I do not know if you ever heard about Kombucha tea, but the first time I heard when I was a child. The Kombucha fungus or ‘the mushroom from the tea jar’ was offered to my grandmother and since then the ‘Kombucha tea ceremony’ started.
Kombucha tea benefits are countless and if you want to keep your health, to improve your immune system and be protected against diseases without medication, this tea is the solution.
Kombucha has its place along with other natural probiotic sources like pickles, yogurt from seeds or walnuts, home made yogurt prepared of goat or sheep milk and others.
Drinks and natural beverages containing fermented probiotics should have an important role in our daily diet as it helps digestion, mineral absorption and internal balance.
It is good for you to know that commercially sold yogurts do not contain probiotics. As long as a preparation is pasteurized, the live probiotic cultures do not live in it.
What Is Kombucha Tea?
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink with a slightly sweet taste and acid that is obtained by the specific action of black or green tea on the fungus used. The colony called SCOBY in the fungus from which the Kombucha drink is obtained has a look and a similar color to a thicker pancake and is responsible for turning the sweetened tea into a probiotic drink.
As a result of Kombucha tea fermentation, besides all probiotic bacteria, vitamins (especially those in group B and C), amino acids, enzymes and organic acids beneficial to health such as glucuronic acid (which has a high detoxifying power) lactic acid (helps digestion and stimulates blood circulation) and acetic (natural antibiotic).
Due to the fact that it is a fermented product and derived from black tea, Kombucha has become, in recent years, a very well-known natural drink, which is attributed to many beneficial properties for the human body.
The first uses of Kombucha tea date back to 221 BC. C., during the Chinese Tsin Dynasty. Asian origin and called tea of immortality, Kombucha tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than two millennia. Since ancient times, Kombucha tea has been awarded many health benefits, being a probiotic drink with depurative properties, antioxidant, energy and immune system enhancers.
Kombucha tea is believed to have been introduced to Japan by a doctor of Korean origin, whose name was Kombu, and hence the name of that drink. Kombucha tea was considered the tea of the gods because of its curative properties, and its effects on gastrointestinal diseases are now being studied, as well as a natural remedy for the prevention and treatment of breast and prostate cancer.
First of all, Kombucha is a natural drink and a good source of water for our body. The therapeutic properties of Kombucha tea are the same for all its varieties that may have different flavors depending on the type of tea used in its preparation (black, green or rooibos)
Due to its rich in water, vitamins and minerals, Kombucha tea can help to hydrate the body and because of its antioxidant polyphenols content such as catechins, Kombucha tea helps strengthen the immune system, burn fat stores by stimulating metabolism, preventing cancer, slowing the aging process, etc.
The polyphenols and micro-organisms in this drink also help stimulate digestive and hepatic functions, maintain cardiovascular health, and fight stress
Kombucha tea also contains various vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins that the body needs for proper functioning of the nervous and muscular system – vitamin C, iron, zinc, copper and manganese.
In addition, because it is a beverage derived from black tea (although as mentioned above, it can also be prepared with green tea or rooibos tea), Kombucha contains antioxidant polyphenols in varying amounts as they degrade minimally during the process of fermentation.
In small amounts, Kombucha may contain caffeine that is proprietary to black tea and stimulates the central nervous system.
Kombucha is consumed cold in the form of a refreshing and beneficial infusion for the body, in recommended quantities ranging from 100 to 300 ml daily (about one glass a day).
Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea
Kombucha Tea components that justify much of its beneficial effects on the body are as follows:
– Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, C, D, E and K
– Enzymes: invertase, amylase, catalase, saccharase, coagulant enzyme, protease, etc.
– Essential organic acids: glucuronic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, gluconic acid, carbonic acid, uric acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, etc.
– Minerals: Depending on the tea to be used. For example, Rooibos tea contains iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, calcium and magnesium.
– And no less important: yeasts and polysaccharides, besides caffeine (in the case of black tea) and about 0.5% alcohol
All of these components justify much of the sound effects of Kombucha Tea that have been proven from a scientific point of view.
