Kombucha is a fermented and sweetened tea of ancient tradition, consider that the first signs of this drink date back to Chinese dynasty Qin in around 250 B.C.. For Chinese people kombucha was and is the true health elixir, they call it indeed the immortal health elixir, considered able to balance and protect the digestive processes. From China the fame of this drink has grown all over the world and even science is focusing its attention on its healthy properties.
Kombucha, what is and properties
Kombucha comes from the fermentation of tea, usually black or green tea, and sugar by a culture of bacteria and yeasts, called mushroom or scoby, namely Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. After about 10 days the result is a drink with antioxidant properties thanks to the contained substances, such as the polyphenols of tea, which increase with the fermentation process, vitamins, in particular C and group B, mineral salts, such as copper, iron, manganese and zinc, and organic acids such as glucuronic acid with a detox action (National Institutes of Health Database). Kombucha results also digestive, helps the work of the liver, plays a role in keeping at bay the levels of cholesterol and blood sugar in addition to being anticancer and able to stimulate the immune system (Gaggia et al, Nutrients, Nov 2018 - Kapp et al, Annals of Epidemiology, Feb 2019). These properties come from the beneficial action of kombucha on the microbiota, that is the colony of bacteria that are living in our gut and from whose health depends also the general health of our body. Finally, kombucha is also anti microbial and antifungal thus resulting able to counteract the bacteria of Candida (Battikh et al, Journal of Food Biochemistry, Jun 2012). There are scientific researches (Gaggia et al, Nutrients, Nov 2018) that have shown that it is possible to prepare Kombucha tea also with rooibosh tea, in this case the result is a drink with similar properties to the kombucha prepared with black and green tea and able to perform a powerful antioxidant action against the free radicals.
Kombucha, where you can find it and contraindications
For what concerns the preparation, it is possible to find in specialized shops the starter or SCOBY but if you aren’t an expert it is better to buy kombucha ready to drink, safer and with an amount of alcohol equal or lower than 0,5%. Indeed, an incorrect preparation may product a too fermented or contaminated kombucha, with possible toxic effects, or a kombucha with a too high amount of alcohol that may reach the 3%. In any case, whether the kombucha is homemade or purchased, it is better not to exceed with the quantity because drinking too much kombucha may cause abdominal pain and swollen belly. For what concerns the purchased kombucha, read carefully the label and be sure that it doesn’t contain added sweeteners or an exaggerate amount of sugars and calories.