Kombucha is an infusion made with tea and fermented with a symbiosis of yeast and bacteria SCOBY.
Neither matcha nor chai tea, the latest infusion trend is Kombucha – a fermented drink with probiotic properties, which with its small bubbles is a 100% natural alternative to traditional soft drinks.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is made by mixing tea – preferably green or black tea – and a symbiotic culture of yeast and beneficial bacteria known as SCOBY (a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) or tea mushroom shaped like a jelly cake. It converts polyphenols into tea with organic compounds that prevent the growth of other microorganisms.
Despite its appearance, a fungus called SCOBY is responsible for transferring its probiotic properties to Kombucha.
Kombucha is a 100% natural drink with probiotic, biological properties. Although it is well known, the name “Kombucha mushroom” is not really a mushroom. Kombucha belongs to the Zooglea colony, it is made up of aquatic bacteria that tend to attach to others, forming a precipitate in the form of gelatin, SCOBY, which is the main feature of this fermented infusion. Kefir also belongs to this family of food products.
Although it may seem that Kombucha is not a discovery of modern gastro-gurus 2.0, the first records of the existence of this drink date back to 220 BC in Manchuria, China, during the Tsin Dynasty, where it was considered an elixir of life and immortality. Gradually, the consumption of this mushroom-based infusion has spread around the world, and today it is very popular all over the world.
It is very similar in taste to apple cider and has been attributed to similar properties in the drug. To date, there have been no consistent studies on the effects of this drink on humans, and so far its benefits are only confirmed by oral information and animal studies. In an animal study published in 2014 in a journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety the following properties and effects have been observed in the Kombucha solution:
- It helps to detoxify the body thanks to glucuronic acid, which sticks to toxic substances and excretes them in the urine.
- Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Relieving the symptoms of arthritis and gout.
- It helps to balance the intestinal flora and regulates its function.
- Ally against hemorrhoids.
- Reduces the formation of renal calcifications.
- Helps in asthma and bronchitis.
- Reduce headaches.
- Prevents menstrual disorders and hot flashes typical of menopause.
- Improves nail, hair and skin health.
- Helps fight aging.
- It promotes liver function.
- Its ingredients include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E, K and folic acid.
Kombucha is 100% natural and is considered a drink without sugar, because although this substance is needed during its preparation (honey is also used). It is used to feed Kombuča mushrooms while it is fermenting. However, some experts question this issue.
It is also given probiotic properties, it has microorganisms that improve the intestinal microbiota and protect it from other external factors.
And to complete the list of health benefits and forget about the potential benefits, we can at least use it as a healthy alternative to soft drinks.
Kombucha is the minimum percentage of alcohol that results from fermentation. The sugar added during cooking feeds the SCOBY yeast, which produces CO2 and ethanol, known as ethyl alcohol. Bacteria consume most of this ethanol, converting it to beneficial acids, but there may still be small traces of alcohol.
Although there is no limit to the consumption of this drink, it is not recommended to take more than one litre per day. Also, people with weakened immune systems, kidney or liver problems, young children and pregnant or breastfeeding women are not recommended to drink this drink as they may be poorly metabolised and have not been shown to be safe for infants.