Have you heard about the incredible benefits of Kombucha mushroom tea?
Kombucha is a green tea or black tea-based beverage that is believed to be originated more than 2000 years ago.
Most opinions claim the earliest usage of this tea based health drink was originated in China around 220 BC during the Tsin Dynasty. It has been popularly used in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Japan for several centuries; the term “Kombucha” (often misspelled as kambucha) is a Japanese name given to this beverage around 415 AD.
Because of its rich anecdotal history of health benefits, this health drink was called “Immortal Health Elixir” in the ancient China.
There had been many extensive scientific studies conducted on this health drink especially by the Russian and Japanese health scientists. Those studies were able to establish strong evidence for anti-cancer properties in Kombucha called tea “kvass”; the Chinese people who regularly drank this health drink were seemingly immune to cancer.[1,2,3]
Not only does it have all the health benefits of green tea but it is also rich in beneficial probiotics and antioxidants that can prevent or cure several diseases.
Though this drink had been popular in China since 100s of years, Kombucha didn’t gain prominence in the West until recently.
What Is Kombucha Tea?
Currently, in the western world there is an ever increasing curiosity among many to know ‘what is Kombucha’ and want to take advantage of the health benefits it offers.
In fact, in the US, this probiotic tea has seen a 29 percent combined annual growth across all retails channels in the last couple of years according to the market research firm SPINS.
Let us see now what Kombucha probiotic tea is. It is a fermented tea that has been prepared and consumed by people in several regions of China from the ancient time.
It is made from sweetened tea that is fermented by a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).
The ingredients in Kombucha are tea, sugar, a scoby and a starter from a previous batch.
A scoby is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform the sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha. It’s colony of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that work synergistically together to produce a certain type of ferment.
The Kombucha tea is brewed over a period of 7 to 30 days. After the fermentation period, the final product is naturally carbonated making it a fizzy and tasty drink.
The scoby is also called as “kombucha mothers” or “kombucha mushrooms” because of its reproducing nature and mushroom like shape respectively.
The scoby constantly reforms itself, and this makes it possible for us to grow a new scoby from scratch.
Certain sellers of this health beverage have named it as ‘kombucha mushroom tea”, but it is not at all a mushroom thing. Actually, the raft like layer of scoby that floats on the surface of Kombucha appears like a mushroom.
How To Make Kombucha?
It is quite easy to learn how to make Kombucha tea at home. You can effortlessly master the art of making the best quality Kombucha at home, and also, you will be saving a good bit of money as you need not buy the expensive commercial brands of this beverage anymore.
Equipment Required For Making Kombucha Tea: Only a few pieces of simple equipment are required for making kombucha mushroom tea, and you probably have them in your kitchen already.
- Glass Jar/Bottle
- Filter Cloth/Paper
- Rubber Band (for securing the jar air-tight)
Note: It is better to avoid metallic containers/jars for making and storing Kombucha as it can cause a minor chemical reaction that could reduce the effectiveness of scoby and also damage the flavor.
Ingredients for Making Kombucha: Only a few ingredients are required for making this health beverage. Here is the list of ingredients required:
- A patch of active Kombucha Scoby (Can be made at home or bought from food stores or online vendors)
- Organic Tea (Use green tea for maximum health benefits)
- White Sugar
- Starter Tea or Distilled White Vinegar
- Pure Water (without bleach solutions)
Ingredients Ratio For Making 1 Gallon Kombucha: Increase or decrease the amount of kombucha you make while maintaining below mentioned the basic ratio of ingredients required per gallon.
- Tea: 2 tablespoons of loose tea or 8 tea bags
- Sugar: 1 cup
- Water: 31/2 quarts
- Starter Tea from the last batch of Kombucha: 2 cups
- One scoby per jar
Note: Instead of starter tea, brewed ‘white vinegar’ could be used; using starter tea is most effective for best quality output.
Instructions On Making Process:
- Fill the stock pot with hot water (near to boiling point) in required amount and add the sugar. Stir the water till the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add required amount of loose tea (or tea bags) into the hot water and allow the tea to steep gradually into it. It is better to allow the water to cool down naturally but if you are in a hurry you can place the jar on an ice bath for faster cooling.
