The tibicos are known by many names such as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals, California Bees and Tibetan mushrooms. They are a culture of bacteria and yeast held in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. The microbes present in tibicos act in symbiosis to maintain a stable culture. Tibicos can do this in many different sugary liquids, feeding off the sugar to produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide gas which carbonates the drink.
Tibicos are found around the world, with no two cultures being exactly the same. Typical tibicos have a mix of Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria with yeasts from Saccharomyces, Candida, Kloeckera and possibly others. Lactobacillus brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide (dextran) that forms the grains.
Tibicos are also sometimes referred to as Mother Theresa's miraculous free enzyme drink. Supposedly, Mother Theresa of Calcutta travelled to the Himalayas and obtained some of these tibicos from the Tibetan monks so she could distribute them amongst India’s indigent folks -- to improve their health or cure their illnesses. However, there was a condition: it must never be sold to anyone. It was to be shared for free instead. When Mother Theresa visited the Philippines, she brought along with her some tibicos as a gift for the Filipinos. Nevertheless, tibicos are not exclusively for the “poor and needy.” Anyone can drink it and benefit from its miraculous healing power. Most people obtain tibicos from their friends and relatives, while others from their parish church.
Some of the preventive and curative properties of this enzyme drink are:
- It cures migraine and headache.
- It strengthens bronchial tubes and the lungs. It cures asthma, reduces phlegm and removes cough.
- It improves the function of the liver, pancreas, bile ducts. It cures diarrhea, it helps in the process of digestion and helps to avoid gastritis and ulcers.
- It controls cholesterol, softens hardened arteries and veins, lower sugar levels, controls arterial blood pressure, and corrects hemorrhoids.
- It helps in the prevention of gall stone formation, or if they are present, tibicos dissolve it little by little. It also cures different illnesses of the bladder, and helps one to urinate regularly and well.
- It cures insomnia and dizziness. Removes pain produced by the nerves.
- It burns fat. And for those who are thin, tibicos help them remain in good health (it is recommended that one should take 3 glasses of tibicos before breakfast.
- It avoids pain associated with aging. It reduces the effect of hormonal changes.
- It cures herpes, cataracts in the eyes, acne, and other skin problems.
For further information, just google “tibicos.” Many websites and blogsites, including YouTube, provide useful information and directions on how to prepare tibicos enzyme drinks.
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are the spark of life -- they run your entire body. You couldn't digest or absorb food, and thus would die without them. Enzymes are specific catalysis which join with coenzymes (vitamins and minerals) to allow use by your body.
Vitamins and minerals are familiar to all, but you may not realize that vitamins aren't activated until they join enzymes.
Most people have a very pronounced enzyme deficiency. This lack of enzymes leads to all sorts of medical complications. The following is a quote from Dr. Edward Howell, author of Enzyme Nutrition. He was the recognized leading expert of enzymes and their supplementation.
"Our Body's life force, vitality, vital force, strength, nerve energy or whatever you choose to call it has enzymes at its core. Without the life energy of enzymes we would be nothing more than a pile of lifeless chemical substances - vitamins, minerals, water and proteins. In both maintaining health and in healing, enzymes, and only enzymes, do the actual work. They are what we call, in metabolism, the body's labor force. Each one of us is given a limited supply of bodily enzyme energy at birth.
This supply, like the energy supply in a new battery, has to last a lifetime. The faster you use up your enzyme supply, the shorter your life. A great deal of our enzyme energy is wasted haphazardly throughout life. The habit of cooking our food and eating it processed with chemicals; and the use of alcohol, drugs, and junk food all draw out tremendous quantities of enzymes from our limited supply.
Frequent colds and fevers and exposure to extremes of temperature also deplete the supply. A body in such weakened, enzyme-deficient state is a prime target for cancer, obesity, heart disease, or other degenerative problems. A lifetime of such abuse often ends in the tragedy of death at middle age."
The saying 'You are what you eat' is only partly correct. The truth is, you are what you digest. We cannot expect to be healthy if our digestive system isn't functioning properly. Enzymes are essential to a healthy digestive system and a healthy body because they help transform undigested food into nutrients.
An "enzyme" acts in certain ways in the body to do specific jobs such as:
1. Digest food
2. Break down toxins
3. Cleanse the blood
4. Strengthen the immune system
5. Build protein into muscle
6. Contract muscles
6. Eliminate carbon dioxide from the lungs, and
7. Reduce stress on the pancreas and other vital organs.
Enzymes are the workers in your body -- they carry out every chemical reaction. To have a healthy body you need both workers (enzymes) and building materials. The building materials are proteins (amino acids), minerals, and vitamins. All of these are necessary to build a healthy body. Trying to function without all the necessary enzymes is the reason for most body malfunctions.
The first person to actively study enzymes was Dr. Edward Howell in the 1930s. He determined that your quality of life and energy level depend on enzymes. If you're low on enzymes then you will have health problems.
Types of Enzymes
There are three major classes of enzymes:
(1) metabolic enzymes (enzymes which work in blood, tissues, and organs),
(2) food enzymes from raw food, and
(3) digestive enzymes.
Nature has placed enzymes in food to digest everything you eat: starches, fats, protein, fiber, sugars, and dairy foods - instead of forcing the enzymes secreted in our bodies to do all of the work.
There are seven categories of food enzymes:
(1) Lipase, which serves to break down fat;
(2) Protease, which works to break down protein;
(3) Cellulase, which assists to break down fibers;
(4) Amylase to break down starch;
(5) Lactase to break down dairy foods;
(6) Sucrase to break down sugars; and
(7) Maltase to break down grains.
