An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.


Yeast, Brewer's - Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Saccharomyces cerevisia) (Saccharomyces boulardii) - family: Saccharomycetaceae. Class: Ascomycetes. Division: Ascomycota.

Yeasts are very tiny one-celled fungi. They gather in colonies of many thousands and are yellowish to brownish in color. They typically reproduce by budding and less often through spores. In the natural world, yeasts are plants without chlorophyll that depend on other plants for their energy. Technically, yeasts are considered as saprophytic parasites. In the Middle Ages and earlier in Europe, brewers used yeast in their production of beer. The yeast is able to help convert starch (a form of sugar) into alcohol. This yeast is also used in the production of wine and neutral grain spirits. Traditional Europe folk use of the leftover (after beer production) Brewer's yeast as a food. Modern European and American industrial use of Brewer's yeast in food production and as an animal feed. Considered as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a food additive. Traditional Europe folk use of the leftover (after beer production) Brewer's yeast as a remedy for bronchitis, colds, coughs and poor appetites. Modern European and American folk use of Brewer's yeast as a dietary supplement and as a remedy for adult diabetes, anxiety, constipation, fatigue, diabetes, heart problems and nervousness. Approved by the German Commission E as a remedy for acne, eczema, indigestion and poor appetite. Note: sensitive individuals may develop an allergic reaction to Brewer's yeast or may develop migraine headaches. Note: do not use if you suffer from candidiasis, an infection of the mucous membranes or the skin caused by members of a genus of yeast-like fungi. Note: do not use if you suffer from intestinal disease. Note: large doses may cause diarrhea, indigestion, intestinal gas and nausea. Baker's live dry yeast, composed of the same species as Brewer's Yeast, is used to make breads rise. In bread making, the yeast converts starch (a form of sugar) into alcohol and releases many tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. This gas production makes the bread rise. Yeast plants are tiny enough to float considerable distances on light air currents. Yeast plants are present in the soil and in the air around the world.




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Web page last updated on 26 May 2003.