Normalizing bowls function and strengthening the body’s defenses are among the effects of kombucha drinks. Discover the entire benefits and origin of this fermented tea.

What is Kombucha? It’s an ancestral probiotic drink based on natural black or green tea sweetened with sugar, fermented by a colony of bacteria and yeasts. Lightly carbonated, it resembles a “sparkling wine” or a “cider”, alcohol-free.

Known as scoby*, an acronym for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, the kombucha colony has a pancake appearance and is responsible for the fermentation process of the beverage. It is related to kefir grains, a probiotic used in the fermentation of milk. Much like cultured yogurt, cheese, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut.

Micro-organisms often present in Kombucha drinks:

– bacteria: Acetobacterxylinum, A. pasteurianus, A. aceti and Gluconobacteroxydans.

– yeasts: Saccharomyces, Saccharomycodes, Schizosaccharomyces, Zygosaccharomyces, Brettanomyces/Dekkera, Candida, Torulospora, Koleckera, Pichia, Mycotorula and Mycoderma

Among the many kombucha benefits, the regulation of lower bowls function and strengthening of immunity are the main ones as they help maintain the balance of the intestinal flora. It also helps the fight against free radicals, the antioxidant function, the improvement of the digestive function and urinary system.

Where can you find it?

You can find the industrialized form of kombucha in “natural products” shops, specialized shops and even in restaurants.

But you can also prepare it yourself by hand.  For that you’ll need to grow a Scoby Fermentation that can withstand from 7 to 14 days at room temperature. Usually they are found in sites or communities.  One must pay attention to the origin of the scoby and to the duration of the preparation, so there is no risk of contamination.

kombucha Tea: What it is and how to make it

The origin of kombucha

No one knows for sure the origin of the kombucha, but almost all evidence points to China before Christ, and from there it would have spread throughout the world through the Silk Road. In one of the best known stories, the Qin Shi Huangdi Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC to 206 BC) would have been the first to produce and drink the kombucha.

In the early 20th century, already well known in Asia and Eastern Europe, the kombucha began to gain ground in the West. In 1960, Swiss researchers reported that the consumption of kombucha was as beneficial as that of yoghurt. Since then, the popularity of the drink has increased.

Kombucha’s Benefits

Besides being a refreshing drink, kombucha is a great substitute for soft drinks because it contains very little sugar, has antioxidants that help to control free radicals and is probiotic, in other words, it helps the proper functioning of the intestine and strengthens the immune system.

Like soft drinks, it is slightly carbonated, but it tastes much more acidic. Kombucha does not have the power to burn calories, but it helps in the slimming process because it is low in calories and strengthens the feeling of fullness. Nevertheless, its consumption should be done with moderation. It is advisable not to drink more than 300 ml per day in the beginning, to understand how the body will react.

Kombucha’s Risks

The greatest health risk is the artisanal way of preparation due to the probability of microbiological contamination during handling, preparation, cultivation and storage of the scoby. Therefore, as a precaution, the homemade version should not be consumed by pregnant women, infants and children.

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