Louise Kane Buckley is a well known naturopath and nutritional therapist in Hong Kong as well as the founder of popular online wellness blog Loula Natural. Over the past few years, Louise has become Hong Kong’s numero uno expert on all things related to fermentation and health. She recently published the book Culture Your Life, Kefir and Kombucha for Every Day Nourishment. This incredibly useful guide offers a new perspective on how to use these healthy drinks in every aspect of your life.
Culture Your Life is packed with instructions on how to make kefir and kombucha, but what we especially love is the fact that the book has recipes galore that go beyond just drinks – there are kefir breads, kefir meat jerky, kefir ice cream, kombucha salad dressing and more. Beyond drinking and eating kefir and kombucha, Louise also shows you how to use these fermented drinks to make natural toiletries and house cleaners. It’s a must have for any naturalista worth her (pink Himalayan) mineral salts.
We caught up with Louise to find out why fermentation should extend beyond the kitchen (such as to clean toilets instead of bleach!)
GQ: We know how good fermented drinks are for our dietary and digestive health, but why should we be including them in our toiletries? How are they good for our skin and hair?
LKB: We have internal and external environments. Bacteria not only needs to be inside our bodies but may also protect us by being outside our bodies too. A large part of our immune system is in our digestive system but one of our first line of defenses is our skin and hair. I have experienced thicker and shinier hair as well as smoother and less dry skin. It is especially good at calming itchy and irritated conditions like dermatitis and eczema.
GQ : Can you share a favorite way you use kefir or kombucha in your daily hygiene routine?
LKB: I use kefir grains as a body scrub, water kefir as shampoo and I use my hand sanitizer to protect my hands from the harsh soaps and disinfectants used all over Hong Kong. Here is my favoruite scrub/bath soak recipe.
GQ: You also include recipes for making household cleaners using kombucha. Why is kombucha so useful as a natural household cleaner? What benefit does it have over regular white vinegar?
LKB: The amounts and community of bacteria in kombucha far outweigh simple white vinegar. By actually balancing the bacterial environment in our homes we lessen the risk of bacteria affecting our bodies. I much prefer using kombucha to clean the toilet and the bath that my kids will be using instead of exposing them to harsh chemicals.
GQ: Can you share your favourite way to use kombucha for cleaning?
LKB: I think the fact that it cleans the toilet is brilliant, as in the past I have always relied on bleach and lime scale removers. It is also particularly useful for cleaning grease off light fittings and cooker hoods in the kitchen.
GQ: If you had to choose between kefir and kombucha, which would you pick and why?
LKB: I probably use kefir more regularly as it is quicker to make and we have it daily to drink in our morning smoothies, however in the summer there is nothing more cooling than a glass of Kombucha!
GQ: Where can people buy your book, both in Hong Kong and online?
This interview was conducted on behalf of Green Queen by Jacqueline Renee Cohen, founder of Hong Kong wellness blog Lantau Mama.
All pictures courtesy of Loula Natural.