What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented probiotic drink. Kombucha tea is a slightly sweet & acidic refreshing beverage which is consumed worldwide. It is obtained from the infusion of tea leaves by the fermentation of a symbiotic association of bacteria & yeasts forming “tea fungus” It tastes like sparkling apple cider vinegar & can be made at home by fermentation using locally available tea fungus. It is also made by fermenting yeast & bacteria with black tea, sugar, & other ingredients. Kombucha tea is prepared by placing the tea fungus into a sugared tea broth for fermentation. If kombucha is cultivated with black tea & sweetened with sucrose, it turns into a refreshing beverage called tea fungus with high nutritive value & medicinal properties.
BENEFITS OF KOMBUCHA TEA:
1. IMPROVED DIGESTION: Probiotics in kombucha may promote healthy digestion & soothe an upset stomach. Probiotics are referred to as good gut bacteria, & can help deter or provide relief from problems like diarrhoea, constipation & IBS. By having the fermented kombucha beverage, one may be able to help replenish lost gut bacteria.
2. IMMUNE SYSTEM STIMULATION: The healthy gut bacteria gained by drinking kombucha may help stimulate the immune system. Probiotics, from fermented foods, can strengthen our natural defences against harmful microbes & some forms of illnesses. When our natural microbiome is depleted, harmful microbes such as ones that cause cancer, ulcers, & diabetes can take hold.
3. ARTHRITIS PREVENTION: Glucosamine is a powerful compound found in kombucha, which can treat all types of arthritis. Glucosamines enhance hyaluronic acid production, which may help to protect cartilage & reduce arthritic pain.
4. CHOLESTEROL REDUCTION: Research further suggests that kombucha can maintain healthy cholesterol & blood sugar levels. In studies with animals, kombucha was able to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (or bad cholesterol) while increasing levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
5. MOOD ENHANCEMENT: The B vitamins in kombucha, especially vitamins B1, B6, & B12, may help enhance concentration, battle depression & stabilize mood. Vitamin C in kombucha inhibits the release of the stress hormone cortisol.
6. DETOXIFICATION: Kombucha tea is a natural detoxifier. Gluconic acid, which is found in kombucha as well as in fruits & veggies, may bind to toxins to help expel them from the body, according to research. Glucaric acid, also a product of kombucha tea fermentation, may boost the efficiency of the liver's detoxifying tracts.
PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN THE FOLLOWING CASES:
1. PREGNANCY & BREAST-FEEDING: There are no large-scale studies on the effects of drinking kombucha during pregnancy, it may be best to avoid kombucha during pregnancy & breastfeeding because of its small alcohol & caffeine content & lack of pasteurization.
2. WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM: Avoid having kombucha tea if you have a weakened immune system as it is unpasteurized & contains a mix of different types of bacteria & yeasts, which contributes to the growth of bacteria that can lead to infections in certain people.
3. DIABETES: Kombucha when produced from green tea is more beneficial, as green tea itself has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels.
4. ALCOHOLISM: Kombucha tea contains 0.5 % alcohol. As a precaution, young children, & pregnant women, should avoid having Kombucha.
5. IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS): Kombucha tea contains caffeine, when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhoea & might worsen symptoms of IBS.
6. SURGERY: Since kombucha tea seems to affect blood glucose levels, it might interfere with blood glucose control during & after surgery. Stop using kombucha tea at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.