Have you heard about the incredible benefits of Kombucha mushroom tea?
Kombucha is a green tea or black tea-based beverage believed to have originated more than 2000 years ago.
Most opinions claim this tea-based health drink’s earliest usage 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” 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 ancient China.
Many extensive scientific studies have been conducted on this health drink, especially by Russian and Japanese health scientists. Those studies established strong evidence for anti-cancer properties in Kombucha called tea “kvass”; the Chinese people who regularly drank this healthy drink were seemingly immune to cancer.
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 for 100s of years, Kombucha didn’t gain prominence in the West until recently.
What Is Kombucha Tea?
In the Western world, there is an ever-increasing curiosity among many to know ‘what Kombucha is’ and want to take advantage of its health benefits.
In fact, in the US, this probiotic tea has seen a 29 percent combined annual growth across all retail 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 prepared and consumed by people in several regions of China since ancient times.
It is made from sweetened tea 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 a living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform the sweet tea into tangy, fizzy Kombucha. It’s a colony of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that work synergistically together to produce a specific type of ferment.
Kombucha tea is brewed for 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 “kombucha mothers” or “kombucha mushrooms” because of its reproducing nature and mushroom-like shape, respectively.
The scoby constantly reforms itself, allowing us to grow a new scoby from scratch.
Certain sellers of this health beverage have named it ‘kombucha mushroom tea”, but it is not at all a mushroom thing. Like a layer of scoby that floats on the surface of Kombucha, the raft appears like a mushroom.
How To Make Kombucha?
It is easy to learn how to make Kombucha tea at home. You can master the art of making the best quality Kombucha at home. Also, you will save 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 to make kombucha mushroom tea, and you probably already have them in your kitchen.
- 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 damage the flavor.
Only a few ingredients are required to make this healthy 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 primary 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.
10 Steps for Making Process
1. Fill the stockpot with hot water (near boiling point) in the required amount and add the sugar. Stir the water till the sugar is fully dissolved.
2. Add the required amount of loose tea (or tea bags) into the hot water and allow the tea to steep gradually. It is better to allow the water to cool down naturally, but if you are in a hurry, you can place the jar in an ice bath for faster cooling.
3. 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 make the solution acidic and expels the bacteria, which are not helpful for fermentation.
4. Transfer the base solution from the stockpot to a glass jar (1 gallon) and gently slide the scoby into the jar. Make sure that scoby is not contaminated in any manner.
5. Cover the mouth of the glass jar with a few layers of tightly-woven cloth, paper towels, or coffee filters and tightly secure it with a rubber band.
6. Allow the liquid solution to ferment for at least 7 days at room temperature in a cool, shady cupboard or kitchen locker. The brewing period of Kombucha could vary from 7 to 30 days, depending on various conditions.
7. After 7 days, taste the Kombucha; if it has a pleasant, balanced sweetness and tartness taste, the beverage is ready. If the taste is not as expected, allow a few more days of fermentation till the desired taste is achieved.
8. Once the Kombucha has seasoned and rightly fermented, remove all scoby, preserve the newly formed scoby (usually floats on top of the liquid), measure out your starter tea from this batch, and set it aside for making the next batch.
9. 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 adequately carbonated when you can feel the plastic bottle has turned rock solid.
10. 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 will 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 the 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 simultaneously as this process is not always successful; occasionally, one or more could get spoiled.
The dehydrated scobys should be placed in clean plastic bags and sealed tightly; they should be kept in the refrigerator without freezing.
The scobys preserved in the refrigerator have a shelf life of up to three months.
The starter tea (a sample of already made Kombucha) is preserved in a tightly closed glass bottle or jar and usually kept in the refrigerator for longer 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. This drink has several possibilities to add the desired flavor and aroma.
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 straightforward way to add flavor to this drink is by adding 8 oz of Kombucha into any fruit juice or smoothie before drinking.
How Much Kombucha Intake Per Day?
