Apple cider vinegar is best made from cold pressed, organically grown whole apples, in which no chemicals or preservatives have been added, which contains "mother of vinegar", and is not pasteurized.  The "mother of vinegar" is a natural gelatinous substance formed during the last fermentation step.  This type of wholesome apple cider vinegar can be readily found in most health food stores and even in some general grocery stores.

The benefits of apple cider vinegar can be traced back to Biblical times and the ancient Egyptians.  Hippocrates treated his patients with apple cider vinegar.  Julius Caesar’s army used the vinegar to stay healthy and fight off disease.  Greeks and Romans kept vinegar vessels for healing and flavoring, and Samurai warriors drank it for strength and power.

Nutritious apple cider vinegar can be brewed at home.  Apple cider vinegar is an amazingly versatile cooking ingredient.  It adds a tangy taste to many drinks and deepens flavors of numerous foods.  Vinegar is a major ingredient in most condiments.  Mayonnaise and tomato ketchup account for more than 10% of vinegar production in America.

Vinegar is high in acetic acid, and acetic acid, like other acids, can increase the body's absorption of important minerals from the foods we eat.  Dark, leafy greens are good sources of calcium, but some of these greens also contain compounds that inhibit calcium absorption. Fortunately a few splashes of vinegar or tangy vinaigrette on greens will acidify and allow them to release all minerals including important calcium and magnesium. 

Later, as the organic acids are digested and metabolized, an overall alkalizing buffering effect is provided.  Apple cider vinegar acts as a buffer in the body (increasing adaptability) because the acetic acid reacts with base or acid compounds to form acetate, therefore rendering them more chemically bioavailable for metabolism.

Apple cider vinegar is used for weight loss, bursitis, arthritis, brittle nails, pet care (directly cleans and disinfects ears or coat and dispensed in drinking water makes hair shine) and cooking.  It can also double up as a non-toxic household cleaner, deodorizer and disinfectant.  Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, primarily coming from the malic acid and acetic acid portions of the vinegar. 

Many home remedies for common ailments call for a tonic of apple cider vinegar made by mixing 2 teaspoonfuls to 2 tablespoonfuls (for acute conditions) of vinegar in an 8 ounce glass of water (often with one teaspoonful honey) and drinking this before or during each meal.  For some, less vinegar, more water throughout the day is a better way of taking apple cider vinegar unless treating an acute condition like acid reflux, cough, bronchitis, or sore throat (in which case the stronger concoction of 2 TBS ACV to 8 OZ of water 3x a day recipe is suggested).

Vinegar seems to reduce appetite as well as inactivate some digestive enzymes that breakdown carbohydrates from food into sugar, thus slowing the absorption of sugar from a meal into the bloodstream.  Slowing sugar absorption gives the insulin-resistant body more time to pull sugar out of the blood and thus helps prevent the blood sugar level from rising so high.  Blunting the sudden jump in blood sugar that would usually occur after a meal also lessens the amount of stressful insulin the body needs to release at one time to remove the sugar from the blood.

Animal proteins rich in fats have a tendency to thicken the blood after meals and the natural acids in apple cider vinegar help to keep the blood healthier and more fluid.  Natural food acids served along with animal proteins lessen the thickening influence of heavy proteins and fats.  In order for blood to circulate freely throughout the body, the best blood is runny.  When blood thickens or becomes hypercoaguable, a strain is put on the heart.  Then the blood pressure goes up and other problems begin.

People with either type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance (a prediabetic condition) and eight control subjects were each given a solution containing five teaspoons of vinegar or five teaspoons of water, with one teaspoon of saccharin two minutes before ingesting a high carbohydrate meal.  Blood sugar and insulin levels were measured before the meal, at 30 minutes and 60 minutes after the meal.

Vinegar increased overall insulin sensitivity 34% in those who were insulin-resistant and 19% in those with type 2 diabetes.  Their bodies actually became more receptive to insulin, allowing the hormone to do its job of getting sugar out of the blood and into the cells.  Both blood sugar and blood insulin levels were lower than normal in the insulin-resistant participants.

Surprisingly, the control group (who had neither diabetes nor a prediabetic condition but were given the vinegar solution) also experienced a reduction in insulin levels in the blood. This is important since, in addition to the nerve damage caused by perpetually elevated blood sugar, several chronic conditions of premature aging, including heart disease, have been linked to excess insulin in the blood over prolonged periods of time.

Relieve cough by mixing one-half cup apple cider vinegar, one-half cup water, one teaspoon cayenne pepper, and four teaspoons honey.  Take one tablespoon when cough acts up.  Take another tablespoon at bedtime.  Soothe a sore throat. Put a teaspoon of vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle, and then swallow.  To treat sinus infections and chest colds, add 1/4 cup or more vinegar to the vaporizer.

Take 1 tablespoon full vinegar and swallow when you have hiccups. It stops them instantly.  Relieve itching by using a cotton ball to dab mosquito and other bug bites with vinegar straight from the bottle.  It also soothes a bee or jellyfish sting.  Full strength, it kills dandruff, yeast, candida and athlete’s foot.  Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a natural hair care product. Its acidity is close to that of human hair; it’s a good conditioner and cleaning agent, as well as an effective germ killer.

Relieve alkaline inflammatory sunburn by bathing in a vinegar bath or lightly rubbing the burn with acidic vinegar. You may have to reapply.  It will prevent burn blisters.  Cure an upset stomach by drinking two teaspoons apple cider vinegar in one cup water.

Natural healing apple cider vinegar kills germs and nourishes the body at the same time.  If you take apple cider vinegar between meals or before going to bed, always rinse your mouth or brush your teeth to avoid any prolonged vinegar contact with the enamel on your teeth.
Any acid food or drink however, such as citrus fruit (especially lemons and limes), soda pop and apple cider vinegar can erode tooth enamel if it is allowed to stay in contact with the teeth for long periods of time.  Clean dentures by soaking them overnight in vinegar, then brush away tartar with a toothbrush.

In cooking, replace a lemon by substituting 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar for 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.  Firm up gelatin by adding a teaspoon of vinegar for every box of gelatin used.  To keep those molded desserts from sagging in the summer heat.  Prepare fluffier rice by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water when it boils.  Debug fresh vegetables by washing them in water with vinegar and salt.  Bugs float off.   To freshen wilted vegetables, soak in 2 cups of water with a tablespoon of vinegar. 

Keep boiled eggs from cracking by adding 2 tablespoons vinegar to the water before boiling.  Avoid cabbage odor by adding vinegar to the cooking water.  Eliminate onion odor by rubbing vinegar on your fingers before and after slicing.  Remove berry stains from hands with vinegar.  Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards by wiping with full strength vinegar.  Get stains out of pots by filling the pots with a solution of 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a pint of water. Let stand or boil until stains loosen and can be more easily washed away. 

Spray vinegar around door and window frames, under appliances, and along other known ant trails to deter ants.  Also keeps cats away.  Sprinkle vinegar on an area to discourage cats from walking, sleeping, or scratching on it.

