13 Interesting Alternative Uses for Breast Milk

What Else Can Breast Milk Be Used For?

13 Interesting Other Uses for Breast Milk
What else can you use breast milk for?. Image Source / Getty Images

Interesting Alternative Uses For Breast Milk

Breast milk is the perfect source of nutrition for your child. And, not only is it nutritious, but human milk contains other components that keep children healthy and help them to fight off diseases and infections. These natural antibodies found in breast milk, along with it's anti-infective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, allow it to be used for more than just a source of food for infants.


There are legitimate medical uses for breast milk, and it's used in hospitals to treat many types of patients. But, people have also found many other interesting and alternative uses for breast milk.

A Note of Warning:

Breast milk that is prescribed by a doctor and obtained through a legitimate milk bank is screened and pasteurized for safety. Fresh breast milk, however, can contain dangerous bacterial and fungal infections, such as streptococcus, staphylococcus and candida (yeast), as well as viral infections including cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Fresh breast milk placed into the eyes or ears, or onto an opening in the skin, could cause complications, illness, and infection.

What Else Can Breast Milk Be Used For?

Home remedies are generally believed to be natural ways to cure minor illnesses or conditions.They are usually cultural practices, traditions, customs, or folk remedies that have been passed down from generation to generation or passed on from person to person.

However, keep in mind that there is not necessarily any medical proof that any of these treatments actually work, or whether they can cause more harm than good. If you or your family member has an illness or infection, consult your doctor before attempting to treat it with breast milk.

Here are 13 other uses for breast milk:

#1. Eye Infections and Ear Infections 

In some cultures, breast milk has been used to treat eye infections and pink eye (conjunctivitis). It has also been thought to help heal an ear infection.

#2. Cuts, Minor Burns, and Small Wounds

Breast milk has been used on cuts, burns, and wounds to help wounds heal and prevent them from becoming infected.

#3. An Immune System Booster

If you get sick and drink breast milk, it is believed to boost the immune system and shorten the length and severity of a cold.

#4. Warts 

Some claim that if you put breast milk on a wart, the wart will dry up and fall off.

#5. Itching and Stinging

Breast milk has been used on the skin to relieve the itching and stinging of insect bites, bee stings, chicken pox, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

#6. Sore, Cracked Nipples

If you apply breast milk onto sore, cracked nipples, it is can help to relieve pain, prevent infection, and assist in healing.

#7. Skin Moisturizer

As mentioned above, breast milk is often rubbed on the breasts to moisturize dry, cracked nipples. But, it has also been used as a moisturizer to treat dry skin and eczema. And, some people say that it helps to relieve chapped lips, loosen cradle cap, and treat diaper rash.

#8. Circumcision

Human breast milk has been used to prevent and treat infections at the site of a circumcision.

#9. Sore Throat

When used as a gargle, breast milk is said to relieve a sore throat.

#10. Skin Cleanser 

Breast milk has been used to wash the skin, remove make-up, and clear up acne.

#11, Contact Lenses

Human milk has been used as contact lens solution.

#12. Cooking

Breast milk can replace cow's milk in recipes that use milk. It can be added to coffee and cereal. And, it has been made into butter, cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products.

#13. Medical Uses 

While home remedies are questionable, there are some legitimate alternative uses for breast milk based on research and medical fact.

Hospitals and doctors use carefully screened and pasteurized breast milk from human milk banks to treat many conditions.

Breast milk is used in hospitals for:

Nutrition: Breast milk is used to provide nutrition for premature infants, children with failure to thrive, people with severe allergies, those with heart disorders or kidney failure, and people with feeding issues.

Patients With a Compromised Immune System: It is given to cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, and people with infectious diseases to help them strengthen their immune system.

Burn Patients: Human breast milk can help protect and heal the skin of burn patients.

Surgical Patients: Breast milk helps to provide nutrition and promote healing in people who have surgery on their intestines.

Preventative Uses: Donor breast milk is also used in certain populations of patients to help prevent Crohn’s disease, colitis, and allergies.

So, What Should You Do With Your Extra Breast Milk?

Although home remedy uses for breast milk are interesting, it could be harmful to use fresh breast milk on open wounds or in the eyes and ears. If you have extra breast milk, you can freeze and store it to use to feed your baby when you are no longer breastfeeding. If you still have extra milk, consider donating it to a milk bank to be used for medical purposes.


Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Seventh Edition.  Mosby. 2011.