2 tbsp loose leaf black, white or green tea (or 4-6 bags) NOT decaf or herbal
2 cups previously brewed kombucha (from a jar with SCOBY)
Instructions'Brew' SCOBY and tea in a large glass or ceramic container. Do not use plastic or metal.
In a large pot, bring water to boil and turn off heat. Add tea and sugar, stir and let cool completely to room temperature.
In your brewing container, add cooled tea with 2 cups of previous batch of kombucha.
Cover with coffee filter, cheese cloth or paper towel secured with a rubber band and put in a place with temperatures above 21C or 70F (I leave mine on a kitchen counter out of direct sunlight) to ferment for 7-10 days. It is OK if SCOBY isn’t floating at the top (it will later).
After 7 days (less in summer) start tasting kombucha. If it isn’t sweet, has a tangy taste, fizzes as you pour and SCOBY is floating at the top, then your kombucha is ready. The longer you ferment it, the stronger the taste (toward vinegary)
Pour using a funnel and strainer into and airtight bottle(s) and enjoy.
To make next batch repeat process.
Store: Keep at room temperature for up to a few weeks. Longer in the fridge (kombucha is less fizzy when refrigerated).
History of Kombucha Tea Have you heard of Kombucha, the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir?”
Made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or “mushroom” because of its appearance), Kombucha didn’t gain prominence in the West until recently. In the first half of the 20th century, extensive scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany, mostly because of a push to find a cure for rising cancer rates. Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the Kombucha, called “tea kvass” was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within Kombucha which was so beneficial.
German scientists picked up on this research and continued it in their own direction. Then, with the onset of the Cold War, research and development started being diverted into other fields. It was only in the 1990s, when Kombucha first came to the U.S. that the West had done any studies on the effects of Kombucha, and those are quite few in number. While there are limited amounts of research done on the beverage, there has been lots of research done on many of the nutrients and acids it contains in large quantities (such as B-vitamins, antioxidants, and glucaric acids). Regardless of the “lack” of scientific evidence, the fact remains that this beverage has 2,000 plus years of tradition behind it and an ardent and loyal following.
What are the Health Benefits of Kombucha? Detoxification Detoxification produces healthy livers and can aid in cancer prevention. One of Kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, which reduces your pancreatic load and eases the burden on your liver. Kombucha is very high in glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer.
Joint Care Kombucha contains glucosamine, a strong natural compound used as a preventative treatment for many forms of arthritis. Glucosamine increases synovial hyaluronic acid production. Hyaluronic acid functions physiologically to aid preservation of cartilage structure and prevent arthritic pain, with relief comparable to NSAIDs and advantage over glucocorticoids. Hyaluronic acid enables connective tissue to bind moisture thousands of times its weight and maintains tissue structure, moisture, lubrication and flexibility and lessens free radical damage, while associated collagen retards and reduces wrinkles.
Aids Digestion and Gut Health Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, and associated conditions.
Immune Boosting Kombucha is extraordinarily antioxidant rich. Antioxidants help to prevent the damage of our cells from free radicals that is associated with conditions such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Antioxidants are also vital in boosting our immune system. The immune system monitors our inner body environment for anything that is abnormal and unusual, such as viruses, germs and free radicals. When these harmful substances are detected, the immune system initiates the appropriate defense mechanism. Antioxidants act as our body’s soldiers to defend us against these harmful invaders.
Are the Health Benefits of Kombucha for real? When I first read about the panacea of benefits, I was skeptical. How could one beverage do so many things? But then I realized that it’s not so much that the beverage does something to our bodies, it’s more that this beverage promotes health. It gives your body what it needs to heal itself by aiding your liver in removing harmful substances; promoting balance in your digestive system; and being rich in health-promoting vitamins, enzymes, and acids. The general consensus seems to be that with regular, daily consumption, you’ll notice improvement in immune system functioning and energy levels within about a week, the healing of more minor ailments within a month or so, and the healing of more radical illnesses within a year or so.
Where can I get Kombucha and More Information? You can usually find a bottle of Kombucha in your local health food store, but I recommend making your own at home. To obtain your own SCOBY, you can purchase online through different websites, or contact Anne for further information.
credits: foodrenegade.com, webmd.com, 3fatchicks.comImage
Credits: hardcoreherbivore.wordpress.com; healthycrush.com
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