Balsamic vinegar produced in Modena is attributed to the environmental conditions of the place which is directly responsible for production of the fine white Trebbiano grapes with a high content of sugar. The Trebbiano grapes thrive in the light layered soil of Modena and its transitional climate which records a large temperature range. It is very hot in summer and extremely cold in winter. Traditionally, the grapes are harvested late in summer to take full advantage of the natural warmth of the region. Then these grapes are cooked for more than eight hours to get the required ‘must’.

A caramelization process follows, which results in a change in the color of the ‘must’. Once the ‘must’ obtains a specific density, it is transferred to large oaken casks and left to acidify. Progressive concentration follows through ageing in a series of casks with varying types of wood like oak and chestnut. No other spices or flavorings are added during this process. Many elements contribute to the end flavor of this unique seasoning which includes the previous vinegar of the barrel, the type of wood, climate etc. The entire process takes a number of years and the end result is especially distinct balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar acts as a natural appetite suppressant and assists in producing greater disease fighting antioxidants.  The amino acids may work to slow the ageing process.  Balsamic vinegar aids production of digestive enzymes thus improving metabolism.   It may act as a natural pain reliever that can assuage headaches, and the added buffering minerals help in strengthening of bones and fighting anemia as well as fatigue.

Vinegar can also help you have your dessert and cut calories, as well.  Use a splash of balsamic vinegar to bring out the sweetness and flavor of strawberries without any added sugar. Try it on other fruits that you might sprinkle sugar on.  You will be pleasantly surprised at the difference a bit of balsamic vinegar can make. And for a real unexpected treat on a warm summer evening, drizzle balsamic vinegar over dark chocolate shavings, instead of high-fat, sugary caramelized AGEs or powdered-milk chocolate sauce, on a dish of vanilla oat-milk ‘ice cream’.  Imagining that combination should make you salivate.  Give it a try.

One can also use vinegar as a tangy marinade for tenderizing less-fatty cuts of meat.  Marinating meat in vinegar kills bacteria and tenderizes the meat.  Use 1/4 cup vinegar for a 2-3 pound roast, marinate overnight, and then cook without draining or rinsing the meat.  Add herbs to the vinegar when marinating as desired.  Choosing meat with less fat on the edges and less marbling within is one of the easiest ways to identify range-fed cuts.  Meats that don't have as much marbling tend to be a little tougher.  So added vinegar can do double duty by adding a dash of zing as it tenderizes.  Meat marinades can reduce the eventual amount of carcinogenic grilled cooking products by 90%.

Something to look for when shopping for either wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar is a type of preservative called sulfites.  One in five people is sulfite-sensitive, and 5% of the asthma population is also at risk to suffering an adverse reaction to sulfites.  

Symptoms of sulfite intolerance can occur within 5 minutes following parenteral exposure and within 15-30 minutes following oral exposure. Sensitive individuals vary in their degree of intolerance towards sulfites, with each having a specific threshold of exposure needed to elicit a reaction. While the majority of reactions are mild, severe nonspecific signs and symptoms do occur on occasion.  Sulfite is detoxified by sulfite dehydrogenase (a molybdenum dependant enzyme).  Sulfite sensitivity is often defused with molybdenum supplementation.

Sulfites are inorganic salts that have antioxidant and preservative properties.  Sulfiting agents have been used as food additives since antiquity to help prevent enzymatic and nonenzymatic browning (AGEs production).  They control growth of microorganisms; act as bleaching agents, antioxidants (reducing agents).  Sulfiting agents used are sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfate, sodium and potassium bisulfites (and metabisulfites).  

Sulfites are used on fruits and vegetable to prevent unpleasant browning, on shrimp and lobster to prevent melanosis, or "black spot", in wines to discourage bacterial growth, in dough as a conditioner, and to bleach certain food starches and cherries. Sulfites are also used in pharmaceuticals to maintain stability and potency.

Brown rice vinegar has been called the eastern version of apple cider vinegar. The flavor has about half the sharpness and a subtle sweetness. When shopping for brown rice vinegar, Kyushu is a particular type that stands out from the rest. It accounts for less than one percent of Japan's annual 100 million gallon production of vinegar.

 

Unlike other brown rice vinegars, Kyushu is buried in the ground outdoors in glazed crocks where it is allowed to ferment. This keeps the temperature constant which is very important because variations in temperature can ruin a batch very quickly. This process includes high quality ingredients and is much more tedious than conventional brown rice vinegar, but the end result yields superior flavor and five times the amount of amino acids.

Brown rice vinegar contains twenty amino acids and sixteen organic acids.  They help prevent the formation of toxic fat peroxides.  Amino acids help counter the effects of lactic-acid buildup in the blood, which can cause fatigue; irritability; stiff, sore muscles; and can contribute to disease.  Rice vinegar and a little soy sauce give veggies an Asian flavor or can form the base of Asian coleslaw.

The following old Japanese tonic is very effective for increasing stamina and maintaining general health.  Wash an egg, being careful not to break the shell.  Immerse the egg in a cup of brown rice vinegar for 2-3 days, or until the shell dissolves leaving the inner soft skin.  Discard the skin and mix the egg and vinegar well.  Drink a sake cup of this liquid three times a day (after meals).  Known as tamago-su (egg-vinegar drink), this is one of Japan's most potent folk remedies.

Plum vinegar, also known as Umeboshi vinegar or ume-su, contains many of the healing qualities and nutrients associated with pickled plums, and it is easy and convenient to use. Both pleasantly tart and salty, umeboshi vinegar is a versatile seasoning that is especially refreshing on hot afternoons. Use umeboshi vinegar to liven up salad dressings, homemade quick pickles, and tofu spreads.

It adds a pleasantly pungent flavor to cooked leafy greens (especially cabbage), cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans. Steam, boil, or sauté vegetables until tender but still colorful. Drain if necessary, place in a serving bowl, and toss with umeboshi vinegar to taste. When substituting umeboshi vinegar for other types of vinegar, substantially reduce the amount used, or eliminate the salt in the recipe.  Umeboshi vinegar has more of the brine or pickled flavor resulting in saltier tasting vinegar.  Ume plum vinegar is similar to red wine vinegar.

The shiso leaves that are often packaged with umeboshi are also delicious when chopped and used as a seasoning inside nori rolls or when tossed in with steamed or sautéed vegetables. When using whole pickled plums, it is usually necessary to remove the pit and mince the flesh before adding it to recipes.

Umeboshi and umeboshi paste are lively and versatile seasonings that add a pleasant tartness to salad dressings, cooked vegetables, and sauces. Umeboshi is also commonly served in Japan as a condiment with rice, or tucked inside a rice ball wrapped with nori. In the summer, thick cucumber rounds spread thinly with umeboshi paste are a cooling treat. Sparingly spread on cooked sweet corn, it is a delicious, healthful alternative to butter and salt. Umeboshi also goes well with members of the cabbage family, including broccoli, kale and cauliflower.

White vinegar is an inexpensive and environmentally safe cleanser and anti-bacterial.  Vinegar is a great, all around cleaning agent for everything from floors to countertops and shower stalls to windows.  To clean dentures, soak dentures overnight in white vinegar, and then brush away tartar with a toothbrush.  Add one-half cup of vinegar or so to warm bath water when bathing and get double benefits: softer skin and a cleaner bathtub with less work!

