Camel’s role is incredible in its cradle of domestication and its original habitats. In the 19th Century, some camels were transported to the USA, Australia, and some other places for work and armies. After the automobile revolution, the role of the camel as a beast of burden was gradually diminished 1,2.
In Australia there are thousands of feral camels, now it’s estimated a million, roaming across Australian deserts but unfortunately considered as a pest. The government launches a project to kill camel (considering as a pest) and save the scarce water resources in region 3. Many friends from Australia and other parts of the world (including the author) raised voice to halt such killing which results in wastage of such a unique resource. The camel activists gave many good arguments/suggestions to save feral camel; a tool to adapt to the climate change and judiciously use of the scattered bushy vegetation of the region 4. Unfortunately, there are still many challenges, the main one is the weak faith and poor understanding of the present Australian government on the onset of climate change 5.
I appreciate the role of the colleagues and friends around the world who raised voice for the conservation of camel in Australia and converting camel from a useless animal to the best tool for adaptation to climate change and ensuring food security. Now my dream about camel ‘Turning from a beast of burden to a modern farm animal’ is turning true 6. Camel is Turning from a Beast of Burden to a Modern Farm Animal
In this series of articles, I am starting to share links, photographs, and views of the people around the world, who floated the idea to the sustainable use of camel for the well being of humanity. Modern science also proved the role of the camel in all aspects especially, food security, sustainability, resilience, and adaptation to climate change and human health. All friends and colleagues are warmly welcome to freely review, comment, share in this series of knowledge sharing.
As a first innovation, I hereby share pictures sent by Hannah Purs from Australia. I hope she will respond to reviewers.
The camel milk is finding its way in the new world (from sand dunes of Arabia to the western world) because of its hidden treasures of health promising ingredients.
Traditionally used for complex and diverse diseases in its habitat, camel milk is now praising in the Western world both by modern families and the Scientists. New small and medium enterprises in the USA (Oasis Camel Dairy) and EU (Holland) with the production of camel milk are emerging. The demand is very high and the owners (personal communication) received emails and phone calls from different places to ensure availability of this precious milk for their kids with Autism.
The idea of camel milk as a tool for great health, business, and livelihood is appealing. Now the people are hearing. I hope/wish the policymakers in the camel world will realize the reality. I hereby copy the link of another Autism work in the below lines.
New and innovative ideas are being initiated and many new people are willing to come in the camel world. Here, I link the readers with the camel development in South Australia by Hannah Purs.
SOUTH Australia can expect a new industry to emerge in the next few months with preparations underway for SA’s first commercial camel dairy. Port Broughton couple Evan Casey and Hannah Purss say they have spent years setting up their enterprise and are waiting for their herd of 20 female camels – known as cows – to give birth. Ms. Purss said the original drive behind the dairy idea was to remind people of the value of the species. “We’ve worked with camels for a number of years up in the NT, doing a lot of wild camel work,” she said. “There was a lot of money being spent by the government to cull camels. We were looking at ways they can be seen as more important.” They realized a dairy would be a good option and began research into the product.
The cow is the most important farm animal in parts of Africa but climate change is threatening the existence of the animal. Recurring droughts and extreme heat are making cows unable to produce essential milk. Camel produces milk in harsh conditions where other farm animals are hard to survive. In Kenya, a group of farmers has found an alternative to camel milk.
Unlike cows, camels can withstand long periods of extreme drought and still produce milk all year round. Some 200 women have already made the switch from cow to camel milk. Camel milk is healthier and pleasant in taste. The move has improved living conditions for many, especially because they are able to sell milk from their camels at a competitive price. In the following links, you can read further about the emerging camel dairies in the horn of Africa.
The atrocities of climate change are emerging with multi-dimensional outcomes in different parts of the world with different intensities and level of losses. The historical Bactria region1 (Also, Arya) is one of the worst affected ecosystems. This region is the historical home place of some very precious livestock species and cradle of domestication2. The region is the birthplace of Bactrian camel, Yak, sheep, goat, and horses. The regions are well known for its sheep and cattle culture mainly depending on grasses. In the due course of speedy climate change, the rangelands of the region lost many grass varieties and quantity produced per unit of land. Low rain falls, erratic rains, rains beyond proper timing are the main drivers of the climate change and hot spells are catalysts in this regards.
