The origins of kombucha tea are veiled in ancient history. Some say that man first brewed tea with a “mother” kombucha culture in Korea. Others say it was in China, or Japan.
While one website authoritatively states that it was first made in 415 AD, another just as firmly says that the brew was first noticed in 221 BC. Nobody really knows when that first time occurred, nor how it happened that someone made sweet tea, plunked a piece of pale, rubbery “mushroom” into it, and observed that the tea made them feel better. To learn more about conventional mushrooms and cancer research, click here. But it is known that the taste for kombucha spread by the Silk Road to Russian and from there across to Europe. In Israel, kombucha tea is mostly appreciated by the large Russian immigrant community.
Legends apart, if millions of people have been drinking tea fermented with kombucha over the centuries, there must be something to it. Kombucha is said to detoxify the body through improving liver and pancreas function. The outcome is relief from arthritic pain, improved digestion and gut health, higher immunities, and mood improvement – among many other good things. Another little-known natural remedy for arthritis is turmeric.
The more extravagant health claims (cures cancer! kills gout!) should be taken with a grain of salt, but modern studies show that kombucha actually is very rich in probiotic substances, beneficial acids and anti-oxidants. Drinking 4 ounces every day does encourage growth of friendly flora, and if you want to consider bacteria as fauna, that too.
Of course, it’s not a miracle drug. Anyone wanting to improve their health has to make other lifestyle changes. There’s hardly a need to repeat what everyone is tired of hearing and few seriously pursue: a healthy diet, adequate exercise, fresh air and a positive attitude (or at least regular stress-reducing activities like meditation, singing, etc.). And drinking more kombucha than your body is used to can bring on a good attack of diarrhea.
The sensible way to get your body acquainted with kombucha is to start with 2 oz. (1/4 cup) every day for a week, then move up to 4 oz. (1/2 cup). This is also true of other richly probiotic foods like kefir.
(Related: 4 recipes for making your own aloe vera juice)
To brew kombucha at home, you need a mother culture, a clean glass jar, tea, sugar, and a thin dish cloth to cover the jar while the tea ferments. English-speakers refer to the mother culture as a SCOBY – a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacterias and Yeasts. You may obtain a SCOBY via the Internet, or put out a query on your neighborhood e-list. The process is truly a slow-food experience, as it takes a week until the first kombucha batch is fully fermented and ready to drink. But once you start a cycle of brewing, you won’t be without.
The following links are the ones I’ve found to be the most useful. Enjoy!
More on natural health remedies on Green Prophet:
- Bee Sting Therapy In Israel
- Black Cumin: Islam’s Miracle Cure Seed
- Natural, Organic Cough Medicine
- Grow 7 Healing Herbs At Home