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Monday, December 16, 2013

Making Kombucha

It's sad to say, but I am starting to confuse myself.  I had sent a picture of my Scoby (definition below) to a few people via text, but then for some reason I thought I had posted it here for my readers to see my little creation,  but I guess I didn't!

So if you don't know what Kombucha is, it is a probiotic-filled concoction that is super good for you, and especially good for your tummy.  It is technically a fermented tea, so the original flavor is quite vinegary.  The flavored bottles are yummy - still a bit sour, but you get used to it, and for a while I was actually craving it.  I couldn't get enough of it!  But it's like $4 a bottle.  You may get it for a little less, and in small towns, it sells for even more.  But it is soooo good for you, and you really will feel the difference when you are drinking it regularly.

I saw a "make your own kombucha" pin on Pinterest (did you know that I love, and am totally addicted to, Pinterest? Follow my "Health & Wellness board HERE) - so of course I had to try it!  And save some money too!  AND try different flavor combinations! Here is the link to the original instructions:

How to make Kombucha:

And if you read that, you know that you have to start from a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria & yeast), also called a mother Scoby.  Since it is a fermented tea, you need to have something that takes the sugar you put in, and "eats" it, which ferments the drink and makes it sparkly (carbonated).  You can adopt one from a friend (I've been growing mine for a while, so I will probably have a baby to adopt out soon), buy one online (not as cheap as I expected), or grow one yourself.  Now, it does take several weeks, but only adds to the DIY experience.  You buy a $4 bottle of organic ORIGINAL flavored kombucha and ... well, see the links below for instructions.  But first, here is a picture of my home-grown Scoby, whom I have named SCOOBY!  :)

How to grow your own SCOBY:

And if you still need convincing about this awesome stuff, read about all of the health benefits!

Health Benefits of Kombucha

Kombucha Health Benefit #1: Boosts the Immune System

Got allergies? Are you run down frequently with colds? You can build up your immunity naturally by consuming more fermented foods and drinks.
Our immune system is in our gut. Most of us have grown up on antibiotics and other drugs that kill off our beneficial bacteria. The result? Kombucha’s fermentation process encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are good for your gut, and good for immunity.
Kombucha is also rich in antioxidants, which help to strengthen immunity.

Kombucha Health Benefit #2: Natural Detoxifier

Kombucha has probiotics and enzymes that promote detoxification. One of the main jobs of the good bacteria in your gut is to detoxify. By adding more beneficial bacteria to your gut, you’re getting the job done faster.
Kombucha promotes detoxification. Regular consumption of kombucha tea also supports liver function.

Kombucha Health Benefit #3: Rich in Vitamins and Enzymes

In addition to beneficial bacteria, kombucha contains B vitamins and enzymes.
B vitamins provide support for the body’s metabolic functions including overall energy, utilization of carbohydrates, heart health, and healthy hair, skin, and nails. Adequate intake of B vitamins can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost memory, and relieve PMS.
Most of us don’t get enough enzymes these days because we don’t eat enough raw food. The role of digestive enzymes is to break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds so the nutrients can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

Kombucha Health Benefit #4: Energy Boost

Everyone needs more energy these days, which is why so many of us are reaching for coffee, tea, sugar, caffeinated sodas, and “energy drinks”.
Kombucha is the original energy drink. This is not an artificial jolt of caffeine or sugar — but a natural energy booster. Because kombucha helps the body detoxify, there is less burden on your system, and as a result, you get more energy. As stated above, kombucha is also rich in B vitamins, which gives the body energy.

Kombucha Health Benefit #5: Increased Metabolism

Enzymes boost metabolism. In addition, all the beneficial bacterial and enzymes in the kombucha help your body work better and take the burden off of it’s functioning.

Kombucha Health Benefit #6: PMS Relief

Kombucha helps to relieve PMS. How? B vitamins help to break down and flush out excess estrogen from the body (a condition called estrogen dominance). This can help to reduce PMS symptoms.

Kombucha Health Benefit #7: Relief from Arthritis and Joint Pain

I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was in my 20s. I cured myself by going on an elimination diet (elimination of all possible allergens) and taking therapeutic grade probiotics. It took about 2 years, but I fully recovered.
Arthritis is an immune disorder. Scroll back up to Kombucha Health Benefit # 1 — kombucha is rich in probiotic bacteria which help to rebuild healthy gut flora, and strengthen immunity.
Peace.  Love.  Serene.