The Miracle of Kombucha
WHAT IS KOMBUCHA
Kombucha is made by combining green or black tea, sugar and a living culture, also known as a "Mother" or "Scoby". This culture is basically yeast and bacteria. And I know what you are thinking, yes it sounds gross, but that is what gives Kombucha it's health benefits.
And even thou the recipe generally starts with a ton of sugar and pretty high levels of caffeine, those are actually pretty much all used up in the fermentation process, so the final product has very little of either. The mixture is generally left in room temperature to ferment for 1-3 weeks, then bottles for 1-2 weeks to contain released CO2 and encourage carbonation. The longer you leave it bottles, the more carbonated it would get. Post the completion of the fermentation process, the tea develops into a nutritional powerhouse with the richness of minerals like sodium, numerous beneficial enzymes, a range of vitamins such as vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxin), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and many healthful chemical constituents such as gluconic acid, oxalic acid, acetic acid, glucuronic acid, usnic acid, fructose, and lactic acid.
Kombucha originated in Northeast China (historically referred to as Manchuria) around 220 B.C. and was initially prized for its healing properties. Its name is reportedly derived from Dr. Kombu, a Korean physician who brought the fermented tea to Japan as a curative for Emperor Inkyo. Eventually the tea was brought to Europe as a result of trade route expansions in the early 20th century, most notably appearing in Russia (as "Kambucha") and Germany (as "Kombuchaschwamm"). Despite a dip in international popularity during WWII due to the shortage of tea and sugar supplies, Kombucha regained popularity following a 1960s study in Switzerland comparing its health benefits to those of yogurt.
Improves Digestion - Kombucha tea helps you digest food better which allows you to absorb all the nutrients you get from the food that you eat. This is a result of Kombucha’s probiotic characteristics contributing to the digestive bacteria in your stomach and helping break down all of the essential components of your food. Kombucha also helps the body get rid of the things it doesn’t need, this means you can enjoy better health in general and get rid of chemicals and substances that your body simply doesn’t need.
Detoxifies the Body -Kombucha contains large amounts of organic acids like glucuronic acid and powerful antioxidants which help in shielding the body from oxidative damage. The antioxidants present in it look out for free radicals and neutralize their effects, thereby repairing and protecting the body from chronic diseases and inflammation. Furthermore, it prevents the harmful effects of pollution caused by the petroleum products along with plastics, pesticides, resins, and heavy metals.
Helps with weight loss -When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, Kombucha tea can assist you in losing weight. The tea is a great alternative to sugary sodas and fattening drinks, so while there is nothing in the tea that will specifically help you lose weight, those who swap soda for tea have reported much better results when attempting to lose weight. It’s a really simple way to lose weight and get healthier and it’s tasty, too.
Controls Diabetes - Kombucha is a natural therapeutic agent which helps in suppressing the factors that cause diabetic conditions. A comparative study involving black tea and Kombucha has revealed that Kombucha has better inhibiting properties as compared to black tea and aids in a superior deterrence of the elevated blood glucose levels. The study has also suggested that the tea exerts healing action on the pancreas of diabetic individuals and helps in guarding their liver and kidney functions by reducing the concentration of urea and other unfavorable activities occurring in the plasma membrane.
Studies show it may help fight cancer - Cancer is a mutation and growth of particular cells in the body and is one of the world’s leading causes of death. Studies on the anti-cancer qualities of tea and Kombucha have only been tested in laboratories, in test tubes. But the principles and findings reveal that both substances have significant anti-cancer properties. The findings show that the tea polyphenols block any gene mutation and growth of cancer cells and even works towards killing cancer and the glucaric acid in Kombucha works towards preventing certain strains of cancer such as breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.
Other - Finally, Kombucha drink has a revitalizing effect which helps retain the natural color of the hair, keeps the skin firm and improves the feeling of overall health and vigor. It is an effective wound healer, which is also known to improve eyesight. Apart from a plethora of health benefits mentioned above, Kombucha culture can also be utilized to manufacture artificial leather.
P.S. I am very aware of how expensive Kombucha is, but fact is that it's super easy to make at home. All you need is a bit of patience and a starter kit.