Koumiss (Kumis) – Turks. qımız – fermented Mare’s milk.

An alcoholic drink based on fermented Mare’s milk. It is obtained by fermentation under the influence of acidophilus and Bulgarian Bacillus and yeast. The drink has a pleasant sour-sweet taste, white color with a little foam on the surface. Koumiss, made from different kinds of starter cultures, may contain different amounts of alcohol. Its content can vary from 0.2 to 2.5 vol. And sometimes reach 4.5 about. During fermentation, milk proteins are split into easily digestible components, and lactose – into lactic acid, carbon dioxide, alcohol, and other substances.

History of Koumiss

The Mare appeared more than 5000 years after the domestication of horses by nomadic tribes. Archaeological expeditions carried out in Mongolia, and Central Asia revealed the remains of leather with Mare’s milk remnants. They kept the secret of the Koumiss for a long time secret, and strangers who accidentally learned the technology of preparation of the drink were blinded. Kumis is the national drink of the Turkic peoples. Popular Koumiss is in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and other Asian countries.

Currently, the recipe for koumiss is widely known, and people produce it not only at home but also in factories. Subject to all rules of the production of Koumiss, the rather expensive production. Therefore, in the pursuit of the cheaper cost of the beverage, many manufacturers begin to use Mare’s and cow’s milk. As a result, it significantly reduces the quality of the drink.


Manufacture of classic koumiss based on Mare’s milk consists of several stages:

  1. milk yield of the Mare. Due to the small amount of milk for one milk yield, people milk mares 3-6 times a day. The tide of milk in the udder of cows takes 15-20 seconds to collect all the milk in the process. So it would help if you had a very deft hand.
  2. Sourdough. All the milk they pour into the deck from Linden wood and put a Mature Mare starter. They heat the mixture to 18-20°C and stir for 1-6 hours.
  3. Fermentation. During mixing, there is a constant process of mixed lactic acid and alcoholic fermentation. It is at this stage formed all the nutrients of the Mare.
  4. Maturation. The resulting mixture they pour into a sealed glass bottle and leave for 1-2 days in a warm room. During that time takes place self carbonation of the drink.

Depending on the time of ripening, Mare’s milk divides into three types:

  • the weak kumys (1 vol.) aged for one day, has a little foam, not much sour, more like milk, but if a little stand, then quickly stratified into a dense bottom layer and watery – upper;
  • the average koumiss (about a 1.75.) Matures for two days. Its surface forms a persistent foam, the taste becomes sour, tweaking the language, and the drink acquires a uniform, stable structure of the emulsion;
  • strong koumiss (3 vol.) ages for three days and becomes much thinner and more acidic than medium koumiss, and its foam is not as stable.


The benefits of Koumiss

Mare’s milk contains a large number of nutrients assimilable by 95% of the substances. Including vitamins (A, E, C, B group), minerals (iron, iodine, copper), fats, and live lactic acid bacteria.

Postnikov investigated the useful properties of the koumiss in 1858. Based on his scientific works, they have opened resorts and established the basic treatment methods of various diseases with koumiss.

Mare’s milk is saturated with antibiotic substances that harm the functioning of tubercle bacilli, typhoid, and dysentery. Lactic acid bacteria positively affect the gastrointestinal tract and increase the secretion of gastric juice that breaks down the fatty substances from the pancreas and gallbladder. Effective carrying out the koumiss treatment of ulcers of the stomach and duodenum at the stage after the exacerbation. Bacterias from kumis adversely affect the reproduction and development of putrefactive organisms and E. coli.

Koumiss Treatment

The cardiovascular system. Koumiss has a positive effect on the composition and properties of blood. It increases the content of red blood cells and white blood cells that actively fight all alien organisms and bacteria.

The nervous system. The Mare Koumiss has a calming and relaxing effect, normalizes sleep, decreases irritability and chronic fatigue.


In addition to humans’ treatment, Koumiss is good to treat the digestive diseases of large animals: horses, cows, camels, donkeys, and sheep.

Depending on the severity and nature of the disease, patient’s age, there are special methods of reception of kumys, which in some ways are similar to the use of mineral waters. The time period of treatment should not be less than 20-25 days.

Methods of beverage consumption depend on the secretory functions of the stomach:

  1. with high and normal secretion use the average Mare’s milk 500-750 ml per day (200-250 ml before meals or 20-30 minutes before meals);
  2. when reduced secretion – average Mare’s milk with a higher acidity 750-1000 ml per day (250-300 ml before each meal 40-60 minutes);
  3. in ulcerative diseases of the gastrointestinal tract accompanied with high and normal secretion – doctors recommend drinking by small SIPS a weak kumys 125-250 ml three times a day;
  4. in ulcerative diseases of the gastrointestinal tract accompanied by decreased secretion of used the weak and the average Koumiss for 125-250 ml three times a day for 20-30 minutes before meals. It would help if you also drank gradually in small SIPS;
  5. while postoperative and rehabilitation period and severe diseases you may use weak koumiss 50-100 ml three times a day for 1-1,5 hours before eating.

Harm of Koumiss and contraindications

Koumiss is contraindicated with worsening of gastrointestinal diseases and people with individual intolerance to the drink and lactose.

Fermented Mare Milk aka Kumis - Why Would You Eat That

Useful and dangerous properties of other beverages:

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