While the entire world is focused on the health benefits of teas, a new kind is becoming the new hit: the Kombucha Tea! This drink is an effervescent kind of a drink that is made of a mix of different types of teas. Is it really as healthy as the media is claiming? Can you prepare it at home? How does it affect yoru health? Here are the basic facts about this kind of tea. Each one of the used tea is considered as a functional food which has a lot of health benefits. While there is still no solid scientific evidence about the exact pathways of this drink and how it helps our body, people have been praising its benefits.
Kombusha Tea Definition: what is it?
It is an old tea made by mixing (fermenting) black, green or oolong tea along with refined sugar, bacteria and yeast. The process takes about 7 to 10 days, during which a foamy layer forms. This layer is the reason why this tea is called “mushroom tea”. The kombusha is supposed to have started in North East China where it was a part of its traditional healing methods. The tea was also well known in Russia and the eastern part of Europe.
Kombucha Tea Recipe
Yes, you can prepare Kombucha tea at home. This recipe will make you one gallon of this mushroom tea. You will need the following ingredients:
- three and a half quarts of water
- ne cup of sugar
- eight bags of tea (mix between green, and black)
- two cups of the starter tea (of the old tea)
- one scoby that you can buy online
Boil the water and then remove it from above the stove. Add the sugar until it is fully dissolved. Add the tea bags and keep them in until the water is cool. Remove the bags and add the starter tea. put the mix in a jar and add the scoby. Cover the jars with some cloth and keep them in for up to ten days. After this period, you need to taste it and check which taste is good for you. Once you reach it, just remove the scoby and pour in bottles. You can add it to juices or herbs. This is when you need to keep the bottle for about three days away from the sun and in a coll place to get carbonated. Once this process is done your bottles are ready. You will need to refrigerate them.
Kombusha Tea and Pregnancy
While this kind of tea can have many health benefits, it is advisabe to stay away from this “mushroom drink” when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Firts of al due to its alcohol content. And, second of all, due to the possibility of having some microorganisms that can be harmful for the baby. So, stay on the safe side!
Kombusha Tea Health Benefits
Kombucha, the fermented tea, does not only have the same health benefits s tea, but also provides the body with beneficial antibiotics. This tea has been consumed for thousands of years. Being high in antioxidants, Kombucha can `destroy harmful bacteria thus fighting several diseases.
Kombucha tea is usually brewed at home with sugar dissolved in it. Then, a thick round disk called as Kombucha mushroom comprising of bacteria and yeast is added. After it is allowed to ferment for several days, then it is consumed as a health tonic or beverage.
After its fermentation, Kombucha is carbonated and provides vinegar, enzymes, B vitamins, probiotics and a high content of probiotics.
It has various health benefits; some of which are listed below:
Detoxification: Kombucha is rich in organic acids which prevents oxidative damage by detoxifying the body. The antioxidants eliminate free radicals from the body by neutralizing their harmful effects thus preventing the body from inflammation and chronic disorders.
Maintains blood cholesterol levels: Kombucha tea is also helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels by reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increasing the levels of HDL cholesterol.
Prevents heart diseases: As Kombucha tea lowers blood cholesterol levels, it in turn lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Controls diabetes: It also helps alleviate symptoms associated with diabetes. Kombucha tea slow down the catabolism of carbs thus lowering blood glucose levels.
Boosts immunity: Kombucha tea provides the body with numerous antioxidants that strengthens the immune defense system of the body. It also boosts the energy levels of the body. Kombucha tea having antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, helps fight viral and bacterial infections.
Enhances mood: Kombucha tea is rich in amino acids, vitamin C and B vitamins which are required for a healthy nervous system. This helps in preventing the release of stress hormone i.e. cortisol, balancing mood, fighting depression and improving concentration.
Anti-microbial property: This tea helps fighting various diseases causing pathogens. It has many other anti-microbial components that protects against a wide range of microbes including Escheria Coli, Helicobacter pylori and Staphylococcus aureas.
Treats asthma: Kombucha tea contains a specific bronchodilator called theophylline, that helps in the prevention and control of asthma as it possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
Improves cellular health: Kombucha tea improves the body’s cellular health, which is important for the proper and healthy functioning of the body. It washes away the cellular toxins that are harmful for health.
Rich source of probiotics and antioxidants: Kombucha tea is a rich source of probiotics and antioxidants. Probiotics maintains your gut health by providing with healthy bacteria. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are very reactive molecules that might damage your cells. It also reduces liver toxicity that are cause by harmful chemicals.
Promotes weight loss: As it boosts metabolism, high metabolic rate helps you in losing weight. It makes you feel more energized and enables you to be engaged more in regular exercise. It also has very low sugar and calorie content which is also helpful in promoting weight loss.
Prevents Cancer: As it contains antioxidants and possesses anti-microbial properties, it prevents cancer. It maintains cellular health and immune defense.
Relieves arthritis pain: As it contains glucosamines that are beneficial for the prevention and treatment of all types of arthritis. Glucosamines helps in maintaining cartilage structure and provides relief from arthritis pain. It eliminates free radicals, increases lubrication and the elasticity of joints.
Improves mental health: It is not only helpful in improving digestion but also improves mental health as it provides with B vitamins especially vitamin B12.
