What is Water Kefir?
Water kefir is made from kefir grains, also known as sugar grains, tibicos, tibi, or Japanese water crystals. The grains make up cultures of various strains of healthy bacteria and yeast, held together in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. The symbiotic relationship of the microbes produces a stable growing culture. The microbes feed on sugar and produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide, yielding a fermented carbonated beverage. The alcohol content is usually very minimal, less than 1%. In a nutshell, it’s a large dosage of Probiotics in the natural form.
What are the Autoimmune Natural Health Benefits of Water Kefir?
They are a natural supplier of Probiotics to our digestive track. Probiotics refers to the healthy bacteria that usually feed on the “bad” unhealthy bacteria in our stomach and intestines. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to many illnesses some of which include fungi, yeast infections, indigestion, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome + Crohn’s Disease (my autoimmune disorder stems from these), skin disorders, etc. By drinking water kefir you will bring natural balance to your internal microflora. By contrast, there is milk kefir [review comparison], however the dairy in it could be problematic and thus the reason I use water kefir.
UPDATE 7/3/13 – CONFIRMATION THAT WATER KEFIR WORKS FOR GOOD BACTERIA – Review the Metametrix Gut Ecology Test Results for bacteria levels within my system. You will see the predominant levels of bacteria (the good ones) are high and the pathogenic / opportunistic bacteria (the bad ones) are low and this is due strictly to the water kefir. The only bacteria I need to supplement are the Bifidobacter and am taking a one month dosage to bring those levels up.
What are the Side Effects of Water Kefir?
Although some have reported candida-like issues, it usually stems from detoxification and only lasts for a few days. In my research, I have not come up with any significant side effects nor have I developed any major flare-ups while taking water kefir.
UPDATE 4/12/13 – Taking water kefir every morning 4-8oz. with no side effects except mucus with stool if I have too much water kefir. My body has improved since taking it and is one of the few enhancements / supplements I take now. Kefir grains stopped growing 3-4 weeks after shipment but that makes it easier to manage.
UPDATE 10/21/13 – INCREASED FUNGUS LEVELS: Review the Metametrix Gut Ecology Test Results for Yeast / Fungi and you will see an elevated level of Saccharomyces. If you read the various strains of healthy bacteria and yeast for water kefir, you will notice it contains Saccharomyces cerevisiae. After stopping the water kefir for over a month, I have seen no significant side effects or improvements taking away the water kefir. Therefore it is safe to say that the water kefir is benefiting me (due to increased good bacteria levels) and that this test shows I have an overgrowth of the good bacteria Saccharomyces cerevisiae and not the bad Saccharomyces.
UPDATE 5/17/15 – ACIDITY: After 5 months of being only on Humira 1X/mo, HCL tablets (scroll to item #3 after clicking link), and water kefir, I noticed higher levels of acidity in my esophagus, some heartburn (especially if I don’t take enough HCL from my other meals), and more burping due to carbonation. However, I solved this issue by diluting the water kefir, combining the drink with meals, and not letting it ferment more than 2 days (especially the more months you continue to ferment it). And I also determined that as each month goes by, the water kefir alcohol strength increases (drinking 1/4 – 1/2 mason jar in the morning will almost always give me a buzz in the morning).
How to Make Water Kefir
Tools Needed (Only use plastic / glass, no metal):
- Plastic strainer
- Plastic measuring spoons
- Plastic spoon or knife
- 4-Cup Glass Measurer
- Ball Mason jar 3 Glass Ball Mason jars
- Small coffee filter
- Rubber band
- Filtered or spring water
- Water kefir grains
- Organic cane sugar
- (Optional) Unsweetened, unsulfured dried fruit (apricots, figs or raisins)
- (Optional) Organic lemon / lime
My Simple Instructions:
Cut lemon / lime in half & then cut again to make 4 pieces. Add 4 Tbsp of organic sugar to 3 cups of spring water. Stir with plastic knife until sugar dissolves. Add in strained water kefir and 4 pieces of lemon / lime. Cover with the coffee filter and wrap with a rubber band for 48 hours in a cool, dry place.
After 48 hours, uncover & strain into a new Mason jar. Make a new water sugar solution into the 3rd Mason jar and repeat the steps shown above.
Here is a general video on how to make natural water kefir and what to look out for:
There are many varieties of making natural water kefir and changing the taste. Look at the video below for more info:
Where Do I Find Natural Water Kefir Grains?
In a little over a week, my kefir has doubled in size. So I should have some batches ready if you should need some. Just contact me and I’ll make an arrangement to send some off to you. I also bought my batch from Green Mom Zoe as an alternative.
Photos of My Water Kefir Process