The first time I tried my hand at making kombucha at home was about a year before my son was born. I loved it! I loved how it helped my digestion, loved how easy it was and I loved how accomplished I felt (even though it is simple to make). But with the whirlwind of a new baby my SCOBY dried up and died and my kombucha brewing days were soon forgotten. Wanting to get back into it I searched the internet trying to get my hands on a new culture (SCOBY). I found a reputable place, in the United States, that sold and shipped dehydrated kombucha cultures. All you had to do was rehydrate and you were well on your way! Well after four failed rehydration attempts I started to feel discouraged. Perhaps the universe heard my call because an old friend of mine (who I don’t see much now that I’m a mama) was able to sell me one of her kombucha starter kits (with a fresh, live SCOBY). My kombucha brewing days have begun anew!
All About Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented black tea beverage, consisting of black tea, sugar and water, transformed into a wonderful digestive tonic through the use of a specific starter culture. This culture is often referred to as a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast), but the term kombucha mushroom can also be heard. The history of kombucha is uncertain, but it most likely hailed from Northeastern China, then making its way to Russia in the early 1900’s. From there the brewing of kombucha spread to Europe and finally making it way over to North America.
Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea
It is important to note that while there have been very few scientific research studies completed on the health benefits of kombucha, there is over 2000 years of tradition and therefore anecdotal evidence of its health benefits.
Digestion and Gut Health
- Due to the natural fermentation process (thanks to the live cultures of bacteria and yeast), kombucha is full of probiotics and enzymes. This helps to improve digestion and help fight off the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. People have noted an increase in mental clarity and stabilization of their mood through continued use of probiotics and probiotic beverages such as kombucha. It should also be noted that kombucha could therefore be useful in cases of depression, fibromyalgia and anxiety.
- It is a natural digestive tonic as well, actually assisting in the digestion of your meal by breaking down proteins and other nutrients in your food.
- Kombucha also contains small amounts of lactic acid. This creates an environment that is helpful to the health bacteria and less friendly to the harmful guys.
- Thanks to the presence of glucaric acid, kombucha is a gentle, but effective liver cleanser. Our liver is our body’s filter and is tasked with eliminating environmental toxins and pollutants as well as excess hormones (including phytoestrogens which are everywhere in our society!)
- Anyone suffering from arthritis has most likely heard of glucosamine, a substance that increased the production of synovial hyaluronic acid. This in turn helps to preserve collagen and cartilage and reduces pain. Kombucha naturally contains glucosamine.
- Kombucha is rich in anti-oxidants (even more so if you brew it using some rosehip tea in addition to your black tea), which can help to boost your immune system by reducing inflammation and oxidative damage in the body.
- Having healthy and functioning digestive system is vital to immune health as it can often serve as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Kombucha consumption will help to keep this in check.
Interested in brewing your own Kombucha? Check out my post here for detailed instructions on how to make your own from the comfort of your home.