Donkey milk in the human diet

Donkey milk use have been known since ancient times. Donkey's milk  like any milk can enter in the diet of the human diet.


Hippocrates (460 – 370 BC), the father of medicine, was the first to write about the use of donkey milk.  In the Roman era donkey milk was renowned, Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD) in his encyclopedic work, Naturalis Historia, wrote extensively about its. Subsequently, the famous French naturalist, Georges-Louis Leclerc(1707- 1788) in his Histoire naturelle. In the late nineteenth century, donkey milk was  used in France, as reported by D’Arval (1912) and then  in Europe.


Donkey milk, is rich in eudermic ingredients which protect and nourish the skin, keeping its vitality. In ancient times it was used for these unique and precious properties as reported by Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder. The queen Cleopatra, the roman Empress Poppea Sabina and Napoleon’s sister Pauline Bonaparte have used it for its cosmetic properties. The Roman poet Ovid also in his poem Medicamina Faciei Femineae, suggest beauty masks made with donkey milk.

fermented donkey milk- koumiss

Donkey milk can be considered a good base ingredient for probiotic beverage production. The use of fermented equid  (mare and donkey) milk is an ancient tradition in central Asia, like koumiss or airag, normally known as  fermented mares milk and very popular in Asia and Russia, but there are also a traditional variants made from donkey milk thanks to their similar composition.