The more sterile our food sourcing – including snacks from boxes and meals from a delivery service – the stranger natural foods and the way they are sourced begins to seem. 

Such is the case on an extreme level with colostrum. Colostrum is an almost forgotten wonder food in our age of sterile, processed eating and probably one of the ‘grossest’ to those of us who are more familiar with waiters and deliverymen, than farmers and fishermen. 

What is colostrum? Colostrum is a liquid produced in the early stages of breastfeeding mammals and packed with insane amounts of protein, antioxidants, and vitamins — kinda sounds like our ultimate morning smoothie goals. 

One of our most trusted sources for this weird superfood is Mattole Valley Naturals. We asked Maressa Garner, COO of Mattole, to break down the benefits of consuming one of the least understand dairy products out there. Learn more and enter to win your own on our Instagram

What is Colostrum?The benefits of colostrum are far-ranging and profound. Literally everything that a newborn life needs to build a strong immune system and develop healthy tissues is found in colostrum. Think of this mammalian-derived substance as Mother Nature’s first milk, the original superfood.

The benefits of colostrum are attributed to the presence of numerous immunoglobulins (immune-system boosters) and growth factors. These immune factors can boost the immune system by supporting resistance to colds and flu (colostrum has even been proven to be more efficacious than the flu shot!) as well as increasing gut efficiency, nutrient absorption and wrangling bacterial or fungal conditions (such as candida albicans). Colostrum does this by aiding the gastrointestinal tract in lowering pathogens in the colon.

The growth factors in cow colostrum are capable of stimulating normal cell growth and increasing DNA synthesis and fat utilization, as well as augmenting serotonin levels in the brain. Because there is a rapid gut-cell turnover, colostrum supplementation can help naturally heal malnutrition due to intestinal issues such as leaky-gut syndrome, IBS and other permeability issues.

Bovine colostrum supplementation is best, as it is one of the few species’ of mammals whose colostrum is not species-specific, meaning the immunoglobulins and growth factors are bioavailable and readily transfer trans species.

It goes without saying that you should source colostrum that is ethically harvested from grass-fed cows that are hormone-, pesticide- and GMO-free. Low-temperature processed is best, as the fragile immunoglobulins and source probiotics are easily damaged via pasteurization.

Colostrum Benefits

+ natural immune and growth factors
+ optimized gut health
+ immune-regulating
+ optimized metabolic function
+ broad spectrum, whole-food probiotics
+ supportive of healthy HGH production
+ adaptogenic properties
+ immune system support: proline-rich polypeptides (PRP), lactoferrin, essential amino acids, fatty acids and glyconutrients

Suggested Uses

Colostrum has a mildly sweet, creamy flavor and is an amazing addition to your tonic and elixir cabinet. We love making a “better than Bulletproof” coffee with ghee and tonic herbs; the addition of colostrum creates a cappuccino-like foam that is to die for. Use it for colostrum cookies, colostrum frosting, you name it (check out Crosby Tailor’s sugar-free creations!). We love it mixed into superfood smoothies too!

Into colostrum? Have you tried whey?
Check out more majorly nutritious smoothie add-ins with this guide

From our friends


  1. And so what about the baby cow ???? The colostrum is produced by a cow to feed HER baby (you said it yourself “everything that a newborn need”… a “baby” who will grow to 600 Pounds in few weeks….) not crazy humans…

    marie | 02.06.2018 | Reply
    • Agree! This has gone too far.

      Amy | 02.06.2018 | Reply
      • Exactly! This is horrible… Why are you guys pushing colostrum? Humans do not need the first “milk” production from a cow. This is not a superfood. If you want all of the benefits listed above stick to a whole-foods plant based diet. A diet which is not a fad but that has been scientifically proven over thousands of studies to be the best diet for humans.
        OK, done.

        Erika | 02.06.2018 | Reply
    • Did you read the Article? It ends with, “it goes without saying that you should source colostrum that is ethically harvested”. It seems to me that they are no way condoning colostrum that is harvested by harming the calf in any way. If you know anything about dairy farming it’s that cows, in most cases, produce more colostrum and milk than is necessary for the calf. Are you up in arms about people that drink milk too? Do you eat cheese? If you’re vegan I don’t mean to be insensitive because that’s your personal decision, but most people do so you should probably be mad at them too. I’d be more concerned about calves being slaughtered for veal than this article. Either way, genetically your body is virtually the same as it was at the end of the paleolithic period, your cranio-dental features indicate a growing reliance on meat consumption, and the structural feature of your gastrointestinal tract is that of an omnivore…unless you’re telling me you have four stomachs like a cow in order to consume only plants? Deal with it.

      Jackson | 02.11.2018 | Reply
    Stop raping cows for these absurd trends and dairy. How can you possibly support this or publish this.

    Silvie | 02.06.2018 | Reply
  3. Mattole Valley Naturals specifically works with a number of small west coast creameries that pull colostrum allotments only after the calf has had their share/as much as is required biologically to build a healthy immune system and to ensure that the calf thrives. Ethical sourcing is an important piece of the puzzle, as is the case with all dairy and meat products. Colostrum has remarkable healing and building properties, particularly for those with compromised immune systems or gut function, this food can be incredibly therapeutic.

    Maressa | 02.06.2018 | Reply
  4. I agree with the other comments. This is so wrong and unproven. Sorry Chalkboard you usually publish sound articles but this is bad or is it really just an ad for Mattole Valley? I’m always up for trying new and unconventional things but this seems like you’ve gone too far and it’s unnecessary. I’m sure you can get same benefits from other proven food sources.

