What is Kombucha?

It is simply a fermented tea, known to be a somewhat sour, vinegary version of tea.

But why should we be drinking it every day?

Let’s find out


Brief History of Kombucha

Kombucha is also called Tea Fungus, which is a term given to sugared tea which has been colonized for symbiotic growth of bacteria and other yeast species.

The word “Kombuchaapparently comes from a story of a man named Kombu in 415 B.C. wherein Kombu attempted to heal an emperor, Inkyo.

Once this drink was taught to Japanese healers, the term came from the Japanese term tea, which is cha. Kombu-Cha

China has some of the first-known kombucha brews, thought to have been made of fermented mushrooms.

As it spread to the West, it became known as the Tea of Immortality while it spread through Europe.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is simply tea that has been fermented.

There are many benefits of consuming things that have been fermented, and through this process, kombucha becomes a superdrink.

What Does Fermentation Do To The Kombucha Tea?

Have you ever had apple cider vinegar and noticed the slimy looking thing on the bottom?
That’s typically called a mother, it is the yeast and bacteria working together in unison.
Another name for this, is SCOBY, which means Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.
The SCOBY is a cluster of different bacterias, acids, and yeasts. Typically, this includes:

AcetoBacter and Gluconobacter are the most abundantly found bacteria genus,

bacteria that requires oxygen to produce specific acids.

Acetic and gluconic acids are always found in kombucha

The typical yeasts found include:

Saccharomycodes, Apiculatus, and Zygosaccharomyces

(Saccharomycodes are types of yeasts used to produce alcohol,

and is used in hops for beer.)

Another type of yeast that can be found in Kombucha is Candida, which in excess can cause a myriad of health issues such as sluggishness or lack of focus.

It is worth noting that improving the balance of Good/Bad bacteria and yeasts in your gut will keep harmful ones, such as Candida, in check.

Essentially, the good bacteria limit the possibility of a harmful bacteria to overgrow.

Other honorable mentions would be Lactobacillus, which is a healthy bacteria that can be found in the body. It aids in digestion, inflammation, and it assists in keeping other vaginal yeasts balanced.

What Does the Fermentation do to the Kombucha?

Kombucha Fermentation is broken down like this:

  • Green or Black Tea is made the same way you would make a gallon of sweet tea. Allow the tea to cool down to room temperature, too high a temperature could kill the bacteria, while temperatures that are too cold may stunt their reproduction.
  • Next, the sugar is added, and general recommendation seems to be just a couple cups. The sugar is what the bacteria will feed on. It consumes the sugar and breaks it down to smaller sugars which are digestible to the yeast.
  • The yeast then takes those simple sugars and consumes them, creating carbon dioxide and alcohol, creating the famous Kombucha fizz.
  • This process results in many more vitamins and healthy acids, which I will list in a moment.

Note: Your first question might be;

“If there’s alcohol, am I going to get drunk by drinking this tea?

The answer is no.

While it does produce alcohol from the yeast consuming sugars, the yeast then takes that alcohol and turns it into beneficial acids (again, I will mention specifics below).

After this process, the amount of alcohol is extremely low.

If someone attempted to get drunk off of kombucha, they would be drinking way to much kombucha for other bad reasons.

Everything must be balanced.

Why Should You Drink Kombucha Every Day? What Are Some of the Benefits?

There are a plethora of reasons, Kombucha has been proven to be beneficial in many ways.

Well, really the entire field of microbiology within the human body is fascinating and has proven some hopeful findings.


Sidenote: There’s also a group of women that live near the Chernobyl nuclear site, and despite the high levels of radiation they continue to live. It is said that fermented teas are something they consume daily. This may not be the only reason, but it is thought that perhaps the boost in immune function from frequently consuming fermented products can assist one through the effects of nuclear radiation.

According to the Institute of Food Technologists (2014) have found that there is a variety of acids, bacterias, and nutrients found in Kombucha:

Acids: “…acetic, gluconic, glucuronic, citric, L‐lactic, malic, tartaric, malonic, oxalic, succinic, pyruvic, usnic; also sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose;”

Vitamins and Bacteria: “the vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, and C; 14 amino acids, biogenic amines, purines, pigments, lipids, proteins, some hydrolytic enzymes, ethanol, antibiotically active matter, carbon dioxide, phenol, as well as some tea polyphenols, minerals, anions, DSL, as well as insufficiently known products of yeast and bacterial metabolites.”