The most important health benefits of Kombucha tea are as follows:
– normalizes intestinal transit
– regulates the intestinal flora
– has antiviral and antibacterial effects
– strengthens the immune system
– detoxifying the body
– normalizes blood pressure
– Reduces cholesterol
– Balances acidity in the body
– Improves digestion of proteins
– stimulates blood circulation
– Facilitates the absorption of minerals
– Activates the functions of the pancreas
– Balances the levels of blood glucose
– stimulates the production of physiological sulfur, vitamin B12 and vitamin K
– fight arthritis and reduce pain in the joints
– helps reduce premenstrual symptoms
– Improves oxygen in cells
– Reduces the symptoms of allergies
– promotes a good mood
– Increases physical fitness of athletes
– prevents memory loss
– works like an antibiotic that can fight recurrent infections such as candida disease
1. Kombucha tea can reduce the risk of cancer
Some scientific studies centered on analyzing the benefits of Kombucha’s health for health have shown a close link between daily Kombucha consumption and increased resistance to the onset of cancer.
According to experts, it appears that these anticancer properties are due to the polyphenol content of the black or green tea used to make this drink as well as the metabolites that form during the fermentation process.
Tea-derived polyphenols have the ability to inhibit genetic mutations, prevent cancer cell proliferation, cause cellular apoptosis (programmed cell death), and stop metastases.
It has also been shown that regular consumption of Kombucha tea helps to cover the L-lactic acid deficiency that cancer patients often suffer because this acid is produced during the fermentation of this drink.
In conclusion, people who consume Kombucha tea constantly have a low risk of developing cancer.
2. Kombucha tea is rich in antioxidants
The primary function of antioxidants is to fight free radicals, which are reactive substances that can damage other molecules such as DNA or proteins and can cause chain reactions as well, transforming damaged molecules into free radicals.
Free radicals are a risk factor for accelerating the aging and development of various diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
Kombucha tea is prepared with green tea or black tea leaves, which are very rich in antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols or catechins, which belong to the family of antioxidants called flavonoids.
In addition, after fermenting Kombucha mushroom tea, the content of phenolic compounds in it increases considerably. Also, some studies to date have shown that Kombucha tea consumption can reduce liver toxicity by about 70%.
3. Kombucha tea may reduce the risk of heart disease
Some animal studies have shown that Kombucha tea can reduce the risk of heart disease due to the two mechanisms:
– Reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL)
– Growth of good cholesterol (HDL)
Also, high antioxidant content protects cholesterol particles from the oxidation process, which is another risk factor for heart disease. However, because Kombucha is prepared with green tea, the probabilities of developing a heart disease are reduced by up to 31%.
4. Kombucha tea stimulates metabolism
Kombucha Tea contains B vitamins and digestive enzymes. Group B vitamins help the metabolic functions of the body such as energy levels, heart health and carbohydrate use, among others.
Appropriate levels of vitamin B in the body help reduce stress, anxiety and improve memory.
Group B vitamins also help the body detoxify excess estrogen, which helps to reduce the unpleasant symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Digestive enzymes help disintegrate foods in smaller molecules so that nutrients from them can be absorbed more easily by the body.
5. Kombucha tea helps detoxify the body
Kombucha tea contains probiotics and enzymes that support body detoxification by stimulating liver function. One of the most important functions of beneficial bacteria in the body is detoxification. Enzymes, bacterial acidosis and other metabolites occurring during the Kombucha tea fermentation process favor the elimination of toxins and other toxic substances in the body.
According to various scientific studies, Kombucha tea enzymes and acids act similarly to the chemical substances that your body produces to eliminate toxins, besides liver detoxification, which is the main body responsible for body cleansing.
This ability to detoxify and cleanse the body is due to the content of glucuronic acid present in Kombucha tea, which is the most important acid involved in the elimination of toxins.
On the other hand, Kombucha tea consumption also helps to expel the heavy metals and other contaminants present in the body through the kidneys.
6. Kombucha tea improves the symptoms of arthritis
Kombucha tea contains high levels of glucosamine, which is a substance that the body needs to maintain joint health.
Glucosamine produces hyaluronic acid, an acid that helps maintain cartilage structure and reduce joint pain. Hyaluronic
acid also helps the connective tissues in the body maintain their elasticity, facilitating lubrication and flexibility in the joints.
Who Should Not Drink Kombucha Tea?
Kombucha tea can be well tolerated and is beneficial to many people, especially if consumed in quantities not exceeding 300 ml per day. However, it must be taken into account that this fermented beverage contains alcohol, sugar and live bacteria that are not always well accepted by the body.
