Kombucha is an ancient drink that has been around for 2000 years and originates in Asia. With people becoming more health conscious and aware of what they’re consuming there is no slowing down in this trend.
To simplify what Kombucha is; it's a Sweet Tea that has been Fermented. Similar to yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut and some breads a culture is added to the sweet tea during the first fermentation. It eats away at the sugar and transforms the sweet tea into a slightly vinegary, naturally carbonated drink that is packed full of nutrition, improves the digestion and helps boost the immune system.
Properties and benefits: Kombucha helps people reconnect with their gut. Too often our lifestyles get busy and we tend to gravitate towards fast food and other processed products which make us feel sick and sluggish. Starting your day off on an empty stomach and drinking Kombucha (2-4 oz to start) will let your gut adjust to living bacteria, yeast and healthy acids that stimulate and communicate with the body on what foods are healthy and what are not. Your taste buds can change. Normally you would gravitate to fatty, high sugar foods now you avoid them. Kombucha doesn't cure disease but provides your body with the nutrition and opportunity to return balance so the immune system functions more effectively. With drinking Kombucha daily it can bring balance back to your body, diet and lifestyle.
Kombucha is started with a sweet tea (black or green organic tea). Cool the tea. Once cooled, a culture called a S.C.O.B.Y (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) is added. You then allow the culture to ferment and transform the sweet tea into a form similar to apple cider vinegar. This can range from 7-21 days or until desired pH or flavour is reached. The culture is then removed when the desired flavour and pH is attained and allow the second fermentation to take place by adding organic fruit, juice and herbs to flavour the Kombucha. Bottle and enjoy.
Who should drink:
No matter what dietary guidelines you follow adding Kombucha to your diet can be beneficial.
• Getting Started: when first starting out it is recommend to start with 2-4 oz on a empty stomach. Then wait and see how your body reacts to the drink. Some people will start to crave the drink. The reason for this, Kombucha is supplying your body with nutrition and your body is telling you, you need to support or correct a deficiency. As your body adjust you can increase the quantity you consume.
Warnings: Always consult your healthcare practitioner prior to drinking if you have a health ailment or concern.
• Pregnant or nursing mothers: Best to contact your healthcare practitioner. if you are already a Kombucha drinker prior to pregnancy trust your gut, you should be able to continue drinking in small quantities. If you become pregnant and want to start drinking Kombucha, this is not the best time.
• Diabetes: during the fermentation process the organic cane sugar (Sucrose) is broken down into fructose and glucose which have a lower glycemic impact on the body. Enzymes then breakdown the sugars even further during the fermentation which means even less sugar in the final product. Studies have shown that it helps their condition and they can enjoy Kombucha without spikes in blood sugar. Always consult your healthcare practitioner.
Natural sediment: if the bottle sits, natural sedimentation can occur. Kombucha is a living raw, unpasteurized drink full of good yeast, bacteria and sediment is a great indication of a healthy living drink! If a new SCOBY develops in your bottle do not fear, you can strain this off or ingest it for an extra kick of probiotics and nutrients for your gut. Do not shake, gently rock your bottle to reconstitute the naturally formed sediment.
How long does it last?: Once bottled the fresher the better as the living yeast and bacteria are at their strongest. It can last up to 3 months, however, in this time the drink will slowly continue to ferment, change flavour and pressure in the bottle may occur. Open with caution!
Reference: Books The Big Book of Kombucha, Kombucha Rediscovered, Kombucha Revolution