Tamara Mannelly

What is kombucha and why would people drink this?

Do you keep hearing about kombucha tea and wondering what the heck it is?  Are you already drinking kombucha and want to learn how to make it at home?  

We are beginning to see kombucha tea sold in more and more stores.  It is a deliciously effervescent, slightly sour beverage that can be flavored with a variety of fruits and herbs. 

Oh Lardy loves our fermented foods AND fermented drinks.  We love fermented orange juice, ginger bug soda, fermented apple juice, fermented grapefruit juice and so many more!  And, of course, kombucha joins the list as well!!

What is Kombucha?

Kombuca is a fermented sweet tea.  Where and when it precisely originated is up for debate, but consensus seems to say it started somewhere in Asia, thousands of years ago and then spread throughout the rest of the world. 

Kombucha is made with 4 ingredients : water, sugar, tea and (the important part!) a SCOBY.  

What is a SCOBY?

A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.  Sometimes it is called a mushroom but that isn't completely accurate.  

It looks almost jellyfish like and has a similar texture.  It can be a little gross but this little guy is alive…full of bacteria and yeast that are ready to eat the sugar in the sweet tea and turn plain old tea into an effervescent, healing beverage.  

Possible Benefits of Kombucha

Much of the information about the benefits is anecdotal but it is heralded as a healing elixir.  

Kombucha does contain dozens of beneficial bacteria strains.  By ingesting kombucha, we can increase the amount of good bacteria to help maintain a healthy digestive tract.  

Many people have felt that kombucha can possess anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal components which can make it a powerful health tonic.

Many people who drink kombucha have reported a variety of benefits: 

  • boost of energy
  • improved digestion
  • assisted with weigh loss
  • constipation relief
  • beautifies skin and hair
  • beats sugar cravings
  • boost the immune system
  • and much more

Possible Risks of Kombucha

There are some possible risks to drinking kombucha.  These do not really concern me, but it is important that you know about them!

  1. Alcohol content – all fermented foods will contain some slight amounts of alcohol.  I have never felt homemade kombucha was very boozy and my daughter drinks it just fine.  But if someone is needing to avoid alcohol completely, then kombucha may not be for them.
  2. Candida/yeast issues – some people who have systemic candida experience an increase in symptoms when drinking kombucha.  On the other hand, some people battling candida experience healing. Point is, if you suffer from candida, be mindful and aware of how kombucha affects your symptoms!
  3. Sugar – kombucha is made with sweetened tea.  The sugar feeds the SCOBY.  Depending on how long you let kombucha ferment will determine the amount of sugar.  Some kombuchas that are sweet will contain more sugar than the more vinegary ones.  
  4. Drinking too much – kombucha is a healing tonic.  If you are new to drinking kombucha, drinking a lot can actually cause a little bit of digestive distress.  Start slow and see how your digestive system handles kombucha.  I find homemade kombucha to be more strong than most store bought.  Just be mindful and read your body. 

Stay tuned for the next post in my series, how to make kombucha at home!  It is super easy and WAY more economical than buying it at the store!!!

If you want to get started now, purchase a kombucha starter kit!

 

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What is kombucha and why would people drink this?

 

Learn More About Fermenting

Check out Oh Lardy's Guide to Fermenting Fruits and Vegetables for tutorials, 40 recipes and more!! Oh Lardy's Guide to Fermenting Fruits and Vegetables
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