However, there are some restrictions:
– Pregnant women: because in this case, Kombucha consumption may affect the developing fetus;
– Nursing women: because breast milk would pass substances that may be unable to be adequately metabolized by a baby;
– For children: they do not have a proper digestive device for such a strong drink, and children’s kidneys and kidneys are not enough to develop to metabolize and eliminate Kombucha;
– People suffering from liver and/or kidney disease;
– Patients with cardiac problems;
– Diabetic patients, because this drink is produced by the development of mushrooms and bacteria (a symbiotic relationship) in tea, which also contains sugar. Although much of this sugar disappears during the fermentation process, a certain amount of sugar can cause changes in blood glucose levels in these patients.
– People who have problems with clotting;
– People who have problems with the immune system: this drink should not be consumed by those who have a weakened immune system because it is a slightly colonized drink that can cause some disorders in immune suppressed patients.
– Last but not least, it must be taken into consideration that it is a very acidic drink (its pH is between 2 and 3), so there is a risk of metabolic acidosis in people who consume it excessively.
How To Prepare It
If you are new into Kombucha tea, I really recommend you the book ‘The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea’ by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory, a book full of tips, recipes and ideas.
It is best to start with a smaller amount of tea and a smaller diameter bowl, because the fungus grows rapidly in thickness and makes it faster “chicken”. As your Kombucha culture grows, you will be able to produce larger quantities of fermented tea.
1. Prepare tea normally. To one liter of hot water, put 2 teaspoons of black tea (about 5g). Tea bags can also be used. Leave it approx. 15-20 minutes (decoct), then squeeze. Tea can be black or green or mixed.
Japanese doctors say that green tea prevents cancer (it is a powerful antioxidant, but it is not recommended consuming it in the evening, almost to sleep, can give insomnia).
I suggest using green tea to prepare the Kombucha drink. If you do not want to use black or green tea, you can use tea from other herbs (but not Myrtle Tea or Chamomile Tea, which are very disinfectant and can destroy some Kombucha mushroom colony). A ratio of 1/5 of tea plants to green or black tea is probably best suited.
2. Spread the tea or, if necessary, remove the envelopes.
3. Add 70-100 g of sugar to one liter of tea over the squeezed tea, but still hot. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. One tablespoon of sugar = approx. 20 g.
The tea should be nutritious and bear microorganisms of Kombucha culture; here is not our taste but the mushroom needs!
So the nutritional solution should be prepared according to the needs of the yeast (bacteria also feed on the nutritional solution – sweetened tea). Micro-organisms need sugar to be active.
If they have a small amount of sugar (carbohydrates), then the fungus produces less active and beneficial substances for us. In common terms, we can say that the yeast “eats” sugar.
Infusion of tea, on the other hand, is a source of nitrogen and encourages the growth of microorganisms.
The more tea is left in the fire (the decoct), the more nitrogen we have in the nutrient solution, as well as more minerals, salts, etc.
– Allow the tea to cool to 20-25 ° C (approximately 68 ° to 77 ° Fahrenheit). Culture dies if it is put in hot tea.
5. – When the tea has reached room temperature, pour the tea sweetened into a glass, porcelain or ceramic bowl or stainless steel. Metallic vessels (for example, aluminum) are not indicated and should never be used as formation acids can react with metal. You should avoid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polystyrene preparations.
6. – If you are preparing the Kombucha drink for the first time, add the liquid you received with the culture (or a spoonful of apple vinegar, slightly concentrated). For the following crops, always keep a small Kombucha fermented beverage to add approx. one-tenth (10%) for your new culture as “start-up liquid” (accelerates the start of fermentation).
7. Put the Kombucha into the prepared liquid.
8. – Cover the pot in which it is fermented with gauze or cloth, filter paper, etc. to avoid insects, dust, plant spores or other polluting substances. Attach it with a rubber elastic to make sure no bruises come in.
The cloth must be rare enough to allow air circulation and the culture to breathe, but not so rare that the flies can enter to place their eggs.
9. Fermentation lasts differently depending on the room temperature, the volume of the mushroom and the amount of tea; generally takes between 7 and 12 days.
At a higher ambient temperature (above 20 ° C), fermentation is faster. The period of 7 to 12 days is given only as an indicative landmark. You should taste and stop the fermentation at the right time!
Kombucha culture requires a quiet place and should not be moved too often. Tea temperature should be 20 – 30 ° C. The ideal temperature is 23-27 ° C. No need for light.
