There always seems to be a lot of questions about Kombucha Tea. Questions like: what is Kombucha Tea and why should I drink it? Kombucha tea was first used in Chinese medicine more than two thousand years ago to treat a variety of health maladies like improving digestion, relieving constipation, relieving gastrointestinal disorders, getting rid of headaches, helping with fatigue and general health maintenance. As the story goes a Korean doctor, named Dr. Kombu, introduced this tea to a Japanese emperor in 414AD. Add ‘cha”, which means tea, and we have Kombucha. The name and its healthful benefits have stood the test of time.
Kombucha tea is simply brewed black tea in water with sugar. Once brewed, an organic live culture (good bacteria) referred to as a mushroom or pancake is added and left to ferment the tea for up to thirty days. The culture activates with the sugar and results in a variety of beneficial acids. It’s these resulting acids that possess the health benefits of Kombucha tea. If it was yeast instead of live cultures, the result would be wine. The taste of Kombucha tea can take some time to get used to, though. This fizzy drink has a vinegary taste. At first, it reminded me of apple cider vinegar. But after a few glasses, you might find it refreshing and energizing.
Kombucha tea today is either home brewed or bottled commercially. The home brew recipe is quite inexpensive to perform and provides the maximum health benefits from the tea. As a tip, the home brewer must pay special attention to the brewing instruction and maintaining a sanitary environment. The organic live cultures can be found at your local health food store and for the best brewing kit we recommend, you can purchased it at our online store http://astore.amazon.com/healthierthan-20/detail/B004F27F5C .
Commercially bottled Kombucha Tea is much more expensive than home brew. A bottle may cost anywhere from $3.50 to $5.00 in most stores. If you buy bottled Kombucha, read the label carefully. Make sure it says organic and raw on the label and the main ingredient is the Kombucha Tea. Most bottled teas will add some other ingredients to help mask the natural taste of the Kombucha, but again read the label. I’ve tasted raspberry, watermelon, cayenne, jalapeño, ginger, guava, mango, cranberry, and blueberry in bottled Kombucha Tea. Some flavors even come with Chia seeds inside which double the benefits and the taste. Make sure the bottle is refrigerated at all times because of the live cultures. The bottled variety is less potent than home brew because of the limited brewing time before bottling. But if you are on the go and can afford the bottle, try it.
There are other commercial Kombucha Tea products in the market with little health benefits like Kombucha tea bags or Kombucha tea extract. When adding hot water to the tea bags, it kills the healthful cultures. Most extracts are no more than small amounts of Kombucha tea that has turned vinegary plus they are pricey.
Kombucha tea has been promoted as a cure all for many health issues. But, because Kombucha Tea is rich in antioxidants and probiotics, its greatest health benefit is its ability to detoxify the body, in particular improving your liver function and digestive balance, as well as, improving your immune system to help fight disease. Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer.
I personally limit my intake of Kombucha Tea because I have some questions. How much sugar is left over after fermentation? The recipe won’t work with any natural sugars like stevia or coconut sugar, only white sugar or cane sugar. After reading my article on “Us vs. Veganism”, you will notice that processed sugar is a food we eliminated from our diets. We eat natural sweeteners like coconut sugar which is a main concern of ours. The other concern is Kombucha Tea is very acidic. Kombucha Tea draws its benefits from the good acids produced from fermentation. There is some evidence that once ingested, Kombucha actually is alkalizing. Similar to your body’s reaction when eating lemons. Lemon juice is acidic until digestion and then becomes beneficially alkalizing.
Once I answer these questions completely, Kombucha Tea be can be a large part of my diet.
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