The Perfect Trifecta for Intestinal Health

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist June 30, 2012

By Katherine Atkinson, of Mind Body and Soleintestinal health benefits overall wellness

For a number of reasons, the majority of people don’t seem to have very good intestinal health anymore.

Most of the food we eat is not only lacking in nutrients, it’s filled with additives, preservatives, and other chemicals.

From the air we breathe and the water we drink, to the thousands of chemicals we come into contact with each day – it all takes its toll on the colon and, ultimately, on our overall health.

The digestive process begins as soon as food enters the mouth. As we chew our food we increase the surface area of food particles making the food more susceptible to digestive enzymes. Smaller food particles also travel more easily (and quickly) throughout the small and large intestines. In the stomach, food is mixed with gastric juices containing digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid. This mixture is known as chyme. From the stomach, the chyme moves into the small intestine. There, more enzymes and bile are mixed with the chyme, and the breakdown of dietary proteins, fats and carbs is complete. Some carbs are not digested by human enzymes and they pass undigested into the colon.

Most nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. However Vitamin K, niacin, and B vitamins are formed by beneficial bacteria in and absorbed by the colon. Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting and Niacin and the B vitamins affect energy levels, metabolism, feelings of fatigue and the function of nerves. Evidence suggests that serotonin is created in the colon as well.

The colon is also designed to eliminate toxins. When the colon is not working well, it begins to absorb toxins into the blood stream rather than expelling them.You can see why having a healthy colon is important.

So how do you know if you have an unhealthy colon? First of all, if you’ve ever taken antibiotics there’s a pretty good chance that you colon health isn’t optimal.

Why? Because one of the determining factors of colon health is the bacterial in your gut. Is it friendly or unfriendly. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, and they don’t care whether they’re friendly or unfriendly. Birth control pills, not enough dietary fiber, poor eating habits, alcoholic beverages, chlorine, sodium fluoride, and stress all contribute to intestinal flora imbalance too.

Our digestive system is home to more than 500 different bacterial species, and if 85% of the bacteria in our colon is friendly then the colon can handle the 15% of unfriendly bacteria. The problem is most of us have this reversed. The result?

Diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, bloating, allergies, eczema, irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel, kidney stones, ear infections, strep throat, colds, vaginal yeast infections, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance, thrush, athlete’s foot, cancer, and on and on.

How can this be? Well, friendly bacteria (called probiotics – there are 1000′s of strains) prevent the overgrowth of yeast and fungus. They compete with candida in the intestine, they suppress the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, they produce substances that can lower cholesterol, they enhance the protective barrier of the digestive tract, they help produce vitamin K, they improve immune function, they lower blood cholesterol in some people, they lower blood pressure in some people, they aid in the digestion of lactose, they prevent cavities, they decrease the passage of bacteria or antigens from the intestines to the blood stream, they fight pre-carcinogenic or mutagenic compounds, they lower the pH of intestinal contents, they utilize oxalate (oxalate contributes to kidney stones), they detoxify ingested carcinogens, they produce compounds that inhibit the growth of tumor cells, and more!

So where do you get these probiotics?

Well, believe it or not, store bought yogurt probably isn’t your best source. Neither is the probiotic pill that you buy at the health food store. Why? Because the yogurt has been pasteurized which kills all the bacteria and then they add one or two strains of probiotics, but remember there are 1000′s of strains; and the same goes for the probiotic supplement. Plus the supplement is dried, so the probiotic strains need to hydrate before they can be effective.

So what’s a girl to do?

Well, probiotics can be found in homemade yogurt and kefir as well as naturally fermented sauerkraut and other naturally fermented foods. So when you ingest these foods, you’re actually putting friendly bacteria back in to your gut!

So what does this have to do with the “perfect trifecta for intestinal health”? Well probiotics is one part of it. Let me tell you what we do in our family.

Fresh Garlic

First, every night before bed we take fresh garlic and chop it up fine – about a teaspoon full will do. Then we let it sit for 14 minutes and swallow it like a pill.

The garlic kills the unfriendly bacteria in my gut and feeds the friendly bacteria – it’s what’s known as a pre-biotic.

Amazingly, I don’t have garlic breath and I don’t smell like garlic when I sweat.

Redmond Clay

Second, every day we take a teaspoon of Redmond Clay and mix it in a cup of water, let it sit for a few minutes, stir it again, and drink it.

Among other things, the clay is primarily negatively charged, but unfriendly bacteria, toxins, parasites, heavy metals, and radiation, are all positively charged. So as the clay travels through the digestive system, the unfriendly bacteria (and other things) are attracted to the clay and eliminated.

Kefir

Third, throughout the day we drink kefir.  Kefir is a better choice than yogurt as yogurt only contains a few strains of beneficial bacteria whereas kefir has 20 or more and, unlike yogurt, some of these are aggressive strains that recolonize the gut.

So, we’ve got the garlic killing the unfriendly and feeding the friendly; the clay pulling the unfriendly out of the system; and the kefir putting friendly back into the system which the garlic then feeds.

See how that works?!

So, what have I noticed since I’ve been implementing the “perfect trifecta” for intestinal health in my life? Well, I’m more regular in my bowel movements (overshare, but it’s the truth).

Remember that your body is like a donut – round with a hole through the center. The top of the hole is your mouth and the bottom of the hole is your anus. Whenever the top hole opens it shouldn’t be too long before the bottom hole opens and if it isn’t, things need some improvement.

The other thing I noticed is that my sugar cravings stopped. I didn’t think too much of it until a friend of mine commented that she was having the same result! But it makes sense. What do the unfriendly bacteria feed off of? Refined sugar, refined flour… So, when I have more friendly bacteria than unfriendly bacteria, my body isn’t going to crave the things that feed the unfriendly bacteria!

Third, I have an overall feeling of health and well-being and no “brain fog”!

Not too shabby for a few “home remedies”, huh?!