Kombucha May Help Fight Free Radicals

A 2007 study published suggesting kombucha may help fight free radicals. It has been further proven that kombucha can prevent oxidation and free radicals from harming our bodies.

This is because through the fermentation process, loads of antioxidants are produced within the tea. Consuming modest amounts of this daily, or at least weekly will assist in battling these free radicals within our body.

This, in turn, means kombucha has an anti-aging property to it.

According to the study:

“From the present study, it is obvious that there might be some chances of structural modification of components in tea due to enzymes liberated by bacteria and yeast during kombucha fermentation which results in better scavenging performance on nitrogen and superoxide radicals, and poor scavenging performance on hydroxyl radicals.”

Lots of big words, I know, but just know there is compelling evidence that fermented products such as Kombucha may aid your bodies ability to fight off free radicals.

This is not only a massive health benefit, but also means that Kombucha, or fermented products may be able to answer the questions we have about fighting free radicals.

Kombucha Has Been Found to Have Many Detoxification Benefits.

Specific acids can attach to toxins and remove them through excretion.

This includes the liver and pancreas, which is important because as the natural filters of your body we must ensure these are clean and functioning properly.

According to another study on Kombucha:

“It is shown that KT (Kombucha Tea) can efficiently act in health prophylaxis (Health Issue Prevention) and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, antioxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of depressed immunity. The recent experimental studies on the consumption of KT suggest that it is suitable for prevention against broad-spectrum metabolic and infective disorders. This makes KT attractive as a fermented functional beverage for health prophylaxis.”

Do you understand why we drink it now?

It’s an amazing thing, and I’m not even done with my list yet…

Kombucha Has Also Been Found to Have Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Limiting inflammation will consequently improve the immune system. There is a massive amount of research about this, and it expands to many diseases. Negating inflammation to the best of our ability is a great way to improve our all-around health.

Furthermore, the consequence of this could be an increase in energy and general sense of well-being.

A reason for the anti-inflammatory benefits is because kombucha produces glucosamine, a substance that which is actually used as a medicine for people with arthritis because of inflammatory benefits. Your body naturally produces this chemical to restore cartilage in the joints and other tissues.

This topic leads me into my next big benefit….

Kombucha May Have Anti-Cancer Benefits

This conclusion has been drawn because of the relationship between diseases like cancer and inflammation.

If your body is chronically inflamed, it is basically always on high alert. This will cause your body to struggle to fight against a variety of diseases.

There have been numerous studies done beginning as early as the 1960s in Europe and areas in Russia we’re starting to show anticancer aspects of Kombucha as well.

Kombucha has been proven to improve overall immune function, and no it isn’t clear that it can actually stop or cure cancer, it has been proven that the increase in immune system function can assist the ease of going through things like chemotherapy.

Additionally, it has been noted that the need for painkillers in patients decreased, and it showed that Kombucha can slow the actual malignant cell growth.

This is massive, because even if the final conclusion is not; “Kombucha completely cures cancer!” It’s still absolutely worth investigating whether or not this drink could provide any relief to someone afflicted with cancer.

Even with any other disease, consuming more products that strengthen your immune system is all around a bright idea.

Kombucha Has Been Found to Benefit Gastrointestinal Disorders

Kombucha has also been found to be beneficial for gastrointestinal disorders, such as acid reflux. Some of these studies even comparing the effectiveness of Kombucha to omeprazole.

It is important to consult a medical professional for using Kombucha for this purposes because everyone’s microbiome is different!

We must not forget that “has been proven in studiesdoes not mean you should believe it will 100% work for you.

If you have something such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), a small amount of Kombucha could help. It could also cause cramping and uneasiness because of the carbonation, or other worse issues.

So do more research and contact a professional!

Kombucha May Aid Type 2 Diabetes

There are also studies which suggest that diabetes can also be affected by drinking kombucha regularly.

As I’ve stated before, it is a good detox drink, which includes the pancreas.

Healing the pancreas can assist with insulin intake, insulin resistance, and produce blood glucose.

There is, however, some evidence that it is unsafe for people affected with severe acute pancreatitis  seemingly due to alcohol sensitivity.

So as I say repeatedly, do more research and contact a professional!

Sidenote: Something ironic about kombucha is that there are people who mix it with alcohol, such as in a margarita. Kombucha has also been proven to assist with hangovers as it helps cleanse the liver and kidneys. So during a night of drinking it is said that it could help the pain the next morning.

