Kombucha, one of the healthiest drinks in the world?
Before we dive into some of its health aspects, I would like to tell you a bit about its long history.
Kombucha has been used for more than 2000 years
Kombucha seems to have originated in Manchuria, around 220 BC. One of the stories tells that a Korean medicine man named Kom-bu prescribed the tea to heal the Japanese Emperor’s disorders. This happened in the year 414. The tea came from China, via Korea to Japan, and there it got its name “Tsche of Kombu”.
This tea eventually reached Europe via Mongolia and Russia. When World War I started, kombucha slowly but surely disappeared as there was a shortage of sugar. In the 1920s there was a comeback of the kombucha fungus, and researchers showed interest. Then came World War II, and all investigation stopped.
The real come back was in the 1960s. People heard reports from Kargasok, Russia, where people seemed to reach a great age. The most famous research comes from the University of Omsk in Russia. Here in the west, Dr. Sklenar is often mentioned in the German press.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan was suffering from cancer. While reading the autobiography of the Nobel Prize author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, they informed him that the writer fully recovered from cancer in a Tashkent cancer ward in 1953. President Reagan got a culture from Japan and drank 1 liter of Kombucha a day. This stopped his cancer from spreading, and he could finish his term in office.
In 2016 this book got the Silver Nautilus Book Award
It is easy to make your own Kombucha, as the key thing is to get a healthy Scoby. It will reveal all the tricks and tips in this book. A must have I can tell you.
Have you heard about Kombucha? if not, I recommend you to read this post as it will be important for your health.
What is Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea and has become very popular lately. You will find it in most supermarkets and convenience store worldwide. In 2017, kombucha sales in the U.S reached more than $500 million and the food Industry thinks that by the year 2020, sales will reach the $2 billion.
You might ask what does Kombucha taste like: Did you ever drink a glass of sparkling cider? Well, kombucha tastes very similar. It has a light vinegary flavor; it is a little sweet and at the same time sour. Ideal for when the temperature is high outside, as it is very refreshing. Some people will opt for adding herbs, spices, and fruit purees. Personally, I prefer the traditional taste.
The health benefits of Kombucha
Many good things are attributed to drinking this tea. There are proven benefits in fighting cancer, it will burn fat, improve bone strength, and it seems to protect against cardiovascular disease. There are lots of antioxidants, but sadly there are no published studies on the biological effects kombucha might have on humans.
There are a lot of studies which suggest that it could have a detoxifying together with an antimicrobial effect. It might be helpful to prevent disease and battle type 2 diabetes.
Sugar is used to make this tea and is still present after 7 days of fermenting. We all know that too much sugar is bad, so stay away from store bought as often they add extra sugar, ending up having as much sugar, like 14 grams, as in a can of coke.
Negative effects for some people
Many people worldwide have tasted this drink at least once. The longer you keep fermenting it the more acids it will produce. This might not be ideal for people who have a weak immune system and people who are HIV positive. Some people can feel dizzy and perhaps have some allergic reaction and a headache.
In total, the side effects are few, and very few people suffer them. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should first read this article, so you are well informed if you can drink Kombucha or not. Let us not forget that all man-made medicines normally have a long list of side effects and people are still being prescribed these pills.
How to make Kombucha
It is not difficult, but you need some space where the pot can stay undisturbed. As it ferments you will smell it, so chose the place carefully to prevent anyone from disturbing the fermenting container. I have it standing on a windowsill in the kitchen.
You will need a glass container which is big enough to allow the Kombucha to grow. I chose a big glass salad bowl. You will need to make tea, take black, green, or white tea. I have always used black tea. Take care to use loose tea and organic. After making the tea, you add a certain amount of white sugar and let the tea cool off.
You will pour the tea in the glass bowl and add a SCOBY (this is a thick jelly-like disk which grows as big as there is space available. It is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) or “mother ” and leaving a little headspace. Cover it with a clean, thin cloth and put a string around the bowl.
You leave it standing between 3 to 30 days (I would leave it standing for 14 days.) The tea will ferment and the Scoby will multiply, making a baby on top. When all is ready, you can separate the mother from the baby and continue with 2 bowls. You pass the liquid through a sieve into a bottle which you keep in the fridge. Drink at least 1 glass a day.
