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Does Drinking Raw Milk Give You Trouble?

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How to Drink Raw Milk

By Stanley A. Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Raw milk from healthy pastured cows is full of vital minerals and vitamins, beneficial bacteria, active enzymes, and many other nutritional factors. Many people have reported wonderful results from drinking this most natural of foods. Most members of the real food movement strongly support the drinking of raw milk as one of the most nutrient-dense foods available.

But there is a negative aspect to raw milk, an aspect that many of us experience, but rarely discuss. Many of us who drink raw milk, or want to drink raw milk, get indigestion symptoms after drinking it.

This was a problem for me until twelve days ago, when I learned how to drink raw milk.

My Raw Milk Problem

My generation was not breastfed. The formula industry and its friends in the medical profession convinced our parents that formula was better. As a child, I was unable to drink most milk, though I was finally able to drink nonfat milk. I did not particularly like it, and stopped drinking it as soon as I reached my teens.

After reading about the wonderful benefits of raw milk on the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation, I decided to drink raw milk. I am fortunate to live in a state that allows the purchase of raw milk, and I was able to get superb milk from Organic Pastures, Mark McAfee’s magnificent dairy. I was so excited when I gulped down my first glass of cold, raw, real milk. It tasted like ice cream to me, and I immediately felt charged with energy, as if I had drunk a magic elixir, full of life-giving nutrients. Which I had. My excitement turned to uncomfortable dismay some time later, when I experienced mild stomach pains, constipation, and later, diarrhea.

I stopped drinking raw milk for a while, then tried it again, had indigestion, stopped for a while, tried again. My tolerance seemed to be slowly improving, and my body certainly wanted the nutrients. But the indigestion persisted. Twelve days ago, I went through this cycle once again. After I recovered, I decided to solve the problem.

How could something that tasted so good, felt so good when I drank it, something my body craved, give me stomach problems? There had to be an answer. There had to be a way to tolerate this incredibly nutrient-dense food, which had nourished humankind for thousands of years.

My Raw Milk Solution—Or How I Learned to Drink Raw Milk

I thought about my own history. My digestive system had no experience with raw milk before my fifties. It seemed to lack something it needed to properly digest this live, nutrient-rich food. My system had adapted to drinking pasteurized, nonfat milk, a dead processed food that had very little in common with real milk. I thought about how milk is drunk, in the most basic way.

First, milk comes warm to the baby from the mother, from the cow to the calf. The milk comes into the mouth in small spurts. But milk needs to be stored cold. Heating milk over a stove can pasteurize it, if the temperature gets too high.
I decided to try taking small amounts of cold milk into my mouth, and to hold it there until it was warm, then swallow it slowly.

I drank a big glass of raw milk this way. It felt really good going down. My stomach was fine, and stayed fine. No symptoms. I have continued to drink raw milk this way for twelve days, and have been absolutely fine the entire time.

Why Did this Work?

First, milk was designed to be drunk warm. It makes sense that our digestive systems would be genetically programmed to expect warm milk.

Second, our saliva contains special digestive enzymes that prepare food for digestion in our stomachs. By holding the milk in my mouth until it was warm, I was mixing the milk with the enzymes from my saliva, which were starting the digestion process. I was not getting enough of these enzymes when I used to gulp it down.

Third, by swallowing it slowly, I was eating slowly, something that every traditional people I know valued. Our modern habit of gulping down food is just not good for our digestion.

My Method for Drinking Raw Milk

1.    Take a small amount of milk into your mouth.
2.    Hold the milk in your mouth until it is warm.
3.    Swallow it slowly.

I do not know if this method will work for everybody, but it certainly worked for me!


Stanley Fishman, Author Tender Grassfed Meat Cookbook

Stan Fishman is the author of Tender Grassfed Meat. His book describes in detail how to cook grassfed beef, grassfed bison, and grassfed lamb. The book follows the nutritional principles of Dr. Weston A. Price, and uses only the best natural ingredients. The book can be purchased through Amazon.com.

Note from Kimberly: I just love Stanley! And I wish all Americans used the same deductive reasoning to tackle their problems. In much the same way as he figured out how to successfully cook grassfed meats, he has figured out the optimum method of drinking raw milk! And by the way, I one time overheard Weston A. Price Foundation president, Sally Fallon Morell, the leading advocate for raw dairy in the world say, “the ideal way to drink raw milk is room temperature.” So, he is right on target!