The sheep and cattle industry of the indigenous breeds is under threat. The drought cycles hit the region resulted in the loss of the sheep and cattle. Three species like Camel, goat and donkey are the most resilience to this climate change. Camel is unique because of the long walking ability and resistance to water & feed scarcity as their special traits.
A camel can be a good player if explored to ensure food security in such a climate change scenario because of special traits. Unfortunately, the policy makers of the region have never placed camel at its proper place while fabricating policy regarding agricultural development. Authors have striven for years to bring camel in the mainstream of the policy makers but yet need more to be done.
Camel is a cool, happy and calm animal. Opposite to common believing as dangerous, this unique creature has a soul with love and remembrance. Camel realize the feelings of a person or animal approaching camel. Camels’ reaction is always the same in response.
Love camel and get love. Sometimes an angry camel (may be by some one else) can make trouble if you approaching but it is very uncommon. Once an already angry camel cow tried to have a bite from my shoulder but I was smart enough and escaped. She was very loving camel in nature. I astonished.
Then after an hour, when I met her again in the milking parlor, she put her head on my shoulder as an excuse. I inquired and knew that she was angry on a handler as he treated her harshly.
Love camel to keep calm and loving. Caring camel soul is important to keep camel happy.
Camel has adapted mechanisms that allow it to withstand prolonged water deprivation, high temperature, especially in the absence of readily available water, and survive when feed resources are scarce or of poor quality. Heat tolerance is in part due to its’ ability to minimize water loss. The camel retort to hot arid conditions by reducing urine production, absorbed urine, sweating economically, by an increase body temperature and by the ‘storage’ of CO2 and glucose in the muscles. Camels can survive up to 14 days without water and can tolerate water losses of up to 30%. A camel may drink more than a third of its body weight as it rehydrates.
In terms of actual water intake, camel drinks 200 to 220 L in 3-10 minutes. In other animals rehydration at these levels would lead to over hydration and possible death. The camel is able to do this as large amounts of water can be stored for up to 24 hours in the gut to avoid a rapid dilution of the blood. The camel’s kidneys play a major role in the process of conserving water, having strong capacity of water reabsorption and excretion of very concentrated urine
The camel’s blood plays a principal role in adaptive mechanisms to high heat burden and dehydration as its composition and volume remains relatively constant and hemoglobin function remains normal. The erythrocytes of the camel are oval shaped and non-nucleated which resist osmotic variation without rupturing; these cells can swell to twice their initial volume following rehydration. Another unique feature of the erythrocytes is their long life span when the camel is dehydrated. The life span of the erythrocytes of hydrated camels is 90 to 120 days. When camels were chronically dehydrated during summer (40oC mean during day; 20oC mean at night) the life span of erythrocytes was extended to 150 days. Erythrocyte turnover is water and energy expensive. Therefore extending the life span of erythrocytes reduces energy and water expenditure
A fully hydrated camel has a diurnal body temperature range of 36 to 38oC. However when dehydrated and exposed to high environmental heat load body temperature may fluctuate by 6 to 7oC, from approximately 34 to 41o C. The increase in body temperature of camels exposed to high heat load, especially following a 2o C reduction below the normal minimum, is advantageous because it allows a considerable amount of heat to be stored during the day and dissipated at night (by radiation) without the expenditure of water. Furthermore, as body temperature increases the temperature gradient between the camel and the external environment is reduced, and again water use is reduced. The camel has a bi-phasic air flow pattern, i.e. the inspiratory and expiratory flow rates through the nasal turbinate are similar. The bi-phasic breathing pattern also reduces water use.
As obvious the main atrocities of climate change are raise in temperature, low rainfall (short of vegetation and drinking water) and sand storms etc, all challenges are accepted by camel with the mechanism of adaptation. Camel can be wisely use as a main strategic tool to while fabricating policies to adapt with the climate change. I hereby stress the policy makers to consider on the true worth of this unique and strange animal.
