What is Kombucha? Kombucha is an artificially sweetened, mildly fermented, sparkling green or black tea beverage most commonly served for its supposed health benefits. Occasionally the beverage is also called just kombucha tea in order to separate it from the “culture of yeast and bacteria.” This culture is not the same as the natural Kombucha drink that comes directly from green or black tea leaves. The culture gives the drink the sweet, sugary taste that gives it the reputation as a healthy beverage.
While the culture is not bad, it is not healthy. For one thing, Kombucha contains more sugar than other types of tea, making it highly processed and not healthy. In addition, while the sugar content of the tea can be changed to achieve the flavor of your choice, the sugar found in the culture will not change, so you will be drinking the same sweet, syrupy beverage you would if you had just purchased and brewed yourself a cup of Kombucha. Adding a little water or honey to the mix won’t help either.
But the real, true health benefit of what is sometimes considered Kombucha, is its ability to stimulate the body’s natural fermentation process. Fermentation is the breakdown of food in the digestive tract. What happens in this process is waste products are converted into alcohol and gas, which are expelled from the body in the form of breath, urine, or stools. The body also converts some sugar into glycogen, storing it in fat cells. As you can see, the fermentation process is necessary to maintain your health and is the basis for many of today’s healthy eating trends.
So how does Kombucha support these health benefits? Most people don’t realize that the same sweet beverage you enjoy while decanting kombucha also contains active cultures which have the power to fight off bacteria and other harmful germs that might be present in your mouth, throat, and stomach. This is because of the way the sweeteners used in Kombucha are fermented. Kombucha culture is actually what helps the process go on. Once the sweetener is fermented, it is mixed with yeast extracts that help initiate the fermentation process.
It is this fermentation process that produces the vast array of health benefits associated with Kombucha. Kombucha has been shown to enhance the immune system, improve the digestive system, produce anti-inflammatory hormones, fight liver disease, fight heart disease, and even increase mental health and wellness. Kombucha drinkers report feeling physically better after drinking a single glass. In fact, many claim to feel physically better after drinking several glasses. When looking at all of the health benefits associated with Kombucha it is easy to see why people are turning to this drink for their everyday health needs. Kombucha helps the body flush toxins, cleanse the colon, strengthens the liver, fights infection, and creates a more alkalized state of the body.
There are many health benefits to drinking kombucha, but one of the most important things that research suggests to be achieved through the use of Kombucha drinks is that it promotes a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Some research suggests that the fermented foods may aid in the prevention of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Although there has not been extensive research done on the subject, it is important to note that the fermentation process in conjunction with other natural ingredients has been proven to reduce the symptoms of IBS.
The fermented foods contained in Kombucha can also aid in colon cleansing. In fact, some research suggests that the fermentation of the Kombucha may help to eliminate toxins from the colon and rid the body of IBS. Other individuals experience a greater benefit when using Kombucha. Kombucha has also been used to help people deal with the symptoms of other diseases. For example, research suggests that Kombucha can help arthritis sufferers. Research indicates that the antioxidants contained in the fermented foods assist in relieving the symptoms of arthritis as well as improving the immune system of the body.
Kombucha may also help to improve mental health. Kombucha has been scientifically proven to contain “good” bacteria and this bacteria has been scientifically proven to have beneficial effects on the mental health of individuals. There is no evidence to suggest that taking small amounts of Kombucha will cure a person’s cancer, though the research suggests that there may be some correlation between the consumption of Kombucha and an individual’s likelihood of contracting cancer. As always, it is best to discuss any health remedies or diet plans with a medical professional.