The growth of kombucha is fascinating, both as a hot trend in the beverage aisle and in the biological sense, since it is brewed with a live, expanding bacterial culture. The drink, which originates in Asia, has been around for centuries and has long been popular with alternative-health folk.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea made by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast to a solution of tea, sugar and sometimes fruit juice and other flavourings. It's often referred to as "mushroom-tea" because during the brewing process the bacteria and yeast grow into a mass that resembles a mushroom cap.
The drink has a slight effervescence and sweet-tart flavour. It often has small remnants of the bacteria mix floating in it, which sounds unappealing but is not much different from finding some sediment in your wine. Kombucha is highly acidic, contains sugar, B vitamins and antioxidants, as well as some alcohol that results from the fermentation process. It has about 30 calories per eight ounces (mainly from the sugar), which is considerably less than other soft drinks
What are the benefits?
1. Detoxification produces healthy livers and aides cancer prevention. One of kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver.
2. Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer. .
3. Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage (like yogurt). This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion - helping to de bloat the stomach and intestines, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.
4. Kombucha is extraordinarily anti-oxidant rich, boosting your immune system and energy levels. Anti-oxidants help to fight free radical damage to the skin known to cause ageing and breakdown of the skin's healthy functions.
5. Kombucha is high in Vitamin B. B vitamins provide support for the body’s metabolic functions including overall energy, utilisation of carbohydrates, heart health, and healthy hair, skin, and nails. Adequate intake of B vitamins can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost memory, and relieve PMS.
Eventually you will run into some form of bad publicity about kombucha (find a product that you wont run into bad publicity!) but with the myriad of health benefits listed above plus more - it's worth having a sip and seeing for yourself! I did and I loved it.
I didn't find the taste bad. It tasted like ginger beer with a bit of apple cider vinegar in it. Over all my skin felt clear, my stomach stopped bloated and I wasn't as hungry as usual. Will definitely be adding this to the fridge more often. Might even try making it myself one of these days!
Where to get Kombucha
Doorsteporganics.com stocks Tonicka Kombucha in a range of natural flavors.
Any health food store should stock kombucha tonics or the kits to make it.