So, have you had any experiences using the Perfect Trifecta of garlic, clay, and kefir to improve intestinal health? If so, I’d like to hear about your experiences.


About The Author

In addition to being a foot zone therapist and the owner of Mind Body and Sole, Katherine Atkinson is a Foot Zone Instructor for We Do Feet and the Davis County Utah Chapter Leader for the Weston A Price Foundation.

When not zoning, teaching the foot zone technique, nutrition & cooking classes, or herbal classes, Kathy enjoys being outside in her garden and spending time with her husband, Troy, and two children, Courtney and Seth.

 

 

 

 

More Information

Food Poisoning Remedies that Work and Prevent Dehydration

Are You a Tummy Bug Magnet? Fat Phobia May Be the Cause

Slippery Elm for Tummy Aches


Picture Credit

 

Comments (168)

  1. Pingback: Detox | drops of health

  2. I was wondering if you know whether or not clay can be added to kefir. A friend of mine says to add 2 tablespoons of the living clay to 6-8 ounces of kefir. I have been using plain kefir and sweetening it with stevia, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. It tastes much better with the clay this way, but I never hear about anyone mixing clay with anything but water. Is there a reason for that?
    Kimberly\’s last post: Depressed? Breastfeeding May Offer Protection from Symptoms via Metabolic “Reset”

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  3. We at Smart Health Talk wholeheartedly agree with this article. Unfortunately there are over 100 different types of garlic and all offered in stores is one type from China that has had the oil removed by breeding. More oil, less shelf life as oil can turn rancid. For the clay Redmond is good, but our first choice is Terramin ION-MIN which is been tested for purity and contains 57 highly IONIC minerals one micron in size and are 15 million y/o. Geothermal activity under the deposit left the strong negative charge to help remove toxins. Find on Amazon. Lots of info on their calearthminerals.com website. Can buy power or tablets for those that don’t like to drink the minerals. Takes away pain in minutes. Heartburn or other gut pain as well as sores in mouth or on skin, toothache (brush teeth and gums too), burn, bites, and rashes so itching stopped. Especially for poison oak/ivy or even eczema/psoriasis. Works great on insect bites. In body special tetra shape creates freighter to haul away large amounts of toxins while leaving a delivery of needed minerals. Never saw anything work so well at healing. Gift from God.

    Reply
  4. Is this safe to take and also take Diatomaceous Earth without causing a major healing crisis? Looking for gentle cleansing one can do a few months prior to trying to conceive. I have been doing a number of things and the above recommendation as well as the DE seem like something to add…but I don’t want to over do it…any insights? Thanks

    Reply
  5. Hi
    I have a question is it okay and or beneficial to take the raw chopped up garlic ( I actually smash it until it’s pulverized) swallow it like a pill and drink it down with the kefir? I heard taking a pre and pro biotic together is very beneficial

    Please Respond
    Thanks
    Linda

    Reply
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  7. I didn’t all the comments so you may have already answered this – but do you think there would be any difference between chopped garlic and crushed garlic? I have a serious aversion to touching raw, chopped garlic (no idea why, I have no other weird aversions like that…) so I almost always use a garlic press instead.

    Reply
  8. Pingback: A Naked Truth Update | Whey Beyond the Naked Truth

  9. Hi Katherine. My neighbor gave me some kefir grains so I have been putting them in store bought plain goat milk kefir to enhance the store bought stuff. It taste really good but do you think it’s ok to mix the bacterias from the store bought kefir in with the grain bacteria ?

    Reply
  10. I am pretty sure I have had systemic yeasts my whole life, since I was born. (My mom was dying of cancer when she was pregnant with me, and when they did an autopsy on her, every organ was encumbered with systemic yeasts — pretty sure she passed that on to me through the birth canal).

    Anyway, I do the kefir, made from raw milk. I also am off sugar (except when you make baked beans, you use brown sugar, and when you eat ketchup you have sugar in it, along with in BBQ sauce, etc). I have been off sugar for over 3 months now, not a single bite of a cookie or candy or chocolate.

    I just ordered a fermenting crock so I can make my own fermented vegetables, and hope to take a few bites with each meal.

    I do not use garlic, but I do use clay. I use French Green Clay. It is a little more potent than Bentonite clay, and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER!! It also has been proven to get rid of the accumulation of radiation inside your body. I mix it with diatomaceous earth and try to take it every day but sometimes I get too pre occupied and end up taking it about 5x per week.

    I have been doing this for a few months now and look forward to reaping the benefits. I figure since I am 37 years old now, and probably have been battling this my whole life, It will take a few more months before I see a huge difference in my health. So far I have lost 12 pounds just with this no sugar thing (in 12 weeks).

    Reply
  11. Pingback: 10 Natural Remedies For A Urinary Tract Infection « The Mommypotamus The Mommypotamus

  12. Pingback: Links I Loved in October | The Polivka Family

  13. Pingback: Building Immune Health | The Integrated Healing Studio

  14. Hi there, I am wondering what your stance is on activated charcoal? How does it differ from Redmond Clay? They sound like they may have somewhat similar effects. Thanks!

    Reply
  15. Pingback: A Race Between Bacteria: The Perfect Trifecta for Intestinal Health | Whey Beyond the Naked Truth

  16. I tried this for about two weeks straight! But I decided to quite for a while because my adrenals were really taking a beating– I was SO tired in the mornings like never before. Alliums work the adrenal glands though, so that makes sense. It cleared up after about a day after I stopped.
    Early on though, I felt Higher energy levels, and talk about clear skin! No more acne, and quick healing! I was (and still am) drinking keifer but I haven’t kept up the clay– I probably should try just that without the garlic. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  17. As antibiotics destroy all bacteria, good and bad, how does the Redmond Clay distinguish between the two, pulling only the bad and not the good? Thank you!

    Joyce

    Reply
  18. Thanks for the wonderful post! Should I take the clay first thing in the morning before I take my pro-biotics or should I take my pro-biotics first and then the clay?

