Kombucha may be thousands of years old, but buzz is now brewing over the nonalcoholic fermented beverage made from tea. It’s joining the ranks of other fermented food like yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut — all probiotic powerhouses touted for their benefits to gastrointestinal health.
According to NPR, the process of making kombucha is fairly simple. Black or green tea is sweetened with sugar. A concoction of bacteria and yeast is added. The mixture is then fermented in a glass or ceramic container for at least a week. During this time, microbe production speeds up as the bacteria feast on the added sugar, grow and multiply. The end result looks like a rubbery disc that forms on top of the tea, called the SCOBY, or "symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast."
In the holistic health world, kombucha's potent combo of tea, sugar, yeast and bacteria has been credited with boosting immunity, improving digestion and relieving skin problems. "People have been drinking kombucha with alleged health benefits forever," says Patricia K. Farris, M.D. a dermatologist with Old Metairie Dermatology in the HuffingtonPost.
To learn more about kombucha and recipes to make with this special tea via the Daily News.
- Gray, Emma. "Can Kombucha Help Your Skin?" The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 06 Sept. 2011. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
- "Kombucha, the Fermented Beverage Made from Tea, Is the next Big Thing in Probiotics." NY Daily News. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
- Neighmond, Patti. "Kombucha: Magical Health Elixir Or Just Funky Tea?" NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.