Camel is the richest among all animals with different names. Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall, a great eighteenth-century Orientalist, collected 5,774 words for camel and camel-related features and paraphernalia. There are at least thirty different words for camel milk. Yes, then why we use cow terminology for the camel?
Here is the Saddest Side
The camel terminology is mainly derived from a cow/cattle production system in English, which is a wrong approach. I’m giving you food for thought to reconsider and re-establish camel’s terminology. As the camel was domesticated, evolved, and managed for centuries in Arabian Peninsula, the best terminology will be the one used in that region.
Some Interesting Names of the Camel
Arabic has over 100 words for ‘camel’ which at one point had as many as 1,000 words. ‘Al-Jafool,’ for example is a camel that is frightened by anything and ‘al-harib’ is a female camel that walks ahead of the other camels.
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.
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