There are two ways to preserve and replenish our enzyme level: by eating raw food and by taking enzyme supplements.
Why Take Enzymes?
We inherited an enzyme reserve at birth and this quantity is decreased as time goes by from an enzyme deficient diet. As we become enzyme deficient, we age faster. The more we store up our enzyme reserve, the healthier we'll be.
A nursing mother provides her baby with all the enzymes it needs to digest her milk. Have you ever noticed that the stool of a breast-fed baby doesn't stink? It's only when a baby starts eating cooked, processed food that his stool begins to stink.
This happens because the cooked food won't digest properly and travels, undigested, into the small intestine. (Once we cook food at high temperatures of 118 degrees F. or more, enzymes are destroyed and no longer work.) It's the beginning of the toxemia cycle (undigested food putrefying in the bowel tract that continues to poison the blood), which is the root of all disease.
It's been estimated that 80% of diseases are caused by improperly digested foods and their by-products being absorbed into the body ("Survival into the 21st Century" by Viktoras Kulvinskas).
Who Should Take Enzymes?
If you're sick or trying to recover from an acute or a chronic disease, taking enzyme supplements would be beneficial. People with hypoglycemia, endocrine gland deficiencies, obesity, anorexia nervosa, and stress-related problems, could all benefit from multiple and individual enzyme supplementation. During all acute and chronic illnesses, enzymes are used up more rapidly than normal.
Individual enzymes have also been used to alleviate skin ailments (psoriasis, acne, eruptions, stretch marks, etc.), chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease, circulatory problems, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, fatigue, Epstein-Barr Syndrome, asthma, allergies, arthritis, swelling, bee stings, joint mobility, diabetes, respiratory ailments, viruses, bacteria, mutant cells, fever, all types of infections (including colds, flu, sore throat, yeast), parasites, Candida albicans, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, tumors, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD and insomnia.
What if you're already healthy and active? You may already be taking vitamins, minerals, and other concentrated foods. What makes all of these elements work? Enzymes.
Athletes and other active individuals can benefit by taking enzyme supplements because any time the body temperature is raised, as during exercise, enzymes are used up more rapidly than normal. Carbohydrates are burned more rapidly, and more nutrients are needed for fuel supplies. The active individual usually eats mostly cooked food so it's like burning the candle at both ends. Enzymes are used up rapidly and little is brought in to replenish the supply.
As you grow more health-conscious, you strive for a greater enjoyment of life. More energy, and a stronger mind and body will be needed to face the stresses that the future will bring. Enzymes can be instrumental in achieving such a goal.
How Do You Know The Enzymes Are Working?
One of the ways is in what you DON'T experience: no indigestion, no bloating, no stomach gas, no heartburn, or flatulence caused by incomplete digestion.
What you will experience is an increase in formed bowel movements - at least 1 to 2 times a day, usually after every meal - "one meal in, one meal out." Also, these movements will not have a foul odor. When this happens, it means your food is being digested properly and used by your body instead of sitting in your intestines to rot and putrefy.
You may experience mild symptoms of cleansing such as acne, bloating, gas, dull headaches or queasiness. These are only temporary. If you experience discomfort, make sure you drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to reduce the cleansing symptoms and get at least 10 to 15 minutes of exercise daily.
It's been clinically proven that the more enzymes you take, the quicker your body can repair, restore, and strengthen itself, sometimes taking a few days to a few weeks. (Allergy symptoms usually disappear 1 hr. after taking Amylase!) However, for minimal usage, you must wait at least 3 to 4 months before evaluating your results. It takes time to re-educate the body's natural ability to repair, restore, and strengthen itself, so be patient.
You'll also notice changes in your body. Your body can do magnificent healing on its own, given the proper nutrients.
Dr. Bernard Jensen wrote in his book "Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management" that "...the greatest healing power comes from within out. We find that healing comes according to the one law...; that is 'Hering's Law of Cure.' It states that 'All cure starts from within out and from the head down and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared.'"
Do you understand what that means? This means we have to return over the same "track" we traveled to get the disease.
To repeat: Your body can do magnificent healing on its own, given the proper nutrients.
Another important thing to remember is to include L. Salivarius and L. Plantarum in your daily regimen of dietary supplements. These two friendly bacteria work to restore the proper balance of bacteria in your intestinal flora, attacking many of the unfriendly bacteria and other detrimental "invaders" while promoting the growth of beneficial organisms. These hard-working probiotics (pro = for, biotics = life) produce a variety of substances that can prevent cancerous tumors, deactivate viruses, produce natural antibodies, reduce cholesterol, and enhance the immune system.
Enzymes taken on an empty stomach will get into the blood and clean it. Enzymes taken with meals will thoroughly digest food. Deficiency diseases can be eliminated or avoided with the proper nutrition taken on a daily basis.
The choice is all yours.
You've learned that enzymes:
...assures complete digestion
...reduces chronic illness
...strengthens the immune system
You've discovered a 100% natural method to
...eliminate gas and toxins
You've found that enzymes asssure
...natural energetic stamina
Despite all this information on enzymes, a consultation with your medical doctor is highly recommended.
Howell, Dr. Edward. Enzyme Nutrition: The Food Enzyme Concept. Avery Publishing Group, Inc.: Wayne, NJ. 1985.
Howell, Dr. Edward. Food Enzymes for Health & Longevity. Lotus Press: Twin Lakes, WI. 1994.
Jensen, D.C., Ph.D., Bernard.
Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management. Bernard Jensen, D.C., Ph.D.: Escondido, CA. 1981.
Santillo, MH, N.D., Humbart. Food Enzymes: The Missing Link to Radiant Health. Hohm Press: Prescott, AZ. 1993.
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