Kombucha Can Help with Skin Issues

Because of the healthy bacteria stabilizing bad sources of bacteria, kombucha is also good at easing skin conditions.

Specifically fungal skin infections such as eczema, or ringworm.

In fact our child had a ringworm, and the doctor advised an expensive cream to put on it.

We naturally cure it with apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, coconut oil, and a blend of essential oils  for a fraction of the price.

(Article with How-To Guide coming soon)

There are actually deodorants and other beauty products which use saccharomyces. They claim that it is non-toxic and harmless and  that it contains live enzymes that help break down ,odor causing compounds

The use of probiotics in skin-care has been on the rise for years, but we are getting a much better grasp on why.

The living bacteria has the same effect to skin as it does in our gut: It is easily absorbable and compatible with our skin. This makes it easier for the body to metabolize and use.

Kombucha Can Improve Mental Health

Problems in the gut stemming from lack of healthy bacteria can lead to anxiety, depression, and Studies have even suggested autism.

This obviously is still a very new science, so you must take everything with a grain of salt at first.

However, after research there are definite trends in the way that it helps your mind function more properly. The colonization of healthy bacteria within your body is vital to the health of your overall being.

To be more specific, bifidobacterium in the lactobacillus were used in a study which showed;

“Anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and memory abilities were improved in several studies where Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus were used. When healthy women were provided with fermented milk for 4 weeks, brain regions that control the central processing of emotion and sensation were affected.”

The same study (Maryland University of Integrative Health) suggest something even further…

Keep in mind, this research was done on Lab Rats. So even though there is evidence to suggest something, it could not be true for human applications, so we shouldn’t take this as a direct fact.

With that being said, in these research studies involving rats, probiotic strains were fed to the mice on a consistent schedule with predetermined amounts and strains of probiotics used.

Their Findings;

“…these probiotic strains influenced brain genetic expression and modulated neurotransmitters to counter age-related reduction in cognitive function.”

Although we cannot determine this to be 100% true in every case, the implications are significant.

The connection between the brain and gut is a fairly new and unknown territory, but we have found some solid trends.

We have also found through a number of studies that as much as 95% of serotonin produced may be linked to your gut.

This means that literally;

A healthy gut means a happy you

Conclusion

As I’ve said multiple times, research and consult an expert.

Not all of us are the same, and it’s better to be safe before adding a new supplement to your food.

With that being said…

Fermented products in general offer many health benefits, and this is not isolated to just kombucha.

There are several things I would take into consideration.

Your Diet is Still the Most Important Aspect of Your Health.

You can make your Kombucha work much harder than necessary depending on your diet.

You can drink Kombucha and see some benefits, but these benefits can be overshadowed by an unhealthy diet.

For example, a benefit of Kombucha, and other fermented products, is that it can keep other harmful bacteria and yeasts at bay.

However, some bad bacteria, such as Candida, thrives on sugars.

That means if you drink coffee with tons of sugar every morning, if you eat lots of white breads, or if you just eat lots of simple starches it could cause the candida in your body to thrive.

This makes the process of balancing the good vs. bad bacteria and yeasts much more difficult for your body, regardless of the probiotics you consume.

Your Microbiome May be Additionally Affected by use of Antibiotics

We all know about antibiotics.

We all have heard that using them could unintentionally result in a loss of healthy bacteria, though the goal is to eliminate the bad ones.

This is true, and an important aspect to take into consideration when researching about the human microbiome.

Especially when you intend to repair it yourself.

I had strep throat and other bacterial infections growing up, so I definitely took my fair share of antibiotics.

Knowing what I know now, I’m sure it explains a lot about health concerns I had later in life that I have now alleviated.

I wouldn’t tell anyone what to do with their bodies.

Take antibiotics, don’t take them, it’s really not my business.

If I could offer friendly advice, however, I would suggest that you use medications such as these as rarely as possible.

Only in dire positions, and after you’ve exhausted any and all holistic or homeopathic remedies.

Kombucha has lots of sugar!

I know that I’ve mentioned this in this article but everything has to stay in balance.

Kombucha is great, but it does require sugar to produce all the good stuff.you should be fine. This is another reason to check with a doctor (If ya got one) before making changes to your lifestyle.

Brewing your own Kombucha would probably be the best way to limit or control the sugar in your Kombucha.

Too little sugar, however, and the bacteria will have nothing to eat!

Thank you for reading!

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6 thoughts on “What is Kombucha? Why do We Drink it Daily?

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