Heals ulcers especially gastric ulcers: Kombucha tea heals gastric ulcers by protecting the mucin content and reduces the production of gastric acid.
Kombusha Tea Nutrition Facts
So, now you know what is the Kombucha tea and you decided that you would like to try it. Here is what you need to know about the nutritional facts of this drink per cup.
1-It contains 35 calories.
2- It has no fat or saturated fat.
3- It has no cholesterol.
4- It has no Sodium or Potassium.
5- It has 8g of carbs.
6- It contains a lot of micronutrients that possess health powers.
Kombusha Tea: 9 Questions answered!
1- Can you freeze Kombusha Tea?
Yes, you can freeze the kombucha tea but you have to do it fast to preserve the ingredients of this drink. But, it i snot recommended to freeze it for many weeks at a time. In order for you to benefit from it, you are advised to consume it as soon as you can!
2- Can Kombusha Tea get you drunk?
During the several days of fermentation, the bacteria and the yeast react with the sugar producing vitamins, acid and ethanol alcohol. The amount is very little but highly depends on the preparation, storage and consumption. After the tea is finished fermenting, it has to be stored at a cold temperature to prevent any further fermentation leading to the formation of more alcohol.
Normally, the ethanol alcohol in this tea is less than 0.5% which is considered acceptable for general consumption by the US federal Law. So, bottom line, this tea might contain traces of alcohol, but they will not get you drunk! But, for those who might be addicted to alcohol, you may want to take the regular tea instead of this alcoholic type of tea.
3- Can Kombusha Tea go bad?
Yes, the Kombicha tea can go bad. Once they are in bottles ready to be consumed as carbonated fermented drinks, you need to refrigerate them. In the fridge, they can last up to one month.
4- Can Kombusha Tea cause diarrhea?
This kind of tea contains caffeine. So, it is normal to witness diarrhea when consumed in large amounts. If you have diarrhea already, it might worsen it. The tea can also worsen the symtpoms of IBS.
5- Does the Kombusha Tea bag contain probiotics?
This kind of tea is very high in probiotics; however, there is not enough proof on whether the bags still contain probiotics. It is recommended to buy it in its liquid form.
does Kombusha Tea cause yeast infection?
A type of Kombucha tea called as Kombucha Scooby can be well-tolerated by most of the people. But if you are suffering from any kind of health problem; then, you should think twoce before you drink it. This specially relates to those with already existing Candida yeast infection. This group of people should not drink Kombucha tea.
Normally, in the human body, there are some harmful and harmless yeasts. Kombucha is another type of yeast fungi. It is considered as the harmless yeast. The yeast present in Kombucha tea competes with the candida yeasts and eventually replaces them. They reproduce either by vegetative division or by fission instead of producing spore.
does Kombusha Tea taste good?
This type of tea tastes like fermented tea. In case you have idea how this should taste, you can think of it as a vinegar soda. If you like the taste of vinegar; then, this kind of tea is a good choice for you.
How much kombusha tea is too much?
This drink comes from tea; so, in other words, there are no potential health risks for consuming two or three cups of day. You just need to keep in mind that it is a sugary drink and would add up calories and sugars to your day.
Kombusha Tea Dangers: are there any?
- It is not safe for some adults when consumed orally. It has various side effects including yeast infections, allergic reactions, stomach disorders, nausea, vomiting, headache and death.
- Kombucha tea when prepared at home become contaminated with fungus as it’s hard to maintain a germ-free environment.
- This is also unsafe for people with compromised immune systems such as those with AIDS who are more prone to infections.
- It has also been reported to cause lead poisoning, if brewed in ceramic containers.
- Kombucha tea is rich in caffeine so when consumed in large amount can worsen diarrhea.
- Kombucha tea promotes the growth of bacteria and fungus that can lead to infections.
- It adversely affects blood glucose levels if consumed during or after surgery. Therefore, avoid its consumption 2 weeks before surgery.
- Kombucha tea contains alcohol; so, you need to avoid its use if you have drinking problem.
- Homemade Kombucha tea is associated with adverse health effects including hepatitis, sudden cardiac arrest, inflammation, muscle weaknesses and cutaneous anthrax.
Following directions must be kept in mind while using Kombucha tea:
- Be careful about its fermentation time.
- Use glass containers for its preparation or storage.
- Use hot water for brewing your tea.
- Don’t skimp on the sugar.
There is no scientific study to prove the health claims associated with Kombucha tea. However, one should be concerned about its safe use despite it being used traditionally. It is important that Kombucha tea is not consumed by pregnant women, children and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Should you drink Kombucha tea?
Eventhough several health experts advise their patients to stay away from this tea that might lead to stomach problems and allergic reactions; the CDC has set up a maximum daily dose of 4 oz per day. If you decide to drink it, make sure the label states clearly that there is less than 5g of sugar to minimize any alcohol content. Also, most people prepare this tea at home. If they were using ceramic pots for the fermentation, then there might be a possibility for lead poisoning.
Finally, since this kind of tea is still highly questionable; and if you are going for its probiotics, then it is probably better to get yourself a cup of yogurt instead. A lot of unproven health claims are spreading; however, what is truly being reported is a certain number of side effects. You would better hold on this tea until more studies get done.