I have been brewing milk kefir since 2009, and as you can see on the right hand column of my blog, have posted many "chapters" about it. I admit that it is an "acquired taste", but I really do love kefir and it didn't take long to get there. Mine is quite sour, smooth and with a full body. It is wonderful, not only for drinking, but for baking, and the "kefir cheese" can be used in place of cream cheese.
I have reported a few "cures" I have observed through the ensuing years. Well... I am here to tell you one of my own. It is slightly embarrassing, but such a wonderful turn of events for me that I have to tell you about it.
About 12 years ago I contracted a food-borne illness from some tainted table grapes. They were sold in a local store at a deeply discounted rate, so I stocked up. The package that I used first had a little mold in it. It never occurred to me that would be a problem. I took off the bad grapes, gave the others a good rinse and chowed down. Big mistake!!! I came down with the worst case of diarrhea I had ever had... and it continued. After several days I was forced to go to the doctor. He gave me an antibiotic, and something for amoebic dysentery and one other thing that I can't remember right now. The icky sickness I was feeling went away, however, the diarrhea did not. And I have struggled with that ever since, every day. Ugh. It was embarrassing and exceedingly inconvenient. A gastroenterologist diagnosed me with collagenous cholitis and he said it was nothing to be concerned about, as far as it causing anything serious, so I thought, "Ok. I'll just ignore it as much as I can and not keep trying to 'cure' it." Now... on to the kefir part:
I generally only drank a small glass of the kefir every day, because for most of those years, we had milk goats and I wanted to be able to drink more fresh goat milk. At the end of May, our milk goat, Heidi, died. So, I have been using the whole milk from the store since then. About 2 months ago I started drinking a whole glass of milk kefir at breakfast. After a couple of weeks I noticed my gut problem improving, and before long, I was almost completely normal.
I am astounded and oh so grateful. People talk a lot about probiotics. The milk kefir is full of them - some articles say as many as 20 varieties. Fermented foods of all kinds are very good for the gut flora and of course the kefir is fermented.
There you go!