PUDUKKOTTAI: It is a cure that can lure. Donkey milk is being sold by a few herdsmen at Alangudi and nearby villages in Tamil Nadu, with the claim that its therapeutic properties can cure lack of appetite, acidity, eczema, syphilis, scabies, itch, belching, ringworm, insomnia, piles, asthma, fungal infections, anorexia and whooping cough.
When there is so much in the offing, it will set to be pricey too. For every 15 ml, one has to shell out `50.
Four herdsmen from Thozhuthur in Cuddalore are camping in Alangudi since last week with 28 donkeys.Several residents bought the milk from the herdsmen and gave it to their children. Even adults and the aged also consumed it.
“My father used to give donkey’s milk to me in my childhood. In my native village, many used to have it when they have lack of appetite. Following their advice and based on their experiences, I have been trying to source the milk in many places. On Wednesday, I spotted the herdsmen selling it here,” said Panner of Kallankudi, a fruits’ commission agent, who bought milk.
“I bought the animals from Eral in Thoothukudi district for `10,000 - `12,000 based on their age and health status. In our hometown in Thozhuthur, people come to the river banks asking for donkey’s milk. But as most of them know us well, we could not take money from them in accordance to the sale.
Many of our relatives scheduled a tour across the state to sell donkey milk and earn money.
We have come here as part of the tour and have brought six of my donkeys,” said G Duraisamy, one of the herdsmen.
“We will be here for two or three days more and then will go to Pattukkottai in Thanjavur district. Our team started touring three months ago and we have covered Madurai, Dindigul and Sivaganga districts before reaching Pudukkottai district,” he said.
Asked about the benefits of donkey milk, Alangudi Taluk GH Chief Medical Officer M Periyasamy said there were molecules active in antimicrobial protection such as lysozyme and lactoferrin in donkey milk, according to various medical literature available on the Internet.
“Donkey’s milk is being used as natural, hypoallergenic milk because it is tolerated by about 90 per cent of infants with food allergies like Cows’ Milk Protein Allergy,” he added.