I think people with digestive trouble should highly consider trying water kefir as some potential help. And…there is no dairy/milk involved at all. (if you have used Water Kefir (tibicos) before, please add a review at the bottom so others can see how it worked for you!)
So when I was in Australia in April visiting a close friend from my childhood, actually he was a neighbor as well, he introduced me to Kefir. He asked if I wanted some and I told him that I stayed away from high concentrations of milk.
But, he told me there was NO milk in it at all. I was surprised. I thought kefir was basically sour milk with some cultures, but for sure a milk product.
I was wrong.
There are at least two types of kefir. Milk based kefir, and water based kefir. He had been making his own water based kefir for 15 years now, and told me it could help out with some beneficial gut bacteria.
So, after he showed me how easy it is to make at home (everyone can make it in about 2 minutes), I had a glass of about three parts water, one part his home made water kefir and some citrus juice all mixed together.
The taste was fine, nothing too strong at all, maybe a little bitter but that was probably from the citrus.
And, after landing at the Gold Coast airport in New South Wales, Australia, I was definitely in need of getting my stomach/insides some help. Just a few hours earlier I woke up in Thailand and shot out of the bed to the toilet with a nasty case of 20 hour traveller’s diarrhea. A quick trip to the local pharmacy in Phuket had me squared away with a few things (i refused the antibiotics the pharmacist recommended but I took him up on the constipation making pill and the electrolyte drink mix).
Back to the water kefir, I highly suggest it. You can go to Amazon and order the starter “grains”. They are only called “grains” because they look like rice grains, but there is zero wheat/barely/grains involved.
Here is a link to Tibicos (water kefir) from wikipedia:
The grains are basically bacteria and yeast together, and they go in the water. You add some type of sugar to feed the grains. You let the mix sit for about 2 days in a room temperature dark place. And you are basically all set. When you order it online (or from a store if you can somehow find it), there will be directions on how to prepare it. It takes all of a couple minutes. You need to add some sugar for the bacteria and yeast to “eat” while it is fermenting. I am using pure cane sugar grains…they are a bit brown in color…you’ve seen that before I’m sure.
Currently, I drink about 100ml (about one third of a can of soda worth) in the morning and evening.
(Below is a video I just published one day after originally posting this story, so many questions, and I’m hoping the video will answer some of them and get more people to try this digestive option out, making water kefir is so darn easy.)
Here are some links to some cheap starter packages to get started on this ASAYW.(As soon as you wish).
Amazon affiliate links(if you order this stuff or anything on amazon after clicking the links below, the ihaveuc website will receive a small percentage of the order):
I’m going to share some video and more ideas on this soon. But I wanted to get this out there so you can have some insight into something new I’m up to.
Also, on a side note, I’ve been feeling really great lately. I have had zero bleeding for quite some time now which is of course awesome.
I have continued to have a pretty much open and free diet. I eat breads, cheeses, drink beers, wines, and pretty much eat whatever I wish. I do try to keep towards bio/organic foods as much as possible and I try to contain the fast food type stuff to once or less per week. I do still make my morning smoothies, but that is more like one or twice a week as of late. Oh…I had kangaroo three times in Australia, it was a very tasty lean red meat type of deal. Had it in tacos one night and baked in the oven two other times.
As for exercise, I have been keeping up with that pretty good too. Between 50-150 miles per week on the bike. Quite a bit of hiking and walking too, and most importantly getting outside into the sun when there is sun to be had.
I am asked nearly daily what medications I take. And, for years now, I am not on (which means NOT taking) any medications. I do not take any regular vitamins either. So, maybe you could consider this new addition of water kefir (which is about 50-100ml per day as a medication if you want…but no prescription is needed obviously).
I wish you all a great and happy weekend. And I will share some more ideas on the water kefir in the near future. I hope to hear from others who decide to give it a try, and give it several weeks in small amounts before you have any quick conclusions. That is what I have done.
Best to you all, and please…do me and everyone else a favor…if you have used water kefir before…LEAVE a “review” below with the 1-5 stars so others know how it went for you. thx!!
I started site shortly after being diagnosed in October of 2008 with severe pancolitis (when my whole colon was inflamed).
For me, it was a very rough start with severe symptoms. Getting bounced from medication to medication was not easy or too helpful. But, I did meet another UC’er, changes several parts of my diet, and of course the rest is history.
