The DIY wonder drink that kids love – Kombucha!

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Kombucha7When we learn about the harmful ingredients in Colas, most fruit juices and ice teas, it’s easy to lose heart and feel that it’s impossible to beat the system. I used to buy bulk cases of Ceres and Liqui-fruit juices, Milo, and even ice teas for my kids, until I read more on the actual ingredients contained in these products. I was devastated – my kids lived on these beverages and here I was packing it for their lunches thinking they were the healthier alternative! Then I by chance came across the word Kombucha, read about it, and although I was sold on the benefits, it seemed too complicated for me to tackle. Then one day it was just given to me, and I had no choice but to make my own. My initial fear turned into supreme confidence after that first try, and it was a hit with my kids so there I was, changed for life! I have now replaced their non-nutritional beverages with one that at worst, does less harm than the conventional ones, and at best, will promote and maintain optimal health and vitality!

The History

Pronounced Kom-boo-cha, this fizzy, fermented tea, known for more than 2000 years, has been dubbed by the Ancient Chinese as the “Immortal Health Elixer” due to it’s numerous health benefits. It has also been widely consumed in Russia and Germany for its healing properties. Russian and German scientists conducted extensive scientific research in the early 20th century, to understand how Kombucha helps in maintaining good health. This research was driven by the escalating cancer rates throughout the world. Unfortunately the research came to an end due to the Cold War at the time, and since then there has not been adequate funding or drive to continue the research. However people have been drinking this for generations and have shown a resilience to diseases.

Many claims are made regarding the benefits, however due to the lack of adequate research, no conclusions have be made. However for me, it is a no-brainer to give my kids a beverage where I am in control of the ingredients, as opposed to conventional beverages that contain ingredients of dubious nature.

What are some of the benefits of Kombucha ?

There are dozens of listed health benefits of drinking kombucha. Some of the key ones include:

  • Natural Detoxifier

Kombucha is packed with probiotics and enzymes that promote the elimination of harmful toxins from our body. This eases the burden on the liver, pancreas and kidneys. A build-up of toxins causes many serious diseases. Regular consumption of kombucha helps flush out the toxins before they can accumulate and cause harm

  • Improved Digestion and Immune Booster

Probiotics replenish the good gut bacteria, and the vitamins and enzymes in Kombucha compensate for what we don’t get from our diet. This addresses a whole range of digestion related ailments such as stomach ulcers, allergies, skin ailments, weak hair and nails

  • Increased Metabolism

The enzymes in kombucha helps the body to break down food, leaving more energy available in the body, thereby improving metabolism. Many people notice significant weight loss just by drinking kombucha daily. My kids’ nanny went from 110 kg to 82 kg in 2 months, without doing anything other than drinking a glass a day!

  • Energy Boost

Daily consumption of Kombucha naturally detoxifies the body, thus there is less burden on the body to do this job. This together with the B-vitamins in Kombucha results in increased energy levels

  • Joint Care and Arthritis relief

The glucosamines present in kombucha preserves cartilage and prevents arthritic pain. As arthritis is an immune disorder, boosting the immune system helps relieve and eventually eliminate the condition of arthritis

  • PMS Relief

PMS occurs when there is too much oestrogen in the body. B-vitamins help the body eliminate the excess oestrogen, thereby providing relief

  • Calms Mind and Emotions

Certain bacterial acids in kombucha help calm the mind and emotions. These bacteria promote gut health, and the gut connects to the brain via the vagus nerve. Thus the emotions and the digestive system have an effect on each other. Regular consumption helps greatly with reducing overall stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia

  • Natural Alkalizer

As with lemons, although acidic in itself, once consumed Kombucha is a strong alkalizer. It is vital to keep our body’s ph regulated, optimally between 7.35 and 7.45. This prevents an invasion of harmful yeasts, bacteria, fungus, infections and other pathogens. Due to the alkalizing nature of Kombucha, many have claimed to have used it to cure serious diseases such as cancer (links to more info provided below)

The real benefit of the kombucha is not that it treats ailments, but rather that it facilitates the body to heal itself. The body is designed to heal, it is constantly regenerating itself 24/7, and Kombucha provides reinforcement for this natural function by:

  • Helping the liver and kidneys to flush out harmful toxins faster, thereby ridding the body of harmful toxins.
  • Balancing and restoring the digestive system, which in turn has a cascading benefit throughout the body and mind.
  • Providing an abundance of vitamins, enzymes and bacteria, which deliver added reinforcement so the body can perform it’s various functions easier.

The end result is a restored mind-body system that is more equipped to fight off sickness, and maintain good health and vitality!

How do I make Kombucha and what does it taste like ?

Kombucha is a fermented tea, that tastes nothing like the original tea itself. To infuse the bacteria, enzymes and vitamins into the brew you need to use a starter culture called a SCOBY and let the brew ferment for some time.

SCOBY stands for a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeasts. All the bacteria and yeasts are the good ones needed by the body, and are not the harmful yeasts and bacteria that cause disease.

You use organic black teabags and brew some tea. Sweeten it well with organic sugar. When cooled pour into a glass jar together with your SCOBY and some starter Kombucha or vinegar. Cover with a tea towel and leave undisturbed for about 7 days. It really is so simple and there’s no going wrong with it – refer to my detailed step-by-step instructions and become a star yourself!

At the end of the fermentation you should taste it to decide if it is done, and leave for longer if not. It should taste slightly sweet, slightly tart. You need to balance the sweetness and the tartness, hence it is a good idea to taste it first before emptying it. My younger son enjoys it sweet as well as tart, however my elder son prefers it more sweet. Whichever way you prefer it, you are benefiting from it!

Where can I get a SCOBY from ?

If you know of anybody already brewing their own, they will definitely be able to pass on a SCOBY to you. I always have lots of SCOBYs to share, but I charge a small fee for the organic ingredients and glass packaging. Click here to get your SCOBY and starter Kombucha tea from me!

Already Drinking Kombucha and have some stories to Share ?

Have you been enjoying this addictive beverage for some time now ? Share your story in the comments below – it will inspire more people to give it a try!

Links to more information

You can learn more about Kombucha by visiting the following websites. These are just some that I have come across and wanted to share.

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha

http://www.naturalnews.com/041051_kombucha_healthy_drinks_scoby.html#ixzz3EPNgaGii

http://www.treating-cancer-alternatively.com/Kombucha.html

 

Sources:

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-is-kombucha-10-facts-need-to-know/

http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/

http://www.cheeseslave.com/kombucha-health-benefits/

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