Known as the ‘Immortal Health Elixir’ by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2000 years ago, kombucha is a drink with tremendous health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and sugar (from various sources including cane sugar, fruit or honey) that’s used as a functional food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that are responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar. After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic, glucaric and lactic).
The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as a ‘SCOBY’ (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Although it’s usually made with black tea, kombucha can also be made with green tea too. It can easily be made at home or bought in health food shops.
Benefits of Kombucha Tea:
PREPARING KOMBUCHA TEA
Use a ceramic, enamel, plastic or glass container without a metal rim. When you handle the Kombucha mushroom, take off rings and any other metal that could be in or near proximity to the mushroom. If you are using a spoon, make sure it is wooden or plastic.
Heat three quarts (three liters) of water. When it starts to boil, add one cup of sugar. Let it boil for five minutes. Turn off the heat and add five tea bags, or four family size bags. Use any black tea. Cover for ten minutes and then remove the tea bags. Let it cool. Add a cup of Kombucha tea from the previous batch or two tablespoons of vinegar if brewing for the first time.
When cool, place the mushroom on top of the liquid and cover the container with cheesecloth. Do not use a lid; the bacteria must be able to breathe. The Kombucha mushroom should be placed smooth side upwards.
Let it ferment for seven days, undisturbed, in a cool place at room temperature (70-75º F., 21-24º C.). Remove the mushroom from the pot and place it on a plate. You will notice that it propagates itself by forming a “baby mushroom” on top of the original mushroom. Separate them with your hands by pulling them apart. Place each one in a different container with tea to start the process all over again.
It is sensitive. If it falls down to the bottom, leave it alone. In a few days it will come back to the top.
You drink the tea in which the Kombucha grew. Filter the tea through a fine cloth and store it in a pitcher or glass jar (no metal lids or handles). Keep it cold or refrigerated.
Take 4 oz. (120 ml. or half a glass) every morning on an empty stomach. If you notice the tea becoming too strong or fermented, dilute it with freshly brewed tea.
As with any internal cleansing process, your body may undergo conditions which require appropriate but simple care.
The Kombucha elixir or tea is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.