Kombucha- The elixir of life
Kombucha is a fizzy, mildly sour tea made by the fermentation process of tea leaves and sugar. It is consumed around the world for its miraculous health benefits and is known as ‘the elixir of life’. It boosts energy, builds immunity, helps in detoxification, aids digestion, reduces stress and is even believed to cure cancer. The best part about Kombucha is it goes equally well with a cheesy slice of pizza, a bar of chocolate as well as our simple home-made khichdi. People around the world have adopted this magical drink in their daily lifestyle by replacing alcohol, soda or other store bought drinks.
Kombucha is believed to have originated more than 2000 years ago in Asia and Eastern Europe. The ancient Asians referred to it as the ‘tea of immortality’. Stories mention about exhausted warriors rejuvenating their bodies, building strength and stamina by drinking fermented tea leaves mixture. The name is believed to be derived from the Korean doctor ‘Kombu’ who delivered it to the Japanese emperor Inoyko in 414 AD. And ‘Cha’ is tea in Chinese.
Let’s be clear. Kombucha does not cure anything. However, what it does is it detoxifies to bring the immune system back in balance so that the body can heal itself. In a survey paper, researchers concluded that Kombucha tea has four main properties - detoxification, antioxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of depressed immunity. Additionally, Kombucha researchers Rasu Jayabalan, Radomir V. Malbasa, and others in their paper discuss the effectiveness of Kombucha as an antimicrobial, antioxidant, hepatoprotective and anticancer agent.
- Antimicrobial-Scientists Battikh and others (2012) researched that kombucha prepared from both black tea and green tea had antimicrobial potential against the tested human pathogenic microorganisms, and kombucha green tea exhibited the highest antimicrobial potential. Organic acids, large proteins and catechins present in kombucha result in these antimicrobial properties.
- Antioxidant- Research reports free radical scavenging properties of kombucha prepared from green tea and black tea. Free radical scavenging is a property exhibited by antioxidants where they remove the harmful free radicals( responsible for ageing, chronic diseases etc) from the body.
- Hepatoprotective- Hepatoprotection is the ability of a chemical substance to prevent damage to the liver. Kombucha tea was tested against various environmental pollutants which intoxicate the liver. Various researches conducted over the years by scientists have demonstrated that Kombucha can effectively reduce the effect of the physiological changes driven by these liver toxicants.
- Kombucha tea has been seriously claimed to have anticancer property by kombucha drinkers for many years. A team of scientists conducted research to check on the anti-cancer properties of Kombucha and reported that Kombucha indeed has anti-cancer properties since it inhibits the spread of cancer cells in the body.