    Thanks so much! Can’t wait to start these things! Great ideas!

    Tara

    Reply
  19. I saw Mr. Redmond (the son, forget his name) talk about the clay on a video on another website (it is on their clay site, too). What I wonder about is clay is heavy and sinks to the bottom of the water. Couldn’t it possibly collect in the colon? I have ulcerative colitis, do you think it’s ok to drink the clay?

    For the person who said they weren’t up to making the kefir. I have Lyme disease and deal with fatigue. The kefir is so easy to make/strain that I did it even when my fatigue was real bad. I have a kefir smoothie everyday.

    jan

    Reply
  20. For people having trouble getting garlic down—–chop it up—wait 14 minutes—put it on a spoon with your homemade yogurt—it will slide right down—-no smell then or the next day! This is such a great idea! Thank you!

    Reply
  21. Thanks for the info Katherine. I just started the garlic at night two nights ago. I am experiencing detox, die-off symptoms. Headache, swollen lymph glands, nausea, diarrhea, etc. Anyone else experienced this with the garlic taken the way Katherine suggests? I already do the clay (Living Clay is awesome!), homemade kefir.

    Reply
  22. Hello, I prefer to only post supportive comments and in no way want to be discouraging (only hoping to be informative). If you Google these three words: Raw Garlic Brain you will get some information to help you make an informed decision. I would LOVE to find something that fed the good bacteria and killed the bad that I could take on a daily basis, but garlic just doesn’t seem safe AS A ROUTINE practice. I really liked the first article that came up on that Google search – it seemed pretty balanced. I do believe that adding a raw garlic pre-bed time dose now and then might be something I’ll try! Thank you for your article Katherine – everyone should learn more about how to increase their intestinal health!

    Reply
    • Thank you Lea Ann, I’ll take a look at the articles. Neither myself nor my husband have had any problems. I first learned of garlic from a fellow foot zone instructor and her entire family has been using garlic for YEARS without problems. I think no matter what you do, you’ll find someone somewhere who will say it’s not good (look at raw milk). :) But I do appreciate the comment and will take a look at it. :)

      Reply
  23. Welcome back Sarah! You have had some wonderful guest writers and we learned a lot from them!
    As for the garlic, Kefir and Redmond clay article ….I am doing the kefir , have been for quite a while , ordered the clay yesterday and am getting the garlic today. I am soooo NOT a garlic person so am curious to see how this goes ! And also the clay.

    Reply
    • Hi Peter, :)

      It appears that Terramin is the brand name for another type of clay. I’ve looked at their website and can’t find a lot of information on the mineral composition of their clay or much information on the clay itself so I can’t tell how it compares to Redmond clay. The one thing that I do notice that they don’t mention that seems pretty important is Redmond aBsorbs and aDsorbs toxins.

      If you’re already using Terramin and you’re happy with it, then I don’t think I would switch. If you’re not, then I would do some more research before making my decision.

      Reply
  24. Forgive me if I missed this question: for someone unable to tolerate either milk or coconut milk, can the third step be accomplished with something like fermented cabbage, for instance, or can kefir grains be used to ferment, say, rice milk?

    Reply
    • A variety of fermented foods is best. So if you can’t use kefir, I would use as many home-made fermented foods as I could. I’ve heard of people using the kefir grains to ferment other things besides milk, but I’ve always heard that after a while the grians fail to thrive because they feed on milk protein and lactose.

      Reply
  25. I have a question about the garlic, garlic tends to really upset my tummy. Makes me so gassy I can hardly stand it! Is there something other than garlic I could use as my prebiotic? And does anyone have a good recipe for kefir made with raw milk?

    Reply
    • Hi Shawna, :)

      There are many foods that serve as a prebiotic. The purpose for the garlic was two-fold, a pre-biotic and to kill unfriendly bacteria. One of the other readers said they had the same problem and ate some banana after the garlic. You might want to try that, plus banana is also a pre-biotic. :)

      The “recipe” for keir with raw milk is the same as with pasteurized milk. Obtain some kefir grains, cover them with milk, let sit for 24 hours, strain and drink the milk (which is now fermented and called kefir), place the kefir grains back in the jar, recover with milk, and repeat the process. :)

      Reply
  26. Pingback: The Perfect Trifecta for Intestinal Health | Whey Beyond the Naked Truth

  27. I have a question do zou alwazs suggest to drink kefir with some source of prebiotics? Does it mean that when I drink it only by itself I do not get the benefir of probiotic?

    Thanks a lot

    Reply
    • Hi Sam, :)

      The purpose of the garlic is to kill the unfriendly bacteria but also feed the friendly bacteria. Other pre-biotics will feed friendly bacteria too. The reason I like to incorporate this step is that once we get the friendly bacteria in our body (through the kefir and other fermented foods) it would be nice to make the environment in the body as friendly for the probiotics as possible by making sure they have a good food suply. Since unfriendly bacteria feed off of refined white flour and sugar, by including unrefined grains and natural sweeteners we’ll be reducing the food supply for the unfriendly and increaseing the food supply for the friendly.

      If you don’t include the pre-biotics, the pro-biotics still work, but I think they’ll work better if you include pre-biotics in your diet.
      Kathy Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
    • As I’ve looked at the Azomite website, they state that it replaces minerals but that it does not aDsorb like clay. From my reading it does not have the pulling power and would not attract and aDorb the bacteria, toxin, parasites, radiation, and heavy metals. I would not use it as a replacement for the clay.
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  28. Sorry I had another question aslo. If I decide to do the garlic water, might be easier for my kids to do instead of swallowing chopped garlic, how much should we take per day?

    Reply
    • I would use the water as a medium to help make it easier to swallow the garlic, not as a replacement for the chopped garlic. With young children, I would probably hold off on the garlic until they’re able to swallow it without chewing. Until then, you could continue with the clay water and kefir/fermented foods though.
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  29. I was wondering if Bentonite Clay can be used instead of Redmond Clay? Thanks and this article was really great!

