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March 17, 2017

What Are the Kombucha Benefits and How to Make It

kombucha benefits
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Kombucha has recently become a trendy drink in the health food world. It is a fermented drink made from black tea and sugar that originated in China over 2,000 years ago. After fermenting for 7-12 days using a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), most of the sugar is removed. It leaves a fizzy, slightly sour beverage. Kombucha benefits mainly mean digestive improvement and natural detoxification. These have made the drink a beloved cure-all potion.

The greatest fans of kombucha are the health-conscious people of the Western world. Many of them swear by the health benefits they experience from kombucha. However, scientific evidence is not definitive. If you have serious health issues, always consult your doctor.


9 Kombucha Benefits: Why It Is Popular

1. Liver Detoxification

Kombucha contains glucaric acid, a compound that helps naturally detoxify your liver. It eliminates the environmental and metabolic waste in the body. By doing this, it allows the liver to function more easily and healthily. Glucaric acid promotes healthy cell growth. Therefore, some people claim this can even prevent some forms of cancer.

When your liver is functioning correctly, your body will feel overall healthier and not full of toxins. Keep in mind though that it is fermented. So, kombucha contains between 0.5 and 3 percent alcohol. If you have low liver function, it may not be the drink for you.

2. Improved Digestion and Gut Health

Because it is naturally fermented with a SCOBY, kombucha is a great source of probiotics and enzymes. Like all probiotic pills and other fermented or cultured foods, this beverage’s active organisms add billions of good bacteria to the gut to promote healthy digestion.

These probiotics help keep you regular, hinder the growth of bad bacteria and aid in digestion. They also reduce gastrointestinal problems like gas and bloating.

3. Boosted Immune System

If you feel an illness on or you fear the wrath of flu season, try sipping some kombucha. It is high in antioxidants, which help your immune system fight disease.

The antioxidants will protect your body from a range of illnesses by preventing cell damage caused by free radicals. These range from the common cold to chronic diseases. Plus when your body is healthy and free of sickness, you’ll feel a boost of energy, too!

4. Reduced Viral Infections

Some sources claim that drinking kombucha can help reduce the duration of viral infections. Many of them refer to the common cold and strains of the flu.

When consumed as a beverage, the tea attacks the virus to help heal your body faster. However, viral illnesses cannot be treated with antibiotics. So we often feel helpless at helping ourselves get better. Kombucha is a great way to take action at healing yourself when you are sick.

5. Better Joint Health

Another one of the many kombucha benefits is improved joint health and support. This drink is naturally rich in glucosamines. They are compounds that help relieve joint pain.

Glucosamines help the body produce synovial hyaluronic acid. This process leads to keeping your connective tissue lubricated, strong, and flexible. You may live an active lifestyle or suffer from arthritis. Enjoy some kombucha and let it keep your joints healthy and pain-free.

6. Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Drinking kombucha on a regular basis can even be healthy for your heart! In a study using rats, the tea beverage was shown to reduce LDL and HDL cholesterol in just one month. High levels of these bad forms of cholesterol are indicators of heart disease. So lowering them is key to a healthy ticker.

Green tea is also shown to stop the oxidization of LDL cholesterol particles, which leads to heart disease. Sip on a green tea variety to really feel the kombucha benefits.

7. Well-Managed Type 2 Diabetes

Do you struggle with managing your blood sugar level? One of the lesser-known kombucha benefits is keeping blood sugar in check. According to one study done on rats, consuming kombucha helps the body slow its digestion of carbohydrates. In turn, this reduces blood sugar levels.

Drinking kombucha made with green tea is even more beneficial. Green tea is proven to reduce blood sugar levels. In fact, people who frequently drink green tea are 18 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

8. Reduced Risk of Cancer

As mentioned above, kombucha has anti-cancer health benefits that could save your life. The antioxidants and polyphenols found in the tea block gene mutation. They also stop the spread of cancerous cells, and even attack and kill cancerous cells.

Enjoying this beverage on a regular basis can hinder the cell mutations that cause certain types of cancers. So drink up!

9. Easy to Make at Home

The first and most important step to making homemade kombucha is to sterilize everything! Your hands and all the equipment you will use needs to be clean in order to avoid getting sick.

  • Prepare 1 gallon of green or black tea and stir in 1 cup of natural sugar.
  • Let cool, then transfer to a large container.
  • Add 1 cup of raw kombucha or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
  • Float the SCOBY on top of the tea and cover container with a piece of cheesecloth. Secure with a rubber band.
  • Let the drink brew for 7-12 days and enjoy all the kombucha benefits!

Store in the refrigerator in airtight containers. If you want a fizzy, fruity kombucha drink, add 1 part fruit juice or fresh fruit to 4 parts kombucha to airtight containers. Then, let it ferment another 1-2 days.

Finishing Up

With such a wide range of benefits and a unique taste, it is no wonder kombucha has taken the world by storm. You can drink it for a specific benefit or just for the energy boost. However, consuming kombucha frequently should be part of your routine.

Let us know what you think about the fizzy tea drink in the comments below!


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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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