One can imagine, how distinctive and special can be the gift of God. The Bedouin gives name Ata Allah (gift of God), hence considered as precious and matchless. Nevertheless, of its products, camels’ physiology, and behavior is specially designed to survive in harsh conditions of its habitat and sustain the livelihood of its keepers in climate change scenario. Camel has all the characteristics which are otherwise scattered in all the other known and useful animals. The following table shows the importance of camel if compared to other livestock species.Livestock vs camel. Every product of camel is useful, even urine (traditionally used for medicinal conditions like the ear infection, water belly and some kinds of dermatitis) and dung are valuable.Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent
The long bones of camel are very attractive for nomads’ women and use for making jewelry. The camel rearing communities have very firm links with camel culture and consider this special creature as part and parcel of their heritage and culture.
Camel is full of qualities and strange abilities. The author has tried to compile some of the special attributes known to humankind so for. The attributes are grouped in main subjects and given in numeric order.
Potential and Availability of Camel Milk (CM)
Camel is the only livestock species which was originally domesticated for milk; God gifted the camel to Prophet Saleh (PBUH) for milk only, almost 3500 BC.
Camel is the only animal of dry lands which can produce up to 40-liter milk per day (some specimens are recorded) in ordinary grazing conditions. Such high yielding specimens are found in Sub-continent, Arabian Peninsula, Africa and other parts of the dromedary camels’ habitats.
It is the most efficient animal in milk production on per unit feed/water consumption basis, i.e. a cow in rangelands conditions needs 9.1 kg of dry matter feed to produce one liter of milk, while camel produces one liter of milk by consuming only 1.9 kg of dry matter feed in the same conditions.
The lengthy days without water couldn’t depress the camel’s milk quantity or quality. The milk becomes even more watery during the period of water scarcity to fulfill the water requirements of thirsty suckling calves.
Camels’ lactation ranges from 9 to 18 month and produces up to 12,000 liters/lactation.
CM is Natural Pharmacy
A gift of nature and gold of desert, the camel milk (CM) is miraculously proving as a superfood. Because of the appreciable level and unique combination of nutrients (minerals, vitamins, protein, and fatty acids etc.). CM has medicinal properties covering a wide range of ailments like autoimmune diseases, allergies, asthma, rashes, diabetes, liver disorders, rheumatism, inflammatory conditions, piles, urethral irritation, infectious diseases, stress/depression, peptic ulcers and even cancer. The nomads/Bedouins have a long history of experience while healing such diseases with the CM. The manifolds enriched levels of minerals (potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, sodium and zinc) than cow milk, making it a real superfood.
2. An Attraction for Mature people
Camel milk is used as the aphrodisiac, especially in the stressful conditions of the dry hot weather. The appealing level of Nanobodies in CM making it very special tonic for making the mood. As well as CM is a nervine tonic and helps in good eyesight. The pastoral people depending on camel milk rarely get weak eyesight.
3. A Beauty Tonic
The content of niacin (Vitamin B3) in camel milk is remarkably higher than in cow milk. Vitamin B3 supports the function of the digestive system, skin, and nerves, and improves circulation making it a beauty and health tonic. Camel milk contains five times more vitamin C compared to cow milk. Vitamin C is anti-infectious and is very important for human health, especially in dry and deserted areas.
4. Full Stop to Diabetes
Camel milk contains insulin-like protein and is therefore used to treat Diabetes mellitus. Such insulin is capsulated in fats molecules which cannot be denatured (does not coagulate easily because of fat coating) in the acidic medium of a stomach. Such property of Camel milk enhances protein absorption.A study of the anti-diabetic agents of camel milk
5. Ensures Super immune system
The wonderful protein of CM (protective amino acids and immunoglobulin) is a booster of the immune system and nutritional advantages for brain development. CM contains 25-30 times as much lactoferrin as cow milk. Lactoferrin is a fairly recently discovered iron-containing protein that has been shown to have antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-carcinogenic effects. Therefore, a combination of lactoferrin (bactericidal and iron-binding properties) and lysozyme (an enzyme which catalyzes the destruction of the cell walls of certain bacteria) ensure super immune system. A recent study revealed that camel milk has anti-genotoxic (prevent toxification in gene and prevent mutation) and anti-cytotoxic (prevent toxification in the cell). The Nanobodies play an incredible role in this regard.Superfood (Camel Milk) can Beat the Challenge of Superbug (Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics)
6. A Dedication to the children
Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) responding positively after therapy that included camel milk. The low quantity of beta casein and the lack of beta-lactoglobulin are linked to the hypo-allergic effects of camel milk. Because of the low lactose content, it does not cause lactose intolerance problem in infants. CM has 100 times more D-Lactate as compared to cow milk. D-Lactate is very health promising contrary to L-lactate which is toxic and causes an allergy found in cows’ milk. Camel milk can be the best replacement of infant food after the mother’s breast because of its child-friendly lactose.Camels’ Milk Miracle for Autistic Patients
7. The Bucket of Healthy Fatty Acids
Camels’ milk fat contains the much higher concentration of long-chained fatty acids (C 14 – C 18) than short-chained fatty acids and is, therefore, healthier. The Omega 3 and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is even more important among the other fatty acids. CM has 3 times more Omega 3 and CLA than naturally grazing cows’ milk. Such compounds are attracting young generations to be kept healthy and attractive.Easy Understandable But Important Features of Camel Milk
8. Camel Milk Inhibits Colon Cancer Cells’ Growth
A study revealed that camel milk lactoferrin showed very remarkable results in inhibition of the growth of the colon cell cancer (HCT-116). Lactoferrin has great potential and works as a magic. Camel Milk Inhibits Growth of Colon Cancer Cells
Camel Meat is Special
Camel meat is healthier as they produce carcasses with less fat as well as having fewer levels of cholesterol in fat than other meat animals.
