It is the ‘Immortal Health Elixir’ for the Chinese, but it first appeared in the Far East about 2,000 years ago. This powerful drink offers brilliant health benefits, and the world is about to know more about its huge potential.
Fermentation is the reason why kombucha is called a ‘powerhouse.’
The colony of bacteria and yeast in kombucha starts off the fermentation process.
Wonder what is the fuss? Well, your idea of healthy living is about to change now!
This article covers the benefits provided by this mighty drink, and you will also have the chance to learn how to make it.
Good probiotics in kombucha
After the fermentation process, kombucha gets carbonated and enriched with vinegar, b-vitamin, enzymes, probiotics and healthy concentration of acid, including acetic, gluconic and lactic acid. When bound together, these provide the following benefits:
Healthy weight loss
Deep cleansing and detoxification
Joint pain relief
Prevention against cancer
‘SCOBY,’ stands for ‘symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, and it ferments the sugar-tea solution. It is commonly made with black tea, but some like to use green tea.
Making your own kombucha or buy it already prepared will cost you $3-$5 a bottle. You can find it in every healthy food store, and today even some coffee shops have it.
According to an article that was published in the journal Food Microbiology, kombucha consists of the following probiotics:
Gluconacetobacter (>85% in most products)
Lactobacillius (about 30% in several products)
The bacteria in this healthy cocktail work in a unique synergy. They offer mind-blowing benefits to those who have been lucky enough to learn about it, and enjoy it on a daily basis.
Health benefits of kombucha
Kombucha has numerous benefits, as stated in the research that was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014:
‘’It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity.’’
And this is absolutely true! Researchers who led the aforementioned research say that kombucha has 5 major health benefits:
Komucha has huge detoxifying potential, and its ability to treat liver cell toxicity is a perfect example for this ‘phenomenon.’
According to another study, it protected liver cells from oxidative injury and maintains their healthy physiology, despite of the excessive exposure to toxins. Researchers say “probably due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”
Antioxidants in this ancient preparation fight free radicals and prevent the chaos they cause in the digestive system. But, this is not the greatest power of komucha when it comes to digestion. It enhances digestion due to its high content of beneficial acid, probiotics, and enzymes.
Another research has confirmed that kombucha can prevent and treat leaky gut in stomach ulcers. Other patients have benefited during their therapy, and witness that it provides the same effect as medication like Prilosec, which doctors give to patients with heartburn, GERD and ulcers.
Kombucha also prevents candida overgrowth in guts, since it restores a healthy balance in the digestive system. It is an excellent aid in the treatment of candida, due to its live probiotic cultures that re-establish ‘friendly’ bacteria, and vanish the nasty yeast. Bacteria in kombucha are nothing like the harmful pathogen bacteria. These are called ‘apathogens’ that fight pathogen bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
Keep in mind that candida or other digestive issues may become even worse and hard to treat. Their symptoms sometimes cause a greater damage before the problem is being sold. But, it does not mean that our ancient tea will not help you and relieve your condition. The only thing is that you should seek for the underlying cause, because intestinal problems are not always the first line you should treat, and the treatment requires more patience.
Kombucha offers a healthy energy boost due to the production of iron that is released from the healthy dose of black tea during the fermentation process. Kombucha also contains small amounts of caffeine and B vitamins, and this great combination energizes the body.
Chelation is a process in which iron from black tea enhances the production of blood hemoglobin, and thus improve the supply of oxygen to cells and tissues. It also stimulates the production of energy at cellular level. To be more precise, kombucha helps the body to create energy (ATP), and thus keeps those who enjoy it maintain their energy at optimal level.
The ability to fight free radicals gives kombucha its power to strengthen immunity.
Kombucha has shown to reduce oxidative stress and immune-suppression, due to its strong antioxidant commonly known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL). This mighty antioxidant was revealed during the fermentation of kombucha, and it is not contained in black tea alone.
According to scientists, its DSL and vitamin C in kombucha that protect against cell damage, inflammation-induced diseases, tumors, and severe depression of the immune system. Moreover, probiotics in kombucha support a strong immune system.
