Did you hear about Kombucha tea??
Some days ago, a woman came to the tea shop where I work asking about green tea to prepare Kombucha... It sounded familiar for me so I asked her about Kombucha tea... after working I checked information on the internet...
You will get Kombucha tea if you use black tea (generally, but you can also use green tea, it depends on the properties you are looking for) and add inside it SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). So Kombucha tea is made by a fermentation of black (or green) tea, using this SCOBY.
You can prepare the tea: tea into hot water (not boiling cause it can harm properties of tea leaves) during 4-5 minutes (if it's green tea just 2-3, more than this means bitter taste). You can use 25gr of tea in a liter of water.
- Strain the tea, add sugar (SCOBY needs it to ferment) - 60gr of sugar in a liter of water. Mix and let it cools.
- When it is colder, you can add SCOBY, cover it and let it be during 10 days (if you prefer less sugar, let it for more days). Don't let the sunbeams penetrate on it and let it in a place where the temperature will be 20-25ºC.
Finally, you will get a probiotic drink that contains vinegar, vitamins (B and C group), aminoacids, enzymes, lactic acid, acetic acid, glucoronic acid, besides some others.
SCOBY generally contains: Saccharomycodes lidwigii, Bacterium xylinum, xylinoides, katogenum, gluconicum, Schizosaccaromyces pombe and Candida stellata.
The origin of Kombucha is China. It was known as immortality tea. It was also known in Russia and Germany.
Traditional Chinese Medicine said that Kombucha has properties to improve gastric discomforts, strengthen your immune system, this means to improve allergies for example. It decreases premenstrual syndrome; it helps to stabilize your blood pressure, articular pain, dermatological problems and it said that it can help in memory loss.
There are not scientific studies that demonstrate these properties. Some of them have shown that Kombucha has in vitro antimicrobial activity, can improve insomnia and relieve pain in animals (it is not demonstrate in human beings). Other studies that show benefits in humans (metabolic pathologies and some infections, cause Kombucha stimulates our immune system, it has antioxidant and hepatoprotectant effects.
Contrary to these studies, there are others that demonstrate some side effects of Kombucha: because it "works" with bacterias and yeasts. This is the reason these studies found some mild infections, gastric discomforts and allergic reactions. Kombucha has to be prepared in hygienic conditions.
So, nothing clear in scientific field... but throughout history there are a lot of people over the world that have experienced benefits. It doesn't mean that everyone will feel these benefits. Just try it...
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is not recommended to drink Kombucha (just in case, remember it "works" with bacterias and yeast).