Kombucha has been used with animals. A trial with sheep and calves was successful in 100% of the cases when Kombucha drops were given in case of diarrhea. With healthy animals, it also had a positive effect. A growth increase of 15% was noted.
If you want to drink Kombucha, make it yourself. You need a glass bowl and a stainless steel pot for cooking the tea. Everything has to be really clean. The mother has to be healthy, no black spots or mold otherwise it could harm your health. The temperature has to be constant to get excellent results. Drinking this tea is a lot more healthy than buying canned juices or soda pops.
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Source: Ocean Robbins, Food Revolution Network, November 14, 2018, and Harald Tietze, author of the book Kombucha, The miracle Fungus.
Photo Source: Pixabay
Nature offers many good things for our health. Perhaps you like to read also the following post.
I really find it quite strange that medicine through the 20th century took so long to look into certain ingredients to see if they did indeed have benefits. This is not only with kombucha – we are seeing a lot of it going on with THC hemp oil at the moment.
At last we seem to have got to the point where modern medicine is prepared to take these ‘out there’ remedies and find out how they work.
Great article – I especially liked the history behind the tea which you included.
Good evening Chris,
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Science is rediscovering a lot of things that were known to old cultures for many thousands of years. It seems that in the Amazon rainforest only about 10% of the plants have been studied for their healing properties. We are stupid and chopping the rain forest down.
As you mentioned CBD is one of those things that have been known for a long time. As it is a natural product one cannot patent it and that is why there is such opposition. Before cotton became in most garments were made of hemp. Hemp is great as it can be made into toilet paper or used for building houses and many more things.
I drink synergy kombucha every morning, it was an acquired taste at first but I grow to like it. I even attempted making it once in the beer kit that we got as a Christmas gift, but I don’t think I have the right temperature for the yeast so my husband and I ended up spending a lot of time in the bathroom (if you know what I mean). The mother that we cultured was so pretty though, oh well. After reading your post I am tempted to make a new batch again. Great article, will share it to my friends. I am going to convert them from making beers into making kombucha instead. 😉
Good evening Nuttanee,
Nice to see you again. Thank you for the comment on my post.
When I made Kombucha I had a bit of a problem in the summer. As I live in the south of Spain it would get a bit too warm for the culture so I could not let it stay for many days. The smell also got quite strong. On the other hand, once it was in a bottle in the fridge it was a great summer drink.
Thanks, Taetske, to remind me of Kombucha Tea. In fact, I am familiar with this tasty drink from childhood. My grandma and mom used to make it sometimes. Like you mention I read a lot about it, it is a healthy drink. Here in Latvia no problems to get Mother Culture Scoby for free from older neighbors who still drink it every day. The only problem I encounter is in the warm summertime as many flies appear in the kombucha jar. How to get rid of them?
Good evening Andrejs,
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If you have a problem with flies then you must have missed 1 important step. You have to take a clean and thin cloth to put over the jar. Then you have to put a string or elastic around the jar, voila, no more flies inside. Now that is great you can get a culture from your neighbors.
I have never been to Latvia, I must visit your country one day.
Good afternoon Taetske,
What a blessing to learn about Kombucha tea. I really took the time absorbing its history, benefits and how to make this important health tea. I want to taste it to see if I can tolerate the flavor.
From reading, there is no confirmed research for diabetes only for cancer, but I will still try to use it as a natural remedy.
Why society keep things of this nature without research is part of a larger puzzle.
You see, I have type 2 diabetes that is controlled with a medication which has serious side effects. This could me an answer to a pressing problem.
I will definitely make it myself to control the ingredients. I love to experiment with earthy exotic spices. Maybe that is why I am so sweet. :-))
Do you think I would be able to get Mother Culure Scoby in the Virgin Islands.
Thank you for sharing this other way to naturally control my diabetes.
Good Morning Maxine,
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I have an Amazon link which takes you to a German company who sells SCOBY but I think they only deliver in Europe. So I had a look and also found in Amazon an American company who sells the Kombucha culture. I have put them on the post. Have a look as I did not compare prices between the 2 companies.
