By Dana Dugan
Kombucha is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, healthy bacteria (known as priobiotics) and yeast. Known as the tea of longevity, Kombucha originated in Asia during the Chinese Tsin dynasty in about 220 BC. It got its name from a Korean physician named Kombu, who introduced the tea to Japan around 415 AD, along with the addition of ‘cha’ meaning tea. Traders and travelers brought the Eastern tea to India and Russia, where it morphed into Kvas.
So what can this ancient drink do for your body?
Supports gut health
Our guts should consist of a healthy ratio of good and bad bacteria but this ratio is often unequal, thus affecting general health. The consumption of probiotics, such as the ones found in kombucha, can help to restore the balance which can then ensure overall health.
Because of its rich probiotic content, kombucha supports gut health and can help to ease digestion, and symptoms of irritable bowel system, constipation and diarrhea.
Probiotics help the body better absorbs nutrients, which can boost the immune system and strengthen the fight against infections and diseases.
Protects cardiovascular health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, but the consumption of kombucha could help to lower those statistics. High levels of cholesterol are a common precursor to heart disease, yet studies done in rats revealed how kombucha improved the levels of cholesterol in little under a month.
May help manage type 2 diabetes
Consuming kombucha with a low sugar content may help to alleviate diabetic symptoms. In fact, one study revealed how kombucha not only helped to reduce blood sugar levels, but it also improved the functionality of both the liver and kidneys, which is often a point of concern among diabetics.
May protect against cancer
The antioxidants found in kombucha may be the missing ingredient in the ongoing fight against cancer. A 2008 study in JBOUN, an independent oncology journal, found that kombucha inhibited the growth of cancer cells. Likewise, a 2013 study published in the journal Biomedicine & Preventive Nutrition, kombucha helps hinder the growth and spread of cancerous cells in rats. However, both studies looked at the effects of kombucha on cancer cells in a test tube; more research is needed to determine if drinking kombucha would have the same effect on cancer development in humans.
Helps maintain a healthy liver
The liver is one of the body’s main filters thus it’s important to maintain its health by reducing the amount of toxins in the liver. This can help to ensure overall health in case the liver becomes overburdened with filtering out toxins from the body.
Learn how to make your own Kombucha at an upcoming class – Life Takes Guts – facilitated by Julie Johnson of NourishMe at the Hailey Library, Thursday, September 20, at 5:30 p.m. Or, stop by NourishMe (151 Main Street in Ketchum) to pick up a jar of its housemade Kombucha.