Probiotics. Big word, very popular, sells lots, but what is it exactly? Here is some food for thought for you. For the last 70 years we have been feasting on anti-biotics (literally meaning: “anti-life”) like there was no tomorrow. It sure saved millions of lives, but we’re now witnessing the downsides of excess antibiotic use. And what do we all rush to take? pro-biotic. Perhaps we should think twice about taking anything that’s anti-life full stop.

Now for the facts. The World Health Organisation defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”. In everyday parlance, these are beneficial gut bacteria, sometimes present in live yoghurt (the kind your grandma used to make fresh everyday on her kitchen counter) or more commonly in supplements. In the last couple of years these helpful bacteria have become a darling product; it seems like you

can’t have enough of them. Or can you?

I’m no supplement pusher, but in working with clients I do find probiotics to be generally very helpful, sometimes bringing amazing results in unexpected cases. They support bowel health and function, and all of us could use some support there. Consider taking them especially

  • if you want to maintain healthy bowels
  • if you take, or have taken, antibiotics; (then they are a MUST)
  • if your normal diet isn’t great;
  • at times of illness and recovery;
  • in the case of skin problems or eruptions;
  • when suffering from constipation/diarrhea/chronic digestive problems;
  • when you travel abroad to third world countries.

In Holland you can get a great probiotic product called “Yolac Plantina” (€20.50 for 45 capsules; €35.45 for 90 capsules). My other favourite, because it is a superb product with 9 strains of good bacteria as opposed to the more common 3 or 4, comes from the UK: “Probiotic Plus” by Cytoplan, +44-1684 310099, product number 4141.

I keep probiotics on hand at all times. It’s a truly useful natural remedy for upset tummies, skin problems, feeling ‘under the weather’ and countless other applications, because so much of our ill-health stems from the bowels (naturopaths believe ALL ill-health stems from the bowels). In combination with the immune-supporting plant echinacea (the A. Vogel brand is excellent), it can often pick you up from niggly complaints that just won’t go away.

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