Kombucha aids in healing, repairing, and preventing joint damage in so many ways. Glucosamines in kombucha increase the production of synovial hyaluronic acid. In this way you will preserve your collagen and prevent arthritis-induced pain. Same as it supports joint collagen, it also strengthens the collagen in the entire body, and thus prevents the formation of wrinkles.
Kombucha prevents cancer and supports the recovery in cancer patients. According to a study from Cancer Letters, glucaric acid in kombucha reduces the risk of developing cancer.
Even President Reagan drank the ancient drink every day, and used it in his fight against stomach cancer.
- Weight loss
According to a 2015 study, kombucha boosts metabolism and affects the accumulation of fat. This requires further examination and confirmation of these results, but it seems logically that kombucha supports a healthy weight loss process, due to its high acetic acid content, which is pretty similar to apple cider vinegar. The same applies to polyphenols, and these have also shown to stimulate weight loss.
The easiest way to make kombucha
You can make your own kombucha, and it is definitely worth it, because buying bottled kombucha can cost you quite a bit.
We give you some detailed instructions on how to make your own kombucha. It will give you about 8 cups of the drink. You can always double the recipe you are using, and you still need a single SCOBY disk.
This recipe will give you 8 cups
You need the following items:
- 1 large jar or glass / metal bowl with a wide opening. You should never use plastic containers, because the material leaches chemicals during the process of fermentation. Ceramic pots also leach substances into the liquid, because its acids may react with the ceramic glaze. Opt for larger metal/glass jug, jar, or bowl. Keep in mind that is has to have a wide opening, because the kombucha needs more oxygen during its fermentation.
- 1 large cloth or dish towel. Secure it around the opening of the container you have chosen using a rubber band. Never use a cheese cloth, because tiny particles can still pass through it. Old cotton T-shirts or plain cotton fabric will also do the trick.
- 1 SCOBY disk. You can find it in healthy food stores or buy it online. It is pretty cheap. SCOBY disks are vacuum-sealed in small pouches, and then shipped to the destination you choose for just a few dollars. You should not worry, it will preserve its active yeast.
- 8 cups of filtered water. Some use tap water and say it works great. Others use distilled water, since it contains less contaminants or metals when compared to tap water. Distilled water will only cost you 88 cents per gallon. Buy it in large drug or convenience stores.
- ½ cup raw, unpasteurized honey or organic cane sugar. However, when it comes to sugar alternatives, experts do not recommend using other sugars, stevia or other sources. Some say their kombucha ‘grew’ well with raw honey. The quality of the sugar you are using is of great importance, so keep in mind that you should use organic sugars that do not contain dangerous contaminants. Yes, real sugar is the real deal. The yeast ‘eats’ most of it during the process of fermentation, and only a tiny bit of the sugar remains in the resulting liquid.
- 4 black tea bags. Make sure it is organic, because it is the only way to achieve good results. Some use green tea as well, but the original recipe uses black tea.
- 1 cup of pre-made kombucha. Look for it in healthy food stores or use some of the kombucha you friend has already made.
Steps of preparation:
- Boil the water in a large pot. Once it reaches its boiling point, take the pot from the heat, and add in both your tea bags and sugar. Stir well until the sugar has dissolved completely.
- Let the tea steep for additional 15 minutes, then take out the tea bags.
- Keep the liquid at room temperature until it cools completely. This should take you about an hour. Once your tea has cooled completely, transfer it to a large jar. Soak in your SCOBY disk, and pour in a cup of pre-made kombucha.
- Put your cloth over the jar. Secure the cloth with a rubber band, or anything that works best for that purpose. Make sure it covers the opening of the jar and stays in place, but keep in mind that it is loose enough so the air passes through with no problem.
- Let your kombucha rest for 7-10 days. The time depends on the flavor you like to get. Shorter periods give weak kombucha that is less sour. Leaving it for longer will result in deeper taste. Some have fermented their kombucha for a month, and report great success. Give your kombucha a taste-test every other day to determine whether it has reached the taste and carbonation you are looking for.
Experts say that the fermentation process lasts less in warm homes. Transfer your kombucha in small glass bottles once it reaches the flavor you are happy with. Keep it in the fridge for at least 24 hours to cool it enough and finish the carbonation. Your kombucha is ready for use!
