By Coach Mel
The health effects of Kombucha are widely debated. What I will tell you here today are some benefits I see from Kombucha for a lot of populations. First, I will give you a VERY brief background:
Where did it come from? Kombucha is not some hippy drink we created in the 70s. It is thought to have originated in Asia during the Chinese Tsin dynasty in 212BC. It was referred to as the Remedy for Immortality and the Tea of Immortality. With trade route extension it spread to India, Russia, and Japan. The tea was used by samurai and made it’s way to Europe until WWII when tea and sugar were a shortage.
What is it? Simply put, Kombucha is a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. To make it you need water, tea, sugar and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The sugar is the food for the yeast and bacteria from the SCOBY.
Here is how some believe it can help your health:
1. Detoxification: During inflammation free radicals are created. These are reactive molecules which cause damage to anything in sight. The site of inflammation is like a battleground where free radicals must be neutralized. This is where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants: Essential to inflammation and repair. The body makes antioxidants to deal with free radicals. Kombucha has antioxidants which counteract the free radicals that can cause harm to our digestive system.
2. Digestion: Kombucha is a live probiotic culture that also has a high level of beneficial acid and enzymes. These are essential for a healthy gut consisting of good bacteria and an acidic environment. There is research out about kombucha’s ability to heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. However, this can probably be said of any foods with naturally occurring high levels of probiotics and beneficial acid.
3. Energy: Iron is released during the fermentation process from the black tea used to brew Kombucha. It also contains some caffeine (very small amount) and B-vitamins. Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy- producing process at a cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized.
I make my own Kombucha at home and have found it to be extremely fun, rewarding and way more economically friendly if Kombucha is something you purchase with any regularity. Coming up with new flavors and experimenting with fermentation lengths provides different benefits and nutrients each time. It is a fun new hobby that I highly recommend ;) If you are interested in making your own Kombucha contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We have SCOBYs available with starter tea for a small donation.
*Kombucha may be contraindicated with some health conditions; contact your health care provider before consumption.