Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alternative Medicine, Probiotics, and Other Crazy Stuff

I like to think that I'm a fairly green, crunchy earth mama.  I buy organic/local as much as my budget and time constraints allow.  I recycle.  I own my own chickens.  I have a garden (got the last of the dried herbs put up today). 

(Note to self: If you allow herbs to dry outside in September, they will get coated in ragweed spores.  Bad idea when you're massively allergic to ragweed.)

(Note to others: If you see me sneezing uncontrollably in September, chalk it up to ragweed.  I'm not contagious.  Promise.)

Anyway, even though I try to do these things, I'm probably not as earthy as many others.  I'm pretty conventional when it comes to medicine.  I've never gotten very far into the alternative medicine scene.  Vitamins, sure.  I even have some probiotic pills stashed somewhere and push them onto the kids whenever they have to take antibiotics for sinus infections or whatever.  I'm such a drug junkie.  But vitamins do not alternative medicine make.  So when one of my friends brought some water kefir grains to a get-together and started talking about the probiotic benefits, I was curious.  I stared at a jar that the hostess had sitting on her dining room table and wondered if it was really drinkable.  The girl who had brought the grains promised that it tasted like apple juice and that she and her kids enjoyed it.  Finally, I made the decision and brought the grains home.  I popped them in a quart Mason jar with some sugar and molasses (healthy stuff, right?), filled it up with water, gave it a swish with a spoon, and let it sit.  For 48 hours.  On my kitchen counter.  Nobody commented on it.

This morning I picked it up and watched some bubbles float to the surface and figured it had probably set long enough.  I put some ice cubes in a Marvin the Martian glass (because Marvin the Martian rocks!) and drained some of the kefir over them.  I strained the rest into a pitcher and stared at the cup of brownish liquid for a moment before actually feeling brave enough to take a sip.  It was surprisingly good, so I drank a little more and then decided to see what M1 thought of it.  (Bear in mind this is the boy who thinks tonic is delicious.)

He loved it.  I asked him what he thought it was, and he said, "Ginger ale?"  Then he chugged the entire glass and announced that if it was ginger ale, it was the best ginger ale EVER and could he have more?  I told him what it really was and showed him the restarted grains.  He was fascinated.  I'm sure he'll finish off the pitcher later.  (Turns out, by the way, that water kefir grains are, in fact, used for ginger beer.  Who knew?)

Once I'd tried it and liked it, I decided to see what the Mayo Clinic had to say about water kefir... or just kefir in general.  As it turns out, both the Mayo Clinic and the Huffington Post are pretty positive about its effects.  That's good enough for me.

Now to check more into biofeedback to see if it might help M1 with his ADHD...


hornblower said...

I only know this kind of kefir

Is this the kind of thing you made?

Sarah said...

Nope, I made water kefir, which is different to regular kefir in that it's water-based, not milk-based. Regular kefir and water kefir are somewhat different, although they are both nutritious. Here's a good article I found on the differences: I assume this site knows more than I do. ;)

Brilliant Creations said...

I'm so glad to read this!!! I may have to cast some more voodoo spells your way after we let this one simmer for a spell ;)