31 July 2009

Ah, Kombucha!

At this moment in time, I have 2.5 L of real milk in my fridge, and about 1/4 L clabbering on the stove with which I will make cream cheese. We decided we prefer to drink whole milk for the flavour (quite impressive considering I used to refuse to drink anything with more fat than 1%! Delilah is drinking it and enjoying it as well. We slowly integrated it from pasteurized goat's milk to 100% whole milk. She also enjoys the yogurt I made last week.

I started a jug of Kombucha going last night with a friend's SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), using 4 orange pekoe tea bags, a pomegranate green tea bag, and 3 L of water plus a cup of sugar. This is my first attempt at kombucha, so we'll see how it turns out. I put it all into a sun tea jar (with spigot) and covered it with a tea towel and elastic band to keep bugs, dust, and anything else airborne out of it. In 6-8 days I'll check it for flavour and if I can find pH test strips, will check the pH.

For those who have never heard of Kombucha before, basically it's a fermented beverage made from tea and a SCOBY. The yeast in the SCOBY (which theoretically floats on top of the liquid in the jar) consumes the sugar and turns the tea into a healthy, delicious, naturally carbonated fermented beverage. The benefits are twofold, in my opinion: I get the nutrients from the drink, and I get to satisfy my soda addiction (I hope). We'll see.

According to Seeds of Health,
As the Kombucha culture digests the sugar it produces a range of organic acids like glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid; vitamins, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C; as well as amino acids, enzymes. And of course there are all the benefits of the probiotic microorganisms themselves. The Kombucha culture is a biochemical powerhouse in your kitchen.

Many health claims are made for kombucha but there is less research on the benefits of kombucha than there is on fermented milk products. It has certainly been shown to have similar antibiotic, antiviral and anti fungal properties in lab tests. In rats it’s been shown to protect against stress and improve liver function. There is a lot of experiential evidence from people who have been using kombucha over many years. Many of the benefits reported include improvements in energy levels, metabolic disorders, allergies, cancer, digestive problems, candidiasis, hypertension, HIV, chronic fatigue and arthritis. It ‘s also used externally for skin problems and as a hair wash among other things.

There are many supposed benefits to drinking the tea. From reversal of cancer, to treating skin issues, to reversing the signs of aging...the list is endless. There are internet sites full of testimonials. Here is one of them.

I am impatient to start drinking this, I can't wait to see what happens. I plan on starting small (half an ounce to an ounce a day, increasing by a half ounce per week) to avoid any violent cleansing side effects (nausea, cold symptoms, skin eruptions, etc). I am told this is also a good idea when breastfeeding, as I don't want my liver to do a purge and dump a bunch of toxins into my blood and breastmilk. Once I have my body accustomed to small amounts I will gradually increase the "dosage".

I don't know if Ben will drink it, but I'm sure he will try it. I will let forward him my research, we will discuss it, and he will make his decision. This is how we do practically everything-I discover something I want to try/do, and let him make his decision based on information.

I just hope it doesn't taste funny.

This is a Fight Back Fridays post. A little late, but whatever.

**image from http://www.skrewtips.com/img/300px-kombucha_jar.jpg

No comments:

My Weightloss Progress