I love kombucha. It’s fizzy, slightly sweet, slightly acidic, and it makes my tummy feel good. You might have seen it at a local health food store:
I used to buy these as a special treat. I say a treat because in stores, they are about $4 a bottle-way too much for me to spend. I’ve started growing my own kombucha, and in this kombucha series, I’ll teach you how to grow your own, too!
What is it?
Kombucha is a naturally effervescent tea-based beverage that is made by fermenting the tea with what is called a “Scoby.” Scoby stands for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.” Some call it a mushroom, but it is not a mushroom. It is actually similar to a sourdough. The scoby “mama” will take the shape of it’s container and turn sweet tea into kombucha! The longer the scoby sits in the sweet tea, the more acidic the kombucha becomes.
Why I drink it:
It tastes good, and it makes my stomach feel better. For a few years I had some digestive issues. Every time I drink kombucha, though, it makes my stomach feel better. This is possible because of the soothing effervescence and the natural probiotics in the kombucha. Kombucha can also help relieve constipation .
Kombucha is well-known for its glucaric acid content. This acid can help the detox the liver. Other reported benefits can include increased metabolism and reduced blood sugar. Kombucha is also high in antioxidants.
Isn’t it made with sugar?
Yes, it is made with sugar. The kombucha scoby eats the sugar (and the caffeine from tea) as food, and this turns into a carbohydrate. The longer the komcucha brews, the less sugar there is in the drink. I’ve never had problems with kombucha’s sugar levels. In fact, I find fruit juices much sweeter and less tolerable. When I make my own, I can control those sugar levels even more.
Is it right for you?
Kombucha does contain a small amount of naturally-occurring alcohol, which is usually less than 1% alcohol content. Also, because it is made from a bacteria enzyme, it should not be given to children under 1 year (like honey). It is, however, supposed to help teenagers who have acne. Start with a small dose and see how your body feels and reacts before drinking more on a regular basis.
Those with liver problems should not drink kombucha because kombucha is a powerful detoxifier of the liver. Pregnant or breast-feeding mothers shouldn’t use it either.
Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:
Have you ever had kombucha? What are your thoughts on it?