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I’m sure by now you’ve heard of kombucha, whether it be from me or other bloggers, or maybe you’ve just seen it at your local health food store. But, like a lot of people, you may be a little confused about what it is and why you should drink it. Well, let me help you out.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is used as both a refreshment and a medicinal drink. It has been made and consumed by humans since the late 19th century. The first time kombucha use was recorded was in Russia. There is also some history of it being consumed in China and Japan. It is typically made with some form of black tea that is sweetened with sugar and has a SCOBY (an acr0nym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) placed in the tea. This SCOBY is the culture that makes the tea ferment and gives it its good bacteria. Kombucha usually ferments anywhere between 1 and 4 weeks, but there definitely is a sweet spot during the fermentation process that produces the best tasting beverage (thank you WikiPedia).
Now, I know that many people are put off by the thought of eating or drinking fermented or cultured foods, even though cheese, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and sauerkraut are all forms of fermented or cultured foods (if they are prepared properly). The word “fermented” may not be the most appetizing word in the dictionary, but I implore you to look beyond the word and check out the health benefits of fermented food. Our nation is literally dying for lack of wholesome, fermented foods in our diet. I believe that if more people ate fermented foods, it would help correct many of the ailments they may be facing. Now, don’t misunderstand — I’m not saying that fermented foods are a cure-all for everything. However, I do know that true health begins in the gut and if the gut is healthy, the rest of our body will follow suit. Fermented foods allow our body to absorb the good bacteria they need to promote true well-being. The live bacteria gives our body the ammo it needs to heal itself.
There are tons of different kinds of fermented foods that you can eat, but that is a separate blog post. For today, I am just going to talk about kombucha and why you really should drink it.
Why Drink Kombucha
There have been studies that have shown the health benefits to drinking kombucha, but just ask anyone who regularly consumes kombucha and they will tell you all about it. It is an antimicrobial beverage and is full of antioxidants. This drink is alive and it is the live bacteria that are so beneficial. Here are the top healing properties of kombucha, compiled by none other than my new friend and new affiliate partner, the Kombucha Kamp creator, Hannah Crum. Hannah is THE go-to person to learn all about kombucha, how to brew your own, and much more.
- It’s probiotic
- It alkalinizes the blood
- It detoxifies the liver
- It increases your metabolism
- It improves digestion
- It rebuilds connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
- It considered a cancer prevention
- It alleviates constipation
- It boosts energy – helps with chronic fatigue
- It reduces blood pressure
- It relieves headaches & migraines
- It reduces kidney stones
- It high in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
- It high in polyphenols
- It improves eyesight
- It heals eczema – softens the skin
- It prevents atherosclerosis
- It speeds healing of ulcers – propagates the gut with healthy bacteria
- It helps clear up candida & yeast infections
- It aids healthy cell regeneration
You can purchase Kombucha at your local health food stores. The most common brand is GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha. It can get pretty pricey, depending on how much you drink (I recommend one bottle a day). At my local Vitamin Cottage, each bottle costs between $2.50 and $3.00. There are also a couple other brands out there, such as Kombucha Wonder Drink and High Country Kombucha (which is brewed here in Colorado).
The most cost-effective route is to brew your own kombucha, but this can be a little intimidating and overwhelming to the new kombucha drinker. What I would recommend doing is starting out with a few bottles from your local health food store and giving them a try. Some people will find the drink refreshing and they will instantly like it, whereas others might be put off a little by the taste and will need to gradually warm up to it. The taste is hard to describe – some people refer to it as a mild vinegar-y taste, but to me, it tastes more like a very mild beer. It’s bubbly and quite refreshing. Plus, the upside of starting with bottles from the grocery store is that there are a multitude of flavors to get you rolling.
Ready to get started brewing your own? Here are two tutorials: