Kombucha [Com-boo-cha] is a fermented living health drink; it is widely made and drank around the world. The exact origins of the ancient drink have become lost over time but it is believed to have originated in the Far East. The first recorded use of Kombucha comes from China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty, where it was known as “The Tea of Immortality”.
Kombucha has also been consumed in Eastern Europe, Russia and Japan for several centuries, where it was drank to warn off illness such as arthritis and cancer. It is believed that the name Kombucha came from Japan in 415 AD where a Korean physician “Kombu” treated the Japanese Emperor Inyko with the fermented tea and from then it took his name “Kombu” and “cha” meaning tea.
How is Kombucha made?
Kombucha is made from a sweetened tea, which has been fermented by a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) known also as the “mother” as it possesses the ability to reproduce or mushroom.
The Kombucha culture (SCOBY) looks like a beige rubbery pancake and floats on top of the liquid, digesting the sugar in the tea and producing a range of organic acids including lactic acid, acetic acid, malic acid, vitamins B and C as well as amino acids and enzymes.
The fermentation process makes the sweet green or black tea into a fizzy slightly sour, refreshing beverage. Many people ask whether Kombucha contains alcohol. As with any cultured or fermented foods there is a small amount of naturally occurring alcohol, but definitely not enough to get you feeling tipsy. Typically around 1% alcohol remains in the brew, varying from to batch to batch.
If the thought of home brewing puts you off, don’t worry. Due to its growing popularity in the West, Kombucha is becoming more readily available in health food shop and even supermarkets.
Kombucha Health Benefits
There has been some research carried out by German and Russian scientists on the health benefits of consuming Kombucha.
Regular detoxification of the body helps to keep our liver healthy and can aid cancer prevention and one of Kombucha main health benefits is its ability to detoxify the body, reducing your pancreatic load and easing stress on your liver. As well it has a high glucaric acid content, which recent studies have found to help the prevention of cancer.
Kombucha also contains a high amount of glucosamine which a strong preventive and treatment for all types of arthritis. Glucosamine also acts to increase synovial hyaluronic acid production which helps preserve cartilage structure, preventing arthritic pain.
Being naturally fermented with a living collection of bacteria and yeast Kombucha is a brilliant probiotic drink, holding a multitude of health benefits such as improved digestion, mood stability and mental clarity. Coupled with being anti-oxidant rich Kombucha contains immune boosting and energy level promoting benefits.
We have been kindly donated a SCOBY for Calmia HQ and we can’t wait to start brewing our own – we will keep you posted on how our Kombucha turns out!