The origin of yoghurt started in the oldest European country called Bulgaria. However, it can be argued that yoghurt was discovered in many different places such as the Middle East and Central Asia. Nonetheless, it was a Bulgarian scientist who first broke down the composition of yoghurt.
In 1904, Dr. Stamen Grigorov studied yoghurt at the Medical University of Geneva, where he identified the essential bacterium that caused milk to ferment and turn into yoghurt. The microorganism became known as lactobacillus bulgaricus - a beneficial bacteria found in the digestive tract. Intestinal bacteria are referred to as gut flora or microbes. When it’s consumed, it’s referred to as probiotics (a good bacteria that may play an important role in maintaining your health).
By 1908, Grigorov discovery gaining acknowledgment by a Russian biologist and Nobel Prize winner Élie Metchnikoff. Élie wrote a book called The Prolongation of Life, which established a link between Bulgarian peasants consuming a lot of yoghurt and living very long lives. It had been recorded that the Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains held the highest concentrations of centenarians in Europe. The idea that yoghurt prolongs life fueled a health craze in European countries such as France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and Great Britain. Yoghurt had been embedded as part of a European diet.
By the 1920 and ‘30s Bulgarian yoghurt was popular and featured in Vogue magazine (founded in 1892). As yoghurt (also known as yogurt) spread into the Mediterranean region, variations were created based on the type of animal milk used. Traditionally, both Bulgarian and Greek yogurts are made with sheep’s milk rather than cow’s milk (American Greek-style yogurt) but in some parts of the Middle East you even see it made with camel’s milk! Over time, travel, and with changes in milk to represent the types of animals pastured in different locations, yogurts shifted away from the base model. The reason is because local microbes got into the yogurt from the air to amend, which enriched the base yogurt with new and delicious flavors!
Skin Care and Other Benefits
Even before Greek (and Bulgarian Yoghurt) were discovered through their components, the Ancient Greeks made their own skincare products using local natural ingredients. One of the most widely used skincare treatments was mixing fresh berries with milk, and then applying the paste on the facial area. The Ancient Greeks also used olives & olive oil as exfoliants and moisturizers. Lastly, adding honey to milk and yogurt were used as anti-aging preparations. All these natural ingredients are full of probiotics, protein, calcium, vitamin D, and lactic acid (found in the yogurt).
Lactic acid is a natural alpha hydroxy acid, that dissolves dead skin cells. This gentle exfoliation not only helps to create a natural glow and prevent breakouts, but also works to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
As you can see adding Greek yogurt to skin care products adds multiple benefits for the skin as well as your health. In accordance with healthline.com, The National Institutes of Health noted some potential health benefits of the probiotic found in yogurt. The benefits found helped to manage the following health conditions:
- Liver Disease
- Common cold
- Diarrhea Caused by Antibiotics
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Tooth Decay
- Other oral health problems
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Atopic Dermatitis (eczema)
All in all, there are many uses to yogurt in our daily natural life, and we should capitalize on this historical ingredient that has ultimately changed some many lives for centuries! Eat right, stay healthy, and love immensely.