A while back my sister and I dove into the world of goat milk. Why goat milk you ask? At that time my sister had acquired serious skin allergies. She became severely allergic to several items in her diet and her skin was a mess. It would itch terribly, get hive-like bumps and then her skin would peel and bleed. No matter what brand of lotion she tried, it made her symptoms worse. We needed to find a lotion to help with the itching and peeling. Every lotion she tried had petrochemicals as a base. These chemicals would burn, sting, or cause her body heat to intensify under the lotion. The heat would then cause her allergies to increase.
Back then we had a herd of Boer goats, which are meat, not milk goats. But, what the heck, a goat is a goat, right? Wrong! Milking Boer goats is like trying to milk a cat. Temperament and udder structure is not conducive to milking. All they wanted to do is fight. Mornings with the goats, I would fight, yank, get smacked, scream and #####! I decided to invest in “real” milk goats.
Starting with a Saanen doe that was a wonderful girl and ended up buying more here and there since then. Milk goat breeds are much easier to milk and have a quieter temperament.
Throughout our research of my sister’s allergies, we learned that skin isn’t just the covering of our bodies. Skin absorbs external particles into the system so we can also assume that the chemicals and poisons that are added to commercially made lotions end up inside our bodies.
Every lotion she had tried was unbearable. She needed something that would breathe, soothe, and heal her skin. We found that goat milk itself has healing qualities and contains several essential vitamins and minerals. Calcium, vitamin B-6, vitamin A, potassium, and niacin. It is also high in copper and the antioxidant selenium.
The more we looked into the beneficial properties of goat milk, the more we decided to make our lotion with it. So we looked for a recipe we could work with and had the necessary ingredients for healing. We found several and tried a few before we came up with the perfect one.
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What we came up with turned out to be wonderful. Goat milk, Shea butter, aloe, vitamin E, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, and bee’s wax. And of course scent. All these ingredients either heal, moisturize or soften the skin.
What makes goat’s milk lotion different or better than any other lotion?
Historically, it’s been said that ancient Egyptians used goat milk to heal and nurture their skin. Scientifically, goat milk is packed with fatty acids, proteins, amino acids, and vitamins to hydrate and soothe skin (and is particularly great for people with conditions like eczema or psoriasis). Goat milk also contains lactic acid, which is a natural exfoliate that helps to keep your skin clear (in case you always get those pesky little keratosis pilaris bumps on your arms).
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This lotion did great. It helped reduce the itching, bumps, and skin peeling. Now she just needed to find out what was causing her allergies. Later, after a few years of making and selling our lotion, we looked into using the goat colostrum to replace the milk in our lotion. Every female mammal produces colostrum for the first 24-48 hours for their newborn baby. It provides all the nutrients to nourish and maintain the baby’s health and well-being. North Carolina State Extension Publications states:
Colostrum is the first thick yellowish milk produced by the doe after birth. Colostrum contains a high concentration of maternal antibodies (immunoglobulins), vitamin A, minerals, fat, and other sources of energy. Antibodies are proteins that help the goat kid develop its immune system to fight diseases. (March 22, 2017)
With the added immunoglobulins and antibodies that colostrum has, we decided to use the colostrum instead of the milk in our lotion. The changes were great. We found out the colostrum has antibodies that help protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays and also heal. Both goat milk and goat colostrum contain Alpha-Hydroxy Acids known to treat a variety of skin conditions. They include scars, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. AHAS is a natural exfoliant that helps do this.
I think the Lactobacillus which is where lactic acid is from, is the main ingredient that helped with my sister’s skin allergies. The anti-inflammatory effects of lactic acid have shown positive effects on the body as well as control and prevent acne problems.
Once we figured out the benefits of goat milk we decided to also make soap. Getting rid of more mass-manufactured, chemical-laden products is wonderful. In my sister’s life, less is better. So now we have goat milk lotion and soap.
I now have twelve milk goats and will soon begin milking them for this year. My very spoiled babies. Getting the goats, learning how to milk, and making soap and lotion have been the best things to happen in my life. It has given me more than just a purpose. It is has helped people with skin disorders, and a way to use what comes from the goats beside the meat they provide. I love my girls and having babies in the early Spring is always exciting. Years ago, I thought milking anything was something I would never do. Milking my girls is wonderful. They talk to me, they know their names and they all have different personalities.