    Reply
  30. Thanks Sarah, :)

    Hmm, well, kefir tastes sweetly soured and smells the same. I’ve never purchased them online before (I found mine on ksl classifieds) but you could try contacting the place that you purchased them from. It sounds to me though that if you’re using water kefir, yogurt, imbucha, fermented veggies and other ferments, you’re probably doing ok in the probiotic department. :) I know the probiotics in yogurt don’t colonize in the colon (which is what you want) but I’m not sure with the other ferments (one more thing to look into). :)

    I’m not sure where you’re living now, but have you been able to find a raw milk source? If not, you might want to contact your WAPF chapter leader for the closest area, she can help you. :)
    Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

    Reply
    • Thanks for the reply Katherine!

      Nice to know about the milk kefir – mine definitely did not taste sweetly sour – it smelled rotten and sour. Kind of like blue cheese gone terribly wrong – blaaahh! :)

      I would like to switch from yogurt to milk kefir, because I think it would be more helpful for my health problems and easier to make, and anything that makes all the work a little easier while not cutting back on health benefits sounds worth a try to me.

      I’m now in south east Idaho, and the closest chapter leader is a couple of hours away and does not know of any good raw milk sources in the area. I found some a couple of hours away, but they feed their cows grains and I could tell that the milk was not as good as the milk I had been getting in utah.
      Before we moved here I actually thought that it would be easier to find good raw milk in Idaho, because there are so many dairy’s here, but most of the farmers don’t know about just pasturing the cows or about using the traditional varieties of cows rather than the Holsteins that are bread to produce huge amounts of milk.
      Anyway, I guess I’m rambling on, but thank you again for answering my question. :)

      Reply
  31. Hi Katherine,
    I enjoyed your article – very good info!

    I was wondering if you could describe how good milk kefir should taste.? I bought some live grains from an online source, and although I followed the brewing directions exactly and kept trying for a month or so, I just couldn’t tolerate the taste and my body didn’t seem to want it.
    I am very familiar with fermented foods – I make my own yogurt, fermented veggies, water kefir and kombucha, as well as a few other things – so I’m definitely use to how real fermented food tastes. But I just kept feeling like the kefir I was making was not good – I thing perhaps the bacteria and yeasts were not balanced or that the culture was not strong enough and the milk soured before it cultured correctly.
    I’ve had trouble figuring out what it should actually taste like and act like.

    Oh, and I just moved from Utah (salt lake) where I was buying raw milk from real foods market in Heber.
    Well, if you have any thoughts I would be happy to hear them. Thank you!

    Reply
  32. Soli Zat Johnson via Facebook July 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    for some reason your posts are not loading properly in my browser. all I see is background and zero text.

    Reply
  33. Hello,
    I do not like raw garlic at all, but found that I can eat it very easily when it is mixed in olive oil and sea salt. I especially like to dip a piece of bread into it. Do you think this would have a prebiotic effect before bed? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Amy, :) If the garlic were allowed to sit for a period of time to release the allicin, then yes. Be careful about the salt though. All salt is sea salt so the label “sea salt” is used as a marketing ploy. If the salt is white, it is refined (the minerals have been removed) and bleached. There are really only 3 salts I would consider using. Himilayan, Redmond, and Celtic.
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  34. Does raw milk yogurt have more strains of probiotics? We make raw milk yogurt every week by the gallon in our crockpot (see recipe link below). When we first started making it, I used a “starter” from store bought organic yogurt. That was over six months ago and we’ve been using starter from our homemade raw ever since. How would we maximize the variety of strains of probiotics?
    http://rojerthat.com/2011/12/16/homemade-yogurt-its-easy/
    Megan of RojerThat.com\’s last post: Hooray For Sunday!

    Reply
    • Yogurt typically has only one strain of bacteria (possibly 2 but I think only one), kefir has many more strains of friendly bacteria (I’ve read anywhere from 20 – 300) as well as friendly yeast (still learning about that). The bacteria in yeast don’t tend to colonize in the colon, but the strains in kefir do. The bacteria in yogurt is great from the health of the throat and esophogus whereas the strains in kefir are better for the colon.

      I like to use both. :)

      If you go to CulturesforHealth.com, they have a chart with information on the different types of yogurt cultures. There are several strains and each produces a different type and tasting yogurt. Kinda fun! :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  35. Redmond Clay contains iron. Please share your thoughts on menopausal women taking it as part of the ‘Trifecta’.
    PS: Thank you for this great article. I have learned a lot. I am struggling with making kefir, however, your article gives me great hope. Appreciate all the resources provided.

    Reply
  36. I started with more fermented items – and became aware of candida overgrowth. It is NOT fun! Katherine, any suggestions as I consider starting on the Trifecta?

    Reply
  37. Pingback: Intestinal Health | CrossFit South Delta

  38. hi i’d like to know some more information supporting what you said about the “unfriendly” bacteria being positively charged and such because in my microbiology class I learned about gram positive and gram negative bacteria. however, I was taught that gram negative bacteria (such as releases a very harmful endotoxin when broken down and gram positive bacteria release an exotoxin which is also harmful. Any more clarity on this topic? thanks

    Reply
      • oh ok- understandable. I just wanted to know what information you have to support the statement you made: “unfriendly bacteria, toxins, parasites, heavy metals, and radiation, are all positively charged.” I’m curious as a student, a future dietitian, and a concerned daughter for my mom who has IBS (she has been on the gaps diet but still having issues so i’m looking into anything else to help her- but would appreciate the science behind it if possible).

        Reply
        • Redmondclay.com has a LOT of informaion on the clay. I’ve been to classes presented by owners and employees which is where the majority of my knowledge of the clay came from. But I’ve also watched presentations that have been sent to me by Redmond and read books and web articles. The clay really is amazing and has many uses.

          Throughout my studies, I’ve looked for things that help the digestive system and as I have, I began to realize that these three components really work together to provide intestinal health. I began calling it the Perfect Trifecta and recommending it to my students and clients.

