Camels' surprise beauty package
MILKING a camel is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you ever want to find out how, just Google it.
That's exactly what Debbie Corbett, of Blackbutt, did to find a step-by-step tutorial because she was curious.
"I had 11 camels which I mainly used for weed control," Debbie said.
"One of the girls had a calf and it got me wondering what camel milk was all about.
"I Googled camel milk and came across all this information and I wondered why no one in Australia was doing anything with it."
She now has three camels she milks on a daily basis.
When asked if milking a camel was difficult, Debbie said that as long as she was gentle, she had no problem.
"You need to be patient and have the time to spend as you can't rush them," she said.
"Camels are such a gentle animal and they respond to gentle treatment."
Once Debbie had mastered how to milk her camels, she needed to do something with the milk.
"After I milked Clarice, I said to myself, 'What am I going to do with it?'," she said.
"I had heard of people making goat's milk soap and wondered if I could do it with camel's milk."
Debbie started her business Camel Milk Australia in 2010 and now has a range of soaps and lotions made from camel's milk which she sells at South Burnett markets and from her website.
Some of her clients told Debbie of amazing results they had seen from using her cream.
"People with eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, burns or even acne have used the camel milk creams and lotions and have seen results within a couple of days," Debbie said.
"The milk is antibacterial and seems to heal infections."
Debbie plans to build a dairy in Kingaroy to produce milk for consumption.
She said the milk would be sold in powdered form to customers all over the country.
"There is a large demand for camel's milk all around Australia," Debbie said.
"Selling it in powdered form is the best way to get it to people and we will dry it in the least-damaging way so it will keep the healing qualities intact."
Humans aren't the only ones to benefit from the healing qualities of camel by-products.
Debbie is using camel oil, which is hump fat supplied by Caboolture-based Meramist Pty Ltd abattoir, to create a new line of products.
She said that while camel oil could be used to heal any sort of skin infection - similar to camel milk, the oil could treat dogs suffering from mange.
"Some people have told me that they use the camel milk soap on their dogs," Debbie said.
"After doing some research on camel oil, I am looking to make a line of pet soap.
"This will not only help dogs with mange, but it will also be a nice change to the normal dog shampoos out there."
Debbie has made a lip balm out of camel oil and a night cream called Camel Kisses Goodnight Cream from camel oil and milk.
She is also looking at making a baby cream from the camel oil.
While camel's milk and oil help skin conditions, overseas trials have shown children with autism may also benefit from the milk.
Anecdotal evidence suggests some parents are trying camel milk to improve their autistic child's behaviour, communication skills and general well-being.
However, no extensive studies have yet been completed.