Kombucha tea is not a separate variety of tea leaf like black tea or green tea. It is in fact a fermented drink which is made of tea, sugar, yeast and bacteria. It is also sometimes called Kombucha Mushroom Tea. So kombucha may refer to a variety of fermented drink made of black tea or green tea. To make kombucha, tea is fermented using SCOBY (Symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). The yeast could be Saccharomyces or any other yeast. But the bacterial component is always Gluconacetobacter. It oxidizes yeast produced alcohol to acetic acid.
Group of beverages called Kombucha originated in China, about 5000 years ago. The Chinese called it Immortal Health Elixir. It was a home brewed beverage. In Chinese it is called Chajun and in Japanese Kocha Kinoko. Kombucha claims to have many medical benefits but till now this claim is not supported by quality research. It is known to have many adverse effects.
Nutrients in Kombucha Tea
It contains Vitamin B, Alcohol, Vinegar, Caffeine and Sugar. It also contains acetic acid, uric acid and oxalic acid. The tea is used for memory loss, premenstrual syndrome, loss of appetite, aging, high blood pressure, constipation, arthritis and hair loss.
Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea
- Detoxification – It is rich in enzymes and bacterial acids that are produced by our bodies also. It detoxifies the body which results in healthy liver. It is also beneficial to pancreas. Kombucha is rich in Glucaric Acid which fights cancer. Glucoronic acid in Kambucha is an important detoxifier. It flushes out liver toxins like phenols through kidneys.
- Kombucha for Arthritis and Joint pain – Kombucha contains Glucosamine. This chemical is beneficial in all types of arthritis. Glucosamines increase synovial hyaluronic acid production in the body.This acid helps in preservation of cartilage structureand provides relief in arthritis. It also maintains tissue structure and sufficient moisture in the tissue. This provides lubrication and flexibility to the joints.
- Kombucha Aids Digestion – Because it is fermented, it has probiotic properties. It improves digestion and is good for stomach. The lactic acid in Kombucha prevents bowl decay and constipation. It also balances acids and alkaline in the body.
- Kombucha Boots Immune System – It is loaded with antioxidants. It controls free radicals and prevents cell damage. So it improves our body’s immune system. A strong immune system fights various deceases and infections effectively.
How to Make Kombucha Tea
- Take a metal or glass bowl. Do not use plastic bowl because chemicals in the plastic may get released into kombucha during fermentation process.
- Take one large piece of cloth with which opening of the bowl can be covered. Best is to use cheese cloth or any thin cloth.
- Purchase a SCOBY disc. It should have been vacuum sealed. SCOBY is available in health food stores.
- One cup of pre made Kombucha. It can be purchased from health food store.
- 8 cups of water.
- Half cup of honey or cane sugar.
- 4 black tea bags.
How to Make
- Boil the water in a pot. Stop heating when it starts boiling
- Add tea bags and honey. Stir to mix thoroughly.
- Let the mixture cool down to room temperature. It may take up to one hour.
- Now add the SCOBY disc and one cup of pre made Kombucha in this mixture.
- Cover the bowl with a thin cloth and tie the neck with a rubber band or string.
- Let it sit for 7 to 10 days, during which fermentation will take place. Lesser time will produce a weaker kombucha which will taste less sour. If it is allowed to ferment for a longer time the taste will be better.
- The Kombucha Tea is ready to drink. It can be stored in glass jars.
Side Effects of Kombucha Tea
- If you are making kombucha yourself be careful of contamination.
- In some people it may cause upset stomach, infection and allergic reaction.
- People with digestive problem like ulcer, heartburn etc should avoid kombucha.
- If you have weak immune system you should not drink kombucha because the yeast in it can grow harmful bacteria in you.
- Pregnant and nursing women must not drink kombucha tea.
- If you cannot tolerate even low level of sugar, caffeine and alcohol should avoid drinking kombucha.
- You should drink small quantity in order to find out whether it suits you or not