You're relaxing in your room, listening to music when your mum comes in, holding a cup of a golden-brown, suspicious-looking liquid that's "good for you". You respond with an eye roll and think, "What home-remedy is she trying to push down my throat now?!" Well missy, turns out mom's right. That's Kombucha Tea swirling around in there, and you may want to consider finishing that cup. Read all about this ancient wonder below:
What is this and where did it come from?
Kombucha Tea, simply put, is fermented tea that’s loaded with a number of health benefits, pro-biotics and vitamins. The origin of Kombucha dates back thousands of years. Nicknamed the 'Tea of Immortality', it was first used by a Chinese Emperor belonging to the Tsin Dynasty in 221 B.C., to cure digestive disorders. Thereafter, it has been used in Russia, Japan and Eastern Europe, for centuries. This magical beverage is believed to have got its name from Japan in 415 A.D.
Why should I drink it?
Also known as the 'Elixir of Life', Kombucha is known to possess innumerable health benefits. Packed with probiotics which aid the digestive tract, it also contains anti-bacterial properties and large amounts of beneficial acids that help to cleanse and detox the liver, kidneys and other organs. Additionally, it contains polyphenols, organic acids and amino acids.
Considered a 'nutritional powerhouse' by health experts, the tea boosts immunity and comprises a wide range of essential minerals and vitamins such as, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and C. Along with these, it boasts of beneficial live enzymes and chemical constituents vital to our body such as Folic acid, Fructose, Gluconic acid, Oxalic acid, Acetic acid and Lactic acid. Kombucha Tea is also known to have anti-ageing properties and keeps your body healthy by increasing nutrient absorption.
Your fav celebrities guzzle it too!
If we haven't convinced you yet, maybe they will! These A-list celebrities are all noted Kombucha aficionados; Jake Gyllenhaal, Orlando Bloom, Lady Gaga, Zoe Kravitz and Kourtney Kardashian, to name a few.
I'm in, how do I get my hands on some?
Buy it or brew it; your choice. Kombucha is comprised of 4 main ingredients: tea, sugar, water and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, also called 'Scoby'. The tea used, is a combination of black and green tea and most of the sugar is used by the bacteria during fermentation.
Allow these 4 ingredients to ferment at the right temperature, and what you're left with is Kombucha Tea. For a detailed 'how-to', there are plenty of resources available including books, recipes and kits you can refer to.
If you'd like to buy it instead, the brewed tea is available at select health stores in India or can be ordered online. Suppliers in Pune, Maharashtra and Auroville, Chennai can be contacted as well.
While the benefits far outnumber the drawbacks, there are a few things to keep in mind while consuming Kombucha, and more so if you're prepping it at home.
The safety of this delectable brew depends on the conditions under which it is prepared. Kombucha Tea prepared in non-sterile environments can cause the risk of mold seeping into the tea, rendering it toxic. There have been reports of people consuming rancid Kombucha, which caused lead poisoning and allergic reactions. Always follow safe cleaning and brewing methods. The tea is also not recommended for children and pregnant or lactating women. Check with your doctor before consuming it if you have underlying health conditions.
Well, you now know enough about this firebrand. Get brewing!