Vinegar is one of the best natural agents for removing certain pesticides and bacteria from fresh produce.  Of course, you don’t need fancy vinegar for this.  Any basic white vinegar will do, and for a fraction of the price.  Add vinegar to your water used for soaking seeds, nuts, grains or beans to speed elimination of phytase and reduce potential unfavorable bacterial growth in the germination water.

Gayle Povis Alleman, MS, RD recommends a solution of 10% vinegar to 90% water as a bath to briefly soak produce.  Just place your veggies or fruit in the solution, swish it around, and rinse thoroughly.  Don’t use this process on fragile fruits (like berries), since they could be damaged in the process or soak up too much vinegar through their porous skins.

Cheese will last longer if you store it in a vinegar-soaked cloth. Add a bit of white vinegar to the water in which your eggs are simmering, and the shells won’t crack.  Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar for every three egg whites, and you’ll have fluffier meringues.

Eliminate onion odor on your skin by rubbing vinegar on your fingers before and after slicing.  Add a bit of vinegar to the water while cooking your cabbage to remove that stinky cabbage smell.  White vinegar will keep cats, fleas and ants away.

FERMENTATION Yeast microbes are probably one of the earliest domesticated organisms. People have used yeast for fermentation and baking throughout history.  In the United States, naturally occurring airborne yeasts were used almost exclusively until commercial yeast was marketed at the Centennial Exposition in 1876 in Philadelphia.  Many types of yeasts are used for making many foods: Baker's yeast in bread production, brewer's yeast in beer fermentation, yeast in wine fermentation and for xylitol production.

Yeast is a neither plant nor animal, but a single-celled fungus.  The two main types of yeast are bakers and brewer's yeasts.  While both are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, they are different strains (like the difference between Red Delicious and Macintosh apples).  The active dry yeast that you can get in the grocery store is baker's yeast - and is used for baking bread.  To brew hard cider you want brewer's yeast.  This comes in dry and liquid forms.

There are many types of yeast, single-celled organisms rich in B vitamins (except B12), 16 amino acids (20 in total), and 14 minerals (more or less).  Yeast is high in phosphorus.  Brewer's yeast, labeled nutritional yeast, is a good source of protein for vegans because over 50% of its weight is protein.  Brewer's yeast is grown on hops, a bitter herb associated with the brewing of beer.

Brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is inactive yeast, meaning the yeasts have been killed and have no leavening power.  As a rich source of B vitamins, Brewer's yeast aids in metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  Since B vitamins are stress busters, the nervous system is supported.  The effects of morning sickness, fatigue, gout, heart disorders, nervousness, and depression can be relieved. Additionally, biotin, a B vitamin supplied by Brewer's yeast, helps keep hair, skin and nails healthy.

Brewer's yeast also supplies the trace mineral, chromium.  Chromium helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates, works with the body's natural insulin to lower blood sugar (regulate), is used to treat acne, lowers blood cholesterol levels, and aids weight loss.  Some of the chromium found in brewer’s yeast is present as glucose tolerance factor, a combination of chromium, nicotinic acid (a form of niacin) and amino acids.  Chromium is absorbed best when combined with Brewer's yeast.

Dietary selenium reduces risk of dying from cancer.  Selenium-enriched brewer's yeast as a dietary supplement reduces incidence of and mortality from cancer of the colon in humans.  It is not clear whether the inhibitory effect is due to selenomethionine, or to other forms of selenium, or to the mixture of selenium compounds present in selenium-enriched brewer's yeast.  When it’s grown with vitamin B12, brewer’s yeast is the supplement of choice for some vegetarians, especially vegans (strict vegetarians who eat no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products).

Brewer's yeast can be dissolved in water or juice.  Four tablespoons per day is a recommended dose.  To avoid bloating and gas, begin using 1 tablespoon daily and gradually work up.  Folks with osteoporosis need to take extra calcium because Brewer's yeast contains high levels of phosphorus.  Avoid Brewer's yeast (or any yeast) if yeast infections (Candida) frequently occur.

Nutritional yeast, though it has a similar appearance to brewer's yeast, is very different and has a very different taste.  This yeast is dried at higher temperatures than baking yeast, rendering it inactive.  Unlike live yeasts used in bread making and brewing, nutritional yeast has no fermenting or leavening power.  Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy, creamy flavor which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes.  It is often used by vegans in place of parmesan cheese.  Another popular use is as a topping for popcorn.

Yeast extract is the common name for various forms of processed yeast products that are used as food additives or flavors.  They are often used in the same way that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used, and like MSG, often contain significant free glutamic acids.

Yeast in symbiosis with acetic acid bacteria is used in the preparation of Kombucha, a fermented sweetened tea.  Species of yeast found in the tea can vary, and may include: Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Zygosaccharomyces bailii.

E. Coli and H.pylori (bacteria) as well as Candida albicans (yeast) are generally considered unfriendly microorganisms, but are normal inhabitants of one’s digestive tract (and need to be present in their benign forms for optimal digestive health as well as prevention of digestive disease). Overgrowth signals change in biofilm metabolism and disrupted cellular immunity. 

One’s personal “foreign cell signature” directly influences immune cells lining and surrounding the digestive tract.  It also regulates through immune cell ‘toll receptors’ how much inflammation is experienced elsewhere in the body (including skin, joints and back).  Friendly flora is vital to maintaining a state of immune balance that promotes health.

Popular worldwide is the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, used to maintain and restore natural flora in the large and small gastrointestinal tract.  Natives of Southeast Asia chewed on the skins of lychee and mangosteen attempting to control symptoms of cholera. Saccharomyces boulardii is a tropical strain of yeast first isolated from lychee and mangosteen fruit in 1923 by French scientist Henri Boulard.  It is related to, but distinct from, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, genetically, metabolically and physiogically.  Saccharomyces boulardii has been shown to be non-pathogenic, non-systemic (it remains in the gastrointestinal tract rather than spreading elsewhere in the body), and it grows at the unusually high temperature of 37°C.

S. boulardii is often marketed as a probiotic in a lyophilized form and is therefore often referred to as Saccharomyces boulardii lyo.  S. boulardii has been shown to reduce acute diarrhea in children, prevent reinfection of life-threatening Clostridium difficile, reduce bowel movements in diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome patients as well as reduce incidence of antibiotic, traveler's and HIV/AIDS associated diarrheas.

S. boulardii secretes a 54 kDa protease, in vivo. This protease has been shown to both degrade toxins A and B, secreted from Clostridium difficile, and inhibit their binding to receptors along the brush border. This leads to a reduction in the enterotoxinic and cytotoxic effects of C. difficile infection. 

Pathogenic bacteria often associated with acute infectious diarrhea, were shown to strongly adhere to mannose on the surface of S. boulardii via lectin receptors (adhesins). Once the invading microbe is bound to S. boulardii, it is prevented from attaching to the brush border; it is then eliminated from the body during the next bowel movement.

