For many years, all through graduate school, taking classes on nutrition, discussing probiotics and recommending them to others I have never been one to take them myself. Generally when I am recommending them to someone else it is to support their digestion and encourage more healthy, regular bowel movements. Having consistent bowel movements daily is really important to keep the colon clear of excessive material that may ferment and cause inflammation and irritation.
I have always had very regular bowel movements and while some signs pointed to me having inflammation in my colon the same signs went away with other changes I have made in my life. Because of these things I have never been one for fermented anything in my life. I find the smells to be a major deterrent for me but I realized now is a time to experiment and see if I can get through this and open myself up to new possibilities and see how my life is different with probiotics.
A few months ago I decided to make kimchi. This was important for me not only to explore the cultural aspects of kimchi making but also because I enjoy kimchi. Most store bought kimchi contains ginger and this is an ingredient I personally cannot have. Making my own was my only option. I immediately started adding it into my diet with a few pieces a day at first.
Immediately my bowels were not happy with me. I upset their delicate ecosystem and as soon as the food I had eaten with the kimchi got to my colon I would have a bowel movement. Now this is not supposed to be how probiotics work but after a few days my bowel movements went back to normal with one noticeable difference; I felt lighter and had more energy. I hope to keep experimenting with fermented foods and see if this is something I experience consistently with eating ferments or if it was just because of my few days of abnormal bowel movements.
Unfortunately, this experimentation could not happen right away. I went on a trip and could not bring my homemade kimchi with me to eat daily but now that I am back at home I am experimenting with making other fermented foods at home. Be sure to check back next week to see how my fermented pickles have gone and in a few weeks we will check on my scoby for kombucha that I am making from scratch.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.