- After cooling, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea; then add the starter tea and stir it thoroughly. Adding starter tea helps in making the solution acidic and expels the bacteria which are not helpful for fermentation.
- Transfer the base solution from the stock pot to a glass jar (1 gallon) and gently slide the scoby into the jar. Make sure that scoby is not contaminated in any manner.
- Cover the mouth of the glass jar with a few layers tightly-woven cloth, paper towels or coffee filters and tightly secure with a rubber band.
- Allow the liquid solution to get fermented for minimum 7 days at room temperature in a cool and shady cupboard or kitchen locker. The brewing period of Kombucha could vary from 7 to 30 days depending on various conditions.
- After 7 days taste the kombucha and if it has a pleasant and balance of sweetness and tartness taste, the beverage is ready. If the taste is not as expected, allow few more days of fermentation till the desired taste is achieved.
- Once the kombucha has seasoned and rightly fermented, remove all scoby and preserve the newly formed scoby (usually floats on top of the liquid) and measure out your starter tea from this batch and set it aside for making the next batch.
- Store the bottled kombucha at room temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. During this carbonation period, it is better to keep it in a plastic bottle or jar; the kombucha is carbonated properly when you can feel the plastic bottle has turned rock solid.
- Transfer the final ready to use beverage into a glass bottle with a plastic cover or wooden cork. It can be preserved in the refrigerator at 40 degrees. The shelf-life of this beverage is about 2 months and after that, it would gradually lose its effectiveness and flavor
How To Preserve SCOBY?
A patch of scoby and starter tea collected from the current batch of Kombucha is required for making new batches of Kombucha mushroom tea in future.
Scobys can be dehydrated by placing them on a sheet of unbleached parchment paper and allowing them to dry in a warm spot (around 80° to 90°F) until they have a jerky consistency.
It is good to preserve two or more scoby at the same time as this process of preservation is not successful always; occasionally one or more could get spoiled.
The dehydrated scobys should be placed in clean plastic bags and sealed tightly; preserve them in the refrigerator without freezing them.
The scobys preserved in the refrigerator have a shelf life up to three months.
The starter tea (sample of already made Kombucha) is preserved in a tightly closed glass bottle or jar and usually kept in the refrigerator for long shelf life. Usually, 10% of the base liquid with sugar and tea should consist of starter tea.
Tips On Adding Flavor To Kombucha
You can enjoy the Kombucha just plain or with added flavor. There are several possibilities to add desired flavor and aroma to this drink.
When bottling it, for each cup of finished kombucha add 1/8 teaspoon of your chosen fruit extract, natural flavor extract or organic flavor extract.
Another easiest way to add flavor to this drink is by adding 8 oz of Kombucha into any of your chosen fruit juice or smoothie before drink.
How Much Kombucha Intake Per Day?
According to conventional standards of Chinese herbal remedies, up to 16 ounces of Kombucha per day is considered to be good and healthy.
It is most comfortable for stomach and healthy metabolism to have not more than 8 ounces of this beverage per serving.
An optimum health benefit from this drink is best experienced when 8 ounces of this drink when consumed twice a day.
10 Health Benefits Of Kombucha
This Chinese beverage is known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” has tremendous health benefits. Here are the 10 major health benefits can be achieved from this health drink.
1. Kombucha Have Cancer Resistant Properties
One of the most talked about health benefits of Kombucha is its efficacy in preventing the growth and spread of cancerous cells. According to some of the studies, the high concentration of polyphenols and antioxidants in this beverage that works toward the advantage of reducing the dangers of cancer disease.
It is expected that the polyphenols present in tea can prevent the growth of cancer cells by blocking the gene mutation and causing the death of cancer cells.
One of the studies conducted in Japan in 1997 found that people who drank organic tea regularly have higher immunity in resisting cancer.
For this reason, it is not surprising to see that tea drinkers are much less likely to develop various types of cancer than others who don’t.
2. Excellent Probiotics Presence In Kombucha
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system.
This beverage has yeast, specific strains of bacteria, tea and sugar as the basic ingredients. The final output is achieved 7 to 30 days of fermentation process.
The scoby that is used and regenerated during the making of process of kombucha is actually a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.