S. boulardii secretes a 54 kDa protease, in vivo. This protease has been shown to both degrade toxins A and B, secreted from Clostridium difficile, and inhibit their binding to receptors along the brush border. This leads to a reduction in the enterotoxic and cytotoxic effects of C. difficile infection.  During an E. coli infection, myosin light chain is phosphorylated leading to the degradation of the tight junctions between intestinal mucosa enterocytes. S. boulardii has been shown to prevent this phosphorylation, leading to a reduction in mucosal permeability and thus a decrease in translocation of pathogenic bacteria. 

The trophic effect on enterocytes has been shown to increase levels of disaccharidases such as lactase, sucrase, maltase, glucoamylase, and N-aminopeptidase in the intestinal mucosa of humans.  This can lead to better digestion of grains via the increased breakdown of disaccharides into monosaccharides that can then be absorbed into the bloodstream via enterocytes.  This can help in the treatment of diarrhea, as the level of enzymatic activity has diminished and carbohydrate cannot be degraded and absorbed.

S. boulardii induces secretion of Immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the small intestine of the rat. Secretory IgA provides border protection against invading microbes in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.

 Epicor is a fermented yeast culture, an end product of fermentation of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).  This product has been produced for 63 years as an additive to animal feed products, and it is manufactured and distributed worldwide for production animals.  EpiCor is a dried, complex fermentation product derived from a proprietary process, which produces beneficial metabolites containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.  Workers who came in contact with this fermented yeast culture experienced an unusual lack of illnesses. The group exposed to EpiCor showed a significant decrease in CD8 suppressor cells, resulting in an improvement in the CD4/CD8 ratio. 

The CD4/CD8 ratio suggested that these EpiCor-exposed individuals had at least 2-3 times the natural killing activity against viruses, bacteria and cancer cells than would normally be expected! While natural killer cells are an important aspect of immunity, they are not the only aspect.  The immune system is a complex tapestry that also relies upon the proper functioning of T-cells.  These cells emerge from the bone marrow in an immature state and must migrate to the thymus gland, where they are programmed to transform into:

1.    CD4 helper cells, which orchestrate immune response by activating other immune cells and stimulating production of antibodies by B- cells (from bone marrow).

2.    CD8 suppressor cells, which suppress killer cells by signaling the end of an attack.

A natural substance that decreases the number of CD8 suppressor cells in relation to the number of CD4 helper cells, would improve the CD4/CD8 ratio, strengthening the ability of the immune system to defend against viral, bacterial and parasitical invaders.  Epicor works as an immunogen (antigen), creating messaging that generates an immune response when introduced to the body.

Natural killer cells in EpiCor-exposed subjects had a much higher killing efficiency of pathogen-infected and abnormal cells, despite a significant decrease in the natural killer cells' number.  To use an analogy, if we sent out soldiers, we could send out fewer soldiers because they were now more efficient at doing battle.  EpiCor-exposed subjects experienced a significant inhibition of interferon gamma production (creating less inflammation).

A third aspect of immunity involves immunoglobulin A (IgA).  IgA is the principal immunoglobulin in exocrine secretions.  It is important in protecting mucosal surfaces from invasion by pathogenic bacteria and viruses.  Its presence in colostrum is thought to be the main reason behind colostrum's anti-infective properties in newborns.

There were significantly higher levels of total salivary secretory IgA in the EpiCor subjects.  The IgA levels were surprisingly high—more than 300 mg per ml.  EpiCor subjects had the equivalent of an immunological envelope protecting all membranes in the eyes, nasal passages, mouth and all the places where pathogenic organisms enter into the system.

They also had significantly lower levels of immune complexes and higher levels of glutathione in erythrocytes (red blood cells).  Higher levels of immune complexes are responsible for inflammation, and lowering their levels would result in less inflammation and tissue damage.

Cells do not behave as selfish entities, but rather tend to form "micro-societies" whose proper functioning requires a precise coordination of signals that the cells emit and receive.  When these signals are not working properly, this can result in pathological situations that can range from abnormal cell proliferation to cell death.  EpiCor influences calcium signaling, perhaps explaning how this fermentation extract supports immunity and defends against invading pathogens.

EpiCor also modulates activity of Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NFK-B).  NFK-B plays an important role in inflammation, immunity, autoimmune responses, cell adhesion, cell proliferation, cell development and cell death (apoptosis), because it regulates the expression of genes involved in all these processes.

It can be taken with or without food, and there are no known interactions with over-the-counter and prescription drugs or with any dietary supplements.  There is no similarity between this Saccharomyces cerevisiae, found abundantly in the food supply and Candida albicans, which is opportunistic yeast that proliferates in individuals with compromised cellular immunity.  EpiCor is pasteurized to reduce harmful microorganisms.

Avemar (known in USA under the brand name "Ave") is a complex of multiple, biologically active molecules obtained from fermented (with baker’s yeast or saccharomyces cervasiae) and wheat germ extract. 

Preparation of a single dose is to take 1 sachet (17g) of Avemar in a glass.  Fill up with 200 ml cold water, stir well, and then drink liquid.  Solution not consumed within a half hour period after preparation should not be used later!

For patients of average weight 60-70kg (150 lbs.) a single dose (17g) of Avemar should be taken once a day, prepared as instructed, if possible approximately 1 hour before a meal. For patients weighing more than 90 kg (200 lbs.) the product should be taken twice daily. Taking one dose (17g) before breakfast and another dose (17g) before supper is recommended.

The product may be taken with a cold soft drink or non-carbonated mineral water which does not contain vitamin C (ascorbic acid or E 300).  Avemar should not be taken in conjunction with any preparation containing vitamin C within the same two hour period.  As Avemar can affect the absorption of other medications and therapeutic products, it is appropriate to maintain a 2-hour break between using Avemar and other medicines.

Avemar is recommended for patients suffering from autoimmune disease or malignant tumors as a supplement to clinical oncology treatment (surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or immunotherapy). The nutriment should be taken continuously without interruption during and after clinical treatment.  Avemar can be used after surgery when the patient has been fed orally at least for 4 days without any difficulty.

The product should not be taken during pregnancy or nursing (breastfeeding).  Avemar’s use is prohibited for patients with organ or tissue transplant.  The product cannot be used if the patient has bleeding gastrointestinal erosions (bleeding gastric or duodenal ulcer), enteritis/colitis (severe intestinal inflammation) and malabsorption syndrome (severe absorption problem).

Usage of the product is not advised in the presence of known gluten sensitivity (celiac sprue). Usage is also not advised in cases of hereditary fructose intolerance or if there is hypersensitivity to any compound of the product.  It is dried, fermented wheat germ extract (63.2%), maltodextrine, fructose, silicium-dioxide (to prevent adherence), natural orange aroma, and sodium chloride.  For sterility, Avemar is treated with ionizing energy.

