Tea has always been one of the world’s most popular drinks. The varieties of tea available are endless! You can walk down your local grocery store aisle and become overwhelmed with their selection. Even though tea is extremely popular, many people have never heard of kombucha.
The kombucha mushroom (commonly referred to as a Scoby or Mother) is actually a colony of yeast and bacteria. If the thought of drinking little micro-organisms frightens you, don’t worry. Kombucha has been checked by the US Food and Drug Administration. They are the good kind of bacteria! The Scoby culture resembles a large pancake and is very gooey to touch. It is what sits inside of the jar of fermenting tea for weeks at a time.
During a week or two of fermentation, many samples are taken to taste for some desired balance between sweet and sour. Eventually the liquid is tapped but some is retained to keep the pH low to deter contaminant microorganisms. The mother will eventually produce a “daughter”, which can easily be directly handled, separated like two pancakes, and moved to another container. The yeast in the tapped liquid will then continue to live. A second wait time for about a week produces more carbonation.
Proponents of kombucha claim that it is a panacea for any disease. True kombucha drinkers enjoy this beverage on a daily basis. Others cannot stomach this strong tea. Love it or hate it, here are some of the health claims that have been associated with kombucha.
- Kombucha has been advocated for bronchitis, asthma, and muscle aches.
- One study shows the tea contains a strong antibacterial component effect against antibiotic-resistant strains of staphylococcus.
- There are claims that kombucha can increase your energy, sharpen your eyesight, and help promote clearer skin.
- Kombucha can help promote good liver and gallbladder activity.
- There are reports of adverse effects such as stomach upset and allergic reactions. If your body tends to be sensitive, try drinking kombucha in moderation.
Page, L. (2006). Healthy Healing. Healthy Healing, Inc.
(2010). Kombucha. In Wikipedia. Retrieved January 30, 2010, from Wikipedia.com database.