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Kombucha tea has gained a lot of popularity as a beneficial health supplement and beverage.
It is a simple fermented drink made from tea.
This ancient Chinese drink has a lot of health benefits ranging from disease preventing, maintaining a healthy body and state of mind.
Modern-day dangers bombard, test and compromise the human immune system like never before, and we are increasingly resistant to prescribed antibiotics.
There are remarkable superfoods or drinks like ‘Kombucha’ that can help you sustain peak health as well as contribute many other benefits to overall good health.
What is Kombucha Tea Made From?
Kombucha is fermented with bacteria plus yeast known as Scoby, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.
The ingredients consist of black tea, sugar (from cane sugar, fruit or honey) cold filtered water and a Scoby either purchased in a pre-prepared form or homegrown.
The above ingredients are mixed in appropriate proportions and sealed off in an airtight container for fermentation.
Scoby is the main ingredient that makes Kombucha what it is.
It contains a combination of healthy bacteria and fungi that are good for your gut. The microbes in the Scoby are responsible for fermentation of the product.
Does it contain alcohol? Yes, ethanol is one of the products of fermentation.
However, it is present in negligible quantities; usually under 1%.
Due to the fermentation process, the tea becomes a probiotic drink and works on a wide array of states to restore balance.
As Hippocrates pointed out, “true healing happens when the body is encouraged to heal itself.”
Kombucha tea has the same effect on the human body and promotes healing from inside out.
What Is Kombucha and How Does It Work?
This soft drink is a fermented beverage comprised of sugar, black tea, and filtered water and used primarily for its probiotic functions.
The sugar used in the fermentation process can be extracted from honey, fruit or sugarcane.
It consists of a colony of yeast and bacteria that once combined with sugar help initiate the fermentation process.
The sugar is converted into acetic acid and ethanol and is what gives this type of tea its distinctive sour taste.
After fermentation, the beverage becomes a carbonated probiotic drink and contains vitamins and several other probiotic enzymes.
History of Kombucha Tea
Kombucha has an interesting history and is not just a fad of the ’80s revived for the new millennium. It is much more than that.
The earliest recorded consumption of Kombucha tea dates back to the Chinese Tsin Dynasty of 221 BC in Manchuria where Emperors believed it to be a holy medicine, referring to it as ‘The elixir of long life.’
Japanese warriors carried Kombucha tea in their hip flasks to replenish their energy during battle.
As trade routes developed beyond the Far East, Kombucha spread via travelers and traders to India, Russia and Eastern Europe, arriving in Germany around the turn of the 20th Century.
Throughout Europe, this tasty and replenishing beverage was enjoyed, until World War One broke out and, with it, the rationing of the two fundamental ingredients for metabolizing Kombucha tea and sugar.
By the early 1960s, Kombucha popularity exploded again.
Today, the tea is experiencing a further phenomenal resurgence of notoriety worldwide.
Hollywood stars and celebs such as Madonna, Cher, Martin Landau, Meg Ryan, and Susan Sarandon, all declare to enjoy the wonder drink.
Kombucha has a high concentration of beneficial acids that serve to cleanse the blood of disease-causing toxins.
It aids the body in the broad healing spectrum of ailments and conditions from mild health issues to severe diseases.
Although western medicine rarely acknowledges the benefits of natural substances that can’t be controlled or profited from, scientific research over the years expresses that drinking Kombucha tea as part of a healthy lifestyle can help obtain optimum wellness.
In 1944, Hans Irion, Director of the Academy for Chemists in Braunschweig, Germany, proclaimed that Kombucha invigorates the entire glandular system.
Dr. Rudolf Sklenar of Oberhessen, in the periodical Experiential Healing Science, concluded that Kombucha is an exceptional remedy and a potent agent for detoxifying the body since it eradicates micro-organisms and cholesterol.
In 1951, the Russian Academy of Sciences analyzed the rapidly expanding industrial region of Perm in the Western Ural Mountains.
Despite being one of the most toxic areas in the USSR due to excessive amounts of poisonous waste, it boasted remarkably low incidences of cancer and a higher than an average number of centenarians.
A factor eventually attributed to the discovery that almost every household in the region brewed its Kombucha tea (kvass), introduced to the mountains by Chinese travelers centuries earlier.
