An Introduction to Kombucha

If you’ve been watching health journals and the news, you’ve probably noticed the excitement surrounding kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s made by creating a large mass of bacteria and yeast. That mass is then added to green or black tea and mixed with sugar. It’s also referred to as Manchurian Mushroom Tea, due to the fact that it may have originated in the historical region of Manchuria, China, and the yeast and bacteria colony looks like a mushroom.

The History of Kombucha

Some sources state that kombucha has been around for several thousand years, originally coming from China. In China, kombucha was known as the Immortal Health Elixir. From there, the tea spread to Japan, where it received the name kombucha. Kombucha means “kelp tea” in Japanese. The first written evidence of kombucha comes from 19th century Russia. Russia introduced the drink to Germany, and the drink is now gaining popularity in more Western countries. It’s still used in Southeast Asia for a number of health benefits and to treat certain ailments.

The Health Benefits

Although there is little research that details the effects of kombucha on humans, many people believe that it can be used to prevent and treat illness. The majority of people who drink kombucha use it as a detoxifying aid. Due to the yeast and bacteria present in it, kombucha is full of the bacteria and enzymes your body uses to detoxify itself. In particular, kombucha detoxifies the liver and helps the liver remove toxins from the body.

Another benefit of kombucha is that it can help cure arthritis and alleviate the pain it causes. Kombucha encourages the production of hyaluronic acid, which works in the body to protect cartilage from damage and relieve arthritis pain. It also keeps the connective tissue of the body strong and pliable.

The bacteria in kombucha make it a probiotic beverage. The benefits of probiotic drinks include fewer yeast infections, more efficient digestion and higher energy levels. Probiotics also help reduce depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

Kombucha has lots of antioxidants as well. These antioxidants keep your energy levels high and make your immune system stronger, leading to fewer illnesses.

Making and Drinking Kombucha

Kombucha is available in stores across the country if you’re interested in trying it. However, you can also make your own kombucha. You can buy a bottle of kombucha to start your own culture. You then add the culture to a pitcher of green or black tea and cover it with a cloth or damp paper towel to keep out dust, bacteria and mold. The tea can be left to sit for one or two weeks for the best results.

However, keep in mind that making your own kombucha can increase the risk of getting mold, bacteria or other contaminants in your tea. If you’re worried about these risks, it may be better to buy it from the store.

Kombucha and its many health benefits are gaining popularity in the United States, so try it out and see if it could be your new favorite drink.

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  • Al Cazares

    I thought the FDA required stores to remove Kombucha off the shelves because of the possiblity of it containing unregulated amounts of alcohol through the fermentation process.