Have you heard of it yet? It tastes so good, like an all-natural ginger ale or a seltzer-based alcoholic drink, and it does contain trace amounts of alcohol.
What is it?
Kombu … huh?
The first time I had it was in Hawaii last summer. My sister ordered one and gave me a sip. Then she told me about the health benefits, and I, a health nut, was hooked.
Flash forward a year later, and I spot the same bottles in Whole Foods.
Then, my fiance calls to tell me it’s at Costco. Kombucha in bulk?! Dreams do come true.
So as I sip my Kombucha, let me tell you why all the hype.
Kombucha is a fermented tea. A colony of bacteria and yeast called SCOBY (SCOBY = Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) is put into tea and is then left to sit for around 7 to 10 days. After the time has passed, the result is a liquor containing mostly vinegar (hence the sour, ginger-ale like taste) and B vitamins.
If a colony of bacteria and yeast sounds gross, remember, you eat yogurt; you eat mushrooms; you eat cheese. It’s not any different.
Why do I like it so much? It’s a unique twist on tea, and, as someone who doesn’t drink soda, it’s a healthy and tasty alternative.
Kombucha has been around for 2,000 years. The Chinese called it the elixir of life and drank it because of its healing properties, which are extensive.
The bacteria, enzymes and acids in Kombucha detoxify the body, helping aid in healthy liver and digestive functioning. The B vitamins produced during fermentation provide you with energy and help boost your immune system. The drink contains glucosamines, which are naturally produced in the body to help build and strengthen cartilage, so the drink has been said to help those suffering from arthritis.
Now, much of the evidence for Kombucha’s healing properties is anecdotal; however, the drink does indeed contain probiotic bacteria, B vitamins and glucosamines. Whether or not the drink can give you a healthy liver, prevent cancer, or treat arthritis is not widely proven, but, as I often like to point out, it helps and works for some.
I like Kombucha because of the taste, and I don’t mind that it has healthy ingredients either! What vegetarian doesn’t like some extra B12?!
You can buy what’s called a SCOBY disk and brew your own Kombucha at home, but it’s not the simplest thing to do, and you have to be careful about mold growing. I take the easier store-bought route. The flavor my fiance just bought me from Costco is ginger, so it has pressed ginger juice in it as well, which means even more health benefits because ginger helps reduce inflammation in the body.
To read more about Kombucha’s health benefits, click here.
To read about how the drink cured a woman’s breast cancer and inspired one of Kombucha’s biggest producers to get brewing, click here.
Next time you’re at a specialty store or doing your monthly bulk shopping, look around for Kombucha. Give it a try; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.