Written by contributor Tiffany Larson.

Part 1 of 2 in a series talking with Charlotte Smith, the owner of Champoeg Creamery.  Charlotte raises jersey cows in St. Paul, Oregon providing over 80 families a week with fresh, high quality raw milk, and here she discusses how her family got started with drinking raw milk.

Seven years ago, I had never even heard of raw milk. My two oldest children, then eight and eleven, had suffered from severe eczema – my oldest for six years and my younger son for three years. It was miserable, itchy,  painful and looked awful as well, as it completely covered my older daughter’s face. The only “remedy” doctors could offer was steroid cream that temporarily relieved the worst itching, otherwise we were told to just hope they’d outgrow it in their teen years.

As a mother I felt helpless and hopeless – I truly was not able to help my children! I researched everything I could within modern medicine regarding eczema. Then one day I was talking with my brother about it and he mentioned he’d recently been to hear Dr. Thomas Cowan, MD, speak about nutrition and health and that Dr. Cowan had specifically mentioned the link between raw milk and relief of eczema, allergies and asthma in children. I had not yet made the connection between a traditional diet and the immediate link to good health, but I was desperate to find relief for my children.

At this time, I thought I was eating healthy by having cold cereal or instant oatmeal for breakfast, organic mac and cheese for the kid’s lunch, low fat chicken breast and rice for dinner and limiting my diet Pepsi intake to one per day! I had no idea this processed, high-fructose corn syrup laden diet totally devoid of food in its original form was not contributing to our health but instead compromising our immune systems so we could not even maintain basic good health.

Photo by kthread

I researched the availability of raw milk in Oregon and found some within a thirty minute drive of our home. I had no expectations because for years every remedy had failed. But we brought it home and everyone had a glass a day. I was shocked when two weeks later my son came out of his room one morning and showed me the backs of his hands. For the previous three years they were constantly bloody and scabby from the incessant itching and for the first time his skin was smooth and the redness gone.

From the moment he started drinking the raw milk, this nutrition-packed food full of enzymes and bacteria our bodies need to thrive, had begun giving his immune system what it needed to heal. Within six months both his and my daughter’s eczema had subsided completely. At that time, this was the only dietary change we made.

After the first year of drinking raw milk I looked back and realized that we had had no ear infections or illness of any sort – the first year since I’d had children that we hadn’t had this experience of colds/flu through the winter. We used to get three to five colds per year, usually one round of antibiotics per person, and lots of down-time, missed school, missed work, and expense in co-pays and over the counter medications as well as prescriptions. Additionally, my seasonal hay fever had subsided. I was used to taking over the counter allergy medicine for four solid months of the year and had not needed one dose, even though we lived in the country surrounded by pollen-laden fields. Up until this time it was not unusual for me to go to the store and spend $40 a month on over the counter medications.

Our interview with Charlotte continues on Wednesday where we talk about how why she started her own creamery and what to look for when you want to buy your own raw milk.

Do you drink raw milk? Let’s discuss politely in the comments whether you’ve seen it benefit you in similar ways to what Charlotte experienced.