What is camel milk and camel milk therapy?
Camel milk is milk produced by camels. It’s available frozen, as a liquid, or as dried milk powder. You can buy it raw or pasteurised.
Camel milk autism therapy involves adding camel milk to an autistic person’s diet.
Who is camel milk therapy for?
Supporters of camel milk therapy say that it’s suitable for autistic children and adults of any age.
Supporters also say that people with other health conditions can use camel milk as a therapy. This might include people with diabetes, cancer, skin disease or autoimmune disease.
What is camel milk therapy used for?
Supporters of using camel milk as an autism therapy claim that camel milk improves a wide range of autism characteristics. This includes behaviour, communication, speech, movement and ability to make eye contact.
They also say that camel milk helps with the stomach and digestion problems in some autistic children and adults.
Where does camel milk therapy come from?
For centuries, camel milk has been used in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as medicine. It’s believed that camel milk can treat a wide range of conditions, including diarrhoea, diabetes, cancers, skin diseases, ulcers and autoimmune diseases.
Since the early 2000s, camel milk has become increasingly popular as a therapy for autism.
What is the idea behind camel milk therapy for autistic children?
Supporters of camel milk therapy believe that many autism characteristics are caused by high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
ROS are highly reactive molecules that are naturally found in our body’s cells. Research has found that high ROS levels can lead to many diseases, including cancer and autoimmune diseases. Anti-oxidants help to lower ROS levels.
Camel milk has a lot of anti-oxidants.
Supporters of camel milk as an autism therapy claim that the anti-oxidants in camel milk can reduce ROS levels in autistic children. They say that this in turn reduces children’s autism characteristics.
Although scientific research supports the relationship between ROS and many diseases like cancer, there’s no evidence to say that high levels of ROS cause autism. There’s also no scientific evidence that drinking camel milk can reduce autism characteristics.
What does camel milk therapy involve?
This therapy involves drinking camel milk on a daily basis.
You can drink camel milk on its own or add it to other food.
You might need to spend time preparing camel milk, particularly if you’re using dried camel milk powder or adding camel milk to food.
There are no standard guidelines or research studies about how much camel milk to drink, how often or for how long.
The cost of camel milk varies depending on the brand and form of camel milk. For example, dried camel milk powder is generally more expensive than liquid camel milk.
Does camel milk therapy work?
There’s no good-quality evidence that camel milk helps autistic people.
In addition, drinking raw milk is not recommended because raw milk can carry dangerous bacteria and other germs that cause food poisoning.
Who practises camel milk therapy?
Camel milk is available in health food stores and some supermarkets. Although you can do this therapy yourself at home, it’s always best to speak to your GP or paediatrician or a paediatric dietitian before using this therapy.
Parent education, training, support and involvement
If your child is drinking camel milk, you need to choose and shop for the milk.
If you’re using dried camel milk powder, you’ll also need to prepare it by adding water and mixing until dissolved. If you’re using frozen camel milk, it needs to be safely defrosted.
Where can you find a practitioner?
If you’re thinking about giving your child camel milk, you should discuss its risks and benefits with your GP, a paediatrician or a paediatric dietitian.
There are many therapies and supports for autistic children. These range from behavioural supports and developmental approaches to medications and alternative therapies. When you understand the main categories that these therapies and supports fall into, it’ll be easier to work out the approach that will best suit your child.