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What’s Kefir?

Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your “inner ecosystem.” More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.

  • Kefir is simple and inexpensive to make at home.
  • Kefir is used to restore the inner eco-system after antibiotic therapy.
  • Kefir can be made into a delicious smoothie that kids love.
  • Kefir is excellent nourishment for pregnant and nursing women, the elderly, and those with compromised immunity.

What if I’m lactose intolerant, and don’t do dairy? Or don’t digest milk products well? Is kefir right for me?
The beneficial yeast and friendly bacteria in the kefir culture consume most of the lactose (or milk sugar). Eat kefir on an empty stomach first thing in the morning before (or for) breakfast and you’ll be delighted to find it can be easily digested — as numerous people who have been lactose intolerant for years have discovered.

Why Kefir is better than Yogurt

How to Introduce Kefir Into Your Diet

Some people thrive on kefir right from the start and others may need to proceed more slowly. Remember that people with candidiasis lack milk-digesting bacteria, so you may have to build up your “tolerance” of kefir. Start with about four ounces in the morning on an empty stomach. Every second day increase the amount until you are able to drink a full eight ounce glass.

If you are just beginning the therapeutic version of the Body Ecology Diet’s health recovery program, it might be best to wait three to six months before introducing kefir. You may first need to clear your body of accumulated toxins and see your symptoms disappear. Moreover, people with candidiasis have what Chinese medicine calls the condition of dampness. Unfermented and improperly combined dairy products can lead to even more dampness and excess mucus. Here are some suggestions for introducing kefir while conquering dampness.

  1. Eat Body Ecology Diet foods, which are drying.
  2. Use proper food combining techniques to make kefir less mucus-forming (see the Body Ecology Diet 7th Edition).
  3. Drink plenty of water and eat grains that have been soaked and then cooked. These add moisture and fiber to the colon.
  4. Clean your colon. If a colon is free of blockages, kefir is tolerated more quickly. We have found that people who report having trouble with kefir, often have not followed the advice on colon cleansing. You probably also need to add acidophilus and bifidus bacteria to your small and large intestines. These wonderful bacteria also help to clean and improve the health of your entire digestive tract.
  5. Be sure to get adequate exercise. Exercise stimulates the colon and improves elimination.

Why Kefir is better than Yogurt

Tips for making perfect kefir from milk.

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Time and temperature are two important factors that determine how thick and tasty your kefir will be. In the warmer months kefir may be ready to drink in 18 hours. If you let it sit out too long at room temperature, it will become thick and eventually start turning into cheese and whey. If your kefir is “lumpy” and too sour, you are definitely leaving it out too long. It should be creamy and “drinkable”…a little thicker than milk. At this point, shake it well and place the kefir into your refrigerator. It will thicken a little more since it is continuing to culture, but at a much slower pace. Making kefir is an art, not an exact science. With each batch you make, adjust the time until you get it just the way you like it. Each area of the country and each kitchen seem to be a little different. Donna finds that her kefir always cultures faster for her in California than in Atlanta.

Body Ecology’s starter culture is just that…a starter. After you start your first batch of kefir (in milk or the liquid from the young coconut), you can use a small amount of that first batch to make your second batch. How much to use is included in the instructions found in each package of starter. If you transfer too much kefir from one batch to the next, you’ll create a product that cultures too fast and tastes too sour. You can make about 7 such “transfers” from one batch to the next. After that, the yeast start to get crowded out by the more aggressive lactobacillus.

  • lila

    can kefir be made using almond milk? My kids and I all suffer from eczema, and I would like to go as dairy free as possible to see if it helps. it sounds like the pro-biotic benefits of kefir could work in that situation if we try eliminating all the rest of dairy from our diets for a period to see what happens. i guess if i had to use non-homogenized milk or goat’s milk that would be good for making kefir.
    thank you for any input!
    Lila Perry

    • D’Arcy

      You can make kefir with coconut milk! You need to reactivate and store the kefir in milk between batches of coconut kefir, but it is delicious.

    • Westerfer

      Lila Perry.
      Wes here, I have used Organic Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions ( http://www.tropicalttraditions.com ) for eczema. Works wonders for
      me. Use it internal and external. ( The old saying goes, if you can’t eat it don’t put it on your skin. ) Kefir made with coconut water or
      coconut milk is better than yet. Google Coconut Oil History, it will surprise you.