Leave a comment, ask a question, take advantage of our past experiences here, use the search boxes, they are your friends to0:)
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Water Kefir definitely works for me. I have it whenever possible as I travel a lot for work it is not so easy for me to make my own and carry it around but whenever I see it I buy it. The yoghurt style keffir is a little harder on my stomach but still good but yes I give water kefir a good review for keeping the UC under control.
I am also using oregano oil in between bouts of pro biotics and kefir to keep the bad bacteria at bay and not let them get out of control.
Hi! I have been using water kefir on and off for around six years. I sometimes take a break just because I get lazy. I have found it to be the simplest way to get a natural probiotic in everyday. Least expensive too! Taste great! My kid loves it because its fizzy like soda. My fave is ginger and lemon. His is grape. Amazon sells a brand from florida. Healthiest grains ever!!! They send great laminated directions and they grow like crazy!!! Now for the potty talk. Drinking kefir helped me go like a normal human. Same place,same time. Everyday. And it looks and feels like it is supposed to. Please try it. Its awesome!!! 5 stars!!!
I was hesitant to recommend this after drinking small amounts of water kefir after just one week, but after over one full month of drinking this nearly every day ( I missed a few days when I was waiting for the order to arrive), I can say with almost complete certainty that I think this can do wonders for many people with ulcerative colitis and for other people who just want to improve their gastro systems.
Pretty simple why I like it so much,
- it is simple to make
- its super cheap to make (you use some of what you have already made to start the next batch...:)
- it has allowed me to feel even more confident when dropping off number two in the toilet bowl. (Even after a night...or two nights...or more of quite heavy beer or red wine drinking...)
I hope it can do great things for many others as well.
I’ve heard of kafir leaves in Thai curry
Is this the same?
No, I think you are talking about the kefir lime leaves…used often in Thai food…and no…not the same. But great question!
Found a great video!
Haven’t tried it but sounds simple
My UC has been in remission for a couple of years after being on Humira for 2 years and then stopping it. I take mesalamine and Align probiotic now. If I take this water kefir, should I stop taking Align?
That’s absolutely up to you. I don’t think it would hurt at all to substitute this and that way you could see what might be any differences probiotic-wise…..talk to your doctor(but be warned…docs will probably think this is all voodoo daddy crazy talk..::))
Just ordered it and will try substituting it for the Align and let you know how it goes. Doctor never put me on Align. I chose it myself but would prefer something more natural.
I just updated the posting and added a video of me making a new batch of kefir water. It should be easy to find if you go through the posting above again.
Good luck again and keep us posted how things go for you!!!!
Cathy here (Stop the Bleeding free book here on your site).
I am wondering about the sugar content as I, like you, have my bowel intact and do not take pharmaceuticals. ..3 years now
One time 5 years back when still suffering I was eating Kiefer ( spelled wrong ) and blueberries a lot…as it seemed to help settle the cramping then back in hospital cause of too much cramping/blood. When home I got Elaine’s book SCD and checked illegal foods and she said it is a grain..so am hesitant due to sugar which I do not eat or grains. ..some pizza now with no issues..just a great treat for me now…so healthy now so much energy .great bms and must say healthier than ever before. .thanks Adam..you really helped
Thanks for writing!!!
And as far as I’m concerned with kefir and just about all the literature…it is absolutely not a grain in any way…the small “granules” which make up the active part of kefir look like “grains” but they are not grains.
I’m sure if Elaine was alive today she would be able to understand this difference.
And again…water kefir is different thank milk based kefir because it has zero milk in it.
Also, I eat many “illegal” scd foods now. I stayed off most “illegal” scd foods for years but several years ago things in my body have proven then can be digested well.
I wish you the best,
Hi – I have been drinking “Kevita” (store bought water kefir) for over 2 years now and my gut has improved so much. More normal movements, no accidents, no discomfort while running/exercising, virtually no bleeding (only 3 days in the past 2 years). It has made a HUGE difference in my health. I have yet to try making it myself.
Awesome to hear Simone!!!! good luck with continued success!! (I was hoping(expecting) there were others who were doing good with this:)
Sounds like a great way to get some goodies in my guts. Is it really sour?
Nawwww…not too sour.
