Remember the good old days when summer vacations meant a trip to your grandmother’s house? Those were the days, weren’t they? Grandmothers are indeed a blessing in our lives. They spoil us with toys and treats our parents wouldn’t let us have. They are the best thing that’s happened to us since the discovery of pizzas! We all have a soft spot for our grandmothers. They love us unconditionally and make us feel special in their unique ways.

When I was a child, I used to play football with my friends near my grandmother’s place. I often fell and hurt my knee, which would bleed. My grandmother would then comfort me, wipe my tears and put some sand on my wound to help it heal. This worked well a few times, but one time, I got a fever and had to stay in bed for a whole week. It turned out that I had contracted tetanus, most likely from the sand my grandmother had put on my wound.

My grandmother had many such remedies. She was always wary of any nursing mothers close by and had stocked fresh ground coconut oil and castor oil.

It’s already 2024, and I have substantial evidence that proves most of it doesn’t work. It has worsened conditions, particularly the so-called “miracle drug” of grandmothers – mother’s milk.

Mother’s milk or Human breast milk (HBM)

The mammary gland produces the mother’s milk. In the initial days following birth, the mother produces colostrum, a yellowish pre-form of breast milk.
Colostrum contains many proteins, including growth-boosting hormones, vitamin A, and immune boosters like immunoglobulin A. It contains antibodies that help fight infections and is particularly effective against staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis or pink eye in adults.

After 14 days of lactation, mature milk is formed, which contains lower protein levels and higher amounts of carbohydrates, fat, immune boosters and microbiota. This is a well-established fact and is widely accepted in the field of lactation.

Every crucial baby organ develops fully only after birth, including the eyes, brain, intestines and immune system. This remarkable phenomenon is made possible by a highly sophisticated mechanism that operates through the ingestion of human breast milk.

Our grandmothers have observed a significant improvement in the general well-being and immune level of breastfed babies compared to those who were not.
Based on their observations, they concluded that human breast milk possesses curative properties.

I remember an adult who came to me with severe redness, eyelid swelling and no vision in his eyes. He had been using mother’s milk for nine days, thinking it was a case of Madras eye.

On investigation, it was noted that he had a severe end-stage infection called Endophthalmitis caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus and E coil, usually found in the stools. He eventually went on to lose his eyesight

It’s a practice usually followed in rural areas as access to human breast milk is more accessible than a doctor or eye drops. This is a trend fast catching up in the urban areas, too, as grandmothers insist that mothers avoid allopathy drugs as they are artificial and mothers milk natural.

Various studies concluded that local application of mothers’ milk caused no healing and worsened the condition.

The same goes for application of either castor oil or coconut oil. The impurities can cause severe eye infection or corneal injury, leading to blindness.

After thought:
Human breast milk works only when ingested by the baby and in its sterile gut. So, it doesn’t work when applied to the eye directly. It also won’t work if taken orally.

In today’s world of working mothers, stress, poor quality of nutrition, IVF, and late motherhood have all reduced the quantity and quality of Human breast milk.

So this Mother’s Day, celebrate mothers and motherhood and spread the word that mother’s milk belongs to the baby’s belly and not into someone’s eyes.