We live in modern times when it seems everything can be achieved through modern science and advanced technology, but often when we are seeking for personal answers and solutions to our problems, paths lead us to ancient knowledge and traditional skills. I’m talking about the time when the source of human reason and wisdom came from close association and respect for nature and its gifts. And for this reason they have learned to appreciate and take advantage of everything nature gives generously.
Before the development of modern technology when it all came down to man and nature, when there were no freezers and refrigerators, people were digging holes where they buried their supplies to ensure food sources at the time of its scarcity. Food, vegetables collected in clay pots were buried in the hole. Over time, under the influence of temperature, they began to develop natural lactic bacteria and fungi whose presence has led to a process of pickling, or fermentation. The fermentation process allowed them to preserve otherwise perishable foods such as vegetables and dairy products by naturally extending the expiration date.
Although the primary reason for using this method was food preservation, fermented foods have many other benefits. Fermented foods are actually homemade probiotics. It is known that a healthy intestinal flora, correct and complete breakdown of food and regular digestion is the key to preserving our health and to building a good, strong immunity. Lactic-acid probiotic bacteria that inhabit the interior of the intestine, are an important part of the immune system.
Today’s modern diet rich in simple sugars and processed foods, is one of the main reasons for the impoverishment of the intestinal flora. Dysbiosis, an imbalance of intestinal flora caused by the excessive multiplication of harmful bacteria and fungi leads to a variety of digestive problems: bloating, diarrhea or constipation, pain in the gut and incomplete digestion of food and lack of effective assimilation of nutrient content. All this leads to rotting of food particles in the intestinal tract, the creation and accumulation of toxins and represents an excellent medium for the further development of harmful fungi and bacteria. Stressful lifestyles, frequent use of antibiotics and other synthetic drugs are even more damaging to the optimal balance of the intestinal flora.
Probiotics are ‘good microorganisms’ , mostly bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health. They regulate the gut flora (gut microbiota, or gastrointestinal microbiota), prevent and treat diarrhea, improve and strengthen the immune system. Probiotics prevent the disbalance of the normal gut flora during a course of antibiotics.
Homemade probiotics can be used in treating or preventing various conditions such as Candida overgrowth, irritable bowel symptom (IBS), bloating, gas, diarrhea and to strengthen the immune system. Homemade probiotics keep a balance between the ‘bad’ and the ‘good’ bacteria and maintain a proper digestive health.
There is also some research that suggest that homemade probiotics can help with other conditions such as: skin conditions (eczema), vaginal health, urinary tract health, oral health, preventing allergies.
Easy Homemade probiotics
You can buy probiotics in a pill or powder form in most drugstores or health food stores, but they can contain additives and can be pretty expensive, sometimes even 30 dollars for a bottle. Here we will show you an easy and inexpensive way to make homemade probiotics and include them in your diet. Homemade probiotics are mostly fermented drinks, soups or foods that contain various strains of beneficial bacteria that belong to two main groups: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. For this homemade probiotics you won’t need any expensive equipment nor a starter culture.
The first on our list of homemade probiotics is Cabbage Rejuvelac. Cabbage rejuvalac is a fermented drink made from cabbage. This is a very simple and easy recipe.
- 3 cups of cabbage
- 1 cup of water
Method of preparation: Blend the cabbage with the water and then pour it in a glass jar
and cover it with a towel. Let it sit in a dry place at room temperature for 3 days in order to ferment. After the 3 days, strain the liquid using a cheesecloth/gauze. Throw away the solid pulp from the cabbage. The liquid part is your homemade probiotic – cabbage rejuvelac. Store it in the fridge and use it up within 7 days. You can consume 2 cups of the cabbage rejuvelac every day. But you’ll want to start slowly and gradually increase your dose to 2 cups.
This probiotic drink has a high nutritional value. It is rich in proteins and enzymes and it also contains the following vitamins: B, K and E. This drink improves digestion and detoxifies the body. It is made mostly from wheat grains, but you can use a variety of different grains such as : rye or buckwheat and quinoa (if you want a gluten free option).
- 1 cup of wheat
Method of preparation: Soak 1 cup of wheat in a glass jar. Add enough water to cover the
wheat with about an inch of water on top. Cover with a gauze/cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band. Soak for 24 hours. After 24 hours of soaking, pour off the water and rinse the wheat with room temperature water. Rinse 2 to 3 times. Drain all of the water out of the jar. Cover with a a gauze/cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band. Store the jar in a in dark place at room temperature. The room should not be too hot.
Let it sit until you start to see little sprouts on the wheat. Then you will know that it is ready. Add about 2-3 cups of purified room temperature water to the sprouts and place the jar in a dark place at room temperature for 2 days. Gently stir the liquid in the jar twice a day. After two days, it should be ready for consumption. Strain the liquid and store it in a refrigerator for up to one week. Drink 1/4 to 1/2 cups daily. The color should have a very light yellow tint. Do not drink it if it has a taste like a sour milk.
This is a recipe for a various different homemade probiotics and you can make it with various combinations of different vegetables. Here is one example:
- kale, onions, garlic, carrots, fresh ginger.
Method of preparation: Chop into a bowl some kale, onions, garlic, carrots, fresh ginger.
Season to taste with a little Himalayan salt, dry chopped peppers, a few grains of cumin. Stir with a wooden spoon, and put the veggies in a big glass jar. Add enough water to cover the veggies with about an inch of water on top and cover with a clean gauze/cheesecloth. Every day stir the mixture with a wooden spoon and leave it for a few days (depending on the temperature) at room temperature.
When you reach the required sour taste eat the fermented veggies as a salad or a snack. But don’t throw away the liquid. The liquid from this fermented salads ( homemade probiotics ) are full of vitamins, good bacteria and are really beneficial.
Homemade probiotics and any fermented foods have a greater risk of yeast and bacterial contamination. So, make sure you always clean the jars thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Be extra careful if any of your homemade probiotics have a strong smell or taste, unusual discoloration of the liquid or strange growths in the water or the jar.
If you have a compromised immune system or any other medical condition, always consult with your physician before you make and consume your own fermented foods and other homemade probiotics.