As far as health drinks go, kombucha may not be among the most well-known. Despite the fact that it isn’t a household staple, the health benefits of kombucha are appreciated by many. You may be interested to know how you can enjoy these benefits too!
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that is created by fermenting the tea with sugar and a kombucha culture. This culture is also commonly referred to as a scoby. The word scoby is an acronym and stands for 'Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast'.
The Origins of Kombucha
Although it is not really completely clear when and where kombucha was first developed, it is believed to have originated in the Far East. There is evidence to suggest that this drink has been brewed and enjoyed there for many thousands of years. There is also evidence to show that this fermented tea has also been consumed in Russia and Eastern Europe for many hundreds of years at least.
The Health Benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha has been around for a very long time, and a lot of research has been done into the health benefits of this drink over the years. Some of the most exciting things that we know from this research is that it has antibiotic, antiviral and anti fungal properties.
A great deal of the research into this drink was conducted in Germany and Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. This was part of a push to learn more about potential cures for cancer.
In lab tests involving rats, kombucha has been shown to help keep stress levels down as well as enhance liver function. The detoxification properties of kombucha are perhaps the most exciting, as finding ways to alleviate the burden that the body places on the liver is conducive to optimum health.
People who have drank kombucha regularly over the years are perhaps the best source of information on the potential health benefits. Many of these people have reported increased energy levels, improved metabolism, allergy relief, and digestive relief. It has also been suggested that those who suffer from arthritis can soothe certain symptoms of this condition by consuming kombucha regularly.
When it comes to arthritis it is thought that the glucosamines found within kombucha are great for the health of the connective tissue. This is good news for the joints and for lessening the impact of arthritis on the body.
The health of the skin is also said to be able to enjoy the benefits of this fermented drink, as it helps to improve hydration and enhance elasticity.
Furthermore, gut health is perhaps the most well-known of the benefits of this fermented drink as it is incredibly probiotic.
How to Make Your Own Kombucha
There are several different ways to brew your own kombucha, and the following recipe is just one simple way to get started.
Take a gallon of water and bring it to the boil. You can then remove it from the heat and add in a cup of white sugar with eight tea bags. Pour this mixture into a glass container. You can now leave this mixture to cool to room temperature. Once the tea has reached room temperature, add in a little bit of existing kombucha if you have some, but if not then just add in the kombucha culture and you are ready to go! Now all you need to do is cover your container and leave your kombucha to ferment for between two and four weeks.
You can use several different types of tea for your brew and you may find that you prefer the taste of one type over another. However, you should generally always use tea that isn't herbal. Choose between black tea, white tea and green tea for best results.
The Fermentation Process
Once you have started your own batch of kombucha, the scoby will soon begin to digest the sugar that you have added to the tea. As it does so, several natural acids will be produced, as well as vitamins, and other enzymes.
As each fermentation process develops you will notice that the scoby forms a new layer of skin, which will eventually become big enough to use as a brand new scoby all on its own! If you don’t want to start a separate batch then you can either pass this new culture along to a friend to start their own, or you can store it in the fridge in a portion of kombucha so that you can use it in the future.
A Tonic for Good Health
Giving kombucha a try for yourself can be the easiest way to know if your body is going to feel the benefits. If you don't want to invest in starting your own batch then you will also find that it is readily available in your local health stores, as well as from many online retailers.