Kombucha has been consumed for thousands of years and is a fermented probiotic drink that originated from China but oftentimes is credited to be originated from Russia. Kombucha is brewed (or fermented) over a course of 7-31 days. The final product is naturally carbonated making this a fizzy and tasty drink. Kombucha is not a magic potion, but it is a potentially healthful, flavorful drink that is relatively low in calories and sugar. As with any food or drink, it is wise not to overdo it but to enjoy it in moderation.
When raw or unpasteurized, it is rich in probiotics (like those in yogurt) and yeast (like those in beer) that have been shown to boost immunity and overall health. Drinking it unpasteurized, if it was not produced in sanitary conditions, may pose a food safety threat. The safety of Kombucha depends on how and where it’s made. Home-brewed Kombucha and unpasteurized Kombucha that is prepared in non-sterile conditions increases the risk for unhealthy bacteria to seep into the tea. This is why when you brew your own Kombucha, you should make sure that everything has been cleaned and sanitized with hot water and vinegar. If you make sure to do this, there is no harm in brewing your on Kombucha or consuming it.
The CDC notes because of the acidity of the tea, it should not be prepared or stored in containers made from materials such as ceramic or lead crystal, which both contain toxic elements than can leach into the tea. Drinking 4 ounces daily of Kombucha tea is safe for healthy people, but it is suggested that pregnant women, elderly people, children, and anyone with a compromised immune system should avoid it.
- This culture acts like a veritable biochemical factory, transforming simple sugars into a multitude of highly beneficial substances:
- Several types of enzymes and good bacteria
- Organic acids (acetic, lactic, D-gluconic, citric, usnic, malic, butyric, oxalic and others)
- Vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and amino acids
- Antioxidants and polyphenols
- And less than .5 % alcohol
Aids Digestive Health
A 2008 study of cells published in the journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology found the fermented tea itself could provide antimicrobial activity that controls E. Coli and staph bacteria. Kombucha is loaded with beneficial probiotic organisms linked to digestive health and immune function. Sometimes we eat food that is hard to digest, and if not digested properly, could lead to potential weight gain. Drinking Kombucha before, during, or after a meal, says Pony, can help break down the food and make the nutrients more bioavailable. This means “[y]our body can absorb the nutrients, resulting in more energy, healthier body, and stronger immune system,” she said.
The fermented tea is able to aid the immune system because it energizes and boosts the metabolism via the growth of beneficial bacteria. The rich bacteria are essential for immunity because then the body has a stronger chance of fighting off viruses, the bad bacteria, according to Pony. The greater the growth of beneficial bacteria, the better in shape the body will be internally and externally.
Moreover, it is the antioxidant benefits of kombucha that counteract the free radicals that disturb the digestive system. Dr. Christopher Hobbs, a fourth-generation, internationally renowned herbalist, and director of Herbal Science at Rainbow Light explained to Medical Dailyin an email, “Extensive work has even been conducted to test kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. Additionally, it was proven to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.”
Protects The Liver
Kombucha not only helps boost the immune system, but also gently cleanses the liver. “Understanding the key to digestive health centers around the liver,” says Hobbs, “and kombucha has been hailed in its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity.” A 2009 study published in the journal Microbiology and Biotechnology found kombucha tea does have protective effects for the liver. The animal study showed the fermented tea decreased levels of toxins that are known to lead to liver damage. This is due to kombucha’s glucuronic acid that binds to toxins and takes them out of the body.
List of other potential healing properties from drinking Kombucha:
- Alkalize the body – balances internal pH
- Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
- Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
- Cancer prevention
- Alleviate constipation
- Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
- Reduce blood pressure
- Relieve headaches & migraines
- Reduce kidney stones
- High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
- High in polyphenols
- Improve eyesight
- Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
- Prevent artheriosclerosis
- Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylorion contact
- Help clear up candida & yeast infections
- Aid healthy cell regeneration
- Reduce gray hair
- Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating