Rheo Blair: Raw Milk Is A Healing Food

What is raw milk? To Rheo Blair,  known as the Nutritionist to the Hollywood Stars, it was "the world's greatest health drink." In his later years he became increasingly enamored of raw, free range eggs, specifically the yolks -- not, the whites -- but that is another subject for another time. Rheo Blair found raw milk and its therapeutic, healing benefits at an early age when it saved his life and set him off an astounding career as a pioneering nutritional scientist. And he never forgot raw milk even though he spoke far more about his protein powders and other supplements which, after all, he produced and marketed, And that is what most people remember him for.  But there is a whole other story about Rheo and raw milk that has been forgotten or perhaps was never known by most. Indeed, when I lived at his home for several months in 1978, the two side by side refrigerators were always full of gallons of "Alta Dena Certified Raw Milk." (And to be sure, raw butter, cream and cheese.) But raw milk was paramount. Being aware of this aspect of his personal background -- how it healed him and altered the direction of his life -- is critical to understanding the theories, programs and products he began to develop a few years later. In the 1960's he wrote the following: "For many years, despite conscientious effort with many health and diet systems, I suffered from almost crippling poor health. It was not until I learned of the health-promoting qualities of raw milk that my life actually changed for the better. For the past 25 years raw milk has constituted the major portion of my diet."
So, as a young man, milk turned his life around.  

But then he had a setback: "I am well aware that many people are unable to tolerate milk, and as a result cannot take advantage of its many beneficial qualities. In fact, surprisingly enough, I was once among this group. My reaction to milk was so serious that for a period of over three years I found it impossible to drink it in any quantity." Now it is unusual for anyone to develop a sensitivity to raw milk. But Rheo Blair's physical problems were extreme.  Most people reading this will never experience the issues he did. But we are all unique because of our biochemical individuality and so we must be patient and find out what works for us. (Biochemical Individuality) is the idea that our bodies look as different on the inside as we all do on the outside. That is to say that our glands and organs are all shaped and sized unique to us and that these differences in size and shape affect their function and therefore our health -- and that such considerations which influenced a persons chemistry are critical in determining an individual’s program. This is why Rheo had great success with some people and less with others. This is always how it is). Rheo Blair found out what worked for him after much trial and error. He doggedly kept on. He realized he was on to something with raw milk and that there must be a way to make it work for him. There was, he found it and he did. And so with the help of certain supplements he learned of, coupled with specific methods he discovered of consuming milk, he was back to drinking milk and on the road to robust health. From this, he developed an entire nutritional system which he used for some in building or re-building health, and for others in building muscles. Read on:

"Milk is not the culprit. It was when I learned that an intoler­ance to milk is not the fault of the milk, but the fault of the individual, that I began to search for ways that would allow me to use milk once again. With the help of some leading bio­chemists, physicians and nutritionists I was able to come up with some very useful suggestions that not only enabled me to use milk profitably once again, but have helped many of my own stu­dents as well." 
Indeed, with this experience of his we see the raw material of what grew into the entire Blair program complete with protein powders and supplements. The idea was to duplicate and even improve on the results of the milk diet while consuming less actual volume of material (i.e., milk). As we will see below, the milk diet called for the consumption of 6 quarts of milk each day. Rheo sought to decrease the volume, increase the nutrients and increase the results. He called his system "concentrated nutrition."

From concentrated nutrition he went on to create his Blair's Protein Way of Life. Read on below about the milk diet and if you are already familiar with the Protein Way of Life,  you will see the connection between the two at once. To put it simply, none of us would have ever heard of Rheo Blair were it not for raw milk. It's that critical. He wrote: "I believe strongly that it is not possible to attain and maintain good health unless milk is included in the daily diet, It is, simply, the finest health drink in the world." But there is a "system" involved that is the key to its success and it's that system that Rheo used to great effect throughout his career.

