In the most basic sense, kombucha is fermented tea. According to legend it was first brewed as a longevity elixir during the Qin Dynasty in China around 221 BC. The way we brew our kombucha at JARR could be considered the ‘classical’ way of brewing, using only four ingredients; filtered water, organic loose leaf-teas (Gunpowder green and Tie Guan Yin oolong), organic cane sugar and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). These ingredients are brewed together and left to ferment in a warm environment for 10 days, leaving you with a deliciously tart, complex, and low sugar drink.
The claim that the ‘probiotics’ in kombucha have any impact on your gut health has unfortunately been debunked by science. But don’t fret! Kombucha IS good for you…
The supposed health benefits of kombucha are a thing of legend themselves with many touting the fermented drink as a cure for everything from cancer to hair loss. Over the past five years we have gathered nearly every scientific study ever written about kombucha and consulted with scientists, gut health experts and microbiologists to get the most accurate and fact-based understanding of its health benefits.
Let’s start with the bad news. The claim that the ‘probiotics’ in kombucha have any impact on your gut health has unfortunately been debunked by science. This is mainly due to the fact that the strains of bacteria present within kombucha are not naturally found in your microbiome, therefore even if they make their way through the harsh, acidic environment of your stomach (which most of them don’t), they won’t propagate themselves from scratch. Also, even if they were the right strains of bacteria, there just wouldn’t be enough of them to have any significant impact. If you’re looking for probiotics, you should invest in some high-quality capsules (which do survive the acidity of your stomach) and will contain billions of strains, whereas kombucha would only contain in the tens of thousands.
But don’t fret! Kombucha IS good for you, not because of the bacteria, but because of the acids produced BY the bacteria during the fermentation process – most famously the acetic acid. Acetic acid is the primary component found in vinegar and has been proven to aid in digestion by killing bad bacteria and promoting the health and growth of good bacteria in the gut, acting essentially as a “prebiotic.” Acetic acid also has the ability to slow the release of insulin into the blood stream after certain meals, specifically those heavy in carbohydrates, which can aid in balancing blood sugar.
Lastly, kombucha is fermented with tea, which is widely regarded as one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, due to the presence of antioxidants and certain naturally occurring minerals and vitamins. What’s even better, the process of fermentation breaks down the cell walls of the tea itself, making the antioxidants and certain vitamins more bioavailable.
To summarise, kombucha is good for you but not for the reasons most people think. Here at JARR, we choose not to focus too much on the benefits, but more so on the complexity of this kombucha as a low sugar, non-alcoholic fermented drink that can be a great substitute for artificially sweetened soft drinks – and alcohol when people don’t feel like boozing.
For tips on how to brew your own at home visit northernlifemagazine.co.uk/kombucha
Have you ever wanted to make kombucha at home but you were unsure about the process and how to do it? one of the best organically certified kits on the market with full instructions on how to brew your first three litres of Boo Chi organic kombucha from home. £40.50 boochi.co.uk