Here is my review of Stanley’s cookbook.

Stanley is a frequent contributor to Hartke is Online! Click here to read Stan Fishman’s other articles:

Russian Immigrant to Canada Discovers the Healing Power of Raw Milk

How to Get Soy Out of your Diet

Fat on Grassfed Meat is Healthy, Claims Cookbook Author

On diarrhea see this blog for natural remedies for diarrhea!


If you have a raw milk testimonial to share on Hartke is Online!, please see my contact page.

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  1. It certainly fits with Chinese Medicine’s nutritional guidelines!

  2. I guess I’m lucky. I was raised on the Betty Crocker Cookbook and then learned to eat out as often as I could afford upon becoming an adult. When I switched to raw milk, I had nothing but the best outcomes- plus the “phlegming” that I usually experienced when eating dairy was gone.

  3. Lisa M. Jones says:

    I was fortunate enough to have memories of drinking raw milk from one of the last local raw milk dairies in San Luis Obispo, CA. county (The Royal Oaks Dairy) while growing up in a large family. It was amazing milk & the header of cream often was transformed into enormous Cream Puffs for dessert (Mom had a major Sweet Tooth!)
    Half a century later & add a wee bit of wisdom…I am now drinking raw milk once again…only it is RAW GOATS MILK. Since I would sneeze PRIOR to pouring myself the Organic Pasture’s raw COWS milk…I figured my body was giving me a “heads up!”
    In addition, I have discovered the ancient art of making my own KEFIR from combining living kefir grains with the fresh milk. I have never had any difficulty digesting the local raw goats milk…added the kefir grains and amazingly ALL BODILY INFLAMMATION DISAPPEARED!
    I am a TRUE BELIEVER! Have totally embraced the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook…sure do wish I had had THIS book while raising my family, rather than the Betty Crocker’s & Fanny Farmer varieties!

  4. Sylvia P. Onusic says:

    I had the same problem and know that I was drinking too much milk at one time. Although most experts dont talk about it, the fat in the milk can give problems, especially if you have been on skim or any of the other versions. Your tummy is just not used to it. Go slowly, and you will be rewarded with better health.

    And some celiacs do have a problem with fat malaborption, they just cant digest fat. Until the gut is healed, this will be a problem with large amounts of full fat anything.

    But it is worth the effort.

    Best, Sylvia

  5. i’m wondering how long it needs to warm up? i tried this method and even after a few seconds it still seemed cold. i also am wondering if the same thing could be accomplished by letting the milk sit at room temperature?

  6. Susan, sometimes it seems like it takes a while to warm up, more than a few seconds. I just leave it in my mouth until it is warm. This also gives the enzymes more time to make it digestible.

    I have not tried just drinking it at room temperature, since I like to store it cold.

  7. I have the same problem now. Just got my first “botle of gold” yesterday and was very exited, but had tummy trouble. Same with my husband. I drunked raw milk as a child though and later had store bought without any issues whatsovere, so it took me by suprise. Can it be just an adjustment stage?
    Unfortunately the milk comes in a plastic bottle and although it tastes good, it doesn’t taste AS GOOD as the low-pasteurized/non-homogenized milk we’re been getting lately from a local farm. Could that be because of the plastic bottle?

    • Anonymous says:

      Marta, I had no adjustment at all to raw milk, but if you do, try taking smaller amounts until you are not having trouble. It is a probiotic food, so I have had people tell me that they had trouble at first.

      I prefer milk in glass bottles, and maybe you can transfer the milk into glass when you get it home. For some farmers, plastic may be the best option, but that doesn’t mean your milk has to stay in the plastic!

  8. Thankfully, I never had an issue.

  9. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have drank raw milk years ago normally. I seemed to have no problems with my digestive system then. Just recently I went to the local farmers market and purchased a quart of milk and took a few cups here and there in about 3 days I finished the quart myself. Now maybe it was too much too fast too cold for not drinking raw milk in a long time that it gave me severe constipation and mild stomach pains with bloating like never before. I’m 26 5″11 190lb pretty average I would say. Decent health but still gave me problems. Because of your article I will give raw milk another try the way you did. Thank you again.

  10. this has been a big problem of mine for years: drink and eat stuff too fast, don’t allow stuff to get chewed enough or warm enough before swallowing. Raw milk fast/diet works great for cures but yea I can see this as beneficial. I actually like warmer raw milk anyways. Thanks.

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