The Benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha, a fermented beverage made with black tea and cane sugar, originated from the far east around 2,000 years ago. In recent years, it has gained popularity in the U.S., yet many people are still curious as to what kombucha is, and why drinking it is so beneficial.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fantastic immune system booster and body detoxifier. It is a tea fermented with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) “mushroom”. It acts on sugar and tea to produce acetic and lactic acid, as well as the detoxifying glucuronic acid.
Why Drink Kombucha?
There are many benefits of this drink.
- It works for liver detoxification. The liver is supposed to produce glucuronic acid organically. However, the liver can become overworked dealing with an abundance of toxins. The acid can be received through drinking kombucha.
- It can increase energy. During fermentation, iron is released from the tea to help increase blood hemoglobin, which creates more oxygen flow through the body, which creates more energy. So a person that drinks kombucha regularly should see an increase in their energy!
- It is said to aid in weight loss. No scientific studies have proven that the drink can help you lose weight; however, many claim to have lost weight by drinking 4-8 ounces 30 minutes before a meal. A glass soon after waking in the mornings is also said to increase metabolism, which in turn aids in weight loss.
- Kombucha, along with other superfoods, can help prevent future morning sickness for pregnant women. It is great to start drinking six months before conception to get rid of the toxins and create a happy place for baby to grow.
- It’s also a fantastic drink to have on a hot day! It is sweet, fizzy, and refreshing. So much better for your health than drinking a soft drink!
How do you make Kombucha?
It has become so popular that it is easy to find in most health food stores; but it is very cheap, easy, and satisfying to make your own.
For 2 quarts you will need:
- 1 gallon size glass jar with a large mouth or a large glass bowl.
- 1 cheesecloth or thin dish towel
- 1 SCOBY mushroom. These can be purchased for fairly cheap online. If you have a friend that brews their own, they may be willing to give you a SCOBY.
- 3 quarts of filtered water
- 3/4 cup of organic cane sugar. This is not the time to substitute with anything like honey, maple syrup, or Rapadura. The yeast eats most of the sugar during fermentation so there is actually very little sugar when it is time to bottle and drink it.
- 4 tea bags organic black tea. Organic is preferred because non-organic is high in flouride.
- 1/2 cup previously brewed kombucha. Most SCOBYs come with this liquid. You can also buy a bottle and use that.
Bring water to a boil in a big pot. Once it is boiling, remove from heat and add tea bags. Let steep for about 10 minutes for a full flavored tea. Remove and discard tea bags.
Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
Allow tea to cool until room temperature, 1-2 hours. This is important because if you add the
SCOBY to tea that is too hot, it could kill it. Add tea to large jar and drop in your mushroom and 1/2 cup pre-made kombucha.
Put cloth over the top of the jar and hold it in place with a rubber band.
Allow it to sit in a warm place on your counter for 7-10 days, possibly a few days longer for the first brew. Taste after the first week to test it. The longer it sits, the more fermented and sour it becomes. This depends on your taste preference. I prefer a strong, sour taste.
Your batch will create a new SCOBY to keep and use in the future or give to a friend to start their own batch.
When it is to your liking, bottle it in glass bottles and refrigerate to finish carbonating. After 24 hours of cooling, it is ready to drink!