In the 1960s, the periodicals Medical Practice and Experimental Healing Science reported how particular cancer treatments at the time utilized Kombucha’s high concentration of glucuronic acid to balance intestinal flora.
The Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn often asserted his belief that drinking Kombucha cured his stomach cancer, and in 1967, tests by the German army noticed that Kombucha increases stamina and endurance.
Research also coincided that frequent consumption of Kombucha tea benefits interferon production and stimulates metabolism.
Recent studies in California established that HIV patients that regularly drink Kombucha tea benefit from a significantly strengthened immune system, thereby inhibiting the onset of AIDS.
Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea
Due to the growing popularity of the drink, much research has been conducted to ascertain whether the health benefits of Kombucha tea is indeed genuine, or are merely unsubstantiated claims.
People over the world who drink Kombucha tea have a lot to say about the benefits they experience.
Some notice an improvement in the elasticity of their skin and others describe fewer lines and wrinkles on their faces.
When it comes to Kombucha, the benefits are various.
From supporting weight loss to lowering cholesterol and more energy, it has proven time and time again a handy tool in maintaining overall good health.
The best thing about Kombucha is that it offers many health benefits to your whole system and can reestablish standard cell functions while minimizing side effects.
Interestingly, several studies have proved that Kombucha tea truly is beneficial, and even went ahead and identified the scientific basis for its benefits.
Here we will discuss evidence-based health benefits of kombucha tea in more detail.
The digestive tract houses a significant amount of toxins.
It is the entry point for almost everything that our body takes up.
If toxins are left to accumulate, it is likely to interfere with digestion and even give rise to inflammatory bowel diseases.
Kombucha tea is good for detoxifying your gut, and body in general.(1)
Kombucha contains an organic acid known as glucuronic acid plus powerful antioxidants in large quantities which help shield the body from any oxidative damage.
The gluconic acid in the kombucha beverage attracts and binds to toxins in the gut then eliminated in the stool.
Kombucha, however, contains gluconic acid in much more significant amounts and therefore has a much higher impact than fruits and vegetables.
The antioxidants neutralize the impact of free radicals, which in turn protects and fixes inflammation and chronic disease.
Another helpful enzyme product produced in the fermentation process of this tea is the glucaric acid which helps boost the liver’s natural detoxifying abilities.
Even if you are not a regular consumer of Kombucha, you should consider taking it once in a while for detoxification.
Mood Enhancement and Mental Health
The benefits of Kombucha transcends beyond the physical state. It improves even your mental well being.
Studies have shown that Kombucha tea elevates one’s mood, and maintains it in a positive state.
This is possible through its effect on the gut’s nervous system, and its link to the brain.
The digestive tract houses the most abundant neuronal network outside your brain.
That’s why the gut is sometimes referred to as the second brain.
Kombucha tea improves the wellbeing of your guts neurons by shielding them from inflammatory processes and can help improve your brain’s function through the gut-brain axis.(2)
The vitamins found in this beverage, specifically vitamins B12, B6 and B1 aid in mood stabilization, battling depression and enhancing mental concentration.
It also contains several other methylxanthine alkaloids (caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline) and amino acids as well as the ascorbic acid of vitamin C which all help keep your body’s nervous system strong and healthy.
All these combined help inhibit the production of a stress hormone known as cortisol.
Keeping this hormone at bay is what helps one stay happy for a sustained duration.
This beverage also contains trace amounts of naturally occurred alcohol which in small quantities can boost positive feelings and relieve stress.
Kombucha may, therefore, help in the management of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
Your liver is the processing center that deals with all the toxins in your body.
It handles all sorts of substances including alcohol comsumption, medications, food absorbed from your intestines, and any toxins in them.
It is therefore subject to damage by any harmful content.
The powerful detoxifying enzyme glucuronic acid binds itself to environmental impurities and expels them safely out of the body through excretion.
Drinking Kombucha protects your liver from oxidative damage, which is the most common form of damage it faces.
The glucuronic acid in kombucha tea helps reduce the pancreatic burden as well as ensuring your liver and kidneys stay healthy.
The tea not only effectively aids in the reduction of hepatotoxicity but, it also helps restore your body’s glutathione levels.
The essential antioxidants included in this beverage also protect your liver from oxidative damage and stress caused by acetaminophen overdose.
