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.

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