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Detox With Russian Kombucha Tea

Detox With Russian Kombucha Tea

People either love kombucha tea or hate it, but either way, they can’t deny the brew’s healthfulness. Not to be confused with the Japanese kombucha–a light, brothy soup made from kelp–this Russian drink is a sweet tea fermented with friendly bacteria and yeast cultures. Acids in the tea give it a pleasantly sour taste that complements the otherwise sweet beverage. Plus, the busy activity of the yeast naturally carbonates the concoction, yielding a tart, full-bodied pseudo-soda with outstanding detox benefits.

“What makes kombucha unique are the acidic compounds produced during fermentation,” says Ed Kasper, a medicinal herbalist and licensed acupuncturist. The tea’s acetic acid, also found in apple-cider vinegar, gives kick to the flavor and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria in the beverage. But kombucha’s star salutary ingredient, glucaric acid, cleanses the body by speeding up the elimination of toxins. It does this through a series of complex interactions in the gut, but basically, glucaric acid prevents the breakdown of glucuronic acid–a compound that binds to toxins and shuttles them out the kidneys. So potent a detoxifier is glucaric acid that researchers are studying it as a possible cancer preventive.

The fermentation process also produces butyric acid and gluconic acid; together, these two agents help the body tame overgrowths of Candida yeast, which is responsible for myriad ailments such as leaky gut syndrome, thrush, and even food allergies.

Because kombucha interacts intricately with food and flora in the intestines, people taking medications should check with their doctors before drinking the tea to make sure it won’t interfere with the medicine’s activity. For most people, however, kombucha powerfully cleanses and balances the body, Russian style.

You can buy kombucha at most natural foods store or you can brew your own. Start with five sachets of your favorite tea, and steep them in 3 quarts of purified water for two to three minutes.

Will Savitri, owner of Katalyst Kombucha and kombucha brewer extraordinaire, recommends green or black tea: “The bacteria in the kombucha culture requires the caffeine, tannins, and polyphenols found in green and black tea to make beneficial nutrients at the end of fermentation, so I do not recommend using rooibos or herbal teas,” he says.

Next, toss in a cup of evaporated cane juice and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer this sweet tea to a large jar, and carefully add the kombucha colony–it usually comes in a pancake-like wrapping. (You can order cultures online at www.happyherbalist.com, www.kombucha.org or www.herbalremedies.com.) Next, cover the jar with a paper towel, and seal it with a rubber band around the neck. Set the jar aside at room temperature, and let the colonies do their magic over seven to 10 days.

Experiment with this basic recipe to see what you like. For a sweeter tea, go for a shorter fermentation time; for greater carbonation, let it sit the whole 10 days. Once the tea is brewed to your satisfaction, remove the original kombucha colony as well as the freshly formed baby colony from the surface of the tea, strain the resulting liquid, and bottle it in glass containers until you want to drink it. Afternoon tea will never be the same again.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

Read more: Health, Diet & Nutrition, , , , , ,

By Andrew Pollak, Natural Solutions magazine

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11 comments

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5:37AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Thanks, never heard about this, may give it a try.

1:05AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Good to know. Thanks for sharing.

9:08AM PDT on Jul 25, 2010

Share your SCOBYs everywhere you can. Since you get a new "daughter" every time you brew, it's a blessing you can share over and over again. I give mine away to people who come and pick them up via craigslist and notes I leave at the natural foods store. People are charging big bucks for a SCOBY and nobody should have to pay for them...much less pay $3 a bottle for kombucha.

5:00PM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

I am intrigued

2:20PM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

This is the first I have heard of this tea. Very thought-provoking.

9:58AM PST on Feb 8, 2010

I love the main brand of kombucha that you see at stores (GT's brand). I am wondering how similar to homemade that this tastes...Would love to try DIY-ing it but wanna know before hand if it will taste completely different! Anyone have any thoughts?

3:34AM PDT on Jun 15, 2009

thanks...
Kabin
Konteyner

9:14AM PDT on Sep 19, 2008

I highly recommend http://getkombucha.com. They have a free 7 day training (email format) that give you all the info you need to brew at home. Also their prices are great. I purchased the Continuous Brewing System and have been very happy with it. I don't like the plastic bottles that come with the set, so as mentioned in my last post, I bought some that I can reuse over and over again.. naturally with sterilizing them in the dishwasher just before refilling.

Enjoy !!

9:36PM PDT on Sep 18, 2008

Wow I had no idea that you could brew the Kombucha tea yourself. I usually buy the Synergy and pay around $2.50 a bottle. I love the way it makes me feel! It relaxes mind, but at the same time gives my body energy. It trully is an amazing product! It's nice someone finally writes something about it!

2:06PM PDT on Sep 18, 2008

I have been drinking about 4 oz of home made kumbacha tea over 16 years. It has an apple cider vinegar taste with sweet overtones. In any event, I swear by it. I started with a "mushroom" given by a friend. After making the first batch, I used that mushroom for hundreds more batches. I finally bought a new mushroom from Cajun Earie on his website and haven't needed another since. I use plain glass jars with wide mouths for the fermentation after I boil 1 gal of distilled water with 1/5 cups white sugar. I use 3 family size bags of lipton tea and brew the batch. Once it is cool to the touch (about 3 hrs), i pour it in my glass jar, put the mushroom on top (the new mushroom formed during fementation) and begin my next batch. The gallon lasts about two weeks and meanwhile I'm brewing another batch.

It has relieved me of my eczema, I'm able to smell through cleared nasal passages, and my feet no longer stink even after much sweating. Great for me and I'll use it until 3 hours after I'm dead.

Dr. Bern B

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Thanks for the info .

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