Prevention and Treatment of Arthritis
Glucosamine, another healthy enzyme found in the kombucha beverage, can treat as well as to stave off arthritis.
Glucosamines enhance the production of hyaluronic acid, and this acid not only helps reduce arthritic pain but additionally it protects cartilage as well.
The hyaluronic acid produced goes further by assisting in lubrication reduction of free radical damage and elasticity of joints by connective tissue empowerment to bind the moisture.
Treats Stomach Ulcers and GERD
A good number of diseases of the digestive tract involve chronic inflammatory processes.
Your body is continuously mounting a reaction against the diseased site, and stomach ulcers and GERD are an excellent example of this.
Eliminating and reducing chronic inflammation through diet and lifestyle will halt the disease process.
The antioxidants present in Kombucha tea act against free radicals that propagate all inflammatory reactions and gives the ulcers time to heal.
For healthy individuals, the antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they start causing damage, thus preventing the disease.(3)
Kombucha tea is therefore effective in both treating and preventing stomach ulcers.
Helps Management of Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is adult-onset diabetes that commonly affects individuals above the age of 40 years.
The primary challenge of people with diabetes is the regulation of carbohydrates and fats in their diet.
Kombucha tea naturally does that and is very effective at deterring elevated blood glucose levels.
It inhibits absorption of excessive amounts of carbohydrates and delays absorption of fats.
Studies reveal this is possible through its inhibition of enzymes needed to digest and absorb these substrates.
This way, it helps keep blood sugar levels at a reasonable range.
It is suitable for diabetics and helps prevent healthy people from developing diabetes.(4)
Kombucha tea protects the kidney and liver by reducing urea concentration as well as exerting healing properties on the pancreas of people living with diabetes.
Improved Digestion with Probiotics
Your small and large intestines usually harbor a large number of bacterial species that are beneficial to your body.
These are the so-called symbiotic bacteria.
In exchange for residence in your gut, they help protect your intestines from pathogenic bacteria, aid in the digestion of some nutrients, and produce vitamins.
The population of these bacteria is seldom affected by what we eat and the drugs we take.
Their numbers are most affected by broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy which kills both the bad and the good bacteria.
In turn, it leaves you susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections.
Such situations call for replacement of the good bacteria.
A healthy human body contains beneficial bacteria known as microbes.
This is where the natural health benefits of Kombucha tea comes in.
A study by Maryland University of Integrative Health found out that Kombucha tea is an excellent probiotic.(5)
Kombucha tea has a cocktail of ingredients that collectively improve the digestion process.
It contains a good number of organic acids and enzymes that collectively aid in the digestion of different substrates.(6)
Most of them are a byproduct of the fermentation process.
Together with the probiotic effect also aid in relieving diarrhea and constipation and ensure a steady transit of food content through the gut.
It can be used as a probiotic for maintenance of gut health, and as a treatment for fungal and bacterial infections.
Kombucha operates as a probiotic, which help provide relief from specific abdominal complications such as IBS, diarrhea and chronic constipation.
Other digestive enzymes contained in this tea help raise the glucuronic acid effects which further aid the breakdown of saccharides and proteins, in turn increasing the digestive system capability.
Antibiotics, alcohol use and stress will deplete the microbiome cells in the body.
Drinking this fermented beverage will assist you in replenishing this beneficial lost gut bacteria.
Possible Cancer Prevention
The fermentation of ingredients during the preparation of Kombucha beverage yields a good number of anti-oxidants.
Apart from the anti-oxidants present in tea, Kombucha additionally contains glutathione peroxidase, glutathione catalase, and isorhamnetin.
The antioxidants can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals.
It is this kind of damage that causes some chronic inflammatory diseases and causes mutations that lead to cancer.
These live microbes activate your body’s innate cancer-killing cells. One bacterium seen in this beverage that does very well is Lactobacillus.
By preventing this damage, you can reduce your chances of illness.
The living microorganisms contained in kombucha reinforces specific natural antibodies which help the body defend itself from free radicals as well as some particular types of cancer.
Consistent consumption of this natural beverage will ensure a healthy immune system.
Studies have proved that the enzymes present in it such as the glucaric acid is quite useful when it comes to preventing certain types of cancer.