Here we are at a juncture. 1. The information above is relevant to anyone interested specifically in Rheo Blair's personal history, the development of his ideas and theories, and the crucial role raw milk played. It makes clear that his interests extended beyond just the usual topics associated with him, i.e. Blair's protein, Amino Acids, his products, etc. He was indeed a master salesman But there was far more depth to him than most people realize and there was a great deal of nutritional science and experience behind his programs. 2. The information below is for anyone wishing to learn more about raw milk in general and the raw milk diet or raw milk cure in particular; indeed for anyone considering introducing the therapeutic and life enhancing benefits of raw milk into their lives as Rheo Blair did in his. So with that in mind,  let's take a comprehensive look and consider the following:

What is raw milk?
The healing powers of raw milk
The raw milk diet in brief
How raw milk saved Rheo Blairs life
How raw milk played a critical role in saving my own life
Where to get raw milk
Getting Started With Raw Milk

What is raw milk?
Raw milk is the natural unaltered milk usually from cows, goats or sheep but in some countries it is camel or buffalo. It is not heated above the animal's highest body temperature which is usually 101-105 degrees F. (38 degrees C.) Raw milk is not pasteurized, homogenized or frozen, nor has it been altered with additives, chemicals, light or homogenization.* Here are a few important characteristics to be aware of when considering whether to drink raw milk and which raw milk. 1. Real milk comes from real cows of old fashioned breeds such as Jerseys, Guernseys, Red Devons, Brown Swiss and Milking Shorhorns, among others. The source of most commercial milk is the modern Holstein, bred to produce huge quantities of milk--three times as much as the old-fashioned cow. She needs special feed and antibiotics to keep her well. Her milk contains high levels of growth hormone from her pituitary gland, even when she is spared the indignities of genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone to push her to the udder limits of milk production. 2. Real milk comes from cows that eat real food: GREEN GRASS, for example. NOT soy, commercial feeds or corn, 3. Real milk is not pasteurizied which destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Nor is real milk homogenized, a process that breaks down butterfat globules so they do not rise to the top. Homogenized milk has been linked to heart disease. 4. Real milk contains butterfat and a lot of it. Average butterfat content from old-fashioned cows at the turn of the century was over 4% (or more than 50% of calories). Today butterfat comprises less than 3% (or less than 35% of calories). Worse, consumers have been duped into believing that low-fat and skim milk products are good for them. Only by marketing low-fat and skim milk as a health food can the modern dairy industry get rid of its excess poor-quality, low-fat milk from modern high-production herds. Butterfat contains vitamins A and D needed for assimilation of calcium and protein in the water fraction of the milk. Without them protein and calcium are more difficult to utilize and possibly toxic. Butterfat is rich in short- and medium chain fatty acids which protect against disease and stimulate the immune system. It contains glyco-spingolipids which prevent intestinal distress and conjugated linoleic acid which has strong anticancer properties. 5. Real milk products contains no additives. Powdered skim milk, a source of dangerous oxidized cholesterol and neurotoxic amino acids, is added to 1% and 2% milk. Low-fat yogurts and sour creams contain mucopolysaccharide slime to give them body. Pale butter from hay-fed cows contains colorings to make it look like vitamin-rich butter from grass-fed cows. Bioengineered enzymes are used in large-scale cheese production. Furthermore, many mass produced cheeses contain additives and colorings and imitation cheese products contain vegetable oils. **

