Since going Vegan, I have increasingly noticed Kombucha in my peripherals. Whether it’s the trendy option on a vegan cafes menu, a video popping up on youtube or a discussion on a vegan webpage, the fermented tea definitely sparked my interest.
What could be described as
“Compost for Humans” or “Immortal Health Elixir”
This 2000 year old recipe, consisting of symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, black tea and sugar, it has been used as an energy and health booster said to be originated in what is now Russia, Eastern Europe or even Chinese backgrounds. There is supposedly no scientific evidence that there are health benefits to drinking kombucha, however, it has been said that the probiotics inside help protect : gut health, digestion, hearts and insomnia.
Is Kombucha Healthy?
While the several thousand years would suggest that there have to be some benefits, otherwise why would people have continued to drink it, a systematic 2003 study by Ernst concluded that Kombucha is an “extreme example” of an unconventional remedy with wide-ranging health claims lacking evidentiary support, with a large potential to harm if brewed incorrectly. He therefore said that the only sure benefit Kombucha gives, is the manufacturers and sale people. So why not skip the sale people, and try make it ourselves?
After all who does not want to feel just a few of these benefits :
- Prevention of a wide variety of Diseases
Kombucha contains powerful antioxidants that can help detoxify the body and boost the immune system. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation, which has shown evidence to decrease the risk of certain cancers.
While black tea contains antioxidants, the fermentation process creates additional antioxidants such as glucaric acid. In addition, Kombucha specifically influences fluthathione peroxidase and catalase, quercetin which is associated with long lifespan.
- Restore Gut Health
Kombucha supports digestion due to high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics, amino acids and enzymes. Research has shown that the fermented tea could prevent and heal stomach ulcers. Kombucha also grows beneficial bacteria (named apathogens) that compete with pathogen bacteria in the gut and digestive tract.
- Protects Lungs
Evidence has been shown that Kombucha can be used as a treatment for silicosis, a lung disease.
- Supports Cardiovascular Health
Heart disease is one of the highest killers in ‘western’ countries of both men and women in the WHO. While a significant aspect of this is due to the typical high animal product diet, which contains high amounts of cholesterol, fats, hormones and antiobiotics. Studies have been done to research the daily effect of Kombucha. Giving Kombucha (to rats) has shown to lower triglyceride levels and regulate cholesterol.
- Helps maintain a healthy liver
The purpose of the liver is to filter and convert harmful compounds, since kombucha has high levels of antioxidants it can protect the liver from oxidative stress and reduce damage.
- Improve Mental Health
Especially as a vegan, one of the concerns is not getting enough B vitamins, which are created by bacteria in animal guts. B12 especially is known to increase energy levels and contribute to mental wellbeing, so the fact that Kombucha has high B12 content it can help (vegan) people keep a regular dose of the vitamin daily without needing to buy supplements.
There has also been significant research about how gut health is strongly related to mental well being, with depression being a major symptom of a leaky gut. Therefore keeping the gut balanced and healthy can improve people’s moods.
How To Make Kombucha At Home
So, if you’re interested in any of the above, making Kombucha at home is really quite simple. All you will need is
- 5 black tea bags
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 liters of water
- SCOBY ( symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) or 1 cup of Kombucha
To start your Kombucha, you will need to get a SCOBY from either a friend or you can purchase one from shops.
So the process :
- Boil the 3 liters of water.
- Add the one cup of sugar and stir it in until its fully dissolved.
- Add the five tea bags for 5 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and let the mixture cool until room temperature
- Pour the mixture into a disinfencted container, add one cup of kombucha and/or the SCOBY from your friends.
- Let sit for around 7-10 days until the flavour starts being vinegary.
I will be doing a test of drinking Kombucha every day, to see the effects after one month!!