Most people have some technique, prescription or product that they swear by, which they extol as being a nostrum, elixir, or cure for all ills.  Here is my own.*


Kefir the Wonder Food


by Joe Sinclair


Strained kefir and kefir grains in water.

Twenty-five or so years ago, while living in Hong Kong, and on a flight to Seoul, Korea, I sat next to a charming German named Manfred, who lived and ran a company in Manila, Philippines. He it was who told me about a product called Kefir that he and his partner produced at home from milk, and he claimed that it possessed the most remarkable healthful and curative properties.

Some weeks later, having taken his business card, I contacted him when making a business trip to Manila and met him again together with his delightful partner.  They insisted I take with me, back to Hong Kong, a sample of this product.  A very small (half walnut-sized) white culture, resembling a small piece of cauliflower, in a jam jar, immersed in milk.  They also gave me a typewritten information sheet, telling me how to make the product from the culture, how to partake of the product, how to keep the culture healthy, how to dispose of it as it grew larger over a short period, and how to use it to cure various illnesses.

[A small piece of Kefir, the size of a thumbnail, is left in one pint of milk in a "warmish" place for between 24 and 48 hours, depending upon whether it is preferred liquid or "junkety".  It is then removed and placed in a fresh pint of milk.  ]

This information sheet (author unknown) which is often distributed with fresh grains when they are given to friends, informs one that the people from the Caucasus drink Kefir instead of water and eat thickened Kefir in place of a dessert. Their life expectancy lies between 110 - 150 years (the latter not being as rare an occurrence as might be believed). They do not have cancer, tuberculosis or digestive disorders. Professor Dr. Kanschlikow devoted a large part of his life to Kefir research and observed its healing effect on the following disorders: catarrh, digestive nodes, stomach ulcers, anemia, all kinds of eczema, astral nodes, bilious complaints, hepatitis, diarrhoea, constipation and high blood pressure. Kefir prevents the decay of residual influence on the process of convalescence and may even be administered as a substitute for mothers milk.  Kefir may be taken daily, preferably with the evening meal (also as a sweet alone). In case of serious illness, a dose is recommended of a litre a day. Kefir is not only a medication but also a special nourishment. It may be used instead of sour cream for salads and sauces.  

[I use it regularly in place of dahi when making my "authentic" Indian curries.  I also take it every morning with muesli.  And, whenever I need a "pick-me-up" I take it as a drink in a home-made "smoothie" with fruit, fruit-juices, etc.]

Apart from a six-month period when a somewhat bitter ex-wife refused to let me have any of the culture, preferring to flush it down the loo, until my son was able to "smuggle" some to me, I have taken it daily ever since.  I am reminded of a meeting with an aged Chinese gentleman in Taipei, many years ago, when he insisted on giving me a large supply of a particularly aromatic Chinese tea, for which he also claimed special healthful properties.  I take it all the time, he told me.  And then (he had a wicked sense of humour), "You wouldn't believe I am 35 years old, would you?"  But the fact is that I do attribute my youthful zest and energy to this product.

Kefir doubles in size every 10 to 14 days and then needs to be split into two portions.  If allowed to get too large, the product starts to taste bitter.  A "loving" home is required for the excess portion/s.   I have a stock of Kefir and will be delighted to pass it to others.  If interested, please contact me at the Nurturing Potential address.


My milk-based kefir-grains

Here is an extract from an article on Kefir, taken from a website with the author's permission.  There is a wealth of material about Kefir on the World Wide Web that you can find easily via your favourite search engine.

Kefir is a cultured, creamy product with amazing health attributes. Its tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly 'probiotic' bacteria found in yogurt.  For the lactose intolerant, kefir's abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process.     

In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves. Kefir's ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.  Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin which aids the body's assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity. 

The benefits of consuming kefir regularly in the diet are numerous. Easily digested, it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete proteins. Because kefir is such a balanced and nourishing food, it contributes to a healthy immune system and has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS , chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer. Its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).  

The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity.  

     Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and balanced. Its excellent nutritional content offers healing and health-maintenance benefits to people in every type of condition.

*Taken from my personal website - Health & Growth section.