In 2012, I was introduced to Kombucha! At first, I couldn’t pronounce the name, was confused by ‘the yeast culture,’ and didn’t understand what ‘fermented tea’ actually meant. Does this sound familiar? Or are you still looking at me sideways? After four years of dabbling in this probiotic rich drink, I am now obsessed with Kombucha and just recently started making my own. I drink it on a daily basis and am excited to teach you how to jump on the Kombucha train too!
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a refreshing, fermented beverage. This fizzy, energizing drink can be slightly tangy and slightly sweet and tastes absolutely delicious. It’s made by combining (1) a symbiotic yeast culture associated with acetic acid bacteria, aka SCOBY, and (2) sweetened tea. The live yeast present in the Kombucha beverage is a miraculous fungus that is actively living and has been valued for its impressive range of medicinal benefits. Originating from northeast China centuries back, it is famously known as the ‘Immortal Health Elixir.’ Kombucha will vary in flavour depending on the choice of black or green tea and other flavours infused.
How to drink Kombuncha:
When should I drink Kombucha? You can consume kombucha at any point of the day. However, due to it’s incredible health benefits, Kombucha can be extra handy when:
- You’ve had a late night of indulging in some alcohol
- You have an early morning
- You have a heavy meal, to aid in the process of digestion
How much should I drink at a time? If you have never tried kombucha, I would recommend starting small. Drink about 1/2 cup and see how you feel after consumption. When I first tried kombucha it gave me a bad headache. This turned me off for the next 6 months. But I was determined to enjoy this extremely healthy beverage. So I started dabbling, but in much smaller doses. Work your way up to 1-1.5 cups per day and use this as your maintenance dose moving forward.
What type of symptoms could I experience after drinking Kombucha? Since Kombucha is made with caffeinated tea and a live bacterial culture, you will likely experience an energy increase and some digestive gurgling. While most people experience great benefits after drinking Kombucha, a small percentage of the population may experience some side effects.
Who should stay away from Kombucha?
- Compromised immunity: People who have compromised immunity such as HIV or AIDS because the yeast culture may develop some harmful bacteria that may cause illness.
- Digestive issues: Kombucha has high levels of acid, which could be irritating to individuals who experience ulcers, heart burn or IBS.
- Pregnant Women: There are small amounts of naturally occurring caffein and alcohol in Kombucha. Although there hasn’t been extensive research on Kombucha consumption on pregnant women, it could be a safe practice to stay away while pregnant.
How does it work?
Does it help with fighting the seasonal cold and flu? Absolutely! Studies have found a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) unique to the kombucha fermentation process and isn’t found in black tea alone. This particular antioxidant helps modulate the immune system by its ability to control free radicals.
Why does Kombucha have a higher sugar content & how is that healthy for my liver? The Kombucha SCOBY acts on both sugar and tea to produce fermentation. This fermentation process produces potent detoxifying substances such as acetic, lactic and glucoronic acid. The liver naturally productes the latter to neutralize toxins within the body. When liver function becomes overloaded and the body has to deal with a super abundance of toxins from the environment…
…additional glucuronic acid taken in the form of kombucha is said to be a powerful aid to the body’s natural cleansing process, while naturally boosting the immune system.
Where to find it!
Where can I buy Kombucha? You can find it in your large retail grocery stores as well as your local health food store.
How do I make my own? STAY TUNED! I will be posting my homemade Kombucha recipe soon. I just started making kombucha myself this passed weekend, so will perfect it after a couple of rounds and then share my recipe and experience with you.
The Health Benefits:
I have listed the main seven below. However, this Immortal Health Elixir reaps health benefits all over when consumed consistently. Try it out and let me know what you think!
- Improves mood by recolonizing the gut with healthy bacteria (probiotics)
- Kills off Candida (extra yeast build up in the body)
- Improves digestion
- Promotes detoxification of the liver
- Naturally increases energy
- Helps fight cancer
- Eases joint pain