Camel meat is also relatively high in polyunsaturated fatty acid in comparison to beef. This is an important factor in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Camel meat is also used for remedial purposes for diseases such as hyperacidity, hypertension, pneumonia and respiratory disease as well as an aphrodisiac.
Camels reach live weights of about 650 kg at 7–8 years of age and produce carcass weights ranging from 125 to 400 kg with dressing-out percentage values from 55% to 70%. Camel carcasses contain about 57% muscle, 26% bone and 17% fat.
Camel lean meat contains about 77% water, 19% protein, 2.8% fat, and 1.2% ash with a small amount of intramuscular fat, which renders it a healthy food for humans.
Camel meat has been described as raspberry red to dark brown in color and the fat of the camel meat is white.
The amino acid and mineral contents of camel meat are often higher than beef, probably due to lower intramuscular fat levels.
Camel meat has been processed into burgers, patties, sausages and shawarma to add value.
Because of its low cholesterol content, Australia’s National Heart Foundation has put camel meat on its list of highly recommended food items. “Camburgers” and “camfurters” are among the products that have been produced by a team of scientists around Prof. Farah at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
Camel has Great Ride and Unique Training Ability
The ears are small but have a great power of hearing. Camel can hear and understand the voice of its header from a long distance.
The camels are regarded as the most intelligent animals and can find out their way in the desert when there are no signs of the road.
Camels can travel many days without feed or water. In the kind of terrain, I like to ride in, this is a very important factor.
A traveler can continue the journey without bothering too much about the feed and water. Camel eats each and everything when tired and hungry.
The long muscular legs allow camels to cover great distances, they walk up to 40 km per day with 200 to 300 kg of baggage.
Camel is better as riding animal than the horse. They are quieter and gentler than horses.
Camels seem smarter than horses about getting themselves out of a precarious situation. If a horse gets tangled up in a rope, it may struggle violently and get rope burns (or worse). A tangled up camel will, after briefly testing the bonds, sit quietly and figure out what to do next.
Camels can carry more weight than horses. Also, a well-designed camel saddle has more room to carry whatever extra gear you are packing than a horse saddle has.
Riding a camel is quiet and peaceful (that is, once the camel is well trained enough that it no longer grumbles along the way). Camel’s slipper-like feet make hardly any noise. Without the clip-clop of hooves, you can hear the wind sighing in the brush, the rustle of autumn leaves, a coyote howl in the distance on a moonlight ride.
The camel gets in high spirits to the tune of music and songs and it walks faster in spite of being tired.
The camels are the most disciplined and obedient creatures. They and can be ordered to sit or stand again and again and can walk in a row silently behind the leading man, woman or even a child.
The camel is a unique beast of burden, which is loaded in sitting position and gets up with a jerk of its long neck.
Camels do not need to be shod. The cost of shoeing horses can really add up! Furthermore, camels don’t usually colic like horses do, although they occasionally bloat.
There is a certain pride in riding a well-trained camel. It is a sign of prestige for camel owner to ride and travel on a mehari camel.
