In 414 A.D. Dr. Kombu from Korea brought Kombucha to Japan to treat the Japanese emperor Inkyo. From Japan, this incredible tonic spread to Russia, Europe, and India. In the early 1950’s, Soviet scientists were researching the large increase in cancer that had occurred after World War II. They sent two teams of researchers to two districts in the region of Perm on the Kama river of the Ural mountains where there were hardly any incidences of cancer occurring. They discovered that despite living in an area highly contaminated by lead, asbestos, and mercury, these people were experiencing to illness. Investigating further, they found that almost all the households were drinking “tea kvass” the Russian word for Kombucha.
After the war Dr. Rudolph Skelnar created renewed interest in Kombucha in Germany when he used it in his practice to treat cancer patients, metabolic disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Today, Kombucha is becoming increasingly recognised as a delicious beverage that has many health benefits. Kombucha seems to be everywhere now. Bartenders are pouring Kombucha martinis, they line the shelves at most health food stores, and Walking Man Brewery of Stevenson, WA, won a gold medal at the 2006 World Beer Cup for its Blootsvoetse Bruin, a Kombucha – enhanced sour brown ale.
BENEFITS of KOMBUCHA
Kombucha has been known to benefit the following:
Strengthens at a Cellular level
Prevents Acid Reflux
Assists With Weight Loss
Strengthens and restores hair
Beautifies the skin
Removes toxicity from the body
Eases the pain of arthritis
Strengthens the immune system
Supports healing gastrointestinal ailments
Supports healing all auto-immune disease
Kombucha Tea Recipe
Ingredient for 2 litres
2 litres of boiling water
4 teaspoons of tea leaves or 4 teabags (preferably organic black tea)
1 cup of raw sugar
1 cup of Kombucha tea for a starter
1 Scoby (mother)
Add 2 litres of boiling water into a glass jar. Add the tea and leave to soak for about 15 – 20 minutes. Strain the tea leaves through a sieve or remove teabags into another glass jar preferably (avoid using metal because the acids formed may react with the metal.)
Add in the sugar, stir until totally dissolved.
Allow the sugared tea to cool completely.
Place into a jar; sit your Scoby on top. Cover with a gauze or chux. I just secure with a rubber band and put it in a cupboard or dark, dry, cool place.
Leave for about 7 – 10 days. When I check mine I am looking for the start of bubbles which is the fermentation process taking place.
The weather can influence this, in summer it can take a shorter time and winter longer. If you are unsure start checking at the 7 days, have a taste. It should be a pleasant taste, not sweet. If it has gone too far it will start to taste a bit vinegary.
Notes: Please don’t panic about the sugar content. During the process of fermentation the sugar is broken down by the yeast and converted in a gas (CO2) and various organic acids and other compounds. It is the combination of these processes which gives the Kombucha beverage it’s characteristic flavour.
Tips: I serve mine in a wine glass. Cut a little ginger and squeeze the juice into the liquid using a garlic crusher. I add ½ mineral water for more of a spritzer type drink for summer. You can also add in fresh juice eg. Pomegranate, lemon, lime – start experimenting.
Note: To get the Kombucha tea starter and Scoby you can ask around forums and Facebook, you could be surprised who might have what you are looking for. Anyone who is making kombucha tea usually has more than enough to share. When you find a good source, ask for a scoby and at least ½ cup starter tea, enough to make your first batch.
Alternatively you can purchase Raw Kambucha tea from some health food stores and make your own scoby. Instructions here.