          I understand the feeling of wanting to understand how something works. :)
          Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

          Reply
  39. Hi I am from europe and we have original kefir grains from russia, they are so alive I make kefir from raw sheep milk daily. Sheep are on pasture on mountains and kefir is so alive that even when I fill bottle with half of it(without grains that has been made already) in fridge it is so fizzy and exploding:-) It is super thick like cream cause sheep milk is more fatty than cows one. I have question can I drink it too much? I mean I love it and I drink 16-20 oz ´daily but I would even 32 oz if it is ok. We eat also homemade fermented veggies and fermented raw sheep cheeses (that is no where in the world only in here) I have lived in us 7 years and could not find it anywhere.Thanks a lot

    Reply
    • Hi Michaela, :) Good for you! I would love to try your cheese! And grains directly from the source is exciting! The grains I have were brought over from the Ukraine and the original owner is quick to tell you they came from a prince. :)

      I love my kefir too and I don’t believe that you can eat too many friendly bacteria containing foods. Friendly bacteria help the body do what it’s supposed to do – it’s a symbiotic relationship.

      So now I have a question for you, what do you do with the grains when you have more than you need? Some people will eat them some will dry them, but what do you do?
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
      • I give them to friend no one sell it here it is like gift of health so someone gave it to me and I give it to someone who need it. The cheese called BRYNDZA try to gogle it it is made from raw fermented sheep cheese it is very delicious and very healthy cause bacteria. We have very cheep raw sheep and goat milk here like 1.80 dollar for 32 oz, and cow milk is very cheap 0.6 dollar per 32 oz:-) so we make lots of raw kefir but only from sheep milk it is the best very creamy

        Reply
        • Hi, would you consider sending me some of those wonderful grains you have? I make kefir but my grains are just the opposite of what you describe. Please? Thank you so so very much!

          Reply
  40. I’ve heard that garlic can thin the blood and could be a problem during pregnancy, especially when close to labor. What are your thought on this?

    Reply
  41. THANK YOU for the raw garlic tips! The first time I had a clove of raw garlic before bed I thought I was going to die and couldn’t fall asleep! I eat a lot of pickled garlic, but swallowing it like a pill is the best idea I’ve heard yet!

    Reply
  42. Does the Keifer have to be homemade or will store bought work? If stored bought is there a brand your prefer over others? Thanks.

    Reply
  43. Hi all, :) I’ve answered all your questions on the website. Sorry, I thought since the question transferred to the website that the answer would too. So head over to the website and check out the answers and then if you have questions I’m happy to answer them for you. :)

    Reply
  44. We have been doing food grade diatomacious earth would that be ok as a sub for redmond clay? We already drink Kefir and eat raw garlic but have not tried the nightly method and will do so.

    Reply
  45. my family has noticed th same thing…we dont crave refined suger anymore…I just thought it was because we switched to Raw sugar.

    Reply
  46. Hi Katherine, I couldn’t get used to the taste of milk kefir so I stopped making it but I do make kombucha – is this a good alternative to kefir?

    Reply
    • Hi Jennie, :)

      I’ve never used kombucha because it’s made with black tea. It’s my understanding though that kombucha does provide beneficial bacteria. My thought is the more sources of friendly bacteria you can introduce to your diet, the better your health will be. So while milk kefir is good and kombucha is good, I would try to include as many different sources as possible. :) As I mentioned in a previous comment, on the good, better, best scale of probiotics, it goes:
      Good — probiotic supplement
      Better — milk kefir using any milk you have (raw or pasteurized)
      Best — variety of fermented foods including kefir from raw milk, water kefir, fermented vegetables, kombucha, etc
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  47. Careful with taking raw garlic on an empty stomach. It can burn your stomach lining. I’ve taken a lot of raw garlic in my life, but only learned later on that I should take it along with a few bites of food. Now when I take it raw it hurts. I’ve heard more people say that. Just thought I’ll share my experience!

    Reply
  48. Katherine
    This is really helpful. A couple of questions. What is the best time to take the clay? Since it draws out toxins I’ve heard that it was best to take at night before bed. Regarding, kefir, how much kefir do you recommend? Lastly, I am surprised that you did not mention probiotic supplements. Do you also take probiotic supplements?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Angela, :)

      I take the clay during the middle of the day.

      I drink (and eat) as much kefir and fermented foods throughout the day as I can. I use kefir in my breakfast smoothie, add it to grape juice for a “purple cow” at lunch, drink water kefir in the evening when I’m watching tv, and try to include a fermented food at lunch and dinner. These are my probiotic “supplement”. When you include natural probiotics in your diet, you don’t need a supplement in pill form. Most supplements only include a few strains of probiotics (although I’ve seen some with 15) and remember that there are hundreds of varieties of friendly bacteria, so by consuming a variety of fermented foods, I’m consuming a variety of friendly bacteria. Kefir alone has more than the probiotic capsule that you can purchase. :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  49. When she says to let the garlic sit, does she mean in the mouth on the tongue, for 14 minutes? And, if you take in honey as a reader suggested, do you need to let it sit in your mouth? I wasn’t able to leave a comment on the blog post for some reason.

    Reply
      • Oh, thank you!!! I was thinking that was kind of strange, but I’m so new to all of this. What does letting it sit do? Do you think if I only do the garlic thing I will see results just with that? I’m so tooty at certain times of the month. I already try to take chlorophyll in juice once a day, but don’t always get it done. Thanks for your interesting blog and information. Many blessings to you!