Kombucha tea is an effective anti-oxidant in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancers, specifically breast cancer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29055172
Weight Loss Benefits
Kombucha is known to boost metabolism.
Having a high metabolic ratio helps keep unwanted, excess weight at bay which in turn allows you to feel much more energized.
It can give you that extra boost when you find yourself engaged in physical activities.
Also, compared to your typical fizzy drink, Kombucha contains lower calorie and sugar content.
Beauty and Skincare
Kombucha not only makes a fantastic beverage but also has used for beauty and skincare rituals.
The chilled tea makes a great facial toner, has astringent properties to help soothe and smooth tiny lines on the face.
It removes age spots on the skin and removes old skin cells. It works as a mild chemical peel, but without the chemicals.
You can keep some tea in a small bottle and use as a skin refresher during the day. Just remember to shake the bottle, so a new shroom doesn’t form.
Applied liberally, its excellent first aid for insect bites and stings.
Use it the same way you would use baking soda and vinegar to clean chrome, mirrors, and glass for a beautiful shine.
Kombucha is a great hair product, especially for oily hair.
It deep cleans the scalp, loosens dead skin cells, and clears sebum from the hair follicle.
Maintains Cholesterol and Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Kombucha tea is believed to not only help maintain blood sugar levels but, it also helps your body keep a healthy cholesterol level and is equally useful for your cardiovascular health.
High levels of cholesterols are known to cause a myriad of heart and vascular diseases including heart attack, atherosclerosis, and hypertension.
Kombucha tea offers you a natural way of keeping your cholesterol levels in line.
Tests performed on animals showed that it could increase good HDL levels while reducing bad LDL cholesterol.
Blood pressure and cholesterol complications are some of the common health problems many people face.
Studies have shown that Kombucha lowers triglyceride and cholesterol diet when they are present in excess.
It is possible through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative processes that prevent accumulation of fats in blood vessels.(7)
Incorporating natural combatants in forms of helpful bacteria over dangerous bacteria such as this one into your regular diet is an effective way of maintaining cholesterol.
Antimicrobial Effect of Kombucha
It may sound contradictive given that it is a probiotic, but it indeed has powerful antibacterial properties.
The fermentation process yields acetic acid.
This acid is toxic to several species of pathogenic bacteria but relatively harmless to the good bacteria.
The introduction of a culture of good bacteria also serves to eliminate harmful bacteria.
Kombucha tea is therefore very effective in preventing and also treating bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract.
A study by a Netherland based food and research institute proved that Kombucha is indeed antibacterial against E. coli, Staphylococcus, Shigella, and Campylobacter jejuni.(8)
These are the most common bacteria that invade the gut and cause diarrheal illnesses.
List of Kombucha Tea Miraculous Health Benefits
How to Make Kombucha Tea
- Sugar Cane, Fruit or Honey
- Cold Filtered Water
- Black Tea Bags or Loose Leaf
- Scoby Either Purchased or Homegrown
- To make kombucha, steep the tea and sugar in boiled water and leave it to cool down before adding the Scoby.
- Cover the mixture and allow it to ferment for about one week
- After a week, pour the mixture into an airtight container and add some extra sugar.
- Leave it for a few more days and allow it to become fizzy.
Add a flavoring of your choice.
Add spices or fruits for extra flavor.
Don't throw away your aging shrooms.
Instead, you can mix in a blender with a little tea and honey, and use it to smooth over your skin for a healthy complexion.
You can keep the Kombucha in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
Hopefully, we have given you a new way of looking at the natural and organic Kombucha beverage.
By now you know that this beverage is a remarkable natural detoxifying agent, which is primarily due to the glucuronic acid it possesses.
The effects of Kombucha vary from person to person.
Those who find it especially beneficial generally experience an instant boost to well-being and sustain vitality after a few weeks of drinking.
Positive effects of more severe diseases, infections, and ailments may take a few months, but you can expect notable differences within a year.
All in all, the revitalizing effects that this fermented beverage produces are immense.
Its regular consumption will undoubtedly do you less harm than good.
In conclusion, a single glass of Kombucha tea comes with a myriad of health benefits.
Its impact is not limited to the gut but goes on to improve the health of all your body organs including the liver, heart, blood vessels, lungs, and even the brain.
I would highly recommend it if you are pursuing a natural and healthy way of living.