The Chinese refer to Kombucha as "Immortal Health Elixir". It is an ancient drink that has been around for over 2,000 years, but didn't arrive in the U.S. until the 1990's. Kombucha has a rich, anecdotal history of health benefits including fighting cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases.
Touted health benefits include:
Kombucha is rich in many enzymes and bacterial acids that help to detox the body lightening the workload placed on the liver. It also contains Glucaric acid, which recent studies have shown helps prevent cancer.
2) Joint care
Kombucha contains glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid function. This acid aids in the preservation of cartilage structure and helps with arthritic pain.
3) Aids digestion and gut health
Since it is naturally fermented it contains probiotics, which help to increase healthy bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can aid in mental clarity, mood stability, fighting overgrowth of harmful yeast, and helps to eliminate or reduce symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety.
4) Immune boosting
It is high in antioxidants helpful for boosting the immune system and energy levels.
However, there isn't much actual scientific evidence to back up any of these health claims. This could be due to the fact that the drug industry wouldn't be able to make much of a profit since this drink can be easily made at home for next to nothing. You can find it selling in stores for about $3.49 per bottle. Not that economical when you consider that all you need to make a gallon at home is two tea bags and some sugar.
SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) Starter
1 gallon pure/filtered water (no chlorine or ionized water)
4 tea bags – black tea is best, oolong, or green are ok, do not use herbal
1 cup white sugar
Boil the water, add tea bags and sugar. Stir in the sugar and steep for 10 or more minutes. Allow to cool. Put the room temperature tea in with the starter in a clean wide-mouth glass jar (sun tea jar or large pickle jar work great. I recommend a jar with a plastic spout on the bottom). Cover with a towel/cloth and rubber band it in place.
Keep at room temperature, away from sunlight for 2-4 weeks. A nice layer of the scoby ('mushroom") should form on the top. It's done when it the sweet taste is gone (optional: check the ph to be sure it is between 2.5 and 4. The color may vary, but there should be no black, green or bright white coloring on your scoby. Color variation from off-white to tan is ok and so are stringy bits. Strain the liquid and enjoy! Be sure to leave it just submerged in its liquid (approximately 2 cups) for use in the next batch!
Note: Do not allow your scoby to come into contact with metal, including utensils and spouts!
Recipe from Blue Russ Health Coaching via my awesome sister-in-law
Read more about Kombucha.
Have you found drinking Kombucha on a regular basis to help your system? What other ways do you get probiotics in your diet?