Culture is reproduced in the dark. However, culture can be destroyed if exposed to direct sunlight. An indirect lighted area of the sun is ideal.
During fermentation, sugar is transformed by yeast into carbon dioxide (CO2), different organic acids and other components. This is the combination of processes that give Kombucha flavor tea.
Tea is the first sweet, but this taste disappears like sugar transformation. At the same time, a fragrant acid begins to develop as a result of bacterial activity, with a transition from sweet to sour taste.
If you prefer a slightly sweet drink, fermentation should be stopped sooner. If you prefer it more acid and sour, leave it more.
10.- When the tea has reached the desired acidity level (pH 2.7 – 3.2), as you prefer, remove the culture (the fungus) from the bowl with clean hands. Wash the fungus under cold water or weak heat.
Fill the jar with fresh (unfermented) tea, add the mushroom and 1/10 fermented tea (to ferment the fermentation process). Notice the temperature for tea (do not exceed 30 ° C, destroy the fungus!)
Tea that has been fermented pours into bottles. Keep 10% as a “starter” for fermentation for the next crop. Bring the bottles well. It is not necessary to squeeze the fermented beverage through a dense cloth.
A certain amount of sediment will pass through the sieve, which is absolutely normal, due to the yeast that produced the gas and acidified the drink. It is said that yeast has beneficial effects on the body (vitamin B complex).
11.- To enjoy the perfect taste of Kombucha tea, the drink should be allowed to mature for at least 5 days after it has been bottled.
Bacterial activity is stopped if bottling is done correctly (upwards, that is, air is excluded), while yeast continues to work. If the bottles are well packed, the gas produced by the yeast activity can not come out.
So the drink is slightly effervescent. It usually takes a few days to reach this stage, but the Kombucha drink can last well for months. Do not worry: after a while the yeast will not produce any more gas. It is recommended to keep the cold drink.
12. – Kombucha has a good taste. It is clear, brownish-yellow (depending on the amount of concentrated tea, what kind of tea you use, etc.), slightly sour and refreshing.
A normal person can drink 3 glasses a day: one glass in the morning (100 ml or more) on the empty stomach, the second glass after the meal during the day and the last glass before bedtime. Enjoy this miraculous drink!
13. – When you start a new fermentation process, never forget to add a new amount of tea to about. 10% of the liquid already fermented from a previous crop.
Sometimes, the fungus floats to the surface, sometimes goes to the bottom. Both variants are OK.
When culture goes to the bottom, a new culture (“chicken”) will begin to develop on the surface of the tea.
Originally it’s like a thin shell, like a plastic sheet. You have to let them grow brighter, not disturbing. The more you leave it, the thicker it will be.
Sometimes the “mother” mushroom sculpts and a “chicken” disappears from its surface, at first as a fine film that will thicken over time. Kombucha takes some time to multiply. Give new crops on the surface of the liquid for 3 to 5 weeks to grow.
The fungus has the shape of the bowl in which it grows (if the bowl is kept, the fungus will also be square …)
Kombucha culture grows and covers the surface of the tea in its entirety. As it grows, culture becomes thicker and more difficult. The mature crop is composed of overlapping layers, easy to separate (such as cabbage leaves).
The layers can be detached from one another and can be used separately to produce a new dose of Kombucha drink.
As the time passes, the fungus will “aging” and get a dark brown color. When it gets too dark, replace it with another fresh, fresh (“baby”) mushroom.
Source: ‘The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea’ by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory
Kombucha, ‘the mushroom from the tea jar’ discovered in China 2000 years back and it was considered as bringing the immortality.
The strange living thing which grows only in sweet black tea and rapidly developing.
It contains significant amounts of vitamin C as well as B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12), which justifies its rejuvenating properties and stimulation of the body’s natural resistance.
Then, in this elixir, very powerful antibiotics and antivirals were discovered, explaining its successful use against infectious diseases.
The tea preparation is a bit laborious, but the benefits are countless. Just to name a few: detox, anxiety, irritability, influenza, prevention and control of atherosclerosis and hypertension.
How to get the mushroom? You have two options: from an acquaintance, friend or to buy. I cannot recommend you an official website, you have to check on your location.
But careful, buy from a trustworthy source.
Ready to try it?
If you like this post, give it a LIKE, SHARE and COMMNENT. Feel free to share it with whom you consider it might be helpful.
I’m glad to read your thoughts.