What can I say, I’m a “booch head”! I love this stuff, it’s amazing; detox, weight loss and immune booster is all I needed to know! Okay let me calm down so I can write! As I write this article researching and sipping on a tall, cold 16 oz. glass of pineapple kombucha, I’m excited to share this delicious healthy tonic, which some call the “elixir of life” with you. I’m also a bit apprehensive because even though it’s been around since the Chinese Tsin dynasty in 212BC, there have been no human studies to date on this popular ever growing health tonic. The benefits listed are based on the fact that the drink is a fermented probiotic drink and the thousands of reported testimonies of avid kombucha tea drinkers!
How did you hear about kombucha?
People often ask me, especially my Facebook friends because I’m always sharing things that I learn, “Where do you find this stuff?” Well, one day I was at a Convention in Orlando and I always stop at the nearest Whole Foods to shop for my food during my stay and they had samples of Kombucha out. When I saw the word “probiotic” I got excited, that was my new adventure at the time, increasing my intake of probiotics and fermented foods. So I gave it a try. I had to admit, I didn’t like the taste of it all and the little floating things at the bottom didn’t help either. But I am one to take health over taste and decided to do some research on it and saw that it was worth it and I eventually found some flavors that I liked. It got to be quite expensive $4 for a 16 oz. bottle, so I learned how to make my own and for that price I can make an entire gallon!
What is kombucha?
Kombucha tea is a fermented probiotic drink that has been around for thousands of years. It is made by combining brewed black or green organic tea with organic sugar, already prepared kombucha and a weird slippery, silicone-like circular disc called a SCOBY which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. After 7-10 days the SCOBY produces more bacteria and yeast by feasting on the sugar and as a result grows another SCOBY which is usually referred to as the baby. The end product produces thousands of healthy bacteria, lactic acid, vitamin B, enzymes and about 1% alcohol.
The Gluconacetobacter xylinum bacterium is what makes up most of the SCOBY also called the mother or mushroom for it’s shape. Even after you bottle the kombucha the bacteria will still grow, which is a good thing. The presence of a SCOBY lets you know that your kombuca is alive and active. Once put in the refridgerater the growth will slow down significantly or cease altogether. The kombucha is loaded with organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids and polyphenol anti-oxidants. The most common components include various organic acids such as acetic acid, butyric acid, usnic acid, oxalic acid, malic acid, gluconic acid and lactic acid. It also contains active enzymes and probiotics.
A few years ago FDA pulled some of the unpasteurized versions of the tea off the shelf claiming the alcohol content was as high as 3% which is as much as some beers. That was several years ago and kombucha is still in the health food section at your favorite health food store and not at your local liquor store so go figure. Anyway it’s not recommended that children or pregnant women drink it. Some researchers warn the elderly, cancer patients, people with weakened immune systems not drink because of the lack of research and possible contamination when brewing tea at home. From my research they are the very people who reported outstanding results from drinking the tea.
What does it taste like?
To me, it’s tastes like a a fizzy tangy mixture of wine and apple cider vinegar. Most people that I have had try it say they can taste the alcohol and the vinegar and that it’s strong like a ginger ale, it will certainly make you belch like one! I have to say that the one I make at home tastes 10 x better than the store bought one. I don’t know if it’s because of how long I let it brew or the flavors I choose or a combination of the two. It also must be super cold, it doesn’t taste great warm or barely to me at all. Anyway it has to be chilled before drinking. It is a strong drink so don’t try and gulp it down when you first try it! The taste and strength of it will vary based on the brew timing. It’s best when used within 30 days of fermenting.
What are the benefits of it?
First off as I previously stated the FDA does not recognize kombucha as a health drink, or having any benefits at all. In fact they suggest people not drink it because of the lack of human studies and if it is not brewed in clean/sanitary conditions the side effects can be adverse. This is coming from the same people who allows Monsanto Protection Act food prohibits the labeling of genetically modified organisms, food that is modified in a lab, known to cause a host of health problems. Don’t get me started that’s another topic for another day. With any food/beverage there are potentially hazardous side effects from not being prepared in a clean environment. Do your own research and do what’s best for you and your family.
