What is kombucha? Where did it come from? Why do people drink it? All questions anyone who has heard of kombucha has thought about at one time or another. Kombucha starting gaining popularity near 2010 with the rise of interest in probiotics. Since then, vendors and retailers nationwide have supplied the demand. There is even kombucha on tap now!
So, down to the basics.
What is a probiotic?
A probiotic is simply bacteria or yeast that is beneficial to your body in terms of digestion. Between the “good” and “bad” bacteria, probiotics are good bacteria that help keep the balance in your body.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is essentially fermented tea with sugar that helps grow the kombucha culture. Seeds of Health described the taste as a mix between sparkling cider and champagne.
The origin of kombucha is thought to have come from China where is was called the “Immortal Health Elixir.” The first known use of kombucha came from China in 221 BC.
Kombucha now comes in all different flavors like strawberry, guava, tangerine, etc.
What health benefits does kombucha have?
Dr. Axe claims there are a multitude of health benefits such as: improved digestion, weight loss, increased energy, detoxification, immune support, reduced joint pain and cancer prevention.
Improved Digestion: The combined probiotic and antioxidant properties of kombucha helps balance the digestive system. Kombucha has been known to help with bowel movements, stomach ulcers and leaky guts.
Weight Loss: It has been found that kombucha can improve your metabolism and limit fat accumulation. There have also been reports of lack of appetite after drinking kombucha. This can limit caloric intake for those who are prone to overeat.
Detoxification: The bacteria in kombucha aids in lowering liver toxicity levels and prevent cancer, which I will talk about later. As for the liver, the antioxidant properties in kombucha is able to combat toxins.
Increased Energy: Kombucha has iron in it, which aids to energy levels. The iron reaches the blood stream and allows improved oxygen levels to tissues through a process called chelation. This in turn creates more ATP, hello again freshman bio, or energy.
Immune support: With the combined agents from bacteria and vitamin C found in kombucha, the immune system is aided and supported.
Reduced Joint Pain: Kombucha has glucosamines, an amino acid (carbohydrate) that is a source of ATP or energy. Glucosamines are known to preserve collagens, the protein found in skin and tissues. Collagens all over the body are preserved and help with joint pain and the appearance of wrinkles.
Cancer Prevention: As the bacteria and antioxidant properties aid in the cancer prevention, a study found that D-glucaric acid, found in kombucha, was able to control some of the carcinogenic stages leading to cancer – thus preventing cancer.
Where can I buy kombucha?
Kombucha can be found in most grocery retailers as well as health-food stores. Kombucha is also available to purchase online.
Can I make my own kombucha?
It is possible to make kombucha at home. Making your own kombucha can help reduce the purchasing price in-store or online as well. Cultures For Health has a in-depth, step-by-step instruction on how to make kombucha; however, I will just give an overview.
The main ingredient to purchase is SCOBY, the fermented bacteria, along with tea, sugar and water. The SCOBY needs to feed on the sugar in order to be activated. With the combination of hot water, tea, sugar and SCOBY, your brew will need to rest for 7-30 days to ferment. The SCOBY is not put inside your finished kombucha because it can be used again for another batch. It is possible to make a quart, half-gallon or gallon at a time.
Now hop on this kombucha wagon!