Want to get fresh probiotics nearly free? For people with digestive issues or Chron's disease, probiotics are a great survival tool. However, everyone can benefit from probiotics, as they boost the immune system by displacing the harmful bacteria with beneficial bacteria. The word probiotic is from the word pro, or for, and (anti) biotic. Probiotics are natural antibiotics. Unlike the strong antibiotic drugs given for a bacterial infection, they don't destroy the good bacteria along with the bad.
Kefir is a neat way to grow your own probiotics every day. It was discovered many years ago by herdsmen in the middle east desert that the milk in their leatherskin container would ferment in the warm weather as they rode during the day. If they took the fermented "grains" from the last batch of milk and added it to the next batch, it would ferment the next batch with probiotics as well. This "living milk" could sour and be healthful.
You can still grow kefir at home today through special cultured milk "grains." Many companies will sell these grains to people through the mail, where you can "awaken" them to grow in your own milk. I have had the best results from a company called Kefirlady at www.kefirlady.com. She will send you grains for twenty dollars and then from there, all your homegrown probiotics are free. She sends detailed instructions, as well as cheese, bread, and other recipes for the kefir.
I make my kefir from goat's milk, but it can be made from any type of milk. The kefir grains replenish and grow every day so you never run out. In fact, you may need to share them or eat the extra grains so they don't need too much milk to make the right amount for your family.
Kefir milk can contain 15 or 16 strains of probiotic. It is an amazing product that is easy to add to your diet. It's a bit lighter in texture than buttermilk, and tangy tasting. I like mine sweet and sour, so I add honey or xylitol to mine as I whip it up into a smoothie with blueberries and other fruits for breakfast or a snack. Making your own kefir is a rewarding way to improve your digestive health for very little money or effort! Ellen