Disease Resistance Trait of Camel Making its Products Residue Free
Camel is resistant to ticks diseases. A load of more than 100 ticks on camel body cannot affect camel health and production.
White Kohi camel is called as Syed by its herders as; having high potential to resist fly bite disease (Trypanosomiasis) The disease register of the camel is quite short (very few fatal diseases are reported in camel).
Camel is resistant to many notorious diseases like foot and mouth disease, mad cow disease (BSE) and Brucellosis etc.
No clinical FMD is reported in camels from any part of the world.
MERS has nothing with the camel as the vector but a tool of misinformation and propaganda.
Camel’s Unique Physiology
The Browsing Beast
The camel has a large mouth, with 34 sharp teeth. They enable the animal to eat rough thorny bushes without damaging the lining of its mouth.
Camel can eat everything (bark, dates seed, salty mud, and even paper) when there is the scarcity of feed, while in good feeding conditions, it does prefer protein rich diet.
The long flexible neck and legs save it from ground heat and give an easy approach to tall trees for browsing. Camel can browse at 3.5 m above the ground.
The upper lip of the mouth has a cut in the middle. The flaps of the upper lip help in catching the twigs (thin shoots of the trees and bushes).
The formation of the mouth is such that there are long conical papillae on the inside of the cheeks directed backward and the camel can browse at the thorny plants without any harm.
The canine teeth help the camel to take into grip the twigs. Such kind of teeth is not found in other ruminants.
The soft palate is developed and comes out on one side of the mouth like a red hanging bladder. This happens usually in rutting (breeding) seasons.
Beast of Dryness and Water Economy
Camel has a well-developed power to smell especially water sources. They can smell water 50 miles away by smelling geosmin which is a fragrance produced by streptomyces species growing in the dumped soil.
Under very hot conditions, the camel may drink only every 8-10 days and loose up to 30% of its live body weight through dehydration. Other animals die at 10% live body loss through dehydration.
Camel urinates less than 1 liter of urine per day in hot summer days. In the period of water scarcity, camel urinates a semi-liquid substance like syrup.
Oval shape erythrocytes (instead of round in other animals) expand up to 200% their normal size as camels drink rapidly an amount of 190 liters of water in 10-15 minutes.
Camel can store water in its all body compartments (intracellular, extracellular, blood and digestive tract etc). Every organ has the extraordinary capacity to store water.
They can live without water for 3 days in summer and 7 days in winter. However, there are some examples of this animal remaining without water for 20 to 40 days. After 40 days the camel goes blind due to excessive dehydration.
A camel can vary body temperature up to 6.7 Cº, having a great endurance power to stand the scorching heat. Camel even absorbs heat in the day time by increasing body temperature and dissipates it in the cool night, this way the camel conserves water.
The well-developed hump is full of fat that serves as a store of water and food at the time of starvation. The fat of hump gets dissolved gradually during starvation and collects again at the time the camel gets adequate water and feed.
Prince of Sand and Ship of the Desert
The flat pads of the feet are horny and cushioned and help the camel to walk on the sand without making any sound while the feet of other animals sink into the sand. Due to this quality, the camel has been given the name as the “ship of the desert“.
Camel’s feet are soft and friendly to vegetation. The hooves of the cow or small ruminants are more aggressive to the soil and contribute more often to the degradation of the pastures in a case of overgrazing.
The chest pad helps the animal to take rest on it while sitting on the ground. The rest of the body is saved from the concussion against the ground. There are other pads at the knee and half joint and in front of the joint of thighs. These prevent the limbs from the concussion against the ground.
The spines of all vertebrates of the thoracic region are long & high and make the hump, which is more developed than all other Brahman cattle. Very special designed to be a useful animal in the desert.
Camel has prominent eyes with a wide range of vision. They are protected by an overhanging upper lid with long eyelashes, which protect the eyeballs from powerful rays of the sun.
The upper lip of the mouth has a cut in the middle enable the nostrils to cover to keep out the sand and dust at the time of dust storms.
Masculine Vulnerability-Paradox is Exceptional in Camels
Bull is the main symbol of reproductive efficiency and very active in breeding season (camel is seasonal breeder and usually male shows sign of rut)
The Bull urinates in gush while standing and urine goes back in between the hind legs and falls on the ground. Its refresh the femoral vein and decrease the heart temperature for water economy. This enables the animal to save itself from slipping in its urine.
