I have been a fan of Kombucha (COM-BOO-CHA) Tea for years, but I haven’t come across it much lately, since moving to Asia. However, while in India I discovered a restaurant with homemade Kombucha on the menu, and needless to say I made up for having missed it for so long. I used to expound the benefits of this drink to anyone who would listen, however most people didn’t get past the first sip. After all, it does taste like fizzy vinegar, so you either love it or hate it! But after my third cup of this amazing drink in the Indian restaurant, I felt it deserved a bit of a mention on FitHealthyFab.
Firstly, I should state that Kombucha isn’t for everyone. After all, it is like drinking fizzy vinegar as I said, but flavors vary according to individual recipes. Most Kombucha is made at home using a SCOBY (which is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast), black tea, and sugar. Kombucha has supposedly been around in China, Russia, and Tibet for thousands of years, having been used as an immune system booster, a skin tonic , and to cultivate healthy intestinal flora. It has even been mentioned for its cancer-fighting qualities, as one Chinese women even claims she cured herself of the disease by drinking it. The positive benefits most definitely outweigh the negative; however it is worth noting that being a fermented drink, it may contain some alcohol – usually no more than 1%, but this can vary from batch to batch.
The benefits of Kombucha include, but are not limited to:
– Increased energy
– Great source of antioxidants and enzymes (raw Kombucha)
– Improved digestion
– Great probiotic, especially for vegans
– Boosted immune system
– Improved liver function, cleanses the gall bladder
– Helps metabolism
– Prevents lactic acid build-up in the muscles after a work-out
– Fight against cancer
Scientific research hasn’t conclusively validated these claims, however in my humble opinion, science doesn’t always take natural cures as seriously as it should, as funding is more likely to be spent on some new synthetic, potentially profitable wonder-drug! Rumor has it that Ronald Reagan consumed a liter of Kombucha every day. Hmmmm!
Homemade Kombucha is really easy to make, and there are many great recipes on the internet if you wish to pursue this method. Caution: Ensure a high degree of hygiene in all the utensils used, and never drink if the liquid becomes moldy. Generally though, Kombucha is safe, however it should be consumed minimally at first, to give the body time to get used to it.
TIP: When purchasing Kombucha, always buy raw, otherwise you’re likely to find it has been pasteurized, which destroys the live cultures.
If you do decide to make this amazing tea at home, there are plenty of great resources on the internet. I recommend this one, for starters: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/media/docs/Kombucha_eBook.pdf.