We tried this mystical solution for the first time two weeks ago at the Palmercare Orthopedics Charity Golf Tournament. Today we figure out what it is and what are the real health benefits?
Taste & Prep
Kombucha is a slap in the face. Your mouth feels fizzy from the carbonation, sour from the vinegar, and then the flavors creep in. At first, you want to throw your cup away, but then it starts to grow on you. You're almost daring yourself to take another sip, seeing if you can handle the overwhelming experience.
Kombucha will be sure to put some hair on your chest. Kombucha's base consists of tea, sugar, water, vinegar, and the magical ingredient active SCOBY.
No not that Scooby. SCOBY means Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast
The process does not seem too difficult to brew yourself. Most of the ingredients you'll find your home except the active SCOBY. Seems like you throw it in a jar and let the yeast ferment. Flavors and other additives can be added to enhance the taste. The fermentation process also produces alcohol (approx. 0.5% ABV). Not enough to get a buzz yet it's purported as a cure for hangovers as well as many other conditions.
Kombucha is marketed as a healthy elixir curing all your ailments, including:
- Probiotics – healthy bacteria
- Alkalize the body – balances internal pH
- Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
- Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
- Improve digestion – keep your system moving
- Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
- Cancer prevention
- Alleviate constipation
- Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
- Reduce blood pressure
- Relieve headaches & migraines
- Reduce kidney stones
- High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
- High in polyphenols
- Improve eyesight
- Heal eczema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
- Prevent artheriosclerosis
- Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact
- Help clear up candida & yeast infections
- Aid healthy cell regeneration
- Reduce gray hair
- Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating
Our b/s detectors are going off; this seems too good to be true. A bit more digging and most of the kombucha claims have only been performed on rodents. People have reported adverse reactions to the solution from upset stomachs to allergic reactions. There are pasteurized and non-pasteurized versions of kombucha making attempts to limit the bacteria growth, but the bacteria is one of the components that is supposed to make you feel better, so drinking a pasteurized version may not have the same impact.
It's worth a try. I suggest trying a retail version of kombucha before trying to brew it yourself. Most grocery stores stock up a few bottles and it's typically $3-4. Personally, I will not be an avid consumer, perhaps saving it for those hangovers where you'll drink anything to make the pain go away.