      • Sandra

        our neice is very alergic to milk products but is not affected when the milk is fermented by kefir

    • Leslie Morantine

      Lila,
      My boyfriend suffers from plaque psoriasis of the scalp and having him shampoo and towel dry and then applying pure whey from kefir milk and leaving it on for 20 minutes then rinsing out really helps calm down his inflammation. I keep a bottle of pure whey in the fridge. I gravy ladle it from the top of a jar of kefir milk that’s been in the fridge where you can see the whey has risen to the top, and I strain it into another jar through a coffee filter which helps separate the kefir from the whey. I know you wrote 2 years ago, but I’d image eczema itching and inflammation which I suffered from when I was a young girl, could be helped by applying the whey with a cotton ball to the affected areas and let it dry. I had bad eczema on my hands and had to use steroid creams. Hope this helps.

  • Rachel

    Trying to find milk kefir grains in Minnesota/North Dakota…any ideas?…

    • kekee

      You can find reliable sellers on ebay. Just make sure they are reputable and have been specializing in selling it with good feedback. Dom’s kefir site is also a good place to start… you can google it.. I do believe he sells starters… that is where mine originally came from.. although it was passed on to me from someone else… but it has been great. But I think if I were to have to buy my own I would check out ebay and do research on the sellers and ask a lot of questions on directions and such. I sold on ebay for years and bought… you can find about anything. I was actually amazed to find kefir grains… I did see some people on there with excellent feedback.. and have sold it for a substantial amount of time to know that what they are selling is working.

    • http://winlisa@live.com Lisa Lash

      For everyone looking for kefir grains, I found a site where you can get some, no matter where you live. So check it out:
      http://www.torontoadvisors.com/Kefir/kefir-list.php

      I wish you all well,
      Lisa

  • Sukesh

    I am having live grains,anyone need them for cheap contact me at my required mail,we deal overseas.

  • Rhonda Hall

    If anyone has any kefir milk grains they are willing to sell, Please let me know. Also what is the difference between milk and water grains? Thanks for any help.

    • kekee

      Here is who I buy from – she lives locally to me so I drive there about 20 min…. but she sells online. She has been a blessing to me. http://endtimeessentials.com/ if it’s not listed.. you can contact her.. I think her starter is 12.00

    • Ahmad

      I have plenty of kefir grains in 2 pct milk for free. I am in northern NJ. Where do you live?

      • Ahmad
        • Rhonda Hall

          I am in PA.

      • Jo

        Here is my email fekeanu@aol.com .. I will pass on my address, I am so interested in starting this and seeing its benefits..

        • Sandra

          Ihave kefir for sale live in western canada ships well

  • Angelo Poppa

    Hi all I have just discovered Kefir and realy excited to get started on it. I have one question can you use soyer milk to make Kefir

  • Debi Jaeke

    I ordered body ecology kefir starter and did not take it out of the shipping box right away. When I read over the directions I saw that it needed to be refridgerated . Is my $26 box ruined?

    • http://winlisa@live.com Lisa Lash

      I got some myself a few years ago and put it in the freezer. It was good when I used it. I’m sure that yours is probably okay. If you want the real thing, kefir grains, let me know. I can send them for the shipping cost alone which is usually $5. winlisa@live.com

      • Rhonda Hall

        Lisa
        I sent you an email last week, not sure if you got it or not? I am interested in purchasing some kefir grains if you still have some for sale. Please let me know.
        Thank You
        Rhonda Hall

  • Louisa

    Can anyone please tell me about Kefir grains versus the live culture? I live in North Cyprus and would really like to give this a go. Can I get this from Turkey?

    • http://www.camelmilkassociation.com Clare Kuepfer

      Hi Louisa,
      as far as the studies that I have done, the grains will put about 5 or 6 times more different types of microflora into the milk than what the live culture does. So I would suggest that you use kefir grains if at all possible.

