Recently, I wrote a post lightly covering what probiotics are and how they can benefit your health. I also said I would share about which probiotic I currently take. So here we go!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you use the link to make a purchase, I’ll receive a small compensation. It’s not about money. It’s about sharing a possible tool for those on their own journey of gut health. I do not share products I don’t support or if I cannot attest to its awesomeness. Thanks!
Real talk: The first time I took a probiotic supplement was in 2015. You see, I used to have skin issues. By “skin issues”, here’s what I mean. I was able to an old photo of one of my legs…
Giant itchy, uncomfortable patches covered many parts of my body- legs, arms, boobs, hips, even my eyelids. etc. Cool. I was both a new mom and also a walking-talking-map-of-itchy-redness. It was miserable!
I tried all the things- lotions, creams, stronger ointments, but I still itched and nothing helped. Oatmeal baths brought temporary relief but the second I got too hot or started sweating, or if my clothes rubbed it the wrong way, the irritation and itch came back. I literally remember crying at night to my husband because I couldn’t find relief.
I finally caved and went into a dermatologist. A few punch biopsies and a week later, I left the office again with nothing more than yet another prescription ointment and the diagnosis of a case of “bad eczema”. I was told it could be stress and it may get better in a few months. That didn’t sound promising.
After a few days of fearing I’d be an inflamed, itchy mess for the rest of my life, I came to the innate conclusion that there had to be more to this. Instead of asking what I could do to fix the eczema, I asked what might be causing it in the first place and how could I fix whatever that was.
As it turned out, my body was sending me signs that there was more going on beneath the surface- literally. Symptoms, in this particular case “bad eczema”, were all signs of deeper issues. There’s always a root issue!
In order to fully address symptoms, and not just cover them up, you have to get to the root issue.
HEALING FROM THE INSIDE OUT
It wasn’t until I learned about the importance of a healthy gut microbiome that I started seeing signs of progress. I replaced gut-wrecking foods in my diet with life-giving ones and took a more holistic approach. One of the things I did was start a probiotic supplement.
To my surprise, a lot of other issues started improving too. I had fewer yeast infections, less digestive issues like upset stomachs and bloating (borderline IBS), and my skin eventually became less and less irritated.
Here’s a photo of me later in the year, once things had really started to clear up.
I could actually wear pants without wanting to rip them off to scratch my legs! I could turn the heat of the shower up and soak in bathes that weren’t filled with oatmeal. It was amazing.
I started seeing and feeling real progress when I focused on healing from the inside out. No longer did I want to mask my body’s way of communicating (symptoms, skin flare-ups, etc). I wanted to get to the root cause. In this case, it was poor gut health that was having a major impact on me.
Now, hear me out. Taking one supplement wasn’t the only game-changer. I also had to slowly work on other areas in my life (diet & lifestyle primarily) to see significant improvement in my overall health. However, giving probiotics a try was one of the first things I did implement. You don’t have to take my word for it. There are also many stories of people using probiotics to aid in their own healing, too.
For the sake of transparency, I also want to mention that the product I’m sharing about today is not the same one I started with on my healing journey. However, I absolutely would have chosen this one if I knew about it back then!
Also, when it comes to nutritional supplements or any significant changes in diet, everybody and every body is different. What works for some may not work for others. It never hurts to consult your doctor or medical team to find out if starting a probiotic supplement is a good fit for you.
THE PROBIOTIC I’M USING NOW (AND WISHED I KNEW ABOUT BEFORE)
A few months ago, my son seemed to be dealing with constipation. Because I too was experiencing a few digestive hiccups, and some skin flare-ups, I decided it was time to give a daily probiotic another go. I hadn’t actually taken one consistently in months, not since last summer when I took antibiotics.
Side note: I ALWAYS take good probiotics for a bit if I ever take an antibiotic. While they can sometimes be necessary, antibiotics don’t just kill the bad bacteria; they kill the good guys too. Taking a quality probiotic helps replenish good bacteria in the gut!
I remember finding out about this liquid probiotic called flourish. When I saw a bottle was only $30, I thought, “too good to be true”. After all, I’ve spent much more on probiotics in the past.
What made this one better than others I’ve tried before?
After learning about the benefits of a liquid probiotic, I felt like it was the best choice to make for my family. I also appreciated the vision of the company. I placed an order and it arrived a few days later. I’ve been a fan ever since!
Not only did my own tummy troubles improve within the week, but my kid could poop regularly again! Any parent knows the true joy of this!
Allow me to introduce you to flourish– my gut-lovin’ bestie!
WHAT MAKES FLOURISH SO GREAT?
IT’S A LIQUID PROBIOTIC.
Why is it so cool to be able to drink your probiotic? All probiotics must be grown in a liquid, so they actually start out as a liquid. That might be hard to believe considering all the probiotics you commonly see are taken as powders/capsules.
To be encapsulated, the bacteria are normally grown as single-strains and then centrifuged to remove most of the liquid. In doing so, the food source (prebiotics) for the bacteria is lost, along with beneficial metabolites. The paste gets freeze-dried into a powder to be encapsulated and sometimes mixed with additional ingredients.
In flourish, the eleven strains of probiotics continue to live in their most natural liquid environment, maintaining their food source and beneficial metabolites. Because the strains of bacteria are grown in their own little community, this ensures the bacteria thrive together and synergistically.
Plus, if you hate taking capsules as I do, this is a great option.
IT CONTAINS LIVE, DIVERSE STRAINS OF BACTERIA THAT ARE GROWN SYNERGISTICALLY.