The healing power and legacy of raw milk The pharmaceutical industry gets rich making drugs that “manage” rather than “heal” disease. But a licensed M.D. had astounding success with real healing using this simple food substance from nature: Grass-fed Raw Milk. He wrote a book about his work with raw milk. The beneficiaries of his work include Rheo Blair and Blair's many clients, myself included. Let's look at Dr. Porter's work. The first rule of medicine is to "do no harm". Dr. Charles Porter practiced medicine at the turn of the 20th Century. He took to heart the words in the Hippocratic Oath "to abstain from doing harm." We know these words better as "First, do no harm." This phrase reminds us of another popular one: "sometimes the cure is worse than the disease." The problem with this latter phrase today is that modern medical cures don't typically cure but only manage the disease so one can live more comfortably and perhaps with it: diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. And to be sure, the "treatments" for cancer offered by modern medicine have been described as barbaric and worse than the disease itself.  The dictionary definition of "heal" is "to make healthy, whole, or sound; restore to health; free from ailment." Free from ailment. Our modern drugs don't, as a rule, free us from ailments; they modify symptoms: i.e. blood pressure, etc. But once one stops taking the 'medication" the effect stops too. So one is not actually healed of the problem for which the drug is taken. Worse, the side effects can include possible damage to the organs. If you have never looked through the Physicians Desk Reference, do so. Take a look at the known side effects for any drug. This is not an insignificant matter. Beyond such usual side effects, however, is the rarely mentioned side effect nutrient depletion, and every drug is guilty of this. These drugs do not just go in and do their job; they tend to deplete the body of nutrients -- vitamins, minerals, etc., creating new weaknesses and problems. Now how is it possible to heal the body while depleting it of nutrients?

"Do NO harm." Healing, not managing; feeding, not depleting.  Dr. Charles Porter was keenly interested in effecting actual cures, and doing so with one of natures finest substances: raw milk. While he surely lived by the the motto "first, do no harm," I believe he should have had a second motto: "feed the body." He successfully treated and cured thousands of patients with 6 quarts of raw milk daily using a specific regime. Under his care, his patients typically recovered from their illness, they healed. Following their use of the milk diet,  Dr. Porter's patients certainly did not require any nutrient depleting medications to "manage" a disease they no longer had. This drives modern medicine nuts and they typicically dismiss it with some reference to "quackery."  However, the bodies of Dr. Porter's  patients had been supplied high doses of a nutrient-dense super food giving those bodies what they needed to heal on their own. The body can heal itself; it just needs the tools. The milk diet supplied those tools.

The Raw Milk Diet, in brief:
Raw milk is a nutrient dense food that gives your body the tools it needs to heal and rebuild.
Since it is liquid, it is more easily absorbed than solid food.
The raw milk diet is exclusive -- nothing but raw milk for a period of about 3 weeks.
Daily intake of about 6 quarts taken on an ongoing "sipping" basis throughout the day. 
Sipping slowly throughout the day allows nutrients to constantly enter the body without compromising assimilation via digestion overload.
High density nutrient feeding is coupled with bed rest 24/7 throughout the diet. This is impractical for some but is ideal for the truly ill.
The extensive rest allows and enables the body to focus it's limited energy exclusively on healing, not exertion.

Anyone familiar with Rheo Blair's private client in-house programs will instantly recognize the great similarities between what he did and the features of Dr. Porter's milk diet described here including the large quantities of milk protein, the "sipping" process and the extensive bed rest. For the Porter protocol, the high quantity of milk is vital to the success of the program. Dr. Porter writes: "there is no halfway method of taking the milk diet for people who have much the matter with them. Enough milk must be taken to create new circulation, new cells, and new tissue growth, (these benefits were also specifically claimed by Rheo Blair as benefits that would result from following his program)  and cause prompt elimination of the waste and dead matter that may be poisoning the system." (pp. 126-7)  Rheo made an effort to take this milk system to the next level with his protein powders so as to get even more of the benefits of milk protein and nutrients into the body in an optimal and efficient manner, properly digested and assimilated by the cells of the body without over-taxing the stomach and the digestive system. In an article in which mentions the "milk cure" of the Russian Dr. Inozemtseff, (one of the many European doctors who used this method with dramatically successful results), Rheo Blair states "...how, through special nutritional supplementation, I am able to make milk a more perfect food." And by this he means his protein powder supplements and his large array of vitamin supplements. His idea was to get large amounts milk protein into the body and efficiently digested and assimilated while doing with smaller volumes of actual milk. Again, he called it "concentrated nutrition." This, in a nutshell, explains the foundation of the Blair system. And, to my knowledge this is the first time this explanation of his system and it origins has been put in writing, anywhere.