Builds immunity/Aids digestion: As a fermented drink loaded with probiotics rich in antioxidants and live enzymes, good for your gut by introducing healthy bacteria and warding off parasites and pathogens. It is particularly good at minimizing Candida and improves digestion and nutrient assimilation. Although no human studies have been done to date a study published by the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences showed that kombucha increased their immunity and was high in anti-oxidants which fight cancer and have anti-aging effects as well!
Detoxification: probiotics and enzymes which reduce the load on the pancreas and the kidneys, rid the body of unwanted waste and destroys caner cells. Kombucha is rich in glucaric acid which has potent anti-cancer activity.
Arthritis/Joint pain relief: Rich in glucosamines which help reserve cartilage structure and prevent joint degeneration. Glucosamines increase hyaluronic acid production within the joint which bones moisture thousands of times its weight in the joint cavity. This provides the joint with structure, moisture, lubrication and flexibility all while protecting against free radical damage. Personally I have to say asides from the digestion assistance, I have really seen improvement in my joints. I was hit by a car several years ago and both my knees were injured. Even though I do plyometrics almost everyday I no longer have any joint pain! I read that one young lady had arthritis and after 2 years of drinking kombucha was completely healed.
Increase Energy / anti-aging: Enzymes which can only come from eating/drinking live foods promotes energy. Because the colon and liver are no longer sluggish and full of energy sucking parasites and bacteria, your energy levels will increase.
Reduce the risks of heart disease: Heart disease is still the world’s leading cause of death. Studies show that kombucha can greatly improve (bad) LDL and (good) HDL cholesterol levels in rats and may also protect against heart disease
Helps manage type 2 diabetes: Drinking kombucha might also benefit those who are insulin resistant or have diabetes. The tea can inhibit α-amylase, a protein in the pancreas that’s responsible for higher postprandial (after meal) glucose levels, per a study.
According to the Pharmaceutical Biology study, kombucha had a curative effect on rats with diabetes after 30 days, and it also improved their liver and kidney function.
May Aid Depression Treatment: Symptoms of depression vary from person to person but can include a general feeling of sadness and hopelessness. Depression can also cause problems, including insomnia, poor concentration, and low energy, according to the Mayo Clinic. But kombucha might provide some relief, helping boost your mood by cranking up the production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin, notes the Mayo Clinic.
There haven’t been studies specifically linking kombucha and depression. But a February 2017 review published in the Annals of General Psychiatry does suggest that some psychiatric disorders may be connected with changes in the microbiome (the environment of bacteria in the gut), so there’s increasing evidence that probiotics may help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Zenhausern further notes that 95 percent of serotonin is produced in your gut, not your brain, so optimal gut health is important for mental health and mood regulation, too. “This is why it is always important to address gut health when boosting mood and fighting against depression,” she says.
Weight Loss: Enzymes boost metabolism. All of the beneficial bacteria in the kombucha will help your body work more efficiently thereby promoting weight loss!
Improves Digestion / Nutrient Assimilation: Just because we eat healthy doesn’t mean our bodies are absorbing all the the nutrients from that food. Drinking kombucha or any fermented foods will help you absorb and utilize all of those good nutrients that you work so hard to put into your body.
There are many other reported benefits and uses such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, improving symptoms of multiple sclerosis, dissolving kidney stones, helping with impotence, prostate problems, psoriasis, lowing T cell count in HIV patients, getting rid of Candida albicans (yeast) infections, bronchitis, gout, rheumatism and sleep disorders. It’s also a great sports drink to help replenish vitamins and glucose after a workout
How can I make may own?
I have created an entire video for you, of me making my very first kombucha, it’s quite easy and I had a blast. You can purchase a SCOBY online or at your favorite health food store, get one from a friend or grow your own. The important thing is to keep everything sanitary and don’t use ceramic products. It’s best to use a glass container to ferment your tea in. There are some great online resources that go in detail about How to make Kombucha.
Are there any side effects of drinking kombucha?
The 2 most common side effects that I’ve read so far is excessive bowel function and skin rashes. Which really are a part of the benefits of tea. Your body is going through detox so you will have the signs of symptoms of it. To reduce or eliminate these symptoms simply reduce your amount of kombucha. On average people drink up to 16 oz a day, some people even drink more, there have been a few days that I have had 32 oz and have had no problems at all. Everyone is not the same so start off with 8 oz. and see how that works for you!
Thank you Reigning one for reading this article please comment and let me know what your experience is with kombucha and please share if you found this article helpful!