Friday, May 28, 2010

Miracle bottle

No, not THAT kind of miracle bottle. I'm talking about GSE, or Grapefruit Seed Extract. About a year and a half ago I went to Vermont to study with Christine Hoar at Bristol Yoga. While she has a wealth of yoga knowledge she is also an Ayurvedic practitioner and advises me on health issues. When I last saw her, I had only been living in Egypt for about 4 months so I hadn't really gotten a handle on how to treat "Mummy Tummy", as we delicately call it. Those that have traveled south of the border may refer to it as "Montezuma's Revenge"? You get the idea. Christine has traveled to India several times and she suggested GSE. I couldn't believe that no one was using it in Egypt! It's not that the water here is dirty, on the contrary, it's so heavily chlorinated and chemically treated to take OUT all the bad stuff, that it's bad for you in other ways, but it doesn't make you sick. So why do we get sick? Well, the fruits and vegetables are fertilized a little differently than they are in the States. They often times use human fertilizer instead of animal. I know, gross. Although, I have to say I'm kind of starting to get over it. I mean, poop is poop, right? Well, except that I guess this kind can make you a lot sicker. This is where the GSE comes in. This is what we use to wash all of our produce. It's highly concentrated and we just add several drops to a big bowlful of water and let things soak for about 20 minutes or so. It works really well and I think I can confidently say that we haven't gotten sick since we've used this method. So there's the fertilizer issue and then there's the 3rd world country issue. There isn't a board of health going around to inspect all the restaurants to make sure they're clean or that their workers are practicing proper hygiene while preparing and serving the food. I know you are all buying your tickets to Egypt right now, aren't you?! There's just no way to avoid the possibility that you might get sick. Eating at a "good" restaurant doesn't make you immune. There is a tragic story about the juice bar at the Four Seasons that infected dozens of innocent brunch goers. So we can either never go out to eat, or just accept that this is where we live and this sometimes happens. I had that attitude until the other day when I got so sick I was sure I'd never get better. I was worried about taking antibiotics, being a breastfeeding mama. What could I have eaten?! This is the game that you play, you think about everything you've eaten and everything you've come in contact with in the past 2 weeks. THEN I started thinking about all the kids MY kid has come in contact with and where THOSE kids have had their little fingers. Forget it. It's a germ spiral that never ends. So I made myself a little tummy tonic that did the trick.

Tummy Tonic

glass of sparkling water
1 tablespoon grated ginger
5 drops GSE

I had 2 glasses over a 4 or 5 hour time period and felt all better. No drugs! Yay! The armfuls of gladiolas that Ira brought me didn't hurt either...


Karina said...

Hi Jenna,

lovely blog. i just discover it:)
can i ask if you found GSE in Cairo? i desperate need it for my son but can't find it:(

Cairoyogi said...

Thank you so much, Karina! I'm sorry to say that I haven't found any in Cairo we bring it with us from the States. But the good news is, it lasts a long time because you don't need very much when you use it.

Safyiah said...

hi Jenna, hope everything is ok with you and your family, God willing.

I've been having quite a hard time in finding any vegetable wash in Egypt and also, I don't know of anyone that is coming from the USA or from Portugal (where I come from). I'm living permanently here in Egypt for a year and some months now. Me and my parents-in-law (who are Egyptian) had some problems with microbes and other organisms that made us VERY sick. My mother-in-law uses to wash vegetables and fruit with detergent for dishes (which, by the way, is not so diluted in water...). I seriously get disgusted when I see this and my husband as well. I clean it with running water only and scrub it with my hands just to avoid the chemicals but I know this is not enough either. Do you know of anyone here in Egypt who knows any product that can help in this situation? (note that my mother-in-law doesn't believe in DIY stuff, so, no vinegar, no baking soda, no mixes of lemon juice and the like, she simply won't believe me or anyone that comes up with those solutions). Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time.