It’s safe to say that everyone is aware of breast milk being used for nursing, but it seems many people don’t realize that breast milk has a number of uses beyond nourishment. There are also a number of medicinal and cosmetic uses for breast milk.
Ear Infections—According to NY Times Best-Selling Author, Dr. Joseph Mercola, “The simple solution (to middle ear infections) is to put a few drops of breast milk in the ear canal every few hours. This usually works to clear up the infection within 24-48 hours and is far safer, less expensive and a better solution than putting the child on antibiotics. If the mother is not breastfeeding, it is likely she knows someone who is. All that is required for the treatment is about one half ounce of breast milk, so obtaining that from a friend will work just as well.”
Diaper Rash—If your baby is suffering from a diaper rash, before heading to the store to buy a diaper cream, you can give breast milk a try. Simply pat your baby’s bottom with breast milk, applying liberally to the areas that are red. Allow the baby’s bottom to air dry before putting a diaper on.
Insect Bites—Mothering published an article that says rubbing breast milk on insect bites helps stop the itching.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)— According to the website About Kids Health (and moms everywhere), breast milk is a great cure for viral eye infections and clogged tear ducts. You simply squirt the breast milk directly into the corner of the infected eye.
Congestion— Parenting reports that putting breast milk in a dropper and squirting two drops in each nostril and then using an aspirator to suck out the mucus will help alleviate nasal congestion.
Acne—According to an April 27, 2010 article in the Daily Mail, a student at the University of California “discovered that the lauric acid in breast milk reduces irritation and spots, and has developed an acne cream that is undergoing clinical trials.” My research has shown mixed reviews on using straight breast milk to treat acne. Some suggest washing your face with water and then spreading a breast milk-soaked cotton ball across your face will help alleviate acne.
Contact Lens Solution—If you ever find yourself in a pinch where you need to rinse your contact lenses but don’t have any contact lens solution, then you can use some breast milk to rinse your lenses. Since it is sterile and has moisturizing properties, it is a great alternative.
Red, Puffy Eyes—Anyone with a new baby can certainly relate to red, puffy eyes. Alas, you don’t need cucumber slices to look like your pre-baby, well-rested self. Soaking two cotton balls in breast milk and then placing them over your eyes will help alleviate puffiness.
These are only a few of the alternate uses for breast milk. I’ve also heard of people using breast milk to treat sunburns, cradle cap, cuts, scrapes, rashes, sore throats and an array of other ailments. Based on my research, I’m actually starting to wonder what breast milk CAN’T be used for.