Probiotic bacteria are an ever-present companion to man, either naturally inhabiting the mouth or gastrointestinal tract or being consumed in traditional food products worldwide.  It is impossible to say when their benefits to humans were first “discovered”.  However, we know that they have been used to preserve food such as salami, cheese, soy sauce and sauerkraut for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Non-pathogenic bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract block immune pathways that might otherwise cause an unhealthy inflammatory response to the millions of bacteria normally present in the intestine.  A breakdown in this mechanism for bacterial tolerance plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and other infectious intestinal diseases.  

The gastrointestinal tract of humans is home to a delicate bacterial balancing act in which a diverse ecosystem of non-pathogenic bacteria co-exists among potential pathogens, all under the watchful guard of protective immune cells.  Although the normal flora are known to be important in digestion and making vitamins, we thought these bacteria were otherwise inert residents of the GI tract.  

We did not notice this usually harmonious co-existence between intestinal organisms and immune cells of the digestive system goes back through millions of years of evolution, from the time of earliest known vertebrates.  Now we know that gut microbes regulate energy harvest from the diet and participate in the peripheral body metabolism.  Future studies of microbe-microbe and microbe-host cross-talk will strengthen our knowledge about the composition and intricate function of the microflora.

Microscopic floras of the GI tract are not merely inert innocent intestinal wallflowers.  They actually deliver a signal to block an important pro-inflammatory immune-system trigger called NF-kb (a transcription factor involved in activating many stress and inflammation genes in immune response).  They stimulate and regulate immunologic activity of spleen and thymus.

Lactobacilli, the predominant vaginal microorganisms in healthy premenopausal women, control other members of the vaginal microflora and thus protect against bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections.  Even heat-killed bacteria of the strain Lactobacillus acidophilus can offer some protection from Candida albicans infections in immunodeficient mice.  This beneficial immune messaging likely comes from the polysaccharide cell walls of friendly flora.

Probiotic supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy can help women lose weight after their child’s birth.  Women were given Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium supplements during their first trimester of pregnancy and continued them until they stopped exclusive breastfeeding, up to six months.  Probiotic supplements were associated with less central obesity, defined as a body mass index of 30 or more or a waist circumference over 80 centimeters.

The barrier of epithelial cells lining our intestines tolerates the presence of a dense population of bacteria while at the same time being quite permeable to nutrients and fluids.  Almost all other tissue types in the body are exquisitely sensitive and responsive to bacteria and their products.  Friendly flora blocks the NF-kb inflammatory pathway and prevents cells in the GI tract from responding as any other cell would respond.  Loss of this mechanism for tolerance is likely fundamental to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) and to other infectious intestinal diseases. 

Many probiotics also produce beneficial short chain fatty acids which exert a therapeutic effect on inflammatory bowel disease patients.  The fermentation of soluble fiber, which yields short chain fatty acids, supplies a full 5-10% of human energy needs.

These organisms are non-pathogenic and have no ability to elicit inflammation themselves, yet they are able to block inflammatory pathways and create immune tolerance for themselves and perhaps other organisms.  Non-pathogenic bacteria have a significant reciprocal ecological interaction with their host.  

The host can mount an immune response to control resident bacteria, but non-pathogenic bacteria as the outer layer of our symbiotic immune system have the ability to influence that immune response.  True to the hygiene hypothesis, orally administered beneficial bacteria (Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus caseii) function as allergic immune modulators to prevent food allergy.

Ilya Ilyich Metchnikoff was not only the first to describe phagocytosis of invading pathogens by specialized blood cells (gobbling action of macrophages and neutrophils).   Élie was also interested in the impact of normal flora on well-being and in pre- and probiotic diet and their influence on the normal flora.

Many things can deplete the good flora, including stress, disease, poor digestion, processed foods and too much sugar.  Alcohol and tobacco are also common culprits.  When these factors come into play, pathogenic bacteria can multiply and take over, leading to a variety of intestinal problems, urinary tract infections and vaginal yeast infections.  

Antibiotics are prescribed to clear up bacterial infections, but that is not all they clear up.  While killing the bad bacteria, they can knock out beneficial bacteria, as well.  Colonic infection with Clostridium difficile, leading to pseudomembranous colitis, is a common complication of antibiotic therapy, especially in elderly patients.  Supplementing with saccharomyces boulardii during antibiotics can help reduce side-effects significantly, then we return to regular ingestion of acidophilus and soil based organisms.

Normal bowel flora even includes beneficial strains of escherichia coli which are sometimes eliminated after severe immune challenge associated with antibiotic usage.  This can lead to chronic diarrhea (not responsive to acidophlus or saccharomyces boulardii) often diagnosed as irritable colon or inflammatory bowel disease.  Available from Germany is Mutaflor, the Stamm Nissle 1917 strain of escherichia coli.

Mechnikov was among the first to envisage infection biology as the result of interplay between host and pathogen.  He also developed a theory that aging is primarily caused by toxic bacteria in the gut and that lactic acid bacteria could prolong life.  Metchnikoff researched certain rural populations in Europe, in Bulgaria and the Russian Steppes who lived largely on milk fermented by lactic-acid bacteria (and were exceptionally long lived).  Based on this theory, he drank sour milk every day.  He died in 1916 at 71 years of age (well above average life expectancy of the general population of his time and a slightly more than other notable scientists of his era).

The last of Metchnikoff's works, The Prolongation of Life: Optimistic Studies along with his inquiries into potential life-lengthening properties of lactic acid bacteria inspired Japanese scientist Minoru Shirota to investigate the causal relationship between bacteria and good intestinal health.  Convinced that a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria held the key to man's general well-being, Shirota dedicated his life and work to isolating a strain of lactic acid bacteria which would pass into the intestines, positively contributing to the balance of gut flora.

In 1935, he succeeded in cultivating a unique bacterium, Lactobacillus casei and its western equivalent, Lactobacillus acidophilus sufficiently robust to bypass the acidic environment of the stomach and enter the intestines directly.  He placed this pioneering strain into a fermented milk drink in order to make its benefits accessible to all.  This drink remains available worldwide today (in a recipe almost unchanged from Shirota's original formula) as the Yakult drink.

Yakult , is a Japanese probiotic milk-like product made by fermenting a mixture of skimmed milk with a special strain of the bacteria Lactobacillus casei Shirota created by Minoru Shirota.  In 1935, he started manufacturing and selling Yakult.  Official claims state that the name is derived from jahurto, an older form of jogurto, the Esperanto word for "yogurt".   Since then, Yakult has also introduced a line of beverages for the Japanese market that contain Bifidobacterium breve bacteria, and has also used its lactobacilli research to develop cosmetics enhancing skin health.

After its introduction in Japan and Taiwan, Yakult was first sold in the Western world in Brazil in 1966, due to the large number of Japanese immigrants in the country, before it was marketed elsewhere.  Today, Yakult is sold in 31 countries, although its bacteria cultures are provided from a mother strain from Japan regardless of production location.  Singapore is the only country where Yakult is available in flavors (orange, grape and apple) besides the original.  There are proven concrete health benefits of probiotics on promoting immunity, gastointestinal and oral health.

Rejuvelac - Anne Wigmore’s Hippocrates Health Drink

Guests of Hippocrates drink a glass of Rejuvelac each day to improve their bowel flora. Rejuvelac may also be used as a starter for sourdough bread as well as nut and seed cheeses.