  • Tracey

    We have Live Water Kefir grains for sale(in Sucanat). 1/3 cup is $ 8.00, with free shipping (USA only).
    Contact me at; trt1@usa.com
    Thanks ~

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    What’s up everyone, it

  • jack

    feb.8 ,12 I live in San Martin Hgo. Jalisco,Mexico.I would like to get some water and some milk kefir grains.pay pal will not take My card.can anyone tell Me how to get some kefir grains.I could send a check if needed.
    Thanks
    Jack

    • Star

      Hi Jack. I ordered some EXCELLENT kefir grains off of Amazon. They are by “Lifetime Kefir”. They come to you live and only about a Teaspoon I would say but they are very strong, culture fast and grow fast!! You will have more than you know what to do with after a while so you might have to give some away! You can pay with paypal I believe or credit card etc.

    • http://winlisa@live.com Lisa Lash

      Hi Jack,
      For $5 shipping I can send you about 4 tbsp. I got mine from yemoos.com. Let me know, or if anyone else wants some, just email me @ winlisa@live.com Mine have about 25-30 strains of good bacteria/yeast.

      • kris

        hey lisa, i have just sent you an email…pls check your junk folder if you havent received my email… email is shanth92@msn.com

    • kekee

      http://endtimeessentials.com/ is where I got my starter.. it’s been fabulous… she lives about 20 minutes away from me.. but she does sell online. :)

  • Parker Klein

    Terrific information and hints. Looking onward to lose a handful of lbs .. I’ll present some opinions soon after i try this. Thanks a lot!

  • Karima Wood

    Great instruction and tips. Looking forwards to lose a couple bodyweight. I’ll deliver some remarks after i consider this. Appreciate it!

  • Angie

    Does drinking Kefir Milk sold in health stores have the same benefits as making your own? The benefits I hope would be the same but as i
    am doing my research, I have a strong feeling that I may be better off making my own. Anyone know? Please advise.

    • Dante

      From what I have read, and what I personally believe, is that homemade kefir is a lot more beneficial for you than what you will find in a store. You can actually see your kefir grains growing and culturing in the milk so you know it’s alive and doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Store bought kefir might have additives including sugar and though I’m sure it contains many live cultures, the numbers might not compare to the amount of probiotics your homemade kefir can supply you with.

  • Cath

    I am looking to purchase water kefir grains, I live in Cape Town. Anyone selling water kefir grains or know where I can buy them in Cape Town? Thank you.

    • Deborah

      Hi Cath! I have some water kefir grains that I can share with you. I’m in Noordhoek and you’re welcome to contact me on my Facebook page: Deborah Nina Fryer :)

      • Cath

        Thank you!!!! I just sent you a Facebook message and friend request. Your a star!

      • http://www.emotionalfreedom.co.za Lana Ackermann

        Hello Deborah. I have requested you to be my friend on facebook. I would love some water kefir. Where did you get yours from? I am in JHB. Thanks so much. Lana

  • Clare Kuepfer

    Hi everybody,
    We have started a new discussion group on facebook called (healing with goat kefir). If you have questions or answers about kefir, we would like to see you there.

  • Sugarboo

    looking for something to make me feel better all over since i have juvenile diabetes. Came across this website, and i would just like to know what the kefir tastes like..is it sweet, creamy, vanilla like, etc..thanks..

  • Dante

    Ok I had a very important question.

    The article on wikipedia named Kefir Cheese says that the cheese from the curd might not contain live cultures anymore? If this is true than there’s no use in this. I can eat the kefir better as a cheese than drinking it before the whey separates. Does anybody know if this is true or does the cheese still contain many live probiotics?

    • http://winlisa@live.com Lisa Lash

      Hi Dante,
      When you make your own kefir cheese by straining off the whey you end up with cheese full of cultures. When you store it in the refrigerater it’s going to get even more beneficial, like the kefir does.
      If you are getting this from the store, then that’s a whole different question and I would doubt there are more then 3 to 5 cultures.

    • kekee

      Always go the homemade route… if you can… it’s really easy. I was amazed at how simple making kefir was… and the benefits are immeasurable!

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    • Lynn

      What value is a commercial for a plumber in the discussion on kefir???????????????

  • Ayden Heredia

    Awesome article. Fantastic.

  • Sukesh

    I need milk kefir grains immediately, i am in New Delhi,India.Willing to pay.contact me at sukesh.sharma1990@gmail.com.

    • Hannah

      Hello, I have milk kiefer grains if your willing to pay a little for the grains and for shipping

      • http://winlisa@live.com Lisa Lash

        you need to leave them with a way to contact you…. ;)