KOMBUCHA: An Incredible Health Drink
Kombucha is a fermented beverage originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, and known to the Chinese as the “Immortal Health Elixir”. Made with black tea and sugar, this solution is fermented by what is called a “SCOBY”, which is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha contains B-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, three acids (acetic, gluconic, lactic), and is claimed to have the several benefits.
In the newest research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia say the following about the health benefits of kombucha: "It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity."
- Detoxification: Kombucha’s detoxifying ability is remarkable. According to research, it has been observed to counteract liver cell toxicity. In one study, the liver cells being evaluated were protected from oxidative injury and actually maintained their normal physiology, in spite of being exposed to the toxin! Researchers believe that this was probably due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”
- Digestion: Kombucha’s high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics, and enzymes enable it to greatly support digestion. Extensive work has been conducted to test kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. Kombucha proved to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are often prescribed for heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.
- Energy: During the fermentation process, iron is released from the black tea which gives credit to kombucha’s ability to invigorate people. This iron is released through a process called chelation, and is said to help boost blood hemoglobin, which improves oxygen supply to tissues and stimulates the energy producing process at the cellular level, which means those who drink kombucha regularly, stay energized for extended periods of time. It also contains some caffeine and B-vitamins.
- Immune Health: Kombucha supports the immune system by its ability to control free radicals through unbelievable antioxidant measures. It is known to protect the body against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, tumors and overall depression of the immune system. A powerful antioxidant, known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4lactone (DSL), has been discovered during the kombucha fermentation process, that is not found in black tea alone.
- Joint Care: Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. Kombucha is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This supports the preservation of collagen and prevents arthritic pain. In the same way it supports joint collagen it can also support collagen of the entire body and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
- Cancer Prevention: Kombucha has also been proven beneficial for cancer prevention and recovery. A study published in Cancer Letters, found that by consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha, it reduced the risk of cancer in humans. President Reagan reportedly drank kombucha daily as part of his regimen to battle stomach cancer. When at the Master Herbalist Seminar a couple years ago, a student shared during a session, a report about a friend who had cured himself of cancer by drinking one gallon of kombucha a day.
In his book, Kombucha Rediscovered, Klaus Kaufmann, DSc discusses kombucha’s numerous health benefits. As there is limited scientific research, most of the benefits are as real as the personal testimonials. From arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, bowel problems, gout, kidney problems, and many other health issues, kombucha is said to have helped many.
Kombucha is easy to make, and very inexpensive. At Herbs4You, we have a simple Kombucha Brewing Kit with instructions, flavors, and all necessary equipment. We encourage you to add this simple measure to your health.
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Amy Willis, Your Local Herbalist