Ingredients
Makes 2 liters Rejuvelac.

Instructions

1. Add wheat grains to the Mason jar.  Fill with water and cover with gauze, held securely in place with an elastic band.

2. Leave the jar on a kitchen bench out of direct sunlight. Give the jar a gentle twirl, but not a shake, every 12 hours. Once light foam develops the Rejuvelac should be ready for use. It may take anywhere from 2-5 days to ferment the Rejuvelac depending on the ambient temperature. In hot weather, it may ferment too quickly (around 24 hours) perhaps becoming putrid. Rejuvelac should have a pleasant yeasty smell with a lemon like flavor.

3. Decant the Rejuvelac into a flagon and refrigerate. Refill the jar with water and ferment for another 24-36 hours to make a second culture. Decant the Rejuvelac and discard the wheat grains.

Reuteri is a lactic acid bacterium, categorized as a probiotic thanks to its positive effect on human health.  The commercial strain of Reuteri for human use called Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis or ATCC 55730 was isolated from breast milk of a woman living in the Peruvian Andes, someone living in perfect harmony with nature.

Reuteri® boosts the immune system and reduces risk to common infections.  In day care children and adults, L. reuteri Protectis showed convincing results on reducing the risk to acquiring common infections.  Effects on the immune system involve the ability of Reuteri to recruit CD4 +T cells (these thymus cells help stimulate immune response, the body’s first line of defense against disease).

Reuteri helps maintain a healthy balance of microflora in the intestine that hinders harmful microorganisms from multiplying.  Reuteri not only protects people from gastrointestinal infections but can also speed up recovery after an infection.  Another strain L. reuteri Prodentis is used to balance mouth microflora, enhances barrier function by reducing gingival bleeding and limiting pathogenic plaque accumulation on teeth.

Reuteri occurs naturally in humans making it a truly human probiotic.  It is one of very few species of lactobacilli that is uniquely adapted to reside in the gastrointestinal tract of man.  Most of these helpful species have their natural living environment outside the human body and therefore provide just temporary resident messenging, providing immediate salutary benefits.

Safety studies into Reuteri have been conducted in healthy newborns, small children, adults and even immuno-deficient adults and have proven it free from side effects, even when given in doses widely exceeding levels normally found in Reuteri products.

Bacillus subtilis was discovered out of necessity by the Nazi German medical corps in 1941.  Toward the end of their African campaign, German high command became genuinely alarmed when hundreds upon hundreds of their soldiers in North Africa suddenly began dying every week from uncontrollable dysentery. 

Local Arabs also caught dysentery. But at the first sign of diarrhea the Arabs would do something quite amazing! They would immediately begin following around a horse or camel until it would drop its dung. Then, the affected Arab would pick up the warm dung droppings, and quickly gulp them down! This strange procedure effectively eliminated the dysentery almost overnight.

Once the famously hygienic Germans finally recovered from the shock of seeing Arab natives gulping down warm camel dung, they realized that there must be something in dung that somehow counteracted the harmful germs that cause dysentery. They questioned the Arabs, who told them that they had no idea why it worked, but that their fathers had always done so, as had their forefathers, and it had always worked. The only caveat was that the camel or horse dung had to be ingested while still warm and fresh, because there was no beneficial effect on dysentery when it was ingested cold.  Are they putting me on? Is this a bad joke?

The Nazis began carefully examining fresh camel and horse dung.  It was teeming with a powerful bacterial microorganism which later came to be called Bacillus subtilis. This bacteria, it turned out, is so strong that it practically cannibalizes all harmful microorganisms in the human body, especially pathogenic bacteria like the virulent strain which caused dysentery in the German troops.

Within a short time, the Nazis began producing hundreds and thousands of gallons of active Bacillus subtilis cultures for their troops to ingest. And bingo, no more dysentery!  The Germans even discovered that Bacillus subtilis cultures could be dried and placed into convenient easily ingestible capsules.  The resourceful German doctors had no more problems with losing troops from dysentery.

Cell wall components of ingested Bacillus Subtilis are able to activate nearly all systems of human immune defense, including activation of at least three specific antibodies (IgM, IgG and IgA secretion) which are highly effective against many of the harmful viral, fungal and bacterial pathogens which regularly attempt to invade and infect the human system.

The Intestinal Mucosa (intestinal lining) is the largest immune structure in the human body and more than half of the body's immune cells are in the intestinal lining.  Beneficial soil-based microorganisms improve intestinal tract functioning by preventing inflammations in the intestinal wall, protecting the body against pathogenic bacteria, assisting in the absorption of vitamins and producing hormones.

In the 1970s, a research scientist observed that when a feral carnivore killed an herbivore, it first consumed the entrails, but when they ate carnivores; the meal was soon followed by eating grass!  This was quite a revelation as it is commonly thought that animals only eat grass when they have an upset stomach.  What did the entrails and grass have in common?

Delving deeper, it was observed that feral animals not only eat the tops of the grass (for the phyto-nutrients), they actually pull at the grass, getting roots and soil.  The “Eureka” moment came from connecting the dots, after reviewing research on organic soil.  Organic soil is vitally filled with microscopic life.  It is the earth’s biofilm.  But again, what was its importance to feral animals?

SBO's (soil-based organisms) are tiny microbes that live in soil.  Prior to the industrial age, soils were teaming SBOs.  Soil scientists know that today top soil (the top 6” of soil) that grows our fruits and vegetables is biologically dead, completely void of SBOs!  There is a direct connection between decades of use of toxic pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers, to the decline in nutritional value and vital force of our food supply.  Germination and sprouting at home creates vitality in our personal food supply.

Fruits, vegetables, and commercially raised meat, fowl, pork and fish do not provide the same nutrient value, or vital force, as their free-range and grass-fed counterparts.  Vital Force is measured in Angstrom units, which are measure units of light.  The theory is that more light a food has the greater its vital force.

SBOs perform the same job in the digestive tract as they do in soil.  In the GI tract, SBOs maintain the balance against bad bacteria, which can quickly gain the upper hand when we eat cooked and refined foods or are otherwise stressed.  Even the slightest imbalance can result in explosive gas or distressing diarrhea.  Digestion is a time sensitive process; too fast or too slow causes gastrointestinal stress.  Left unattended, chronic GI imbalances like constipation, IBS, and Crohns Disease can develop.

Among other functions SBOs produce and release powerful enzymes that sterilize the soil of putrefactive organisms, and thereby help to symbiotically prepare the soil to support new plant growth.  Without SBOs, lush plant growth could not take place because the soil would be too contaminated with yeasts, molds, fungi, candida and other harmful organisms antagonistic to plant growth and reproduction.

Enzymes produced by SBOs solve this problem by helping kill off huge amounts of the harmful elements in the soil.  SBOs also produce and release nutrients and growth hormones which, when absorbed through the roots of plants, help stimulate plants’ reproductive cycle.  For example, growth hormones produced by SBOs are biologically activated to stimulate seed maturation.  Simultaneously, these hormones also accelerate growth of the SBO colonies themselves.