This beverage finally gets carbonated by itself through a fermentation process that produces vinegar and several other acidic compounds, trace levels of alcohol and gasses.
During the fermentation process, a large amount of probiotic bacteria is also produced.
When we consume this beverage, the probiotics present in it fills our gut with healthy bacteria. This helps to improve digestion, fights inflammation and aids in healthy weight loss.
3. Kombucha Contains Beneficial Antioxidants
Kombucha, especially those made with green tea, contains powerful antioxidants that can fight free radicals and inflammations.
4. Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risks
One of the studies in diabetic rats found that the regular intake of kombucha helps in slowing down digestion of carbs which prevents the undesirable rise in blood sugar levels.
It is best to use the kombucha made from green tea because it has higher effectiveness in reducing the blood sugar levels.
One of the analytical studies that had data from 18 studies with information on 457922 participants reported green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.
5. Kombucha Provides Similar Health Benefits Green Tea
Green tea contains many bioactive compounds that can function as powerful antioxidants in the body.
The batch of Kombuchas made from the high-quality green tea will have all the health benefits present in the original tea.
According to several studies’ reports, the green tea has several benefits for health. It can improve blood cholesterol balance, regulate healthy blood sugar level, improve metabolic activities and help in reducing belly fat.[15,16,17]
6. Kombucha Can Kill Harmful Bacteria
The rich content of acetic acid present in Kombucha can kill many potentially harmful microorganisms.
The antibacterial properties contained in green and black tea can fight harmful infection-causing bacteria and Candida yeast infections.
Recent research reports opine that kombucha mushroom tea could be used as effective antibiotic growth-promoters and destroyer of certain harmful bacteria.
7. Kombucha Improves Heart Health
According to some of the studies conducted on rats, Kombucha improves healthy cholesterol balance in the blood.
It is a proven fact through extensive studies that regular intakes of green tea based beverages are good for the heart health. Some of the studies have noted up to 31% lower risk of developing heart disease in people who regularly consume the green tea beverages like brewed tea and Kombucha.
8. Kombucha Improves Joint Health
Glucosamines increases the production of synovial hyaluronic acid. This acid is beneficial for the preservation of cartilage structure. Hyaluronic acid also prevents arthritic pain, with relief comparable to NSAIDs and has an advantage over glucocorticoids.
9. Kombucha Improves Gut Health, Digestion And Other Metabolic Activities
The probiotics, acids and enzymes present in this beverage help to improve the digestion and metabolism.
There are proven evidence from studies that indicate the ability of Kombucha in preventing and healing leaky gut and stomach ulcers. Intake of this beverage is even recommended as an alternative to Prilosec, which is commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD and ulcers.
The mushroom is able to heal candida yeast from overpopulating within the gut and restores the healthy functioning of digestive system because of the probiotics present in it.
10. Kombucha Enhances Immunity
The antioxidants, probiotics, and acids contained in this beverage boosts the immune health of the body.
This organic health drink has the ability to decrease oxidative stress related immuno-suppression with the help of the antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL).
There is evidence that suggests that the antioxidants, DSL and Vitamin C present in Kombucha reduce inflammation that causes cell damages, inflammatory diseases, and tumors.
The other myriad of benefits such as improving mental clarity, and mood, reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc. are other health benefits derived from Kombucha.
Where To Get Good Kombucha Tea?
It is possible that many of you will not take the trouble of making Kombucha tea at home because of the careful procedures involved in making it.
The ready to use bottles of pure Kombucha can be purchased in any good food stores or hypermarkets near to your home. If it is not available in food stores in your area, you can buy it online from Amazon or Alibaba.
If you are planning to make it at home, make sure to follow all the making procedures carefully and in details.
Kombucha side effects do exist. Contaminated or over-fermented kombucha can cause health problems that generally affect the digestive system. Over contamination of Kombucha can cause a food-poisoning-like effect that is detrimental to health and life threatening. Homemade Kombucha may also contain up to 3% alcohol.[29,30]
While buying Kombucha make sure to see those right ingredients are used in it, and it is not nearing the expiry date.
If you’re interested in using kombucha, then Amazon.com has a decent selection available.