Reinoculate Your Gut with Yogurt


This post is about reinoculating your intestines with homemade yogurt. This will help you to provide healthy probiotics to your gut, improving immune system function, and digestion. In the end it may help you better manage your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

About the 5R Blog Posts

These posts are intended for those of you who have watched the documentary and are interested in building your personalized 5R Healing IBD Plan.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s the best place to start to understand what the framework is. In the movie you’ll see how other patients have used it to take control of their health.

The framework has a strategy to

  • Seal leaky gut
  • Heal gut damage
  • Cultivate gut microbiota diversity

In order to do that, you need to use a wide variety of tools that plug into the various components of the 5R Healing IBD Framework. There are 5 components and each one will be covered once per week:

Each week you will learn one specific tool that fits into that week’s component. Come back each week for a new tool and build your personalized 5R Healing IBD Plan.

If you don’t want to wait for more of these blog posts to trickle down to you weekly, you can get the Best of the Blogs Package, which includes an extensive document on the 5R Healing IBD Framework that goes into much more detail. After reading that, you will have a good idea of how to start building your personalized plan.

This Week’s Healing Tool

Here is this week’s tool for you to consider for your customized plan.

Reinoculate: Yogurt

Some research indicates that inflammatory bowel diseases and IBS can be improved through the use of probiotics [1]. Twenty-four hours after starting the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which calls for daily use of homemade yogurt, all of my diarrhea from Crohn’s stopped after I ate yogurt.

Primitive cultures since 10,000 BC all over the world have drank fermented dairy, such as yogurt, amasi, doogh, and kefir [2]. Today we have all of those options, plus fermented vegetables, and commercial pill probiotics. There are lots of ways to get probiotics into your gut, but one of the best ways is to make homemade 24-hour-fermented yogurt.

Many people with IBD have concerns about the lactose in the milk. The 24 hour fermentation process allows the bacteria to digest the lactose into simpler sugars that are easier for people to handle. There’s also the possibility that microbes in yogurt and kefir when ingested release enzymes to digest lactose [3].

In theory, the use of fermented dairy can reverse your lactose intolerance if the lactose digesting bacteria colonize your gut. Bacteria also have immune modulating abilities, helping to keep gut inflammation down. Those are two of the many potential health benefits you can enjoy from having yogurt [4].

Experienced fermented diary artisans (ooh-la-la!) will notice I am not calling for the best methods and milks. This is because kefir grains and raw milk are not widely and easily accessible.

I think people will have more motivation and success if they start with easier to access food. The instructions on how to make kefir with raw milk are also very different and will require a different article.

Here is a step by step list of how I have made yogurt in the past.

Buy Supplies
NOTE: I do not make any money from the below links. I’m providing them for your info only.

1. I have a Yogourmet Yogurt Maker machine.

2. I use Yogourmet starter cultures.

3. Buy organic pasteurized milk, either goat or cow at either half or 1 gallon amounts. The Yogourmet maker makes half gallon per batch.

Make Yogurt
I have experimented with making yogurt in a way that is more simple with less steps, similar to kefir. However, it is likely not SCD approved since it deviates from Elaine’s recommendations. If you want to make SCD legal yogurt, you can read my old article about it instead. The following is the my new simple method.

4. Plug in the Yogourmet Maker and pour in enough water to reach the markings on the inside of the unit, about 1 cup. The unit and water will begin to warm to 100 – 110 degrees.

5. Empty one full packet (2 pouches) of Yogourmet starter culture into the Yogourmet plastic half gallon container.

6. Pour half gallon of milk (8 cups) into the Yogourmet plastic half gallon container.

7. Put the lid on the half gallon container, and put it into the Yogourmet Maker.

8. Wait 24 to 28 hrs for it to ferment.

9. When time is up, unplug the maker, take the container out and open it up.

10. You will see that it should be much thicker by now, maybe even some water on the surface, that’s all OK. The lid can get a lot of water on it so I shake it off in the sink.

11. Put the lid back on, and put into the fridge for at least 8 hours.

12. After time is up, stir the yogurt and enjoy!

NOTE: If you are trying this for your first time, start slow with a low dose. 1/4 teaspoon, once per day until you can tell if it’s safe for you to have or not. If you see symptoms of diarrhea worsen or feel flu symptoms of head and body aches, you may be experiencing what’s called a Herxheimer reaction [5].

You can either back off on the dose, go slower and lower amounts. Or you can try to use activated charcoal along with yogurt to minimize the side effects. The Herxheimer reaction should not last very long, a week or two at most.

As I said, there are many different ways to make yogurt, the goal here wasn’t to give you a long exhaustive post outlining all the various methods, but share what has worked for me and it’s a great place to start if you want to try making your own.

Flavor Ideas
If you don’t like the taste of yogurt, :/ you can flavor it with any or all of the following, be creative:

  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • vanilla extract (SCD legal)
  • banana
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • honey
  • whiskey
  • … just kidding about the whiskey!

My personal favs are cinnamon, vanilla extract and honey.