Kombucha, called the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese, is a fermented tea beverage that abounds in health benefits. It is believed to help fight cancer, arthritis and other such degenerative diseases. This beverage contains B-vitamins, antioxidants, glucaric acids, and natural healthy bacteria. Thus, it aids digestion, manages bloating, fights candida overgrowth, improves mental clarity, and helps stabilize one’s mood. Moreover, it enhances the absorption of nutrients from the food one consumes, is packed with probiotics which are healthy for the gut, and it also helps to detoxify the body.
The drink quickly spread to Poland, Prussia, Germany as well as Denmark but it seems to have disappeared during the WW2. When the war ended Dr. Rudolph Skelnar established interest for kombucha in Germany, when he started using it as a treatment of metabolic disorders, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.
During the process of fermentation and oxidation, the fungus in tea works with a variety of complex reactions. It feeds on the sugar in the tea and in return produces other valuable substances that are part of the kombucha such as glycolic and lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotic ingredients … This is why this tea is a real small biochemical factory.
Studies have found that it has potent antibiotic and detoxification properties which are vital in the biochemical processes.
This tea will treat various intestinal problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids, it prevents acid reflux, helps digestion, treats issues with the urinary canals and the bile, as well as kidney stones.
Moreover, the kombucha and its metabolic products are able to regenerate cells and treat arteriosclerosis. It efficiently detoxifies the blood and stimulates the metabolism. It is extremely helpful in the case of joint pain, headaches, aging issues, rheumatism. What’s more, its effects are felt and noticed after a few days’ use.
Also, the Japanese doctor Dan Pon has treated numerous patients with kombucha and has shown that it is beneficial in the following cases:
regulates acid-base balance
helps in the case of joint rheumatism;
strengthens the leg muscles;
extends life span;
treats nausea while driving;
reduces body weight;
improves the taste of dishes;
strengthens the kidneys;
lowers blood cholesterol;
purifies blood vessels, supports the regeneration of cell membranes and helps in case of cardiac infarction;
treats liver disorders;
helps with pox and shingles;
strengthens the hair and stimulates its growth;
enriches the beneficial microflora in the intestines;
relieves menopause symptoms;
softens, cleanses and dissolves gallstones;
cures diseases of the hands and feet, back, gray barbell,
cleans the blood treated myoma on the skin.
Bear in mind that its high concentration of organic acids may lead to allergic reactions in the case of acid sensitivity.
It is completely safe for small children, but its use is not recommended in the case of children less than 1, as it has enzymes and bacteria which may be hard to be digested by their developing digestive system.
In order to prepare this tea, you will need a large transparent glass jar, for instance, of five liters. Add a hundred grams of sugar and a teaspoon of green or black tea per liter of water, boil, and leave it to cool.
Wash the kombucha in warm water, and add it to the tea. Cover with gauze, and leave it on some bright place for 8 days. Afterward, it is ready for consumption. You can wash the mushroom and use it again.
If it does not decant for long, it will convert into vinegar that can be used for pickling, and the “mushroom” will recover. If you do not plan to use it for a long time, you can dry it between two sheets of filter paper, and reuse it afterward.
Kombucha is inedible, in the form of a multi-layer membrane, and is gray in color. It is actually a combination of different organisms, including yeast, ringworm, and some bacteria (bacterium xylinum, gluconicum bacterium, acetobacterketogenum), as well as pichiafermentantsa.
Since it has glycolic acid, which is produced by the liver under normal metabolic conditions, you should sweeten the drink. Glycolic acid goes into the bloodstream, and protects the health.
Yet, its high amounts in the blood may cause an excessive acidification, which disrupts the balance of the system, and in severe cases, may lead to death.
To prepare it, you will need:
-3 and a half quarts of water
-A cup of sugar
-Eight bags of green or black tea
-2 cups of kombucha
-One scoby per jar
-Coffee filters to cover the jar
Boil the water. Remove it from heat and add the sugar. Add the tea and let it steep until the water is cool. This may take a couple of hours, depending on the pot size. Accelerate the process of cooling by making an ice bath for the pot.
Put the starter tea: When the tea is cooled down, remove the tea bags and stir.
Transfer the tea in the jar and add the scoby. Cover the jar with a few tightly-woven coffee filters and secure them using a rubber band. Ferment for seven to ten days: Put the jar at a room temperature, but out of direct sunlight. Periodically check the scoby and the kombucha.
It is normal if the scoby floats during the fermentation process. In a few days, a new layer of scoby will start to form on the surface. It often attaches to the old one, but it’s OK if this does not happen.
You may also notice brown stringy pieces floating around, sediment at the bottom, and bubbles around the scoby. But, this is normal and actually signifies healthy fermentation.
Seven days later, start drinking the kombucha every day by pouring in a cup.
Next, remove the scoby. Before you start, make and cool down another pot for the next batch. Gently remove the scoby from the jar and place it on a clean plate. If the scoby is very thick remove the bottom layer.
Put the finished kombucha in a bottle. Pour the kombucha in bottles along with any herbs, juice or fruit you want to use for flavor. Leave half an inch room in the bottles.
Finally, keep the kombucha at room temperature let it stay for about two days so it could carbonate. To stop the carbonation and fermentation, put the kombucha in the fridge and consume it in a month.
To make a new batch of kombucha, wash the jar you used for fermentation. Mix the starter tea from the previous batch with the fresh batch of tea, and put it in the fermentation jar. Put the scoby on the top, cover it, and let it ferment for seven to ten days.
Cover the jar using coffee filters, paper towels or gauze and secure them with rubber bands.
To alter the batch size, keep within the ratio of one cup of sugar, eight bags of tea, and two cups starter tea per gallon.
If you are planning to be out of home for 3 weeks or less, you should make a new batch. In the case of longer breaks, you should place the scoby in a fresh batch of the tea base with starter tea in the fridge. Also, make sure you change the tea for a fresh batch every 4-6 weeks.
Once more, do not ferment kombucha in metal containers, especially aluminum, s it will weaken the scoby and leave a metallic taste.
Furthermore, you can also use white tea, green tea. Oolong tea, or a mixture, to prepare an excellent type of kombucha. In order to ensure the proper supply of nutrients for the scoby, you should add a few bags of black tea in the mix. Do not use teas which include oils, such as flavored or earl gray teas.
The scoby is past expiration date if it is black, and it is infected if it develops black or green mold. In these cases, throw it away.
If your kombucha has a vinegar smell, it is good, but if it spreads an unpleasant, rotten, cheesy smell, you should not use it.