Another typical sign is a notably and profuse secretion of the poll glands of the neck, which contains androgen concentration similar to blood
The soft palate is filled with the air and a big red ball (dulla) is pumped out to attract the female, a very special behavior of camel bull.
Camel is still Hiding from the Eyes of Policy Makers
Besides all its attributes, camel is always considered as the beast of remotes and neglected among the policy makers. Its share is never praised and no visible effort has been done for its development. A camel can be a good tool in the global environmental changing scenario and food insecurity situation to provide food and livelihood to million of the people in the drylands of the world. Camels are very much under threat and up to 25 % of the camels are vanished in South and Central Asia, India. This decline is mainly because of the faulty national and regional policies resulting in restriction of historical routes and grazing lands. In recent years due to climate change, many challenging health issues are also causing threats to camels’ survival as this field is very dark and neglected. Only in the year 2010, thousands of camels were dead because of a fatal respiratory disease in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. This fatal disease comes time to time to eliminate numerous camel without being noticed by the health authorities of the concerned regions. Besides of many cries by the author and other friends, no positive response was attracted so far. A silver lining in the clouds is the organization of an advocacy group (Camels4Life) of like-minded people to work for the cause of camels’ keepers and to give them the proper place at a policy level and development projects application. I hereby appeal the national governments and international bodies like FAO, IFAD and other organization to give proper place to a camel in R&D sector of the agriculture.Al Ain doctor sees potential in camels beyond their milk
The scientists are in agreement that one of the worst health challenge will be the resistant bacteria in the near future. The microbiologists continuously exploring camel milk for its unique antimicrobial characteristics. They revealed that camel milk’s (CM) antimicrobial attributes are more important than other multi-dimensional benefits especially in the scenario as scientists have warned about the future threat of superbugCDC sets threat levels for drug-resistant ‘superbugs’1.
Scientists and health officials have been warning us about antibiotic overuse and drug-resistant “superbugs” for a long time. Antibiotics kill bacteria that cause infection but in the process, they can also kill good bacteria (the human body hosts about 100 trillion). This phenomenon is developing towards a complicated two-pronged dilemma, an i.e. resistance of harmful bacteria to antibiotics and vanishing the good bacteria. The scientists have warned that million of people will be killed by the superbug in the years to come.
Camel milk fortified with natural antibiotics (lactoferrin, lactic acid bacteria, and others)2 with symbiotic effect to the good bacteria is a silver lining in the clouds Camel! A One in All Creatures. Such natural food provides needed nourishment to good bacteria and restricts bad bacteria to harm the body. I hope the scientist will conduct some more serious scientific studies to explore the hidden treasure of camel milk to combat the challenge of superbug.
Part B. Added today (30/5/2016). This part is a case of superbug reported by CNN from the USA ‘A dreaded superbug found for the first time in a U.S. woman‘.
The case was detailed in a report by the U.S. Department of Defense on Thursday. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden talked about the case at the National Press Club in Washington. A 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman showed the presence of a rare kind of E. coli infection, the first known case of its kind in the United States. It is a superbug that is resistant to many antibiotics, even Colistin, which doctors use as a last resort when other antibiotics fail.
The details of the report are provided as a reference # 5.
Drug Resistance and Superbug. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/16/health/antibiotic-resistant-infections-cdc/
Antimicrobial characteristics of camel milk; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1319434
Arrera has a pleasant odor and taste and a similar color to ergo with a slightly smoother appearance and a thinner consistency. Its consistency is though thicker than that of fresh milk. It has also a much shorter shelf life compared to all other fermented milk products (only 24-48 h), even when smoke is applied to the equipment used for its storage.
This fermented milk product is consumed in all parts of the country as a beverage either plain or spiced. It is preferred by women for consumption as a side dish or as a drink. Being rich in several nutrients, it serves to enrich the diet. It is given to weaning aged children and elderly and is especially considered as food of children and women in rural areas. Surpluses are given to calves, lactating cows and dogs. It may indirectly serve as additional income for the women by its use as raw material for cottage cheese production, which may be sold in the market. Due to its relatively short shelf life and some traditional taboos or beliefs, Aarea is not sold in the market for direct consumption.