        Reply
  50. I’ve been raised in a dairy farm in east Europe, and made our own butter and sour cream, I always thought buttermilk, kefir and yougurt is the same thing it is – sour milk, so I’m confused, how can it be different strains of yeast in there. Maybe the difference can be made because of locations and products used. Usually, kefir was called the butermilk from the store, and buttermilk is homemade.
    I do read comments and sometimes I check the pages other conscientious people( obviously, who is reading this website :)) are suggesting , so I found this fascinating series of articles from the founder of best restaurant (Noma) in the world of 2010. I like their philosophy of preserving old traditions in this modern life. This particular article is about lacto fermentation
    http://www.nordicfoodlab.com/2012/03/lactic-fermentation

    Reply
    • That’s awesome Gdaiva! :) I’ll go read the article for sure! Buttermilk, kefir, and yogurt are all different and it’s because of the bacteria that causes the ferment, but also buttermilk is the liquid that’s left after making butter. :) Also the kefir grains are a symbiotic blend of yeast and bacteria, so you’re getting both when you drink the kefir. :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
    • Something else that’s really, really cool about kefir Gdaiva is that it was discovered in the Caucaus mountain region and supposedly yogurt developed in the lower elevations while kefir developed in the higher elevations. Scientists have tried to recreate the kefir grain and haven’t been able to. When they went back to the area and asked how the people got the grains, they said they were a “gift from God.” :) For a very long time they were a closely guarded secret past from family member to family member. The story of how the rest of the world got the grains is very interesting and involves feminine wiles, kidnapping, a csar, and the Russian government. :) Definately an interesting story! :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  51. Very interesting. Once a day I drink a mixture of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, raw honey and water. Can I simply add my chopped garlic clove to this or will the vinegar compromise the garlic (or vice versa)?

    Reply
    • The vinegar, honey, water brew is very good (try adding some cayenne tincture) but I’m not sure about adding the garlic. The garlic needs to sit for a while to release the allicin and if it’s placed in water the allicin remains active for about 28 days, but I’m not sure about the vinegar. Something for me to look into. :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  52. This is really interesting. I always thought that eating store yogurt or take probiotics from the chiropractor would do the trick, but I guess that is not the case.

    Reply
  53. Just wondering where you find the Redmond Clay? Also, when i drink Kefir I tend to get constipated whereas with yogurt I seem to handle better? why would this be? thoughts? suggestions? should I continue pushing the kefir? Thanks!

    Reply
    • I’m not sure where you live, but we have a quarterly group buy that includes Redmond products. If that’s not an option, you can purchase Redmond clay on line at Redmondtrading.com.

      I’m not sure why drinking kefir would cause constipation (that is highly unusual), I’d have to know more about he kefir you’re drinking. Is this kefir that you’ve made yourself or some you purchased (many times they add things to the stuff in the store). There is a difference between kefir and yogurt bacteria, the bacteria in kefir tends to colonize in the colon whereas the bacteria in yogurt doesn’t.

      If you have struggles with milk kefir, you can use something else to get the friendly bacteria in your gut. On the good, better, best scale, it goes:
      Good – probiotic supplement
      Better – milk kefir using any milk you have (raw or pasteurized)
      Best – variety of fermented foods including kefir from raw milk, water kefir, fermented vegetables, etc.
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  54. hi i am intolerable to all milk products. after having tummy problems for years i removed milk from my diet and have felt considerably better. i drink coconut milk and they have coconut kefir at the store. will this have the same properties as milk based kefir?
    thank you for your help,
    jennifer

    Reply
    • Although some people have used milk kefir grains to ferment coconut “milk”, milk kefir grains feed off the milk proteins and sugars and after a while do not thrive. If you have an intollerence to milk, I would definately look at healing the gut since milk intollerence is an indication of an unhealthy gut. I would also look at raw milk since many who are intollerant to the pasturized “white stuff” ;) are fine with real milk. And until my gut were healed I would use water kefir. You can find more about water kefir on Yemoos.com, CulturesforHealth.com and do a google search for Dom’s kefir (the foremost authority on kefir of any variety). :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  55. Would you do this instead of the GAPS diet? or would you do the GAPS diet first and do this in continuation of that?
    I am considering all options to regain health issues, and would like your thoughts on this?
    Thank you,
    MK

    Reply
    • If it were me, I would just start the trifecta, regardless of where you are in your diet. The trifecta has just become a part of my daily routine – as much kefir and fermented foods throughout the day as I can, a glass of clay water sometime during the day and then the garlic before bed. :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  56. I have family members who will not take raw garlic. Could it be minimally baked or would a garlic infused honey work? Thanks.

    Reply
  57. How young could a child start with these supplements? Right now, I give my 13 month old an infant probiotic supplement in his homemade yogurt and have been since he was 6 months old.

    Reply
    • You could start with the clay water as soon as they started drinking water, just in much smaller doses. You would probably have to hold off on the garlic until they’re old enough to swallow without chewing or, like I mentioned to Mary, try one of those syringe dispensers. In the meantime, you could just make sure that they’re eating plenty of probiotic and prebiotic foods.
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
      • What foods are pre-biotic? I’m fairly familiar with pro-biotic foods, but hadn’t heard of prebiotic. I’d like to increase those if I can. I’m nursing and can’t touch anything in the garlic/onion family or baby is very colicky. I recently started making (and drinking) water kefir.

        Reply
    • Hmmm, wow Em, I’ll need to go back and check my notes/resources. I know that it was taught in clay classes I have attended as well as at other classes on various natural healing methods. Let me do some checking and I’ll get back to you. :) I’ll start by going back to the book Living clay by Perry A, I know she talks about clay and parasites in there. I’ll let you know as soon as I find it. :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
    • My thoughts exactly. Also, clay has high levels of aluminum. Some people claim that it’s ok because it’s naturally occurring, or somehow our bodies don’t absorb it, but I’d rather not take that chance without conclusive proof. I do use bentonite clay mixed with aloe juice (a la terressentials hair wash) as a substitute for shampoo and conditioner though.