How raw milk saved Rheo Blair's life. Rheo Blair fashioned for himself a career as a famous nutritionist, active between 1950 and the early 1980's. But, like many who go into the nutrition field,  his  childhood was marred by illness and weakness resulting from a freak accident in which he lost the function of one of his kidneys.  He became one very sick young man and was so weak he couldn't hold his head up in class and was finally removed from high school as an invalid. He began to try anything and everything in a desperate attempt to recover his health. He tried exercise but to no avail. He went on many diets including the carrot juice diet, a vegetarian diet, etc. As he said, he tried them all. Now while certain of these approaches might work for someone else, they did not work for him. We are all different in our body chemistry and what works for one will not necessarily bring the same results for the next. So Rheo finally heard about and tried the milk diet. It worked perfectly for him. For the first time in years his respiratory and sinus problems cleared up. His chronic fatigue and weakness turned into energy, vim and vigor. He put on weight in the form of muscle, not fat. He got a job and for the first time in over a decade began to lead a normal life. Over the next few years he developed a nutritional regime for which he became famous that included high levels of protein, supplements, and rest, 24/7 and physical therapy designed to increase the circulation of the blood. He achieved many miracles during his career. At the base of his philosophy and methods was always the milk diet. The high levels of milk supplied high levels of protein. The supplements supplied additional nutrients and aided in the assimilation of the milk and working with the milk to improve the endocrine organs and by doing so dramatically alter the chemistry of the body. The bed rest allowed for better healing and growth.

How raw milk played a critical role in saving my own life. In 1978 at the age of 16 I was put under the care of Rheo Blair. My own situation was quite similar to his as a child (although I had not lost a kidney). My parents were terribly concerned such that I was removed from school and taken to stay with Rheo Blair at his home in Hollywood on a 24/7 basis. Now I hasten to add that the program I followed was not the milk diet as described by Dr. Porter. But the similarities were substantial and, as I mentioned earlier, the basis for the core of the Blair system was the milk diet. All day long I remained in bed (though I insisted on being out of bed from time to time -- try to keep a teenager down!) All day long I sipped a milk and egg based non-denatured protein mixed with raw milk or a pudding made from both raw milk and raw cream. With this I took supplements to enable and enhance the milk/egg protein my body was being flooded with. I did some minor working-out with barbells. My un-retouched photos are below; you may judge for yourselves. The period between the photos is 90 days. Were it not for the milk diet, this would never have happened and I would not be writing this blog.

Before (2)AFTER (3)

Not only did I gain 35 pounds of muscle, my complexion cleared up, my respiratory and sinus problems went away, my hair took on a new luster, my energy went through the roof, I stopped getting the frequent. I was brand new. Reborn. In my before state, Rheo, who grew up on a farm, said I "looked like a chicken getting ready to die." In my after state, an author who included my story in a book published some years ago, described me as an "adolescent hunk." Chicken getting ready to die ----> transformed into an adolescent hunk. The power of raw milk, rest and nature. The power of the body given what it needs to heal, transform and grow. Now, dear reader, you know something about the person behind this blog and why I am so interested in what I call "real" milk, real food and indeed, real health. I am blessed to be married to someone who shares my passion for the wisdom of nature and the goodness of raw milk. Lorraine drinks it daily and says she could not live without it. I have seen her own health transform over the past few years as raw milk has become a staple for her. Bottom line of this post: real milk both feeds and, where necessary, heals, the body. Raw grass-fed milk is real food.

If you would like to obtain your own copy of the Milk Diet book, which at 250+ pages goes into far more detail than I can here, including exactly how it the diet works, details on the immune factors in colostrum, and much, much more, please click on the link below to order directly. I have included some additioanl helpful sources of information on the milk diet.

