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Article 6 - Kefir, Drink of the Prophets

Kefir came from the people of the Northern Caucasus Mountains located between Russia and Asia.  For centuries these people have used its powerful health benefits to survive the harsh winters deep in the mountains.  It was often known as a source of family and tribal wealth.   In fact, they kept the secret of kefir grains and its process for thousands of years, even to the extent of protecting the art and the grains with their very own lives!  This stuff truly is ‘to die for’.

In the early 1900’s Russian scientist knew of the kefir grains and its health benefits. They wanted to perform research to understand more about this mysterious grain but there was one big problem.  The people of the Caucasus Mountains would not hand any over.  So The All-Russian Physicians Society some how contacted and cut a deal with two Blandovs brothers who owned cheese factories in the Caucasus Mountains.  The brothers planned to use a beautiful girl named Irina Sakharova to seduce the Caucasian Prince, Bek-Mirza Barchorov into giving her some kefir grains.  And yes indeed, she dazzled him with her beauty but the prince still refused to hand over the probiotic jewels.
However,  he did not want to give up Irina.  On her return home he had her kidnapped and brought back against her will.  Hoping to win her love he proposed to her, but Irina refused.  She stayed captive with the prince until the Blandovs, who employed her at their cheese factory, came and rescued her.  Then, backed by the two brothers, she brought her case against the Prince to the Tsar’s court.  In payment for his crimes against her, he offered all sorts of gold and jewels but she didn’t take it.  She demanded  the probiotic jewels.  And just as most women get what they want, she indeed received the precious secret.  It wasn’t until late 1908, Irina Sakharova brought the first amounts of kefir to Moscow, where it was used medicinally with great success.
Thanks to her, people all over the world now have learned and used this powerful grain to promote better health.  In 1973 at the age of 85, Irina received a letter from the Minister of the Food Industry of the former USSR, expressing their grateful acknowledgement of her primary role in bringing kefir to the Russian people.

Microbiologist performed many attempts at trying to propagate kefir grains from the culture.  After failing over and over they finally asked the Caucasians how they acquired the grains.  They said “The grains were a gift from God given to us over a thousand years ago.”  Other orthodox tribes claimed that the grains were a gift from the prophet Mohammed as he travelled through that region over 1,400 years ago.  It has also been said that they call this cultured product ‘the Drink of the Prophet’.  But the question still remains to this day.  How or where did the Prophet Mohammed acquire the original Kefir Grains?



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  • Article 6 - Drink of the Prophets - By Michael-Paul Patterson


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