“Kombucha originated over 2,000 years ago in the Far East and is believed to have tremendous health benefits. It is a fermented beverage made from black tea, green tea and sweetener such as sugar honey or fruit juices.”
In Los Angeles it is not unusual to see someone walking around with a yoga mat slung over one shoulder nursing a kombucha beverage in the other hand. I was slow to take a liking to the effervescent fermented drink and am still on the fence when it come to its health benefits.
Kombucha originated over 2,000 years ago in the Far East and is believed to have tremendous health benefits. It is a fermented beverage made from black tea, green tea and sweetener such as sugar honey or fruit juices. It is due to the colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process. Once the fermentation process is complete, the drink contains, b-vitamins, enzymes, vinegar and most importantly probiotics making it great for healthy digestion.
The research published in The Journal of Medicinal Food in 2014 cite claims from the University of Latvia that Kombucha has a wide range of powerful health benefits including detoxification of liver toxicity, digestive aid that can prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers, energy booster to the system as well as weight loss advantages and even cancer prevention.
Critics believe that the risks outweigh the benefits in that there are a few documented cases of serious adverse effects arising from contamination during home preparation. Even though these cases are rare, some believe the health benefits are not strong enough to counter some adverse effects such as hepatic (liver) and renal (kidney) failure. Over fermentation can lead to the brew being overly acidic which can cause acidosis. There can also be elevated alcohol levels which led retailers such as Whole Foods to pull the product temporarily from the shelves. Kombucha is not recommended for women who are pregnant.
Beware of where you keep this bottle rocket of a beverage as there have been numerous stories of kombucha explosions. If the bottle has been left out to long and gotten warm it can lead to a second fermentation. In this case the pressure gets too much in its little container and it busts in a volcano eruption. I had a friend who had left her bottle in a friend home only to find it had created a Mt. Vesuvius in her dining room resulting in some very intense and expensive cleaning.
Kombucha can be a drink you enjoy if you buy from a safe source and keep it cool.
Some That We at RMD Love:
GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha-a less sweet kombucha that comes in many flavors.
Health-Ade Kombucha–is 100% raw kombucha with active cultures that is also low in sugar and contains real fruit juice.
High Country Kombucha-is also 100% raw, and is a good choice for those who want a sweeter flavor.