We readily accept mold in our cheese- that’s called blue cheese, and healthy bacteria in our yogurt- veiled by the words “active enzymes” or “contains acidophilus.” Now there is a new bacterially-enhanced beverage with lofty presumptions and high hopes in its ability to deliver a healthy dose of healing microorganisms. It’s called Kombucha.
Pronounced (kom-BOO-cha), Kombucha is a raw, fermented, handmade tea from China that is bottled and served chilled. Its claim to fame is naturally occurring active enzymes, probiotics, amino acids, antioxidants, and polyphenols. And though it isn’t promised, the label asserts that the slightly effervescent beverage has been shown to improve digestion, regulate metabolism, enhance immune function, aid weight loss, balance the appetite, assist liver function, and maintain the health of skin, hair and cells.
Yes, probiotics are bacteria, but they actually help keep bad bacteria at bay while increasing the amount of health-promoting good bacteria. Studies have shown that consuming probiotics can decrease the chances of getting sick by two and a half times.
Don’t be put off by the slight resemblance in scent and flavor to vinegar- a side effect of the fermentation (which also yields a nominal dose of alcohol). This wonder drink is worth its weight in gold.
Find the recipe online to brew your own (little-know fact, the chef in the Goggle cafeteria serves freshly made kombucha to employees), or buy it bottled at most natural foods market. I love:
GT’s Synergy Organic and Raw (95% kombucha, 5 % fruit juice)
Kombucha Wonder Drink