This Oklahoma Family Discovered the Benefits of Donkey Milk
Saundra Traywick and her husband, Walt, never intended to own a donkey dairy farm, but when their young daughter was diagnosed with PANDAS (an autoimmune disease that can cause dramatic behavioral changes overnight), they were desperate for solutions. “An autoimmune disease is tricky because people can respond to treatments differently,” says Saundra.
After antibiotics didn’t relieve their daughter’s symptoms, including severe OCD and night terrors, the Traywicks researched every alternative they could find. “If there was an ologist, we saw one,” says Saundra. When a naturopath suggested drinking donkey milk, their daughter tried that too. For her, it worked.
The family then bought three American Mammoth Jackstock donkeys for their Luther, Oklahoma, farm to guarantee her a plentiful supply. With the leftover raw milk, they created Dulce de Donké, which is a natural skin-care line that’s easy on sensitive skin (@dulcededonke). Due to having OCD, their daughter washed her hands incessantly, and liquid soaps took a toll on her skin, says Saundra. Making a gentler option with the milk felt right. It’s also not as unorthodox as it might seem. “We’re not doing something new,” Saundra notes. “It’s said that Cleopatra used donkey milk for skin care. Legend says she traveled with a herd of 700 so she could have a donkey-milk bath wherever she went!”
As word has gotten out about their daughter’s success with this treatment, the Traywicks have offered hope to other people experiencing similar challenges. Their nonprofit, Hee Haw for Health, ensures that families like theirs have access to the milk. “It sounds crazy, but we’ve seen it help our daughter and other kids too,” says Saundra. “I’m not a doctor; I’m not making claims. This is just our story and what we’ve seen.”