You will also notice that the SCOBY disk will grow a ‘baby’ disk during the fermentation process. For some, the original disk is the ‘mother’ SCOBY, and the second disk is considered as the ‘baby.’ The baby is settled beneath the mother SCOBY.
Preserve the baby SCOBY to prepare a new batch of kombucha. Soak it in a tiny amount of pre-made kombucha, and keep it in a glass jar until you need it. The baby remains active for several weeks after it is being soaked in kombucha and kept at room temperature, usually on the countertop. It Is up to you to decide whether you are going to get rid of the mother disk or keep it along with its baby after the fermentation is done.
You will not make a mistake by choosing either of the options, since there is o risk of contamination or any other problem related to the mother disk. Moreover, the mother disk may keep fermenting new kombucha batches for a month after its being used, but at that point it becomes inactive and you may want to throw it away.
How to make your flavored kombucha
The aforementioned recipe is used for basic, unflavored kombucha. However, you can enhance its flavor by combining it with fresh lemon or lime juice, ginger root juice (blend fresh ginger along with some water), blended berries, fresh orange, pomegranate or cranberry juice. You can practically add any other natural and low-sugar flavoring.
Consider adding your flavoring after the fermentation has finished and your kombucha is ready for use. But, for some it is better to add the flavor 1-2 days before the fermentation ends, as this is supposed to intensify the flavor. Both ways work well, but remember, berries and other perishable fruits do not remain good as long as the kombucha liquid itself, and by using such flavorings you limit the storing time.
You should also keep in mind that flavored, bottled kombucha contains more sugar than the plain product. Some producers use low-sugar flavors, and lemon, lime or ginger juice are the most common. Beware of the brands that contain tons of sugar that actually make present ailments even worse.
The consumption of kombucha offers great benefits, and most people do not experience any side-effects. Unfortunately, you should be aware of several possible interactions and side-effects that are more common in individuals with weak immunity and digestive issues. The risk of side effects is greater in cases of homemade kombucha, due to the possibility of contamination.
You cannot have your SCOBY disk and fermented kombucha tested for their quality at home, right? That is not the case with great manufacturers. If you still decide to make your own ‘tea,’ consider using sterile equipment, clean working area and high-quality ingredients from trusted sources.
Several users have complained about stomach upset, infections and allergy symptoms. Acidity of kombucha may additionally affect digestive issues, such as stomach ulcers, heartburn, and general sensitivity to acidic foods.
Start off with moderate doses, and gradually increase the intake to notice whether it has a negative impact on your system. It is believed that 8 ounces per day is just enough, especially for beginners. Limit the risk of side-effects and negative reactions, and purchase pre-made kombucha that has gone through several tests for bacterial contamination.
Pregnant women, patients with leaky gut syndrome and individuals with poor immunity should limit their intake of kombucha. We have covered some of the common risks associated with these groups:
Be careful about your kombucha consumption if your immune system is weak
Having a compromised immunity as a result of viruses like HIV / AIDS means that you should be especially careful about your kombucha consumption. There is a huge possibility that the yeast may trigger the growth of dangerous bacteria that cause severe ailments. This applies especially to homemade kombucha, since it runs at a higher risk of contamination due to unsanitary areas.
Expecting and nursing moms
This has not been thoroughly tested, but experts believe that pregnant women are not supposed to drink alcohol or caffeine, and kombucha contains these two. Pregnant women should play safe and avoid kombucha until science confirms the opposite. However, tiny amounts never harmed anyone.
Individuals who cannot tolerate sugar, caffeine or alcohol
The fermentation process involves black tea and sugar. When fermented it turns into alcohol, and only one percent of the liquid is considered as alcohol. Diabetics should not be worried about their kombucha consumption, because the liquid is pretty low in sugar, or it contains about 2 grams per every 8 ounce. However, you should carefully monitor your blood sugar and any symptoms associated with the disease. If you are dealing with digestive problems, such as Irregular Bowel Syndrome or anxiety-related disorders, you should be careful about the caffeine content in kombucha, because it may worsen your condition.
The conclusion would be that kombucha is packed with healthy ingredients, and it offers plenty of benefits. The good thing is that you can make your own for several dollars. Cheers to your health!
Source: Wise Mind Healthy Body