      Also, I’ve heard some negative things regarding raw garlic and choose not to eat it. The sulphone hydroxyl ion in garlic penetrates the blood brain barrier. Now, I don’t know whether it’s just the placebo effect, but since I cut raw garlic and onions out of my diet a couple months ago I have had a very increased amount of psychic/synchronistic experiences. Apparently pilots are warned not to eat garlic for a few days before flying because it greatly reduces their reaction time. I noticed some weird mental out there-ness when I used to eat a lot of raw garlic. It is not recommended in some Eastern cultures/religions, along with onions, shallots, leeks, etc. I see it as a medicinal food – meaning it is toxic and should only be eaten for a specific and important reason. I would love to hear any additional info on this…

      Reply
    • Hi Em, :)

      Ok, so I’ve look back through some of my notes (not all because I have years worth of notes from years worth of classes) and in the note books I searched, I don’t see where I indicated a source – perhaps because the particular scientific study wasn’t important to me. So, I checked in Living Clay and the author does state that parasites are attracted to the clay as it passes through the system. I also did some searching online and found references to some bacteria being positively charged and others being negatively charged although the specific bacteria they were referencing I’m not familiar with and don’t know if ithey’re friendly or unfriendly. So obviously some bacteria are positively charged and others are negatively charged.

      I’m sure you can do some searching too and find the answers to any other questions you might have about clay or specific bacteria. :)

      Thanks for the question. :) It gave me a chance to do some research and learn more about bacteria and the amazing benefits of clay! :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
    • Hi Em, :)

      I contacted Redmond and they confirmed the attraction by unfriendly bacteria to the clay stating that it has been cited inseveral studies. They sent me a summary of a BYU study on acute diaarrhea that shows how Redmond Clay has a “high affinity” for Aflatoxin B1 and Cholera. Here is a summary of that study by Jason Eaton in his book, Upon a Clay Table,

      “In fact, Brigham Young University did a study on Redmond Clay. Dr. Kim L. O’Neill and Joshua D. Stubblefield, working in the Microbiology department at BYU, studied Redmond Clay’s effect on Aflatoxin B1 and Cholera toxin. The report was completed on September 5, 2000. The microbiology team determined that the use of Redmond Clay would ‘…reverse the dehydration caused by secretory diarrhea by replenishing lost electrolytes and absorbing bacterial toxins; thereby promoting water reabsorption…’ While acute diarrhea may kill over 5,000,000 people every year worldwide, it’s not likely to do so for those who know about edible clay! The microbiology team determined that the clay’s most likely method of action was not due to any antibacterial properties, but rather, due to the clay’s ability to quickly and safely adsorb and evacuate the toxins produced by the pathogenic bacteria. Further, based upon a chemical analysis of the clay, the scientists hypothesized that the clay could also be acting as an oral rehydration solution. Therefore, taking clay internally not only eliminated the danger presented by the pathogenic organisms, but also may help in providing desperately needed electrolytes to the body (in the small intestine).”

      Hope that helps. :)

      Reply
  58. When do you take the clay? Beginning of the day? Empty stomach? Just wondering if this matters or how to make sure it is working optimally.

    Reply
    • I typically take mine somtime during the day, but if I forget, I’ll use the clay water to take the garlic at night before I go to bed. Some people will make a pitcher of clay water and leave it in the refrigerator to drink throughout the week. I haven’t found that it matters whether I’ve eaten something or have an empty stomach.
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  59. I don’t know about Redmond Clay, but we use Pascalite clay and it’s supposed to do the same thing. Haven’t taken it internally, but friends swear by it. We use it for poison ivy, acne, and dental cavities. Thanks for the article!

    Reply
  60. Any suggestions on how to do this for kids who can’t swallow things whole like garlic? Is storebought Kefir acceptable? Could I put the clay in bathwater rather than having my girls drink it?

    Reply
    • The garlic isn’t whole, it’s chopped very fine, but you could try mixing it with a little oil to help it slide down easier. Once it’s chopped, the allicin that begins to release does tend to make it a little sticky. Because garlic kills unfriendly AND feeds friendly bacteria I can’t think of anything to suggest as a substitute – I just haven’t run across anything else that does the same thing yet. You probably wouldn’t need a full tsp of garlic for younger ones, maybe only half a tsp, so that might make it a little easier. Good luck.

      Store bought kefir is better than nothing, but it’s much better to make your own. The ones purchased in the store typically have additives, sweeteners, emulsifiers, etc. Nothing that you really need. Once you get some kefir grains, you’ll never need to purchase them again as long as you continue to feed them and you’ll have a ready supply of kefir. Check out CulturesForHealth.com or Yemoo.com for information or to purchase kefir grains. And to learn more (alot more) about kefir (both water and milk) google Dom’s kefir. The web address is weird, but Dom is the world authority on kefir, you will spend days going through all of his information on kefir. :)

      You can put clay in bathwater, but it doesn’t do the same thing as it does when you take it internally. Clay baths are detoxifying, but they accomplish this by pulling the toxins from the body through the skin (you can also do clay foot baths), taking the clay internally pulls them out through the elimination system through processes of aDsorption and aBsorption. You can read more about that on my website, just follow the link in the article.
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
      • Thanks! When I meant swallow it whole, I realized the garlic was chopped – I was thinking it’s hard to explain to kids to swallow something without chewing it :).

        Reply
        • Ah, :) gotcha! :) You’re right, it is. I just had a thought though, since it’s such a small amount, if you mixed it with some olive oil right before giving it to them, maybe you could put it in one of those syringes that you can get for dispensing medicine. That might work?! :) Let me know what you decide and how it works for you.
          Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

          Reply
          • You can put the garlic in a teaspoon, and cover it with honey – it will go down very easily even for the youngest kids.

    • I have my daughters (ages 3 and 4) take garlic whenever they start to get a cold. It always seems to head it off. To get them to take it, I chop it up really fine. I dip a spoon in honey, let most of it drip off, and then put the garlic on the sticky spoon. They know to just swallow it, and maybe it’s easier because it’s in the honey – you wouldn’t chew honey. It tastes a little better too because of the sweetness. The 3 year old takes it easily. The 4 year old takes it because she knows she has to, but she makes sure I know that she thinks it’s terrible! Good luck!

