Most Commonly Found: Kombucha originates from China. It quickly spread to Russia and throughout Europe. Today it’s commonly found throughout the world in a variety of health food stores and general grocery stores. It’s also common to make kombucha at home.
Stone Cold Facts: The word “kombucha” can refer to any of a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are used as functional beverages for their various health benefits. It’s naturally carbonated and is filled with amino acids and probiotics. It is produced by fermenting tea using a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast” (SCOBY). The yeast component generally includes Saccharomyces and other species and the bacterial component usually includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to acetic and other acids.
What to Heal:
*Since kombucha contains probiotics, it helps to re-establish the natural ecology of the intestinal flora and boost immunity, enhance mood, fight allergies and detoxify and rid the body of disease.
*It also alkalinizes the body, balancing internal pH. It detoxifies the liver, improving the drinker’s mood.
*It increases metabolism and improves digestion, keeping your system moving.
*Kombucha is said to rebuild connective tissue, helping with arthritis, gout, asthma and rheumatism.
*It can help prevent cancer since it is high in antioxidants and polyphenols.
*It may alleviate constipation, boost energy (helping with chronic fatigue), and reduce blood pressure.
*It is said to relieve migraines and headaches, as well as to reduce kidney stones.
*It can improve eyesight and help heal eczema when used topically.
*It may also reduce grey hairs.
*It prevents arteriosclerosis (when plaque builds up inside the arteries) and helps speed the healing of ulcers.
*It also helps clear up candida and yeast infections and aids healthy cell regeneration.
*In addition, it lowers glucose levels, preventing spiking from eating. It is also said to boost the libido.
Related Chakras: It is said to balance the Solar Plexus and Heart Chakras
History + Lore: Kombucha is an ancient elixir which as been consumed for around 5,000 years for medicinal purposes in China, based on Qin dynasty records, it was known as “Devine Che” and was highly regarded as an energizing and detoxifying drink. It was in China where it got its name as the “immortal health elixir.” Then, according to legend, a Korean doctor named Kombu brought the tea to Japan for Emperor Inkyo in 414 AD as an aid for digestive difficulties. It also spread to Russia, Germany and Europe as a whole.
How to Heal: Kombucha is generally drunk as a beverage and can be made at home. Below is a recipe from Wellness MaMa.
How to make Kombucha!
Equipment & Ingredients Needed
- a gallon size glass jar (make sure its really clean!!)
- 1 gallon of brewed sweetened tea (ratio: 1 cup of sugar per gallon of tea) I use regular black tea, though I’ve heard of others using green or herbal teas
- a SCOBY and 1/2 cup of liquid from a previous batch of Kombucha
- coffee filter or thin cloth and a rubber band
- Prepare the sweet tea. I use 1 family size tea bag or 8-10 small bags per gallon of water. Add 1 cup of regular sugar (organic preferably). Do not use honey!
- Let tea cool to room temperature and make sure it is really cool! This step is very important as too hot of tea can kill your SCOBY.
- Once tea is completely cool, pour into glass jar, leaving just over an inch of room at the top. Pour in ½ cup liquid from a previous batch of Kombucha or if starting from a dehydrated SCOBY, pour in ½ cup from a store-bought bottle of Kombucha.
- With very clean hands, gently place the SCOBY at the top of the jar of tea. It should float, though if it doesn’t just let it fall and don’t stick your hands in the tea!
- Cover the jar with the coffee filter or cloth and rubber band tightly (flies love this stuff!)
- Put the jar in a warm (around 70-75 degrees is best) corner of the kitchen where it is at least a few feet away from any other fermenting products.
- Let sit to ferment for around 7 days, though the length of time may vary depending on your temperature. You can test the Kombucha by placing a straw in the jar carefully (slide under the SCOBY) and sipping. It should taste tart but still very slightly sweet also.
- At this point, Kombucha is ready for a second ferment. If you aren’t doing the second ferment, just pour the kombucha into another jar or jars with airtight lids and seal until ready to drink.
If making into soda, you’ll also need:
-another gallon size jar or 5 quart sized jars
-about 1 quart of fruit juice- (we prefer grape or apple for this) or ½ cup frozen berries
For Second Ferment (How to Make Soda!)
Just as with water kefir, using fruit juice can make Kombucha carbonated and slightly sweeter, which is often more appealing to kids. It is an easy second step too!
- Get another very clean gallon sized jar or 5 quart sized glass jars (I prefer this!)
- Pour 1 quart of juice of your choice (not citrus or pineapple though!) into the big jar or divide between smaller jars, filling each jar about 1/5 full
- Pour the finished Kombucha into the smaller jars until about 1 inch from the top. Make sure to leave about 1/2 cup brewed Kombucha in the jar with the SCOBY
- Once the Kombucha is poured off, pour the SCOBY and remaining juice into a clean bowl.
- Repeat the steps above for the first fermentation to start another batch of Kombucha
- Tightly cap the smaller jars with the fruit juice added and leave at room temperature for another 2-7 days until carbonated to your taste.
- Refrigerate before drinking or pour over ice.