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kombucha - An elixir of life?




Kombucha is a buzz word which has been floating all around and is slowly creeping into the Indian marketplace. A fizzy alternative beverage which has now become a 475 million dollar industry is slowly gaining popularity in India.


WHAT IS IT?


Kombucha is a fermented tea made with a mushroom looking thing called a SCOBY. SCOBY is an abbreviation for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria & Yeast” which basically converts the sugars in the tea into live probiotics, acetic acid and digestive enzymes.



HOW IS IT MADE?


Kombucha is made via a fermentation process where the SCOBY along with some starter tea is mixed in sweetened tea. What happens here is that the yeast from the SCOBY consumes the sugar from the tea and converts the sugar into alcohol; the alcohol is then consumed by the bacteria in the SCOBY to produce enzymes, vitamins and more live probiotics.

After 10-21 days depending on the environment the tea is converted into kombucha from the first fermentation after which the kombucha is fermented once again with additional flavours in an airtight container where the drink is naturally carbonated. What happens here is that the live culture in the drink consumes more of the sugars and during that process it breathes out carbon dioxide which is what makes kombucha naturally carbonated.

HISTORY


Kombucha has its origins in China dating back to 220 BC formerly known as Manchuria where it was renowned for its healing properties. It was discovered by a Korean doctor called Dr. Kombu who took it to Japan as a medicine for an emperor. Kombucha spread to Europe around the 1900’s as the trade routes opened up where it was reported to be consumed in Germany and Russia and other parts of Europe until the World War. Recently it has gained a massive popularity in the United States and the trend is now growing globally as more people are becoming conscious of what they consume and are leaning towards drinks like kombucha as a holistic alternative to alcohol.


BENEFITS


Due to the high content of live probiotics in Kombucha, it is really beneficial for gut health as good bacteria enters the gut and fights off bad bacteria and thus detoxifies the body whilst also balancing the gut microbiome. Along with its detoxification properties it also contains many digestive enzymes which serve as a great booster for the digestive system. Kombucha is also known as an immunity booster as it contains acetic acid which has antimicrobial properties aswell as antioxidants especially when it is made with green tea; it also contains essential minerals such as Vitamin C, B1, B6, B12.


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