kombucha is an ancient fermented drink believed to promote wellness, and many feel that the organic, raw version of this product offers the most health benefits. Because it is raw, nutritionally it provides viable probiotics, active enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants and polyphenols. This tangy beverage tastes somewhat sour, like a carbonated vinegar and is available from many sources online.
Buying Organic, Raw kombucha
If you're shopping for kombucha, it's important to remember that it can be called by a variety of names:
- Manchu Fungus
- Manchurian Tea
- Mo-Gu Fungus japonicus
- Tea Kvass
You can find quality kombucha brands at your local health food store. If the store doesn't carry it, talk to the store manager about ordering it for you. You can also find organic kombucha suppliers online.
Happy Herbalist kombucha Tea
The Happy Herbalist kombucha Tea is made with from a mixture of black and green tea. This blend produces a taste comparable to apple cider.
Dr. Sklenar Genuine Recipe kombucha Tea
Dr. Sklenar Genuine Recipe kombucha Tea has been sold in Europe for more than 30 years but is now available in the United States too. They also offer kombucha tea capsules and extract.
The kombucha Culture and Its Purported Benefits
You'll see kombucha referred to as a mushroom, a plant, or a tea, but the truth is that organic raw kombucha is a culture of microorganisms. The kombucha culture grows in water and looks like a flexible, light-brown disk. It feels like a tough, gelatinous substance, but this disk is a living culture and can be used to start new cultures for new batches of the tangy beverage. It grows in layers that are easy to separate, making it simple to start a new batch.
Health Conditions kombucha May Treat
According to WebMD, there's no scientific evidence that raw kombucha has health benefits, but it is sometimes used to treat the following health conditions:
- Joint problems and arthritis
- Digestive problems
- Immune concerns
- Blood imbalances
- Memory loss
Importance of Raw kombucha
Raw kombucha can be part of a raw food diet because it is not processed, cooked, or pasteurized. Its raw state retains natural antibacterial properties and health-promoting nutrients that are killed if heated. Practitioners stress that only raw kombucha helps the body find a natural metabolic balance and build up its natural defenses as it normalizes the pH and detoxifies the blood, digestive system, and liver.
According to the Mayo Clinic, kombucha also carries a few health risks. Before you start consuming this product, keep the following warnings in mind.
Pregnant or Nursing Mothers
Women who are nursing or pregnant can drink kombucha, but it should not be consumed in large amounts due to caffeine and alcohol content. Some brands are made with decaf, so it's worth shopping around.
Home Brewed Contamination
kombucha tea brewed at home can become contaminated. It's important to carefully clean the kitchen, and all utensils, bottles, and other tools to prohibit bacterial contamination.
Drinking too much kombucha may cause metabolic acidosis. One to three cups a day is normal.
Reaction to Medication
Because of kombucha's acidic nature, some medications may react unfavorably to it. If you're taking medication, check with your doctor before adding raw kombucha to your diet.
No Magic Bullet
While kombucha offers a wide range of health benefits for most individuals, keep in mind that it is just a nutritional supplement, not a magic cure for whatever might ail you. There is no scientific evidence that health benefits are associated with this product. One person may experience a health benefit that another does not, and some individuals may not be able to tolerate it in their diets at all.
As with all things related to diet and nutrition, it's a good idea to check with your health care professional before adding to or changing your normal dietary routine.