Coconut Kefir: Culture from Caucasus

in naturalmedicine •  19 days ago 

Legend has it the Prophet Mohammed gave to first kefir grains to the people of the Caucasus Mountains, the mountain range which divides Europe and Asia and stretches from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Legend also has it that this elixir of life and secret to vitality was kept hidden by the ancient Caucasian people for over 1,400 years. Until now.

There I was today in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, merrily delivering our 100% natural Insect Repellent to Amrita Garden, one of our favourite vegan-Japanese-macrobiotic cafes, when I saw a big tray of freshly cultured coconut kefir being plonked on the table, ready to go in the fridge.


I am asked soooo often by friends and customers about kefir: what is it, what the heck is it good for, and where can they get it?

So, first things first.

The simplest way to explain kefir is to say that it is a microscopic community. Each kefir grain is a tiny, complex ecosystem of its own comprising yeasts, lactic acid bacteria, various proteins, fats and sugars. Kefir grains look like coarse grains of sugar:

Kefir water 2.jpg

When they're fresh and active, they feel gelatinous; when they're dry they feel like coarse sand.

How do you use them? You add grains to either a watery substance or a milky one. Water kefir grains for watery things, and obviously milk grains for milk based liquids. And simply ferment at room temperature.

What is kefir good for? It's a natural, readily-bio-available probiotic, so it has a plethora of uses:

  • Repopulating the microbiome after illness or antibiotics
  • Boost immune system
  • Mood imbalances
  • Allergies, eczema & psoriasis
  • Sleeplessness
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Assist hormonal balancing

Some progressive allopathic orthopedic specialists recognize high-potassium kefir as an important bone-building food. Given that over 90% of the feel-good hormone, seratonin, is produced in the gut in the presence of 'good' bacteria, kefir is especially helpful to manage low level depression.

There is a superb article from the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology which explores, and cites a myriad of clinical studies, the microbiological, technical and therapeutic properties of kefir. It's well worth a look if you'd like to learn more, and you can find it here. To quote this academic review:

Historically, kefir has been recommended for the treatment of several clinical conditions such as gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, allergies, and ischemic heart disease. However, the variability inherent in kefir production conditions in different assays makes it difficult to conduct comparisons between reported scientific results.

So FINDING freshly cultured coconut kefir in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is pretty wonderful!! Amrita Garden (Sarmlarn Soi 5) has it regularly, as do our friends as Blue Diamond The Breakfast Club in Moon Muang Soi 9.

Next time you enjoy a meal at either place, slurp down some kefir before your meal and prepare yourself to level up to better natural health. Not in Thailand or anywhere near? Get yourself some kefir grains (I think @homesteaderscoop have) and GET ON IT.


BlissednBlessed in my Thai natural world.

This article was originally published on my own blog, My Natural Thai Life. Check it out if you're interested in all things natural and Thai, or planning to visit this way (for #SF4 ??!!)

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Good to know that you can find freshly cultured coconut kefir in Chiang Mai. If I would travel to Asian anytime I would be really curious to taste it. I think kefir is very good to aid digestion. Our body needs good bacteria to be healthy. Thanks for your article! :-)

Glad you enjoyed - kefir has become a world-wide phenomenon thanks to the internet - I got my first grains from the health food store here, and then "cross-bred" them with kefir grains gifted to me from a friend in Switzerland. Check your local health food store and you may be surprised what they have in the fridge. :)

do you know how to sustain the grains, culture them? If yes, please speak/post about it and bring some grains to SF4 please :-)

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You "feed them" by moving them to a fresh batch of coconut milk or water, and they literally grow. The local health food store here in Chiang Mai gives the grains away for free if you ask. If you have too many or are going away, you can either dry them out (they become dormant) or store in the fridge for a short while. Loads of sites online about caring for kefir - so much incredible knowledge. I will try to post more about it and yes, happy to being grains along to #SF4 :)

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I just finished making a batch of homemade sauerkraut, but it would be fun to delve into kefir to further my experiments! I see lots of options in the store for different varieties--usually milk or a few non-dairy versions. Though I'll have to see if I can find some actually fresh-made locally if I don't get a chance to try making some at home any time soon. I'm definitely all about keeping all those little gut bugs happy. :)

I'm a home-made raw probiotic sauerkraut girl too! Yummo!!

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I can't BEAR the thought of milk kefir, mainly as I can't bear the taste of cow's milk. But coconut kefir, I can come at. Yum. I did try water kefir, but I couldn't keep up with it. I might try it again when I have more time. Delicious - now have me a craving, daggoneit.

I couldn't keep up with it either which was my downfall but I'd love to try it again! Now to find the elusive grains as it isn't a thing around here yet.

Wonderful, my friends here in South Africa on the south Cape coast are into kefir, kumbucha and saurkraut and it is available here.

Wow I have never had coconut kefir. I’ve only experienced the ones you get at the store that are packed with probiotics. It was good seeing it in this light because I didn’t realize some of the benefits. I think if you can get your hands on anything fresh it’s always better. It’s awesome you live in an environment where you can obtain such treasures.

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I have tried water kefir before and it was amazing, it really helped me when i had stomach issues last year. I love the idea of coconut Kefir that sounds amazing, is it in the milk or water of the coconut?

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Coconut Keifer sounds so perfect - much better than milk-based which I don't really drink. I'm going to have to hunt down some grains to get started.