Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Colorado Mountains
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Also, here is a quickie reference sheet I'd typed up, that might help in deciding:
Milk Kefir grains are for culturing milk and will enrich and alter it to be more like a wide spectrum yogurt, with the addition of healthy yeasts also.
Info on the content of milk kefir is more easily found and so I'll not type that.
Water Kefir grains are for the use in a water/sugar mixture and will give you a probiotic drink that is dairy free. Here are some of the healthy bacteria and yeasts found in water kefir:
Lb. casei subsp. casei
Lb. casei subsp. pseudoplantarum
Lb. casei subsp. rhamnosus
Lb. casei subsp. tolerans
Lb. coryneformis subsp. torquens
Water kefir is usually very mildly alcholic, but this can be increased by longer fermentations or with the addition of more sugar or solid fruit juices.
Kombucha (SCOBYs) are used to ferment/culture black or green tea. A Kombucha SCOBY is not a mushroom or a fungus as many call it, but another symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts (the good kinds).
The key ingredient formed in Kombucha ferments is glucuronic acid, which binds up poisons and toxins in the body, both environmental and metabolic (naturally occurring) and flushes it out of the body via the kidneys. This is a natural process that your liver and kidneys would do every day by producing its own glucuronic acid, however the Kombucha tea boosts this process.
Glucuronic acid is also a building block for a group of polysaccharides, including hyaluronic acid (a component of connective tissues), chondroitin sulfate (a component of cartilage), mucoitinsulfuric acid (a building block of the stomach lining and vitreous humor of the eye) and heparin.
A small amount of alcohol is produced (about .5%) and it is lightly carbonated.
The Kombucha brew also contains Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 (vegan source), as well as folic acid and L-lactic acid, which is a substance that is usually low or missing in cancer patients, and is believed that low levels of this needed substance helps prevent failure in cell respiration and the build up of undesirable DL-lactic acid in tissues.
Kombucha also has usnic acid which has a mild antibacterial effect.
Kombucha also has the beneficial yeast strain, Saccharomyces boulardii, a popular treatment in Europe against candida infections ("yeast against yeast") and also c. difficile. It also increases the immunoglobulin IgA.