Mystical Kombucha – why is it so good for our gut?

Legend holds that this mystical brew was first consumed by Emperor Qin Shi Huang in ancient China, one of the first civilizations to recognise the health benefits of kombucha. Whether you drink kombucha for the health benefits or just because you enjoy the taste of the fermented tea drink, kombucha has a storied history with human health.

Millennia after the emperor took his first swig of “tea of life”, kombucha is experiencing a spike in sales in Australia. Today, the sweet, fermented, lightly fizzy tea is sold not only at niche health shops, but also mainstream supermarkets, convenient stores, and cafes. Meander down the organic drink aisle of a supermarket that sells kombucha, and you may stumble upon kombucha flavours ranging from strawberry melon to apple turmeric.

Homemade kombucha is fermented by a colony of bacteria and yeast, which react to form a mushroom-like mass on top of the tea. Once fermented, kombucha becomes slightly effervescent, with a vinegary smell and tart taste. Fresh fruit juice and other flavours may be added to kombucha at the end of the brewing process to make the drink more palatable as drinking it straight is an acquired taste.

From beneficial probiotics to gut health, listed below are the most intriguing health benefits of kombucha.

  • Teaming with enzymes and bacterial acids, kombucha is believed to aid in natural detoxification. Gluconic acid, which is found in kombucha as well as in fruits and veggies, may bind to toxins to help expel them from the body, according to scientific evidence.
  • Glucaric acid, also a product of kombucha tea fermentation, may boost the efficiency of the liver’s detoxifying tracts. While for some, that may be more than enough reason to purchase their own scoby, or starter culture, others might need a few more reasons before adding regular kombucha to a healthy diet.
  • There is mounting evidence that the combination of organic acids, enzymes, and probiotics in kombucha may promote healthy digestion and soothe an upset stomach. Probiotics, sometimes referred to as good gut bacteria, can help deter or provide relief from problems like IBS, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • A healthy human body has 1 – 2 kilos of beneficial bacteria and microbes (called the microbiome), but the microbiome can be depleted by stress, alcohol use, antibiotics, and other harmful organisms. By drinking the fermented beverage kombucha, you may be able to help replenish lost gut bacteria.
  • The healthy gut bacteria gained by drinking kombucha may help stimulate the immune system, which is thought to be closely connected to the living organisms in the gut. Probiotics, specifically from those in fermented foods and gleaned from the fermentation process, can strengthen our natural defenses against harmful microbes and some forms of illnesses.
  • When our natural microbiome is depleted, harmful microbes such as ones that cause ulcers, diabetes or cancer can take hold. Kombucha also contains DSL and vitamin C, which may fend off inflammatory diseases, tumours, cell damage, and other concerns.
  • Another powerful compound found in kombucha is glucosamine, which can stave off and treat all types of arthritis. Glucosamines enhance hyaluronic acid production, which may help to protect cartilage and reduce arthritic pain.
  • Glucaric acid, which is found in kombucha and foods like grapefruit and cruciferous veggies, may help reduce cancer risk. Lactobacillus-type microbes found in some kombucha may also activate our natural cancer-killing cells.  Research further suggests that kombucha may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. In studies with animals, kombucha was able to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (or bad cholesterol) while increasing levels HDL (good cholesterol).
  • When it comes to health problems, as cholesterol and blood pressure problems are common, it’s important to incorporate natural combatants into your diet in the form of good bacteria over harmful bacteria.
  • In addition to small amounts of caffeine, kombucha contains energizing B vitamins and iron. The iron may increase hemoglobin in the blood, thereby enhancing oxygen flow.
  • Many people homebrew kombucha for this very reason, while some brands focus on the energy-boosting effects as one of kombucha’s best benefits. A boost without the adverse effects that come with a high concentration of caffeine? That seems like a good alternative.
  • When our healthy microbes are depleted, obesity and diabetes can result. The natural acids and antioxidant properties found in the beverage may promote fat loss.
  • Kombucha, like apple cider vinegar, is thought to increase metabolism when consumed before meals. The green tea and black tea varieties of kombucha are particularly effective by combining the antioxidant power of the tea and the symbiotic colony in the kombucha.

Making your own Kombucha fermented tea is fun, creative and so easy. You will need a Kombucha starter kit to help.

Kombucha Starter Kit

Kombucha Making Notes

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