SBOs are a modern superior probiotic, essential to restore and maintain optimum GI health in animals and humans.  Daily administration increases mental and physical performance.  SBOs also help when dealing with immune diseases, as well as many toxic effects of chemotherapy and cancer medications, whose side effects kill normal gut flora and include severely diminished bowel functions of mood, digestion and immunity.  SBOs produce a wide array of DNA and RNA molecules.   DNA/RNA produced by the SBOs is very desirable for the human body, because it carries naturally-coded instructions for the activation of self-repair in certain human cells.

Many users of SBOs have reported significant accelerations of wound healing, particularly in regards to severe skin burns, ulcers, and surgical incisions as well as in wounds that had become infected.  Apparently, DNA/RNA produced by SBOs helps aid the body in activating cellular self-repair by making available a pool of extra DNA/RNA that is immediately available to the cells, and can go right to work whenever injury occurs.

SBOs stimulate the body's own natural alpha-interferon production, thereby providing markedly increased T-lymphocyte levels, dramatically increased viral resistance and a high level of protection against chronic degenerative disease.  These microorganisms also stimulate production of crucial B-lymphocytes and related antibodies, providing the immune system with a huge extra reservoir of anti-pathogenic defense organisms that are available for use at a moment's notice.  They directly produce anti-bacterial lactoferrin for the human body, which helps protect it from invading pathogens by depriving them of their necessary iron.

Another interesting action of the SBOs is that they produce SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase) as a byproduct of their metabolism in the human system.  SOD is a powerful enzyme and cellular anti-oxidant that acts as a super-scavenger of dangerous super oxide free-radicals by ferreting out and defusing them throughout the body.  SOD is glutathione’s primary helper and must takeover when glutathione is exhausted. 

SOD greatly reduces tissue damage in the heart (particularly after a heart attack).  Plus, it can also reduce tissue damage in the kidneys, the intestines, the pancreas and the skin.  The enzymatic activity of SOD greatly increases the efficiency of energy production within cells of organ tissues, allowing them to nourish and repair themselves more efficiently and effectively.

SBOs are visitors to the GI tract; they need to be replenished daily to maintain optimum GI balance.  For it is through the stomach that the rest of the body depends.  A daily diet of organic foods and SBOs are far less costly than medical bills and a lifetime of medications.

Prescript-Assist™ is a probiotic-prebiotic supplement which combines 30 soil-based pH-resistant microorganisms with Leonardite prebiotic to increase the gastrointestinal micro-flora that have been disrupted by antibiotics or other medications and to assist the gastrointestinal tract in returning to a state of health.  Prescript-Assist™ is especially effective in addressing issues around inflammation and diarrhea.

Beneficial soil-based organisms in Prescript-Assist™ include the following bacterial strains: Acinetobacter, Arthrobacter, Azospirillium, Azotobacter, Bacillus, Bacteroides, Brevibacterium, Kurtha, Myrothecium, C. chrysoporium, Pseudomonas and Streptomyces.

Kefir (kee-fer) is a fermented, probiotic milk drink from the Caucasus Mountains in the former Soviet Union. The 5,000 year old word kefir loosely translated means “pleasure" or "good feeling."  Kefir is a sort of liquid, sparkling yogurt, with its own distinct and deliciously mild, naturally sweet, yet tangy flavor, with a refreshing hint of natural carbonation. Its unique taste and almost mystical reputation as a longevity elixir explains why many Europeans have made kefir (along with similar fermented drinks) their beverage of choice.

Try a glass of unsweetened whole milk kefir and add a scoop of Red Alert or to it two tablespoons of POM Wonderful (pure pomegranate extract). Stir it up.  It looks and tastes like a rich and beautiful berry smoothie. It is the perfect way to start the day.

Unlike yogurt, which is created from milk by adding certain lactic acid bacteria, kefir is made by combining milk with a pinch of “kefir grains,” the folk term coined to describe a complex mixture of yeasts and lactobacillus bacteria. The small amount of carbon dioxide, alcohol and aromatic compounds produced by the cultures give kefir its distinct fizzy, tangy taste. Kefir also contains unique polysaccharides (long chain sugars) called kefiran, which may be responsible for some of its health benefits.

Kefir has documented ability to stimulate the immune system, enhance lactose digestion, and inhibit tumors, fungi and pathogens; including the bacteria that cause most ulcers. This makes a lot of sense as scientists have since discovered that most ulcers are caused by an infection with the bacterium, Helicobacter pylori and not spicy food, stomach acid or stress, as physicians erroneously believed for years.

A great many inflammatory diseases (including arthritis and certain types of heart disease) can be triggered by bacteria. That provides all the more reason to enjoy kefir as part of your daily diet.  Kefir makes a tasty commercial mayonnaise substitute.  Tangy, raw kefir can replace the usual, heavier mayonnaise in many dishes, making it an even more favorable lighter and healthier recipe. 

Turkey Waldorf Salad

INGREDIENTS:

PREPARATION:

  1. In medium bowl, combine turkey, walnuts, apples, celery, grapes.
  2. Add kefir and stir well.

Kefir is very easy to make at home. Just warm the milk to 90 degrees (slightly below skin temperature).

  1. Stir in kefir starter.
  2. Pour this mixture into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and wait 24 hours while it ferments.
  3. When fermented, shake well and refrigerate until ready to drink.

NOTE: Instructions for milk kefir as well as instructions for making kefir cheese and kefir whey are included in the package of kefir starter.

Body Ecology Kefir Starter contains the following beneficial bacteria:

Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
Lactococcus lactis subsp. diacetylactis,
Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
Lactobacillus kefyr (thermophilic)
Klyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus
Saccaromyces unisporus
 
dextrose as a carrier (consumed during fermentation).

Young Coconut Kefir - You can make this fermented drink at home with the mineral-rich liquid from young green coconuts.  Add Body Ecology's kefir starter or Body Ecology's culture starter to room-temperature or heated coconut water. The culture starter contains plantarum, an antiviral bacterium, and the kefir starter contains lactobacillus and beneficial yeast.

A case of nine fresh young coconuts can often be purchased for as little as $15.00; check your local Asian market or health food store. Nine small coconuts will make a half gallon of young coconut kefir, so this is an economical drink. Each coconut contains 1½ cups of liquid. Open 3-4 coconuts to obtain 1½ quarts. If the water is pink, do not use it (pink water is spoiled, and so is the coconut). Pour coconut water through strainer into sauce pan. 

Micro floras prefer that the liquid be 92° F (31° or 32° degrees C), so be careful not to overheat. Use an inexpensive thermometer if desired, to check the temperature. Or wash your hands well and dipping your finger into the coconut water, test for the right temperature. At 92 degrees, you won't feel hot or cold. It will be a neutral feeling or "natural feeling".

Young coconut kefir makes a great healing drink for children or anyone with digestive distress. In Body Ecology’s BEDROK program for autism, one pint of young coconut kefir juice per day (divided throughout the day) is recommended. Drink it plain with food to assist digestion.  Drink it as a "juice" combined with a sour juice concentrate like black currant juice, cranberry, pomegranate or blueberry concentrates. It can be then sweetened with Body Ecology stevia or Lakanto.