This fermented milk product is consumed in all parts of the country as a beverage either plain or spiced. It is preferred by women for consumption as a side dish or as a drink. Being rich in several nutrients, it serves to enrich the diet. It is given to weaning aged children and elderly and is especially considered as food of children and women in rural areas. Surpluses are given to calves, lactating cows and dogs. It may indirectly serve as additional income for the women by its use as raw material for cottage cheese production, which may be sold in the market. Due to its relatively short shelf life and some traditional taboos or beliefs, Arrera is not sold in the market for direct consumption.
Not only is camel milk a “super food” nutritionally, it is antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-autism 1 and has anti-carcinogenic effects; thus millions are turning to this unparalleled dairy product. Additionally, these desert animals are not threatened by climate change and a growing dependence on them can remain sustainable. Human health challenges such as Ebola can be better assisted with camel milk, especially with less nourished populations.
Camel milk is special and unique as camel itself; it contains a higher quantity of noble elements (lactoferrin, Vitamin C, Zn, Insulin-like protein, and calcium etc.) and deficient in damaging substances (cholesterol, calories, and lactose etc.). Lactoferrin2 is iron-containing protein (recently found by scientists in such a high level in camel milk) has been shown to have antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-carcinogenic effects. As camel milk, lactoferrin is unique itself. The world of lactoferrin is continuously exploring by the scientists and diverse health benefits are being investigated.
Vitamin C is well known for its anti-infectious qualities and usually found in citrus fruits. As citrus are rarely available in deserted ecosystems, nature gifted these precious ingredients in the form of camel milk. Zinc is a vital part of many enzymes (300) of the human body. This vital mineral is necessary for almost all the important activities of the human body. The high concentration of insulin-like protein (encapsulated in fats) enables it to pass safely from the acidic environment of the stomach. The safe absorption of such protein is instrumental in a high level of insulin in the blood which helps in subsidizing sugar level. Camel! A One in All Creatures. The anti-diabetic attributes of camel milk can be linked with its browsing habits as camel eats from the herbaceous, salt tolerant, drought resistant and nutrients rich plants of its ecosystem. Camel milk is a touchy health promising natural formula for the pregnant woman (low fats and high Ca) and infants/children (as low lactose and high Ca).
Being rich with unique proteins (lactoferrin and insulin-like protein), camel milk is a blessing for the patients without any side effects. Camel milk has one-way action; that is health promising. The drug one take from the pharmacy can only treat some specific disease with the high danger of side effects while camel milk is rich with natural medicine and full of needed nutrient for nourishment and good will of the body. The holy Quran has well defined the camel as; do they not look at the camel, how strange it is made.
The camel milk is finding its way in the new world (from sand dunes of Arabia to the western world) because of its hidden treasures of health promising ingredients. Traditionally used for complex and diverse diseases in its habitat, camel milk is now praising in the Western world both by modern families and the Scientists. New small and medium enterprises in the USA (Oasis Camel Dairy) and EU (Holland) with the production of camel milk is emerging. The demand is very high and the owners (personal communication) received emails and phone calls from different places to ensure availability of this precious milk for their kids with Autism.
The major demand is for the management of conditions like Autism and Diabetes. Camel milk is a hope for autistic patients and their mothers are struggling to have camel milk. Social media, especially Facebook is widely used for searching camel milk and knowing the attributes of camel milk in human health. The link on Facebook is known as ‘Healing with the Camel Milk” is is a unique place for this precious discussion. The link is given below.
The famous story of Christina Adam is printed in print media and the link is available; provided in the ensuing lines. She has concluded her own experience of six years struggle to manage her son’s autism with the camel milk.
The demand for camel milk is ever increasing. The new markets for camel milk are rich and enthusiastic. Such a phenomenon can bring a breeze and smile to the camel pastoralists; if the national governments and international bodies helped them with the channelization of their eco-organic produced camel milk. Camel milk can be used as a tool for poverty reduction and rural development of the drought-stricken areas of the world. On the other hand, this demand is a unique opportunity for the business giant of the Middle East to promote modern camel dairying with the development of camel dairy traits and linking scientific institutes with this business for quality and sustainable production.
