been found. It would change my life forever, but it was like God had clearly written the next step in my journey. Go gluten free. And I had to walk in obedience to this very difficult discipline.

I cannot say enough about the incredible support my family and friends were to me as we all scrambled to learn all we could about what kinds of food I could and couldn’t eat and O how wondrously so many went out of their way to prepare food for me and make sure things were not cross-contaminated. Jason, most of all, proved to be my biggest support and endless source of research and inspiration as we changed our lives to accommodate to this new diet. He is an indescribable gift to me.

Six months into the diet, my iron levels were higher than normal. “You are cured,” my doctor told me as there was no reason for me to see him again. And so I have been walking gluten free for almost five years now. It has been challenging, but time has carved the rut of daily routine into an almost easy gluten free road.

But now, as is the case in many things, the road is changing again and the path is not as clear cut. Jason and I have just recently been researching the paleo diet and the benefits specifically for those with autoimmune diseases. I resisted this change initially. There’s nothing wrong with me! But all I have to do is look at pictures of me five years ago and compare them to recent photos. I may not be as pale as I used to be, but I am skinnier. Obviously skinnier. And not the kind of skinny people are jealous of. The kind of skinny that people make comments like, “I would hug you, but I would probably break you,” or “When it rains, you don’t get wet, do you?”

So, after painfully coming to terms with my own low body weight and the probability that my gut is not absorbing all the nutrients that it needs because of other dietary factors, I have decided to adopt the paleo diet. SIGH. I so didn’t want to go here! But the more reading I do, the more convinced I am that it is the diet for me. So, I believe that this is another of God’s markers pointing me down another similar and yet difficult road. Not according to my plans. My plans this year were about writing and fostering, not cooking!

But again, I am reminded that it is not my plans, but His that are worth submitting to. Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” This is the story of my life. And it has proven to be even better than any plan I have ever made for myself, every single time.

So here goes: one foot in front of the other, cutting down a path one step at a time.