Choose Young Coconut Kefir

BEETROOT GINGER BEER (Beet Kvass), the name given to a traditional Russian drink made from fermented cereal grains and vegetables, generally contains less than 1% alcohol, provides lactobacillus bacteria and electrolytes, and has traditionally been used to treat the sick. One glass morning and night is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments. Beet kvass may also be used in place of vinegar in salad dressings and as an addition to soups.  Sally Fallon’s recipe:

Place beetroot, whey and salt in a 2-quart glass container.  Add filtered water to fill the container.  Stir well and cover securely.  Keep at room temperature for 2 days before transferring to refrigerator.

When most of liquid has been drunk, you may fill up the container with water and keep at room temperature another 2 days. The resulting brew will be slightly less strong than the first.  After the second brew, discard the beets and start again. You may, however, reserve some of the liquid and use this as your inoculant instead of the whey.

Note: Do not use grated beetroot in the preparation of beet tonic.  When grated, beets exude too much juice resulting in a too rapid fermentation that favors the production of alcohol rather than lactic acid.

Beet Kvass is classically made from beetroot, salt, kefir whey and water, but tastes a little bland to some. The following recipe for beetroot ginger beer is enhanced with the addition of ginger, licorice, green tea, stevia and raw honey.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 3 liters, enough for 4 x 750ml bottles.

Step 1. Obtain a suitable primary starter culture that contains the required microbial organisms.

Step 2. Activate the starter by fermenting a starter extension.

Step 3. Ferment the sugars with the bulk of the liquid.
Calibrate the fermentation vessel at the 3 liter mark. Add 1 liter of water and the raw honey to the fermentation vessel, stir until dissolved. Add the starter extension and stir once again. Leave for 12 hours then stir gently. After 24 hours, add the rest of the ingredients as follows.

Step 4. Add any additives such as plant material, minerals and salt, and top up the liquid to the final volume.

Peel and grate the ginger and strain the ginger pulp through a piece of muslin, using tongs to squeeze out the juice into a glass bowl. Add the ginger juice to the fermentation vessel. Then add the ginger pulp to a saucepan with just enough water to cover it then add the licorice root and simmer for about 20 minutes, with the lid on. Turn off the heat and add the green tea and stevia and leave steeping for a few minutes.

Strain the tea through a sieve or colander lined with muslin, into bowl. Use a pair of tongs to squeeze out the liquid. (Take care as it will be very hot.) Put the pulp back into the saucepan, add enough water to cover the cover the pulp and simmer for a further 15 minutes, then strain once again. Add the sea salt and optional minerals to the tea, stir. When the herbal tea is cooled to less than 30C add it to the fermentation vessel. Add the lime/lemon juice to the fermentation vessel.

Either juice the beetroot in a slow speed juicer or grate it. Add either the juice or the grated beetroot to the fermentation vessel then make up the volume to 3 liters with good quality water.

Stir the brew then cover the container with a cloth held in place with an elastic band to prevent the entry of insects. Gently stir the brew after 12 hours and then after another 12 hours to mix the sediment and scum back into the liquid. If it looks like the scum could be drying out you may wish to gently stir the scum back into the liquid every day, though you should leave the liquid undisturbed as possible to assist the development of an anaerobic state. Ferment for about 5 days at 20-25C.

Bottle the Beetroot Ginger Beer
After five days most of the sugars should have been digested but the fermentation may continue for some months.  Dissolve 2 teaspoons of rice syrup in one cup of water and stir into the ferment. This small quantity of rice syrup should create enough carbon dioxide to give the beetroot ginger beer a light fizz.  If you add too much rice syrup you risk creating dangerous gas pressures.  Some sugars (especially honey) may take months to be completely digested and will continue to generate gas.

Divide the beer amongst 4 large beer bottles (750ml), top up with filtered water if necessary, cork then gently invert the bottle to mix the contents, label and leave to ferment for a further 2 days. The levels of antioxidants may continue to increase over a period of 1-3 months. Refrigerate before use and perhaps serve with a dash of kombucha tea.

Yogurt Always buy organic yogurt and avoid yogurt that contains thickeners and stabilizers. Goat yogurt contains higher per cent protein than cow yogurt, and contains more compatible and less allergenic casein.  

Avoid yogurt that has added sugars (especially the metabolically-disruptive high-fructose corn syrup) or sweetened fruit preserves, as these upset the delicate chemical balance that allow the cultures to thrive.  Such added sugars also feed the growth of unwanted yeasts, such as Candida albicans.

Since lactic acid bacteria actively convert lactose into lactic acid, ingestion of certain active strains may help lactose intolerant individuals tolerate more lactose than what they would have otherwise.   Probiotics are generally not specifically targeted for this purpose, as most are relatively low in lactase activity as compared to normal yogurt bacteria.

Yogurt is also helpful for those wanting to lose weight. As a milk product, yogurt is naturally rich in calcium. Calcium helps weight loss or reduces weight gain.  Even small changes in calcium levels of fat cells can change signals within the cell that control the making and burning of fat.  In addition to helping to lose more weight, a group that ate yogurt containing 1100mg calcium per day was about twice as good at maintaining lean muscle mass, and lost more inches too.

LACTO-FERMENTED PAPAYA CHUTNEY - CONDIMENT

Whey, which adds beneficial bacteria to the ferment, must be started a day ahead.

• 1 (6-8-oz) plain whole milk yogurt (check label to make sure it contains active cultures)

• 3 cups ripe papaya, peeled and cubed

• 1 red pepper, sliced thinly

• 1 small onion, chopped

• 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

• 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (can use less or leave out)

• 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (alternately, substitute parsley or ½ bunch mint if preferred)

• 1 tablespoon honey

• 2 teaspoons sea salt

• ½ cup lime juice

• ¼ cup whey (see below)

Place a strainer lined with cheese cloth, a cloth napkin or tea towel over a small bowl. Pour in yogurt.  Refrigerate and let drain for several hours or overnight. The yogurt will separate into solids. The yogurt cheese (also called labneh) will be left in the strainer and liquid, which is whey, will drain to the bowl. Save yogurt cheese for another use. (Use it like cream cheese as a spread as is or flavor with chopped garlic and herbs.)

Pack all the remaining ingredients into a 1-quart wide-mouth mason jar.  Add the whey.  Press down until liquid covers fruit. If necessary, add up to ½ cup filtered water to cover. There should be about 1 inch of space between the chutney and the lid.

Cover tightly, leave at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, until a bit bubbly. It helps to place it on a saucer, as the fermentation can cause it to leak. The chutney will be tangy and slightly effervescent when ready.

Refrigerate and use within 2 months. Chutney can also be made with mango or pineapple instead of papaya.  Makes 1 quart.

Source: Adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Per ¼-cup serving: 22 calories (4 percent from fat), 0.1 g fat (0 saturated, 0 monounsaturated), 0.1 mg cholesterol, 0.4 g protein, 5.6 g carbohydrates, 0.7 g fiber, 297.8 mg sodium.