I don’t know of course if you can get it where you live. You could ask in the health shop as they might know.
If it is possible to cure oneself with natural methods I prefer that instead of chemical medicine. As you said it has side effects so it would be great if Kombucha tea would help you. In our society, the natural things are not promoted by Big Pharma as they cannot patent it so they do not earn money. I am keeping my fingers crossed. With best wishes.
Thanks for writing this article on kombucha. I really like this article I feel like reading more and more about the usefulness of kombucha even though this is my first time of reading about this tea. I have heard a lot of things about herb tea and I have even bought some for personal use. But in the case of reading about kombucha all I can say is that is different and effective than any other tea I have even come about
Good afternoon Afolabi,
Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
It is quite amazing all the helpful things we can find in nature. Do give Kombucha a try and you will be surprised to notice the effect on your health. I wish you success.
I had heard about this drink from several of my friends who know that I am using natural methods to treat stage 2 skin cancer at the moment. They all have told me of the benefits, so I decided to do some research myself. This was a timely article on kombucha indeed!
There is this tea available in the local market, but as you mentioned, already I had ruled out buying and drinking this because of the processing and the sugars that they add (too much of both). Knowing I can make it myself I now will get the ingredients and the small ware together to do just that.
I have tasted it and it is not that bad (as I say the stuff you buy in the stores is too sweet though), so I will definitely make it myself. Your instructions are clear and it seems not that hard to do at all. I noticed that you mentioned using white sugar. Would the recipe work with natural brown sugar the same or is that advisable?
Thanks for the history lesson too. Interesting past and makes me want to start this even more. It worked for Reagan and others I am sure it will also help me in some manner! Good read and a very useful one for me today! All the best and keep doing what you are doing!
Good afternoon Dave,
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I really would not buy Kombucha. It is much better to make it yourself. You asked about the sugar to use. White sugar seems to be the best as the fungus has a harder time to break down brown sugar. Honey might seem a good idea but never raw as the bacteria could interfere with the fungus and produce a dangerous brew. So, I think it is best to just stick with normal sugar.
Let me know if you are successful with your Kombucha and tell me if you notice health benefits.
I was passing and stopped to read some of this incredible tips!
Anti-aging….hahaha …I just thought twice before I remember that I start having some grey hair.
Aging is a threat, although most of us fake that we don’t fear it!
Again…something completely new in my readings: “Kombucha Tea”
An idea came into mind: Can I plant such a tea plant myself to drink this teach as much as possible?
You mention anti-aging alternatives and many healthy foods!
It’s amazing that you SET UP everything and commit yourself to helping people with these tips.
I PERSONALLY LOVED THIS POST
Thank you for sharing Mum
Good afternoon Oscar,
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I think you have overlooked an important fact in my post. It is called Kombucha tea but you can not grow it in your garden. It is a fungus which ferments in tea with sugar.
Please reread my post otherwise your intent to make this tea will be a failure.
After reading your educative and health-conscious review, I learned a lot about Kombucha. The name Kombucha I heard first time today and excited knowing its history. It was amazing that Kombucha plays a vital role in reducing President Ragan’s cancer. This light-sour flavored beverage will be very beneficial in our tropical region. It is good to know about the negative effect as well. I am very keen to drink Kombucha.
Thank you sincerely for the excellent post.
Good afternoon Ranao,
I am happy to hear you found my post interesting. You say you live in a tropical region. In case you want to make Kombucha yourself take care that you have not too hot room temperature. I think the best is between 15 to 25C.
Let me know if you are successful in making Kombucha tea, it for sure has a lot of health benefits.
Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?
Hey Taetske. Very interesting article. To be fair I didn’t heard about Kombucha before and I loved the historical background part. It’s always good to know a bit more about product we are using (and some of them do have really fascinating story behind). I’m big fan of tea and definitely I need to try this one, from your review it seems it would be great add to daily diet.
Good Morning Cogito,
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On this website, I often write about natural things and find it fun to add a bit about its history. Kombucha has been used for so long and is not too difficult to make at home. I think it well worth the effort and it will improve your health. With this COVID-19 being around, it is a good idea to strengthen our immune system.