Make love not war with your body 

Good bacteria will go a lot further in your fight for good health than shock and awe

The health benefits of yogurt have been touted for years, but here’s a new one. Scientists have recently come out strong against antibacterial soaps (again). This time they’re saying that the bacteria many people are trying to kill with bacterial-warfare soaps are mostly hanging out in the tiny crevices of our hangnails, cuticles and what-nots – places where the soap never reaches unless we scrub like crazy with a good little surgical brush.

What we really should be doing for good health is thinking probiotic –instead of waging war on germs, filling them with shock and awe, we should be encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria on our hands and other bodily parts. And what better way to do that, say same scientists, than by washing our hands in yogurt, naturellement .

I’m looking at our carton of organic yogurt right now thinking, gee, that’s kind of an expensive and gooey way to keep clean. Besides, all things in, I’d really rather use yogurt for my inner probiotic well-being and hope that takes care of the outer stuff too.

People can be wildly fanatical about their yogurt when it comes to good health, and for good reason. But, a word of caution, one woman’s lifeline can be another’s gastro-intestinal disaster.

A good friend and former long-time Whistlerite just moved back to England. She swore by her natural yogurt she’d been keeping alive for years like a pet – taking a tablespoon of the old batch, mixing it into a quart of milk and leaving it a day or two at room temperature.

A friend of a friend had brought it back from some remote region in Japan, swearing it was the source of many long lives and much good health. Jan swore by it, too, and even had friends deliver a jar of the living culture to England after she had forgotten her pet yogurt back here. (I’d even tried drying a bit of the stuff and sending it through the mail. Risky business, sending white powder. Can you imagine the headlines if the envelope had been opened and analyzed? Yogurt scare sweeps Hampshire!)

But Jan’s yogurt miracle turned my gastro system into a natural gas pipeline.

My husband and I still argue about which type to have on hand. He grew up on a traditional, spontaneously fermented yogurt his Polish mother made in their Montreal kitchen, warming the milk at room temperature just overnight and serving it within 24 hours so the milk barely thickened and the flavour was tart but fresher than most of us are used to in North America. (The word "yogurt" actually comes from a Turkish word for milk that’s been fermented into a tart, semi-solid mass; the root word, in fact means "thick".)

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