  5. Just an alternative view. This is not a fad. I don’t know about this brand but I’ll share my experience with colostrum powder. My 8yo son has multiple food allergies and was diagnosed with Leaky Gut and eonosophilic esophagitis (EE) which resulted in chronic stomach pains and vomiting. He was initially put on acid blockers and a few other medications but that is not a long term solution and didn’t address the root cause of his stomach issues. We went to see an integrative medicine pediatrician who prescribed dietary changes including colostrum powder and a couple of other supplements to reduce inflammation. I too was skeptical but had run out of options and trust me we had tried everything. The results were terrific. No more vomiting or chronic stomach problems and is eczema cleared up completely. Colostrom is increasingly being used in conventional medicine and there is very good clinical data for its positive effects. I know because I’ve read it as a concerned mom who believes in conventional medicine but is also open to integrative medicine. I think it’s fair to be skeptical (there is a lot of quackery out there) as I am typically of these things too but in this case this is very much a therapeutic food. I would encourage people, especially those with inflammatory issues to do their own research. I hope this perspective is helpful.

    portia | 02.07.2018 | Reply
  6. I grew up in India, where bovine colostrum is regularly consumed for its health benefits. I’m not talking about colostrum from commercial dairy farms, but in households in which a cow has recently given birth to a calf. It’s certainly not a fad, and if gone about humanely, poses no harm to the calf.

    NGSARATHY | 02.07.2018 | Reply
  7. Mattole Valley has both goat and cow milk…which do you suggest?

    Aslan | 02.09.2018 | Reply
  8. Wow. This is abhorrent and I am considering unsubscribing. Stealing essential food from babies is wrong, no way around it.

    Camille | 02.25.2018 | Reply
  9. I own a dairy farm – 60 producing cows and 39 calves. Every calf in my farm becomes colostrum 2-3 liters imediatley after birth and next 3 days. That is the law in my farm! But – the cow produces much more than 2-3 liters, so I refrigerate rest of colostrum in case if some young mama dies or is ill and has no milk after birth, then I use refrigerated colostrum – so EVERY CALF becomes it! This winter I become some bacterial infection on my leg (red skin, witch you want to take off with your nails, because it’s itches non stop), I was using dermatologist cream, with helped for a day or two and then it returned back. And guess what? My Meggie gave birth to a wonderful girl calve at midnight, I fed baby calve and came back home to refrigerate the rest of colostrum, but had no place in my refrigerator anymore and I decided to make colostrum bath in the middle of the night, I lied in colostrum for 20 min. After 2 days my sceptical husband was so surprised, that my skin was light, even and I had no itching anymore. And it looks like it’s gone forever! (sorry for my english – not a native)

    inga | 04.28.2018 | Reply
  10. My mum has a leaky gut and 2 autoimmune diseases. And I’m always looking for natural ways of healing her, but this Colostrum messed up with my way of seeing life and respecting the others living beings. I really would like to get her some colostrum but i don’t feel that is correct or fair to steal it from a calf, just because my mum had a not healthy life and now she needs it to recover. why don’t we get this colostrum from humans, if a cow produces more than what the calf needs so maybe also the humans, and if its not bad for calves to give away some of their colostrum wouldn’t be for us too, Right?
    Can someone help me ? what do you guys think ? i love my mum but i also love all the living beings, and i feel sorry when we (humans) abuse of their innocence.

    Rita | 02.16.2020 | Reply
  11. Bless you . OK funny answers you seek for your mom. I am in the same position as your mother. I do have autoimmune diseases and gut issues and chronic pain and inflammation. I’m torn between wanting to try this product but heartbroken at the thought of contributing to it being taking away from newborn calves. I am vegetarian but I do consume dairy and eggs. I raise chickens and eat my own eggs and occasionally eat store-bought cheese, yogurt sour cream and such. It’s tempting to try because my body is crying for help. However I don’t think my heart will allow it.

    Tracey | 08.13.2021 | Reply
  12. That was supposed to say I hope you find the answers you seek for your mom!

    Tracey | 08.13.2021 | Reply
  13. All the veganics screaming at The Chalkboard Magazine’s article on colostrum in spite of saying that you should “source colostrum that is ethically harvested from grass-fed cows” need to stop.

    Also to Erika, there are no legit studies that are direct experiments on human health to prove any diet of any kind, period.

    For staunched repeatable clinical trial proof, you need to give me well tenured, well controlled, has to concede to basic physiology, Bradford Hill Criteria, and concedes to pathophysiology, unless it disproves something absolutely and it has to be repeatable, that way we can make a CONSENSUS OF REPEATED FINDINGS THAT CAN ALSO BE COUNTER-TESTED FOR PROCESS OF ELIMINATION TO ENSURE IT’S THE TRUTH.

    So, a well tenured, well controlled, well powered, well disciplined, well documented, AND well controlled Randomized Crossover Trial, Direct Human Population Intervention Trial that puts patients in a metabolic ward to control everthing in their lives, or Double-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Randomized Clinical Trial that has a big population, (at least in the 100,000’s) has to be of a certain number of years, has to concede to basic physiology, Bradford Hill Criteria, and concedes to patho-physiology, unless it disproves something absolutely and it has to be repeatable.

    Wes Savage | 06.02.2022 | Reply

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