Kombucha is a delicious healing tonic and detoxifying drink, renowned for its anti-ageing properties and revered as a secret elixir to retaining youthful vitality.
Surprising as it may be, the basic Kombucha is made from fermenting a little tea and sugar, and best of all, you can inexpensively make your own!
It has a reputation as a preventative medicine, healing hundreds of different ailments and people who drink it regularly seem to be healthier and happier.
The earliest record of Kombucha leads us to Korea in early 400 B.C. Fermented foods such as Kimchi are infamous in Korean culture. It made its way to mainland China in early 200 B.C. during the Tsin Dynasty, and soon it was found in Japan, Russia and India.
Today, you will find enthusiastic Kombucha drinkers the world over, and you will find plenty of recipes and people’s experiences of this home remedy on the internet or at your local yoga class, organic shop or hipster cafe.
What are the health benefits of Kombucha?
I’m just going to spend a minute exploring the benefits of Kombucha.
There is a lot of talk these days about ‘gut’ health, as more and more research is proving that your health starts and ends with the state of your intestinal flora.
One of Kombucha’s greatest health promoting benefits is that its full of Probiotics – good healthy bacteria that aids the digestive system, keeping it functioning optimally, particularly cleaning your intestines from candida overgrowth.
It has many enzymes and extremely anti-oxidant rich, invigorating your natural detoxification system, helping to rid the body of toxins and heavy metals, and supports your liver and other systems of the body – helping to boost our immune system and effecting our overall health.
Kombucha helps with mental clarity, depression, anxiety and mood stability, reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia and muscle pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and increasing your energy levels and stamina.
Skin problems, such as acne, eczema and improves your skin elasticity, tone and colour.
Allergies, digestive disorders, hypertension (high blood pressure), poor circulation and high cholesterol.
People with difficult long-term illnesses have found help with drinking Kombucha regularly, such as easing arthritis due to high Glucosamines content, and is very high in Glucaric acid, which recent studies have shown helps prevent cancer.
Where can I get my daily dose of Kombucha?
To make your own, you will need to get a hold of a “mother” starter culture, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, a.k.a SCOBY.
Kombucha starts out as a sugary tea, which is then fermented with the help of the SCOBY, which eats most of the sugar in the tea, transforming it into a refreshingly fizzy (low-alcoholic 1%) slightly sour, subtle flavored beverage..
Simply find a basic brew online, however you can get creative with it and make it to your own taste with a whole range of natural flavours, including ginger, lemongrass, lime, elderflower, hibiscus and raspberry.
Black tea tends to be the easiest and most reliable, however you can try green tea, white tea, oolong tea, or even a mix. Avoid any teas that contain oils, like earl grey or flavored teas. Herbal teas are great too, although be sure to add a little black tea in the mix to make sure the SCOBY is getting all the nutrients it needs to ferment properly.
Although I recommend making your own Kombucha at home, you can usually find a bottle of Kombucha in your local health food store.
Or if you are ever on the island of Koh Phangan Thailand, I highly recommend Kitty’s Kombucha! Kitty makes the best Hibiscus and Ginger Kombucha I have ever had!
(UPDATE: 2017 - Kitty’s Kombucha is now brewed in London :)
Kombucha for days!