This probiotic contains 8 billion CFUs (colony forming units). CFU is a term that tells you how many good bacteria within the supplement are able to divide themselves and form a colony. This is important because it basically tells you how many bacteria are alive and have the ability to help you!
In flourish, there eleven different strains from 5 genera (the gut loves a diverse ecosystem). These include In most cases, the encapsulated probiotics were grown individually. Bacterial strains are like people- they naturally grow and thrive in a healthy community! Again, because the bacteria are grown together in their original state, they’re able to work synergistically and thrive.
With this link, you can go to the F&Q page for a breakdown of the exact strains used in flourish!
The bacteria in flourish is kept in it’s most natural state and brewed using traditional fermentation. This allows the bacteria to have ar pH similar to your stomach acid. The bacteria can survive the stomach acid and get into your intestines.
I mentioned before how I’ve spent more money on supplements before. I’d say it was an average of $60-65 for brand name probiotics (capsule form) just for myself. Add my son and husband to that and the total adds up quickly! At $30 (+shipping), flourish is a better fit for our budget hands down.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions I get asked about flourish.
Q: How can a probiotic help me?
A: Research suggests that healthy gut flora promotes health in a variety of ways- immune system support, improved digestion, benefiting oral health and skin, regulating bowel movements, enhancing weight management, and more. Research also shows a connection between many health issues (from IBS, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease to allergic disorders like allergies and asthma) and the state of the gut. Even if you’re not dealing with serious conditions, your gut flora is under constant attack and the good guys could use some help in there!
Again, you can always talk to your medical provider/functional doctor about any new change to your protocol. There are some cases where one might need to take care of a severe overgrowth of bad bacteria before starting a probiotic.
Q: What ingredients are in flourish?
A: As someone with food allergies, this was a big question for me! I was relieved to learn that flourish does not contain dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, artificial colors/sweeteners, carrageenan, glyphosate residue, or GMOs.
The ingredients of flourish: purified water (reverse osmosis), 100% sugarcane molasses (organic, non-GMO, non-glyphosate), and the probiotic mother culture (bacteria). The ingredients of flourish Junior: purified water (reverse osmosis), 100% sweet sorghum, and the probiotic mother culture. Simple and wonderful in my opinion!
Q: Can kids take flourish?
A: One of my favorite parts of this company is that they make a cute kids version- flourish junior! I’ve tried both and my son has also taken them both, too. He prefers the kid’s version, which does have a slightly sweeter taste.
Both flourish and flourish junior have the same potency so we actually started off by sharing a bottle of regular flourish.
Here’s a chart with both:
Q: What does it taste like?
A: Our taste buds may differ but I feel like it tastes like strong kombucha. I take it straight, and my son has too, but he prefers it in a little room-temperature fruit juice, water, or smoothie.
Q: How much is in a serving?
A: Recommended DAILY dosing: Adults- 15 ml (one Tablespoon), Children [ages 5-12]- 5 ml – 7.5 ml (one to one & one half teaspoons), Children [ages 1-4]- 1 ml per year of age
Q: How long does a bottle last?
A: This may vary depending on specific health needs. One bottle lasts me a little over a month because I am at the point where I don’t take it every day. When I first started with any probiotics, not just flourish, I did take it every day.
Q: Do you have to take it at a certain?
A: It’s often suggested to take probiotics first in the morning on an empty stomach to optimize potency benefits. However, you don’t have to. If also taking an antibiotic, you’d want to space them out so they’re in your stomachs at different times. Example: Probiotics in the morning, antibiotics a few hours later.
Q: Since flourish is naturally fermented, does that mean it will fizz when I open it?
A: As thriving, living probiotics in their natural state, the beneficial bacteria continue to metabolize even after bottling, which releases carbon dioxide and nitrogen and can pressurize a closed bottle. You may notice that when this pressure is released, it causes the liquid to bubble and fizz. Do not shake the bottle. Instead, you can gently turn the bottle and then pour out the dosage.
Q: How do you store it?
A: I like to store my flourish in the fridge for increased longevity. Storing flourish in the refrigerator helps slow down the metabolic rate of the bacteria. The bacteria cells are affected by temperature extremes so you don’t want to expose to temperatures above 140 degrees and you don’t want to freeze the product. When you receive your order and feel like the bottle is under pressure, place it in the fridge for a few hours and slowly open/close as needed.
THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE
Want to hear something really awesome?
Entegro has a 30-Day challenge! You take flourish or flourish Junior daily for 30 days and if you’re not happy or notice a difference, you can get your money back (minus shipping costs). Read here for more info.
Overall, a quality probiotic can help promote more of that good, beneficial bacteria in your gut. I’m excited to share my favorite one with you here because this has been my favorite probiotic to date. I’ve talked about it to enough people that joining the Entegro consultant team just made sense. But again, it’s not about money. I support the company’s goal- to help people live a healthier, more productive life. Focusing on promoting more beneficial bacteria in the gut really can help do just that.
The only thing I don’t like about my experience with this product is not knowing about it sooner!
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again- everybody and every body is different. Ask your health care team to see if any supplements are a good fit for you. Back when my problems really manifested, it didn’t occur to me to ask my doctor/dermatologist about this. Oh, the things I wished I knew then…
As Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut”. Gut health is the epicenter of overall health.
The company (Entegro) is great and I haven’t had a bad interaction with anyone from their team. If you ever have questions, feel free to message me or get in touch with them directly. The choice is yours!
As for me, I look forward to continuing to see my family flourish on flourish! <3