The use of young green coconut water fermented to make a powerful probiotic drink has been propagated by Donna Gates the proponant of the Body Ecology Diet.
The logic of using Kefir starter to ferment young green coconut water has also been extended by us to using other probiotics such as Culturelle, Probiogold and even plain yogurt to ferment the young coconut water. This probiotic drink can be a multiplying factor for all the probiotics you are providing your child.
We first started this probiotic drink off when my son had just finished a round of antibiotics for an infection in his thumb. He was on prescription antifungals and flagyl for Yeast and Clostridia respectively at the time. We had recently also been through a set of Yeast and Clostridia flares that would appear within days of stopping the prescription medication and so we did not dare take him off the Rx medicines.
Despite this he retained certain certain symptoms of these gutbugs – he would be humming and hitting his ears and he would be hitting his chin with the fist of his hand really hard. There was also a lot of laughing and noises.
The interesting thing we observed was that these symptoms disappeared within a few days of starting the fermented coconut water. That was convincing. So we slowly built up his intake to about 300ml a day. Not easy, because the more powerful a probiotic this drink is, the tarter the taste.
We started by mixing it in juice so he was having 100 ml or 150 ml, then slowly started reducing the quantity of the juice till he was only having the coconut water. Over time We were able to control both Yeast and Clostridia flares by increasing the quantity when he was having a flare up of sorts. After getting the flare to subside we would start the Rx medicine for sometime and the biggest proof that the Kefir/fermented coconut water had got everything under control was the absence of a die-off or Herxheimer reaction, along with the disappearance of the symptoms of the flare.
Donna Gates- the Founder of the Body Ecology Diet and the pioneer of this drink has this to say about the nutritional benefits of it:
“Nutritional Benefits of Young Coconut Kefir
Stops cravings for sugar, aids in the digestion of all foods, while toning and cleansing the intestines and the liver, eases aches and joint pains, clears up skin problems like brown liver spots, skin tags, moles, etc., improves vision, makes hair and nails healthier because of its high mineral content (potassium, natural sodium, and chloride), and cleanses the enocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, ovaries).”(1)
The biggest benefit of Kefir/ Fermented Coconut water is that we have finally been able to take my son off all prescription antifungals and antibacterials(Flagyl) and that we have established our control in his gut by using this drink, along with supplementing capsule probiotic supplements such as superprobiogold, Culturelle, Saccharomyces Boulardi and Threelac. The capsule probiotics are not enough on their own to control the infections in the gut and it is the large numbers of probiotics that come in through the Kefir/fermented coconut water that form the basis of changing the ecology of his gut whereby the good gutbugs are incharge and the bad gutbugs are held at bay. This is not to say we would have been able to succeed in this endeavour without a diet that starves the gutbugs of sugar and complex carbohydrates. Anytime we have large infractions to the low complex carbohydrate diet we do see the symptoms of Yeast/Clostridia flares resurface.
To prepare the fermented coconut water/Kefir –
1.We take the juice of about 2 young coconuts in a vessel.
2.Heat it gently till it is at an ambient temperature i.e. you can put it on your hand and it does not feel cold. I do not heat it directly on a stove or microwave but put it in a container which contains hot water.
3.Next we add our Kefir starter or probiotic or yogurt starter(if allowed casein) the amount of starter depends on what it is for example I would put two capsule of Probiogold or half a packet of Kefir starter or two to three teaspoons of probiotic yogurt in about 500ml of the coconut water or two Culturelle capsules.
4. Put it in a glass container andcover the container with a cloth, leave it in a dry dark place undisturbed for 24-48 hours. If the weather is cold then I put it in an insulated container with a hot water bottle for about 3-4 days, changing the hot water every 12 hours to keep the temperature inside the container warm.
5.When the coconut fermentation is complete the liquid is covered with a white scurf on top and the colour has changed from transparant gray to an almost opaque gray-white.
6.The final test is in the tasting. If it tastes tart and there is not a single remnant of sweet taste then your probiotic drink is ready.
7.You can refrigerate it and drink it.
8. You should also use it as a starter with the ratio of about 1:10 (depends on the strength of the fermented coconut water, the temperature and climate and the amount of time you allow it to ferment.) this will be much stronger as a starter rather than the original starter you used whether it was capsule probiotics, curd or Kefir starter. This is because it contains live bacteria after they have multiplied and multiplied.
If you started with 20 billion CFUs in your starter it is possible that there are trillions of cfus in the final kefir/fermented Coconut Water you end up with because of this multiplication process.
If you bottle this liquid , you may find that it becomes fizzy like beer or champagne after sometime. Again this is a byproduct of the fermentation process.
9.I do not mix the starters because I feel it may cause a competition amongst the different types of good bacteria so I have different batches fermented with different starters and I mix the end products before giving it to my son to drink
Here are some links to Donnas site on how to prepare coconut kefir: