This article will also be available on the Nutrition in Motion blogsite.
Kombucha: A Health Food Store in Liquid Form
Sarah Reid, RHNC
Sarah Reid, RHNC
Have you heard about the latest “super-drink” in the health-food world? Kombucha is a mixture of green or black tea, sugar and a live culture that ferments into a slightly fizzy, tart beverage with a host of health benefits to it’s name. A child of ancient Chinese medical technology (noted as an”elixir of life” and a source of renewing chi energy), the finished brew contains probiotics, “friendly” yeasts, live enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other health promoting compounds.
Those with joint problems such as sprains and arthritis will also find benefits in drinking this old-yet-new beverage. One of the organic acids in kombucha (as well as other fermented vegetables) actually converts to a popular cartilage support compound known as glucosamine in the liver. Unlike supplemental forms of glucosamine, the naturally synthesized compound does not have to be re-processed by the digestive and hepatic systems in order to become helpful in forming cartilage and ligaments.
Like any item in either the conventional or natural pharmacy, there are some cases where kombucha can actually do more harm than good. Any hyper-immune responsive conditions (like HIV and AIDS) will actually be made stronger by the immune-boosting properties in the drink. Those allergic to yeast or hypersensitive to acids will also react badly to the beverage, and it has been declared by the FDA that those who are pregnant, nursing, elderly or children should not take the tea due to their compromised immune systems. Kombucha is not a standardised "medicine" with strictly controlled conditions, so officially no scientific claims can be made as to it’s benefits on the human body. However, the overwhelming amount of personal accounts regarding it’s impact on the wellbeing of the individual are beginning to bring kombucha’s prowess into the mainstream media and medical worlds.
So, what do you think about kombucha? Have you tried it, and if yes, what was it like?