If you let it ferment for too long…all the sugars will pretty much get eaten away and then it will not be sweet at all…
but never fear…you can add in some of your favorite fruit drink and some water like I do…and it is pretty nice.
I have a video coming out on this very soon which will hopefully have some more ideas.
Thankful for the recommendation! I’ll have to give it a try. The pics from your trip look awesome! Do you have a link to your travel blog? I’d love to see more pics!
Thx! and yes, I think you should give it a try. I don’t have a travel blog for the pics from the trip, but I’ll try to include some more. (or you can google new south whales Australia and the town of “Uki” where my buddy lives.:)
I have tried to eliminate sugar from my diet. could one use honey instead?
Honey is not good to add to the fermentation…reason being there are some pretty strong antibiotic properties in honey. Strangely enough…these properties are helpful in many ways…but when trying to create a bacteria colony…(water kefir…) it is not good because it can pretty much stop the fermentation from doing what “sugars” can help it do.
But don’t fear…most of the sugar gets eaten away from the water kefir while it is “fermenting” so it is absolutely not like you are “eating” all the sugar you add to it…
I hope that makes some sense.
Best to you,
April, what is the brand name? What company from Florida? Thank you.
I’m interested, but let’s talk taste. For real, what does it taste like?
Not a very strong taste either way. If you let it ferment for lets say a day…it will be sweeter than if you let it ferment for three days….reason being more time for the bacteria/yeast to eat the sugars away.
But…overall, I usually add some fruit juice and water to it. Heck…I’ve even put it inside of a moscow mule with ginger beer and vodka…I think a few dark and stormies out in Australia too…
I wouldn’t add it to much more than water and some fruit juice…but again…no major rules here.
Just out of interest (and apologies if it is mentioned elsewhere on your site) have you tried Kombucha. I’m a bit scared to “brew” anything for consumption so haven’t tried anything yet but am determined to see if I can get gut flora under control after reading the book clever guys.
Hey Julie, I’ve tried kombucha… my buddy in Australia brews it too. But I prefer this to kombucha. Plus kombucha is a tiny bit more complex to brew… and I’m a lazy 40 year old:)
Book was actually Clever Guts
My son brews Kombucha & drinks it daily. Says it’s easy to brew.
Just wanting something fizzy for my 10 year old that is healthier than cola and would help my u.c.
Several months ago I was at a bread making class and the lady mentioned kefir that she makes with juice. They sold the starter in the store, and it was from white grape juice (all natural). They gave us samples and it was great. I bought the starter and began making the kefir juice all the time. My husband is the one with UC and he thought it was great to be able to drink this stuff because it was so tasty. But I always wondered about there being too much sugar still from the juice. Also, he was still having some issues…maybe he was just having too much (for instance he would have it in the evening over ice in a large glass). Has anyone else ever tried kefir juice with success?
Anybody has an update on how the water Kefir has gone for you so far????
Please let it be known by writing a review with the 1-5 stars if you can:))
I just got back home from being away for a week and started up a new fresh batch of water kefir…should have let it “cook” for a bit longer but couldn’t wait this morning so started it up and will do the next 2nd batch for a proper time…
Hope you all are well,
So, my story so far – about 2 weeks into using kefir water – is that I felt horribly nauseous for the first 2 days. It has gradually subsided and now I am drinking a cup of it once each day. I feel good and I am quite regular. I do feel a bit unsure about what the heck i am doing with the stuff though. I am brewing it in a dark cupboard in my kitchen. I started with coconut water and apple slices which tasted terrible to me. Then I made a mess of things by not thinking and using puréed berries dropped into the kefir water which left me wondering how I would then isolate back out the grains. I ordered new grains which aren’t showing up in the mail. So I continue to brew with the grains mixed with puréed fruit and hope for the best. Oh, and I add a little grape juice along with some sugar water. After a couple of days I funnel it into a bottle in my fridge and continue with a new batch. It’s one big “I don’t know♀️“
I was not aware of water kefir until reading your article. I have fermented milk kefir and many strains of yogurt but was always a bit apprehensive since it was milk based. The idea of a living drink without milk sounded great.
I purchased starter grains from Florida Sun and Poseymom. I found the Florida Sun grains to be way more active so I propagate from them. One quart of filtered water, 4 table spoons of organic cane sugar, half a crushed tab of a high quality mineral vitamin, and sometimes two dried apricots. Placed near a window with diffused sun light. It is fascinating to watch these colonies explode with activity and to know you will soon drink these living organisms.
