January 28, 2020 | 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm

PRESENTED BY | Evan Galhotra, CH . . .

Fermentation is a wild process of nature that humans learned to utilize in order to preserve our food. In this class, student clinician Evan Singh will share just one of many fermentation traditions from around the world: lacto-fermented sauerkraut, an ancient European tradition of preserving cabbage.

This class will include:

  • a step-by-step demonstration of the sauerkraut-making process
  • incredible facts regarding the human gut, and how it is influenced by fermented foods
  • the microbiome’s connection to mental health
  • many other health benefits of fermented foods
  • interesting fermentation traditions from cultures around the world

Aside from being a preservation technique, fermentation has gifted us access to increased nutrition through greater digestibility, higher bioavailability of nutrients, breaking down of anti-nutrients, and so much more. Modern research shows the beneficial effects of fermented foods on our immune system and gut microbiome, which, in turn, creates a greater resiliency of our whole being. Traditional people have recognized the health-giving properties of fermented foods for thousands of years. They learned from experience that the diverse bacterial inhabitants of fermented foods bring vitality to the human body. In essence, this is a magical transformation wherein bacteria make foods more nutritious and digestible.

This amazing process has developed and played a part in human cultures all across the Earth. African tribes ferment grains such as teff and millet which are made into porridge, and honey is made into T’ej, a honey wine. In Germany, grandmothers make sauerkraut in the same crock that their great, great grandmothers used. In Greenland, Inuit families ferment arctic birds called auks in seal skin. These traditions often have divinity and celebration woven into them, like the eating of Kiviak on birthdays and for weddings, and the universal sacredness with which mead is regarded.

In the turning of the times in our modern world – where we experience health crises far more often than our ancestors and where our food system is manipulated at the expense of our health – reconnecting with the practice of home fermentation is a powerful gift from our ancestors and the natural world. This practice puts a tool in our hands which gives us greater agency over how we care for our bodies, provide for our health, and preserve our food which we may even grow ourselves. This knowledge has potent value and power to shift the culture around health and food in our country.

Recent research, both speculative and observational, is solidifying the connection between our gut and brain health. Did you know that many neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine are not only found in abundance in the gut, but are made by our gut bacteria themselves? This piece of evidence helps us understand the inextricable link between gut health and brain health, and illuminates why so many mental disorders are accompanied by digestive disorders, and vice versa. A study in 2009 showed that scores on the HDAS (Hospital Depression and Anxiety Scale) from people diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome were decreased when patients were given a prebiotic supplement, a polysaccharide which feeds endogenous microbes. Furthermore, the severity of gut dysbiosis in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome seems to correlate with GI symptoms as well as early life trauma. Patients with IBS are shown to have decreased depression and increased quality of life when taking Bifidobacterium longum, and another study shows intake of Lactobacillus casei reduces physiological responses to stress. With the plethora of bacterial species that are present in lactic acid ferments, there must be a benefit to brain and nervous system health when they are eaten regularly.

To learn more about the complex and fascinating relationship between gut and brain health, and to learn how to benefit this connection through the making of home-fermented foods, consider attending my class Vital Fermentation at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism.

[The content of this blogs does not necessarily represent or express the views of CSCH.]

Resources |

  1. Katz, Sandor Ellix. Wild Fermentation: a Do-It-Yourself Guide to Cultural Manipulation. Microcosm Publishing, 2017.
  2. Matthew R. Hilimire, Jordan E. DeVylder, Catherine A. Forestell, Fermented Foods, neuroticism, and social anxiety: An interaction model, Psychiatry Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2015.04.023
  3. Labus JS, Hollister EB, Jacobs J, Kirbach K, Oezguen N, Gupta A, et al. (2017): Differences in gut microbial composition correlate with regional brain volumes in irritable bowel syndrome. Microbiome 5:49.
  4. Pinto-Sanchez MI, Hall GB, Ghajar K, Nardelli A, Bolino C, Lau JT, et al. (2017): Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 reduces depression scores and alters brain activity: A pilot study in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology 153:448– 459.e8.
  5. Kato-Kataoka A (2016): Fermented milk containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota preserves the diversity of the gut microbiota and relieves abdominal dysfunction in healthy medical students exposed to academic stress. Appl Environ Microbiol 82:3649–3658.

evan.galhotra@clinicalherbalism.com by January 24th, 2020
DATE & TIME | Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 • 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
CSCH, 424 E. Simpson Street, Lafayette, CO 80026
DONATION (Suggested) | $10

DOWNLOAD FLYER | Galhotra_Class_Flyer

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John Whiteman
John Whiteman