24 Sep Benefits of Homemade Kombucha
What Exactly Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink, typically made from black tea and sugar. A mother or a SCOBY mushroom ferments the tea by consuming most of the sugar, magically making it into a powerful probiotic drink.
Today, kombucha is found in nearly every small or large corner grocery store. During the Tsin Dynasty, they referred to the fermented tea as, “The Tea of Immortality” due to the wonder of its vast health benefits. Kombucha helps to populate your body with healthy bacteria.
We will be considering several reasons to add kombucha into your daily beverage routine. I hope that you turn into a strong advocate of this refreshing, semi-sweet, healthy, bubbly beverage.
- Boosts Immunity
- Supports A Healthy Gut Microbiome
- Reward Your Mental State
- Antibacterial Properties
Detoxification protects against disease. There is a well-confirmed body of evidence that kombucha contains powerful antioxidants that encourage the detoxification of your body. Related to this disease-fighting detox power, kombucha’s antioxidants assist in reducing inflammation, which is the root of most diseases.
Kombucha has a natural inflammation-reducing, detoxing quality which rivals any ordinary tea. Plain black tea contains some antioxidants, however, the fermentation process of kombucha creates a superb surplus of antioxidants, not available in ordinary black tea.
The University of Latvia, 2014, research on kombucha, claims that drinking this fermented tea can be beneficial for many infections and diseases, “due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of immunity.”
A diet loaded with processed foods, trans-fats, sugar, and hidden chemicals contribute to oxidative stress, which in turn advances chronic inflammation. Oxidative stress damages the cell right down to your DNA.
I often ask my soda drinking clients to consider kombucha as a nutrient-rich replacement for their nutritionally-bankrupt sugar-laden drink. The switch is easy, due to the similar bubbly effervescence of both drinks.
Kombucha may specifically influence the activity of two beneficial antioxidants known as glutathione peroxidase and catalase. A study in the Journal of Food, January 2018, found that Saccharomyces (yeast) along with glucuronic acid found in kombucha, contribute to overall health protection.
Supports A Healthy Gut Microbiome
Naturally, the antioxidant power of this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in your digestive system. However, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial probiotics, amino acids, and enzymes.
Homemade kombucha can often help tame an overgrowth of Candida. The lactic acid bacteria contained in kombucha is a robust probiotic which rebalances your gut bacteria. Sometimes candida grows swiftly, overpopulating your gut, causing a myriad of intestinal problems. Restoring balance to your digestive system with live probiotic cultures, encourage healthy microbes to repopulate controlling the Candida.
As stated above, Kombucha contains friendly bacteria. These are not harmful pathogen bacteria, rather, they are exceptional and beneficial called probiotics. Probiotics restore a disrupted gut microbial balance. The proper stability of good to bad bacteria promotes exceptional health.
Reward Your Mental State
Have you heard about the gut-brain connection? A disquieted bowel sends signals to your brain, just as a troubled brain sends signals to your gut. They do this “talking” via the vagus nerve which runs from the brain down to your belly and into all of your primary digestive organs. Kombucha feeds both your brain and your gut to improve both!
In a recent article, Kelly Brogan MD states, “Several studies have shown that a healthy microbiome is essential for a healthy brain. A gastroenterology research team revealed that certain types of microbial ecosystems are linked to anxiety and impaired brain function.”
The gut-repairing function of kombucha works to benefit your gut-brain connection. Depression and anxiety may be a major symptom of leaky gut, specifically due to the way that bad gut permeability contributes to nasty inflammation throughout your body.
Interestingly, Vitamin B12 supplements sometimes contain dry kombucha products.
Found in Kombucha are Thiamin B1, Riboflavin B2, Niacin & Niacinamide B3, Pantothenic Acid B5, Pyridoxine B6, Biotin B7, Folic Acid B9, and B-12. These B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, are known to increase energy levels, contributing to overall mental wellbeing.
Among other various features, kombucha’s ability to regulate the communication between your gut-brain axis suggests it would be useful in preventing or minimizing the effects of anxiety and depression.
There are good and bad bacteria that live inside of every single person. Interestingly, the live cultures of bacteria found in kombucha destroy your bad bacteria responsible for many infections. How amazing is that?
In lab studies, kombucha has been found to have antibacterial effects against nasty staph, E. coli, Sh. sonnei, two strains of salmonella, and Campylobacter jejuni. Unfortunately, human hosts have the perfect breeding ground for these nasty bacteria to grow within your intestines.
Food poisoning is caused by Campylobacter jeuni. Occasionally, people present with Guillian-Barré syndrome, where the immune system attacks the nervous system. You probably already know that food-borne infections incur significant costs. Simply consuming fermented beverages regularly, like kombucha, might be a great natural preventative.
How To Make Kombucha
Kombucha is fairly simple to make yourself. I recommend that you give it a whirl!
Brewing unpasteurized kombucha from the comfort of your kitchen is rewarding for two major reasons.
1. When you consider the cost of purchasing store-bought bottles to brewing your own, it’s a no-brainer. One 15.2 oz store-bought bottle can run close to $3.60 (whoa) compared to minimal .33 cents to brew your own.
2. Brewing your own is also an easy way to minimize the sugar content. Store-bought versions typically have more than double the sugar – some up to 16g. Yikes!
Here is a simple recipe for making kombucha at home.
- Glass gallon jar.
- Long-handled spoon.
- Small cotton towel or cheesecloth to cover a jar.
- Rubber band
- Black or green tea.
- Organic sugar. Avoid alternative sugars or honey.
- Filtered water.
- Scoby and at least 1/2 cup of starter kombucha.
- Organic 100% pure cherry juice (or flavor of your choice). This concentrate comes in glass bottles. Make certain it is the 100% pure organic juice.
- Individual airtight, flip-top glass bottles (found on Amazon). Be sure to purchase bottles that can withstand the pressure of fermentation. These will have thicker glass and be stronger. Target 58 psi.
1. Obtain a SCOBY. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. This rubbery textured disk is the living organism that transforms sweet sugary tea into tangy, healthy, bubbly, kombucha. The simplest way to obtain one is to either beg a SCOBY from a kombucha-brewing friend, or you can order a fresh one online.
2. Fill your gallon jar with fresh filtered, room temperature water.
3. Add six or seven tea bags to your jar of water. Set this aside for half a day. It will brew naturally, without you having to heat any water. When your tea is a beautiful golden color, remove the tea bags, and toss them away.
4. Add in one cup of organic sugar to the tea and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
5. Slip your SCOBY and the 1/2 cup of starter kombucha into your brew. It’ll have a mind of its very own, sinking or floating on top. It matters not.
6. Cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band around your gallon jar opening. This step keeps pesky fruit flies from nibbling at your kombucha and allows the SCOBY to breathe. Remember, it is alive!
7. Store your brew for at least 2-3 weeks. I typically like 3 weeks to minimize the sugar content. However, your palette will help you decide when enough time has passed. I promise you will get the hang of it fast.
8. Remove your Scoby from your gallon jar (you may notice that it has grown) and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the kombucha. Set both of these together in a separate glass container. You will need both to begin a new batch.
9. Begin to do your bottling. Here is where you will add flavor if you so desire. I like the 100% organic cherry juice. In a 15.2 oz container, I eyeball adding about 1/8 concentrate and fill the rest of the bottle with kombucha. Continue until all the bottles are full and set inside your pantry for two to four days. This will ensure extra bubbly/fizzy kombucha. Immediately, put into your refrigerator to stop the process.