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The History of Colostrum Usage

In recent decades Western scientists have comprehensively analyzed the various components of colostrum—that incredible “first milk” produced by lactating mammals. Their investigations of this unique product have verified what mothers have known intuitively for thousands of years. That is, it is extremely rich in a large range of immune-boosting and healing substances.

Studies have shown that colostrum isn’t only good for newborns: it can also be of great benefit to adults. Furthermore, bovine colostrum, which can be obtained in commercial quantities, has been found to be almost identical to human colostrum in terms of its beneficial components. In addition, it is four times richer in immune factors and contains some special compounds that protect the active ingredients from the destructive effects of the human digestive system, thus allowing them to remain active for a longer period.

But, again, this only confirms what various peoples have been aware of for centuries. Ayurvedic physicians from India have long known of colostrum’s properties, and have used it for both physical and spiritual healing for over 2000 years. Thousands of miles away, Scandinavians traditionally celebrated the birth of calves with a health-enhancing pudding made from colostrum.

By the late 18th century, Western medicine started to take an interest in colostrum for its potential health benefits. As a consequence, it began to be prescribed for several purposes, including immune system enhancement and for fighting bacterial infections. It was still popular for the latter use until the development of penicillin and other artificial antibiotics in the 20th century.

In 1950, Dr. Albert Sabin, who eventually went on to develop the world’s most successful polio vaccine, found that bovine colostrum contained antibodies to polio and therefore recommended the use of colostrum for susceptible children. Another popular use of colostrum in the 1950s was for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

There have now been over 2000 scientific articles published that document the safety and efficacy of using colostrum to treat a wide range of conditions. This perfect foodstuff has also been shown to be non-species specific, with bovine colostrum being equally useful and side-effect free for many mammal species.