Milk was once lauded as “nature’s perfect food,” E. Melanie Dupuis explains in the book, Nature’s Perfect Food: How Milk Became America’s Drink. While much of milk’s praise has been built by government nutritionists and the American Dairy Council, the health benefits of milk are indeed evident. Among the may nutrients in milk are vitamins A and D, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Milk is also a good source of protein and healthy fats.
But did you know the benefits of milk extend beyond drinking? Continue reading to learn our favorite milk-based home remedies.
1. Treat sunburn. Have a painful sunburn? Make a milk compress by soaking a towel or cloth in cold milk says Life Hacker. Press the compress to the burnt skin until you feel relief.
2. Heal bug bites. Natural Living Ideas says the proteins in milk have anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties that make milk an excellent treatment for bug bites. To use this home remedy, soak in a warm milk bath or dab the bug bite with a cotton ball dipped in milk.
3. De-stress and sleep well. There’s scientific evidence behind mom’s urging to drink a warm glass of milk before bedtime. According to Harvard Health Publications, drinking a glass of warm milk as part of a de-stressing night time ritual can help prepare the mind and body for restful sleep.
4. Soothe sore throat. One of the most effective home remedies for a sore throat or cough is to gargle warm milk mixed with 1/2 tablespoon turmeric and grounded black pepper. You can gargle the mixture or drink it in the morning and evening, as recommended by The Health Site.
5. Treat dry scalp. Milk is an excellent source of vitamin D, known to have a soothing effect on the scalp and promote hair texture and luster. To treat a dry scalp, Health Guidance recommends mixing 1/2 cup milk with 1/4 cup honey and applying the home remedy directly to the scalp. Put a shower cap over your hair and relax for 2 hours as the solution works its magic.
6. Exfoliate and reduce wrinkles. The lactic acid in milk is the same ingredient used in spa chemical exfoliants. Next time, skip the expensive facial and boost collagen naturally by wiping your face and neck with a cotton pad soaked in milk. Women’s Health Magazine says this at-home treatment works as a gentle exfoliant to smooth skin and reduce wrinkles.
7. Clear acne. Lactic acid does more than just exfoliate the skin. It also heals it. According to Women’s Health Magazine, a thick paste made from milk and flour is an effective home remedy for acne breakouts. Apply the home remedy before bedtime and let it soak into the skin throughout the night. Rinse in the morning.
8. Hydrate skin. Milk is a long-used method for healing dry skin, reports Indian Express. The lactic acid in milk helps remove dead skin cells, while the vitamins and minerals in milk promote the growth of healthy skin cells, thus improving elasticity and suppleness. To use this home remedy, mix 2 tablespoons honey with 2 teaspoons milk. Apply the mixture to your face, neck, and other dry areas of the body. Rest for 15 to 20 minutes and then gently rinse with water.
If you are concerned about added hormones or antibiotics in your milk, you can always purchase organic. However, a study by the FDA revealed that in 2007, only 17% of all dairy cows had been treated with bovine growth hormones (bST or BGH). While to receive the organic label there are a number of other standards that must be met, many of your regular brands are already hormone-free.