Milk Diet, as a Remedy for Chronic Disease
The Untold Story of Milk, Revised and Updated: The History, Politics and Science of Nature's  Perfect Food: Raw Milk from Pasture-Fed Cows 
The Raw Truth About Milk
Lancet Article on the therapeutic properties of milk (1869)

Where to get raw milk. The single best resource of where to find and buy raw milk, a state by state guide, is found here: Where can I find raw (real) milk? It is a superb resource supplied by the Weston Price Foundation.

Getting started with raw milk.  Finally for those needing further insight and ideas on how to approach the use of raw milk as a beginner and what to expect, there is no better concise guide than that written up at the Organic Pastures web site. I reproduce it below but they get all the credit. It is important and useful information:

Raw Milk and the Human Immune System Every human is different when it comes to raw milk consumption. Most people who are lactose intolerant drink raw milk with no problem at all, but there seems to be a very small number of people who either need more time to re-colonize their gut with lactase-producing bacteria, or have some other challenge and continue to struggle with lactose intolerance. This subcategory of people appears to be very small. Research is underway to discover why some people have such a hard time consuming even raw milk. Every race and people from every continent and background can drink raw milk with that very rare exception as noted. In one study conducted in Michigan it was found that about 90% of people suffering from lactose intolerance with pasteurized milk or dairy products could drink raw milk with no problem at all. Studies at OPDC farmers markets confirm that research data.

Preparing for raw milk - If you are one of the many people seeking raw milk because you have a weak immune system and want to make it stronger, you are at the right place. However, do not expect your immune system to be strong overnight. It may be a struggle for you and it could take time. If you have a leaky gut and perhaps many food allergies, you will need to repair and heal the walls of your digestive tract prior to being able to consume raw milk or other foods as a normal gut would. So be patient and perhaps as a first step try drinking raw milk kefir (OPDC Qephor™ is pre-digested and easier to digest and consume…try making delicious smoothies.). As you take baby steps to repair your gut walls, you will rebuild immunity to bacteria, increase your gut biodiversity and enhance your enzyme production.

For some very good gut rebuilding advice please read “GAPS” by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride MD. She will guide you through the nutritional steps you will need to get your gut working again so you can digest properly.

Immunity is earned - For normal digestive tracts, raw milk is wonderful and very effective at rebuilding your immune system and overall digestive ability. But remember, this is something that takes time. Modern Americans are subjected to harsh antibiotics, sterilized foods, preservatives, GMOs, chemicals in our air, water, food, kitchens, work environments, cars, soils and everywhere else. Our natural immunity has been compromised, and it may take patience to rebuild it. A strong immune system means that your body has “earned" its own ability to do battle and protect itself. Earning means it is not for free and it is harder for some people than others, so take it easy as you take positive steps to heal your gut and reestablish the balance of your inner ecosystem.

Ideas for slower going - A baby step could be drinking very small amounts of raw milk (six ounces for an adult) every few hours to see how things go prior to going hog wild and drinking delicious full cups of raw milk. Remember that raw milk is a bio-diverse food containing many different wonderful bacteria, enzymes, and other living components. Your gut may take some time to get used to this living food. Common signs of your body saying "slow down" on your initial consumption of raw milk might be: gas cramps, a mild feeling of malaise, a low grade temp, diarrhea or other immune adjustment signs or symptoms. This is considered normal for some new raw milk consumers; it is a message to slow down and let the process proceed slower.

Baby steps for a big reward - OPDC tests its products for pathogens and they have never been found in our raw milk products. This does not mean that good bugs found in raw milk – which may be very strange and new to your body – may not challenge your system and make your immune system do some push-ups. So take your time if you are new to raw milk and take baby steps. Your body will do much better if given time to adjust. Welcome to immune system responsibility and strength. It is earned and highly rewarding.

Again, thanks to Organic Pastures for writing these suggestions on getting started and which I have borrowed from their site. They are the premier raw milk supplier in business today. Visit their website for much more information.

*Raw milk definition: http://www.rawmilk.org/raw-milk.php

**Detailed raw milk description: http://www.realmilk.com/what.html

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Information found on Rheo H. Blair: The Book is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.