Kombucha, a fermented tea, is made from bacteria, yeast sugar, and tea. Sometimes, fruits or fruity flavours are added to it. The drink has gained popularity because it is believed to have numerous health benefits. Even though the drink has a bitter taste and smells like vinegar, people are vouching for it because apparently the claims of health benefits are true!
How is Kombucha Tea made?
The recipe is quite simple. All you need is water, tea leaves, sugar, distilled white vinegar and a culture of bacteria and yeast that is called ‘SCOBY’. Don’t be scared with the mention of sugar in your health drink. It is needed only for the SCOBY to grow and ferment your drink.
The process starts by adding green or black tea leaves in hot water along with sugar. The leaves are allowed to sit in the water till the sugar dissolves completely. Once the tea infusion is cooled and the leaves removed, the Kombucha starter or SCOBY is added along with distilled white vinegar. This mixture is then poured into a big glass jar and covered (fastening tightly) with a cloth or coffee filter paper. The tea is kept away from sunlight in room temperature for a period of 7 to 30 days to allow the fermentation process. The resut of this process is the Kombucha Tea.
Add green or black tea leaves in hot water along with sugar. Allow the tea leaves to sit in the water till the flavour is dissolved properly in it. Once the tea is cooled, remove the leaves and the Kombucha starter or SCOBY along with distilled white vinegar. Pour this mixture into a big glass jar and cover with either a cloth or coffee filter paper, fastening tightly. The tea is then to be kept away from sunlight in room temperature for a period of 7 to 30 days to allow the fermentation process. The result of this process is the Kombucha Tea.
What are the benefits of Kombucha Tea?
Research to find the long term benefits of Kombucha is still under process, however, there are
claims of several health benefits from drinking this tea. Some of these are mentioned below:
- Improves gut health: research done on kombucha claim that this fermented tea contains healthy bacteria, or probiotics, that are believed to improve gut health and bowel movement.
- Reduces infections: Fermentation of kombucha results in production of acetic acid which has previously been related to killing harmful, infection-causing bacteria in the body.
- improves mental health: A review study done in 2017 stated that there might be a link between probiotic (that is present in kombucha) and depression. That is, by taking probiotics, one may improve their mental health, especially those who are suffering from depression.
- Reduces bad cholesterol from the body: it has been found that intake of Kombucha is directly linked to reduction of bad cholesterol, that is, the type of cholesterol that causes heart diseases.
- Helps in weight loss: Since Green Tea is known to aid weight loss, it is also believed that Kombucha that is made with green tea will also aid in speeding up the process of burning calories.
Why is it trending?
The popularity of Kombucha has risen from multiple sources: research studies, claims of health enthusiasts and believers of traditional medicines.
This drink was consumed way before (around 2000 years ago by the Chinese) it became a staple for health enthusiasts and sportspersons. The trend that attracts most people today is whether the product is made completely naturally or not. And this is why Kombucha has won many hearts: because it is 100 percent natural! Today, you will find markets filled with tons of different flavours of this tea-based drink.
As we saw, Kombucha drink does have a lot of benefits. Right from improving immunity against infections to improving mental health and heart diseases. The scientific research, although limited, provides more evidence towards benefits of the drink than its harmful impact.
However, one must be careful when trying to make the drink at home. Even though it is quite easy to make, too much fermentation could lead to deteriorating health effects.