After 24 to 30 hours I strain the liquid and add sliced mangoes and put in the fridge. Absolutely the best beverage I have ever consumed, a true elixir.
Thank you for introducing me to this tasty drink!
So so cool to read through your comment once again. Thank you for offering your experience!!
Can you give any insight u to the mineral idea..?? I love it, and just wondering… does it pretty much dissolve after the 24-30 hour period? Sounds awesome/ exciting/ and beneficial all in one!;) -Adam
I add a high quality mineral vitamin for two reasons. Good for me and good for the kefir organisms. I figure these critters are similar to plants, in that they love minerals. My only problem is my brand of vitamin does not dissolve well, much of it floats to the top. What I find interesting is that the grains will move to the top for short periods and then back to the bottom. I don’t know if this is typical behavior, I like to think they are harvesting the minerals.
Thanks Adam for the heads up on water kefir. I am now adding it to my grocery items at my local health store. We have a lady locally who makes it (not as often as I’d like) but often enough.
I find it so refreshing and just feels right. I find if I have a Pizza slice as I do now (not often) and I get the slight bloating this drink takes it away.
thanks for the updates.
Locally made:)) way cool. Let us know how it goes for the foreseeable future if you can come back and update a comment..:)?? Would be helpful. Thx again and happy pizzaing:)
I am so excited to try water Kefir! My only symptom is blood in may stool most bowel movements. I am taking oral Mesalamazine, 2 different probiotics, Vit D, Vit C, Curcumasorb, and Gastrocalm.
Should I continue to take all of the above and add 50-1– ml of water Kefir each day? Can I take more water Kefir if I like the taste and want to drink it during each meal/throughout the day? (Is it harmful to drink too much?
As for the water kefir, I think it is best to start with a small amount and after a few days increase a little if you wish. See how you react. As for too much… and how much is too much… hard questions.. and probably different for everyone. But 50-100 ml per day should be no issue after starting in a small daily amount.
I still take a small amount in the morning and love it.
Thank you for your response. We just looked at our local Earth Fare store, and they didn’t water Kefir – only the kits to make it at home. Is the actual water sold? Or, do you have to make it? I tried Amazon as well. If sold already made, where can I purchase it?
Hello Adam… I’m unable to find already made Kefir water. Would it be OK to use or to drink coconut water that has probiotics in it? Is that basically the same thing? I really don’t want to try to make it until I’ve tried it to see if it’s helps. With coconut water with probiotics be the same thing?
I love this stuff. I’ve been making water kefir for months now. I started with milk kefir which after 3 weeks cured my ulcerative colitis. (That felt like a miracle) Then I was making both milk and water kefir. Now I only make water kefir. I love this stuff. It’s replaced diet soda for me. I drink 2 large glasses a day. I process it two days in the cupboard with kefir grains, sugar, date, lemon slice. Then strain it and add 1/4 C. mashed triple berry blend. (Thawed from frozen) Strain and drink a glass after 12 hours. (Place extra in refrigerator) I make 4 quarts at a time, every other day for me and hubby to share. I haven’t had one problem with UC since. When I go on vacation I buy kefir water from the grocery store and drink a bottle a day. (KeVita Ginger Lemon is my favorite)
Way way cool Diane! And the mashed berry addition sounds like three thumbs up too!! Yumyummmmers
I probably should add that I hadn’t had milk in at least 10 years before I tried the milk kefir. I watched some videos by Kenny Honnas and decided to give his protocol a go. (I found a raw milk truck that delivered near me) I made my own raw milk kefir (from kefir grains) even though milk gives me eczema. Ulcerative Colitis is worse. (for me anyway) But I did not get eczema from the raw milk kefir. And I used the milk kefir as the base for a blueberry/banana shake I drank twice a day. (Recipe from Kenny Honnas) But I’m still leery of milk and I was gaining weight and so I eventually gave it up, but only because I was also fermenting the water kefir. But If the UC comes back, the first thing I will do is go and buy more raw milk for milk kefir. (I was diagnosed with UC 9/2019 after 3 months of hell. By the end of the month it was over and as of 2/2020 has not returned, though I know it can. Fingers crossed!) Good luck, everyone!