Camel is the composite of all domestic animals with respect to its characteristics. Camel produces milk like the cow, fats like sheep, hair like the goat, riding like the horse, thick milk (Bactrian camel) like yak, work like the donkey, and hardy like mule etc. Every product of camel is useful, even urine and manure are valuable for medicinal use and paper production respectively. The camel’s manure is a rich source of soil fertility and bulky fiber for softening of the soil. Camels’ Manure~From Waste to a Worthwhile Farming Agent.
The Camel is Transforming into a Dairy Animal in other Continents
Camel was originally domesticated for its milk production in harsh and hostile ecosystems of the dry barren lands of Arabia. Later on, the trait of walking ability was the major selection criteria to use this precious animal for long travels. The camel is once again turning to its original task and becoming a modern but sustainable farm animal. The high yielding camels are selected and evolved for dairy traits, attracting higher prices as there is un-matching demand for milch camels, especially in Gulf countries. A race for hunting high yielders is already started among the camel lovers in the region and new and modern camel dairies are emerging, the best examples are the 2 giant camel dairies in the United Arab Emirates. Different types of dairy products like ice cream, powder milk, camelchino, pasteurized milk, and other product are now available for the consumers in the region.
The Challenges in Modern Camel Farming
The modernization and intensification of modern camel dairying have brought many challenges too, which need to be addressed properly with the blend of traditional knowledge and modern science. Such modern challenges are comprised of breeding records and traits selection, camel adaptation to the modern technology especially milking parlor, mastitis, manage and other challenges.
There is immense need of experience sharing, technology transfer, knowledge management and the introduction of new ideas to keep modern camel dairying sustainable. I have no doubt that camel will find its original place as a dairy animal of the dry ecosystem of the world. Camel has a great potential to produce in the harsh climatic conditions without providing extra care in kind of cooling or heating systems. Camel milk will bring a smile to millions of people as health promising natural pharmacy and will promote good health.Superfood (Camel Milk) can Beat the Challenge of Superbug (Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics)
The centuries-old tradition (healing with camel milk) is now supported by scientific findings gained in different quarters of the world. The camels’ pastoralists of Asia and Africa use camel milk as a natural pharmacy for different and complex ailments and such practice still, prevails among them. They use camels’ milk (CM) for the different complex ailments like hepatitis, joint problems, obesity, ascites, weaker eyesight, body aches and much more.
CM is successfully used for the treatment of hepatitis among different communities, even it is now used in urban areas of the world. Not only Traditional Knowledge (TK) but the religious sayings also supported such use of CM. According to a Hadeeth, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advised camel milk for the treatment of water belly (ascites) in Madina. There is very famous Hadeeth regarding the use of camel milk for the treatment of hepatitis.
Modern science and medical research also proved the importance of camel milk in human health. Famous US physician Dr. Hinkle has been very pleased with the results she is seeing with hepatitis on the camel milk. She has witnessed case after case of hepatitis patients whose liver enzymes have been normal for the first time in years while on the camel milk.
Alla et al (2011)1 conducted research on camel milk in connection with the liver enzymes of hepatitis patient. They concluded that camel milk can be used as an herbal remedy for the treatment of alcoholism and other liver diseases which affect the hepatic enzymes as well as the liver tissues. Yagil (2004)2 stated that camel milk is very effective in fighting viruses. Viruses can also be neutralized by blocking out their enzyme activity, and studies have shown that camel antibody is an effective inhibitor of hepatitis enzymes system. Other studies conducted by Middle Eastern Scientists on the role of camel milk, revealed that camel lactoferrin was demonstrated a remarked in-vitro ability to completely inhibit the Hepatitis C Virus (HCP) entry into PBMC, hepG2, and replication inside those cells system (Esmail,2008). Such changes help in safeguarding the body from this killer virus.
The CM is a silver lining in the clouds for those who face liver dis-functioning. The scientific support for CMs’ potential is an additional asset which helps in convincing people with urban and academic backgrounds and asks for scientific proves. It is now pretty sure that CM turns the complexity into simplicity and makes the life easy and joyful. I hereby suggest those who have liver ailments and other complications to using camel milk for better health and a happy life.
Alla et al; 2011. Sudanese Journal of Public Health, Vol 6 (4) Esmail; 2008. Hepatitis Monthly; 8(2) 101-109
Yagil; 2004. Camel Milk and Autoimmune Disease. Historical Medicine