According to conventional standards of Chinese herbal remedies, up to 16 ounces of Kombucha per day is considered good and healthy.
It is most comfortable for the 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, known as the “Immortal Health Elixir,” has tremendous health benefits. Here are the 10 significant health benefits that can be achieved from this health drink.
1. Contains Cancer Resistant Properties
One of Kombucha’s most talked-about health benefits 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 works toward reducing the dangers of cancer disease.
It is expected that the polyphenols present in tea can prevent the growth of cancer cells by blocking 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 had higher immunity in resisting cancer.
Several other research has proven the effectiveness of green tea in resisting the development of various types of 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 essential ingredients. The final output is achieved 7 to 30 days after the fermentation process.
The scoby used and regenerated during the process of Kombucha is actually a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.
This beverage finally gets carbonated through a fermentation process that produces vinegar and several other acidic compounds, trace levels of alcohol, and gasses.
A large amount of probiotic bacteria is also produced during the fermentation process.
When we consume this beverage, its probiotics fill our gut with healthy bacteria. This helps to improve digestion, fights inflammation, and aids in healthy weight loss.
3. Contains Beneficial Antioxidants
Kombucha, especially made with green tea, contains powerful antioxidants to fight free radicals and inflammation.
Few rat studies have confirmed that people who regularly drink Kombucha have 70% lesser incidences of liver toxicity.
4. Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risks
One of the studies in diabetic rats found that the regular intake of Kombucha helps slow down the digestion of carbs, preventing the undesirable rise in blood sugar levels.
It is best to use Kombucha made from green tea because it has higher effectiveness in reducing 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. 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 high-quality green tea will have all the health benefits of the original tea.
According to several studies reports, green tea has several benefits for health. It can improve blood cholesterol balance, regulate healthy blood sugar levels, improve metabolic activities, and help reduce belly fat.
People who regularly drink Kombucha made of green tea will reduce the risks of contracting prostate, breast, and colon cancers.
6. Can Kill Harmful Bacteria
The rich content of acetic acid present in Kombucha can kill many potentially harmful microorganisms.
The antibacterial properties of green and black tea can fight harmful infection-causing bacteria and Candida yeast infections.
Recent research reports opine that kombucha mushroom tea could be an effective antibiotic growth promoter and destroyer of certain harmful bacteria.
7. Improves Heart Health
According to some of the studies conducted on rats, Kombucha improves healthy cholesterol balance in the blood.
The antioxidants in this tea help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol which is good for preventing major heart diseases and stroke.
It is a proven fact through extensive studies that regular intakes of green tea-based beverages are good for heart health. Some studies have noted up to 31% lower risk of developing heart disease in people who regularly consume green tea beverages like brewed tea and Kombucha.
8. Improves Joint Health
The glucosamine, an amino sugar synthesis, present in Kombucha tea is beneficial for preventing and remedying arthritis.
Glucosamines increase 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. Improves Gut Health, Digestion, And Other Metabolic Activities
The probiotics, acids, and enzymes in this beverage help improve digestion and metabolism.
There is proven evidence from studies that indicate Kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. Intake of this beverage is even recommended as an alternative to Prilosec, commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.
The mushroom can heal candida yeast from overpopulating the gut and restores the healthy functioning of the digestive system because of the probiotics present in it.
10. Enhances Immunity
The antioxidants, probiotics, and acids in this beverage boost the body’s immune health.
This organic health drink can decrease oxidative stress-related immuno-suppression with the help of the antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL).
Evidence suggests that the antioxidants, DSL, and Vitamin C present in Kombucha reduce inflammation that causes cell damage, inflammatory diseases, and tumors.
Other benefits, such as improving mental clarity, mood and 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 store or hypermarket near your home. If it is unavailable in your area’s food stores, 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 detail.
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.
While buying Kombucha, ensure the right ingredients are used, and it is not nearing the expiry date.
If you’re interested in using Kombucha, Amazon.com has a decent selection.