Kombucha is a lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened black and/or green tea that is produced by using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). The tea is loaded with organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids and polyphenol anti-oxidants.
Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits. So, what are these health benefits?
Kombucha contains substantial amounts of glucuronic acid, which is a detoxicant.
- Aids Digestion
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, etc.
Extensive work has even been conducted to test kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers, and it was proven to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.
- Joint Care
Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. It is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This aids the preservation of cartilage structure and prevent arthritic pain, with relief comparable to NSAIDs and advantage over glucocorticoids. Hyaluronic acid also 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. Beside glucosamine, the glucuronic acid in kombucha can be converted by the body into chondroitin-sulphate, and other polysaccharides and glucoproteins associated with cartilage, collagen, and the fluid that lubricates joints.
- Immune Health
Clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immuno-suppression, a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) has been discovered during the kombucha fermentation process that is not found in black tea alone. Furthermore, the probiotics found in kombucha support the immune system. Scientists suspect that DSL and the Vitamin C present in kombucha are its main secrets in protecting against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, tumors and overall depression of the immune system.
Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people has been credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process. Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps to boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized for extended periods of time. It also contains some caffeine and b-vitamins, which can energize the body.
- Cancer Prevention and Recovery
A study published in Cancer Letters found that consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancer in humans. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian author and nobel-prize winner, in his autobiography, claimed that kombucha tea cured his stomach cancer during his internment in soviet labor camps. Because of this testimony, President Ronald Reagan also used kombucha to halt the spread of his cancer in 1987. He didn’t die until 2004, and that was from of pneumonia, not of cancer.
Because of its health benefits, kombucha is one of the hottest trends in health beverages in the US today. It is now available in many stores, and there are dozens of really good brands. You can also make your own homemade kombucha.
Remember, those with any diagnosed medical condition should check with a doctor before consuming this or any other type of supplement.
Kombucha Mature via Wikimedia Commons