      Reply
  61. Lisa Reina Gruich via Facebook June 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Will I still get the benefit from store bought kefir? Just not up to making my own….yet.

    Reply
    • Not really. :( Sorry.

      Once you get some kefir grains it’s so easy to make your own. Cover them in milk, let them sit, strain and drink the milk (which is now fermented and called kefir). Recover the grains in milk, let them sit, strain and drink. Recover the grains in milk, let them sit, strain and drink. For-ev-er. ;) The grains will thrive and grow and soon you’ll be giving them away to friends who want to know more about this strange (wonderful) thing called kefir that you’ve been telling them about. :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  62. Heidi Johnson via Facebook June 30, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Can you recommend more resources for learning more about the clay? We do garlic & kefir but the clay is new to me and I’d like to study it more. Thanks

    Reply
    • Yes Heidi. :) You can follow the clay link on my website for more information and a free ebook download called We Eat Clay, you can go to redmondtrading.com, you can also read Living Clay by Perry A, and The Healing Power of Clay by Michel Abehsera. Soon you’ll love clay as much as I do! :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  63. Wow some more very interesting and helpful information. I will start with the garlic today. I do use the kefir but can’t get enough milk to make it right now . I never have used the clay. I might give that a try. Thank you !

    Reply
    • Thanks Linda. :) If you can’t get enough milk to make the milk kefir, you could also get some water kefir grains and make water kefir and if you make traditional lacto fermented vegetables, you could use that too. The main reason for the kefir is to add friendly bacteria to the gut. Milk kefir, water kefir, and lacto fermented foods will all accomplish the same thing. In fact, using a variety of fermented foods to introduce friendly bacteria to the body is actually better than sticking to only one method. Remember that there are 1000′s of strains of friendly bacteria, the more you’re able to get in your system, the better off you’ll be. :) There’s a 2 minute YouTube video that’s a trailer for the dvd Microwarriors, you might find that interesting. :)
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

      Reply
  64. Is this something that is safe to use both internally/externally if you are trying to get pregnant? Ok to use when pregnant?

    Reply
        • Foot zone therapy can help bring the body into balance – physically, emotionally and mentally. Clients have reported regulation of menstrual cycles as well as reduced stress and anxiety as a result of regular foot zone sessions. Both of my previous guest posts on foot zoning had comments from people who used foot zone therapy to help with pregnancy, and my website also has additional information under the Foot Zone tab at the top of the site.
          Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

          Reply
  65. I drink kefir regularly and have been taking a Sacred Clay from Vitality Herbs and Clay with water first thing in the morning for a while, but fresh garlic before bed, that’s a new one. I’m definitely going to start doing this. I absolutely love garlic and have been devouring garlic scapes the past month. Thanks for the info, Katherine!
    Ryan\’s last post: Strawberry Banana Basil Smoothie

    Reply
  66. Redmond clay (as with most clay) have a lot of iron in it. I stopped giving my family any clay (I have Pascalite clay, Redmond clay and a French clay) because we were getting white spots on our fingernails and toenails that were never there before and because we don’t need the extra iron especially my husband. Please research clays on your own before taking it.

    Reply
    • White spots on the finger or toe nails is generally more an indicator of a zinc deficiency. Clay is wonderful if you make sure you are actually getting what you’re paying for. Order only from reputable sources such at Mountain Rose Herbs. Their product information will always tell you if it is for internal use, or for external use only. I love their rhassoul for my skin and hair, the french green or french pink for my face, the fuller’s earth for lightening skin spots, etc.

      The only thing I use Redmond clay for is to mix with arrowroot powder (organic) and use as a body powder (under boobies) or as a baby butt powder. Very nice on irritated baby bottoms, and is especially nice for fat babies with all those rolls and creases – in this hot weather it helps keep them cooler and dry, less prone to irritation.

      I also use a mixture of clay and pure charcoal as a drawing agent (for slivers or boils, etc). Mix with a little ground flaxseed and some raw milk to make a paste, apply on a gauze pad and keep it wet (with water) or it won’t draw.

      Reply
      • Redmond clay has been shown to have more drawing power than other bentonite clays so it works very well topically, but it is also designated as GRAS for human consumption.

        As for the white spots, I’m not sure what would cause them. I use clay almost daily and have never had a problem. However, I do know that certain vitamins an minerals work in tandem (like calcium & magnesium). Taking too much of one without a sufficient amount of the other will actually cause a deficiency. I don’t know if that’s the problem, but if it were me I would reduce the amount of clay I were using to see if that took care of the problem. Based on my experience your body is pretty quick to tell you if you’re using too much, the first sign being a headache. This indication would occur within a day, well before white spots would begin showing on your fingernails.

        There are many, many uses of clay and you’ll find additional information on my website, but if you’re still interested in learning more I can recommend Living Clay by Perry A, and The Healing Power of Clay by Michael Abehsera.
        Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

        Reply
        • White spots on the fingernails are indeed caused by zinc deficiency, which can be cause by overconsuming iron and zinc together.

          Iron and zinc compete for absorption in the gut and as such should be consumed apart. If your zinc was below optimal anyway, or if you were consuming the clay together with meals, you were probably developing a zinc deficiency this way as the gut cannot optimally absorb both together.

          Iron is not the villain, but everything must be taken in balance and zinc and iron must always be taken separately :)
          Eliza\’s last post: Grain-free chocolate cake with espresso buttercream frosting

          Reply
    • ABSOLUTELY! :) In addition to pulling out the nasties, the minerals in the clay provide your body with minerals that it may be missing because the soil has been depleted. If it were me, I’d start out using only a 1/4 tsp in a cup of water every day for a week, then increase the amount to 1/2 tsp the next week, 3/4 tsp the following, working my way up to 1 tsp the week after. This will help prevent any unfriendly effects from detoxing too quickly. On my website there’s a free ebook download on some of the many uses of clay as well as a short video.
      Katherine Atkinson\’s last post: 45th Wildcrafting Wednesday

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