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What is Kombucha?

What is kombucha? What is this mysterious, fizzy, fermented, fabulous, fun and buzz-worthy bottled drink? Find out...

I love kombucha! But what is it anyways? Kombucha (pronounced com-boo-ka) is a fizzy fermented tea beverage that is a health-seeker's delight. So in short, it's fermented tea. "Fermented foods are foods produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms." -Wikipedia Fermentation is the healthy transformation in which "good" or healthy bacteria begin to form in foods. Other fermented foods include pickles, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchee, tempeh, miso and more.

Fun Fact: The science of fermentation is known as zymology.

Kombucha can be found in health food stores and grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market. My favorite flavor/brand is Synergy's guava flavored kombucha. However, I haven't tried a few of the newer brands on the market, so I won't say yet that Synergy is 'the best'. But I'm guessing it has the widest distribution in the US. I see it everywhere.

Health claims. Cure-All? There are many health claims surrounding kombucha such as increased energy, weight loss, better skin, better digestion, detoxification of toxins and many more. Hmm, I certainly do not think kombucha is a "cure-all" as some sites and company's claim.

I personally drink it because it just makes me feel good and hydrated! I crave those fizzy fermented bubbles. Kombucha's health claims cannot be truly verified, as is the case for many food items claiming increased health with consumption. Also, kombucha products are sold as "a dietary supplement" in the United States - not a drug, which would require the companies selling kombucha to formally verify to the FDA its safety and effectiveness against its health claims.

"Although there is limited specific scientific information supporting any purported benefits and a lack of studies being conducted, much anecdotal information purporting its historical medicinal value has been reported.[1] Kombucha is available commercially, but can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible solid mass of microorganisms called a kombucha culture or mushroom."-wikipedia, kombucha

I just chugged a bottle
of the guava flavor by Synergy, in a frosted wine glass. It helps get me through an afternoon. Better than coffee for sure....I don't drink it daily though, maybe just 1-3 times a week. And sometimes I just don't crave it for weeks and weeks.

And yes, I tried making it myself once...failed miserably. I'll leave the kombucha crafting to the experts.


For more fun facts, info and consumption recommendations about kombucha you can check out these websites:

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/eto/content/eto_5_3x_kombucha_tea.asp?si
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha
http://www.sulis-health.co.uk/kombucha/facts.shtml
http://www.kombucha-research.com/
http://www.synergydrinks.com/kombucha.html
http://organiclivingcorner.com/organickombuchateafacts.aspx



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