KOMBUCHA: WHAT IS IT? HOW DO YOU MAKE IT AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Are you looking for a healing elixir? Try Kombucha!
As we research the newest remedy to counteract our ailments, take a look at a source that may offer some benefits. Many women look to supplement their conventional medicine and currently trending, Kombucha is a great option that is an ancient, yet effective option.
Kombucha, pronounced Kom-boo-cha, dates back to some 2,000 years and is still used today as a wellness drink. First brewed in China, the fermented tea quickly spread to Japan and then Russia. Legends say that the drink took its name from Dr. Kombu, a physician who made the drink for Japan's Emperor Ingyō to help him cure his ailments. It is also said that the drink was carried by Japanese Samurai warriors in their wineskins as it helped them stay headstrong for battles!
Since the drink has been in the wellness world for quite a long while, we are sure that you might have heard the name once or twice. But there are lots of questions that might have popped in your head too. We will answer them all, one by one, leaving for you to decide whether you never want to swallow another mouthful again or become an aficionado!
Let’s start with the most obvious question:
WHAT IS KOMBUCHA?
Simply put, Kombucha is a fermented drink. Generally, the ‘booch’ begins with green or black tea, which is then fermented with a symbiotic culture, referred to as SCOBY. SCOBY is an abbreviation for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.’ The SCOBY converts the sugar into acetic acid and ethanol. This helps in giving the drink a fizzy, sour and sweet taste.
LET’S MAKE SOME ‘BOOCH’
For making Kombucha, you need the following ingredients:
Black or green tea (loose-leaf or bags)
Cold filtered water
SCOBY (can be purchased online)
Seep the tea and sugar in boiled water and leave it to cool for a while before
you add the SCOBY. After that, cover the mixture and leave it for fermentation for up to a week. Once that’s done, pour the mixture in an airtight container, add some sugar, and leave it for a few more days. Remember, the longer you leave it, the fizzier it will be! You can also add some other ingredients such as spices or fruits for added flavor!
BENEFITS OF KOMBUCHA
Did you know that the dietitian Maxine Smith, RD, LD, says Kombucha is a “worthy” addition to your health arsenal, and there are many benefits to this drink. Let’s delve into it!
With aging come saggy skin and wrinkles. As per the words of Amy Driscoll, the co-founder of Bear’s Fruit, Kombucha tea comprises powerful antioxidants that are known as EGCGS. These antioxidants are 20 times more effective than Vitamin C in attacking radicals. Studies have shown that they help in decreasing wrinkles and give you better skin texture.
Since the tea is made from fermentation, Kombucha is rich in probiotics. These probiotics are similar to bacteria that live in our gut. With Kombucha, the overall gut health is said to improve, alongside treating diarrhea. Some studies also suggest its benefits associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
Over time, studies have suggested an essential role of Kombucha in preventing or treating cancer. A study conducted in 2008 showed that Kombucha aided the prevention of the growth of cancer cells, supported by another study in 2013 that showed the decrease in survival of cancer cells due to Kombucha. Please consult your doctor before drinking Kombucha to to ensure it does not have a negative impact based on your risk factors.
TYPE 2 DIABETES
Research in 2012 showed that Kombucha helped in managing blood sugar levels in rats with type 2 diabetes, suggesting that Kombucha might be effective in controlling the disease.
There are plenty of other benefits that come with Kombucha, including immunity-boosting, treating liver diseases, better nails and hair, and improving memory. But it is also recommended that you take a look at the risks too given!
Given the brewing process, this could create a trace amount of alcohol so if you are trying to avoid alcohol, small traces of alcohol could exist. Sugar could also be a negative factor for you so monitor your intake. Finally, probiotics could have a positive impact on your gut but not everyone. Like any natural process you would make yourself, consult your physician to ensure it is appropriate for you to drink.