Kombucha Benefits – List of Top 10 Kombucha Health Benefits

Before we delve into the top 10 Kombucha Benefits first a word from out sponsor the FDA… Shout out to the FDA and Lawyers: Information about the Health Benefits of Kombucha is for educational purposes only. These kombucha health benefits statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the advice or attention of heath-care professionals. Whew…

New Video… What Are The Health Benefits of Organic Raw Kombucha?

Quick, SMILE. Great, now you are fully prepared to learn about the benefits of drinking (and other uses – more on that later) K-Tea.

OK – So what exactly are the health benefits of kombucha? I’m sure many of you were brought to GetKombucha to learn more about kombucha benefits because you heard about all the amazing health benefits. Whether it was your friend who lost some weight, stories printed on commercial bottles claiming that it helped with cancer treatment, or recently the attention kombucha is getting in the media as a natural source of energy.

Kombucha Benefits Cancer Treatment

Just a note, lot’s of peeps have been talking about kombucha and how it can help with cancer. Though gt dave has never said that it cured, or even treated, his mother’s cancer; but he does say it helped her during chemotherapy of the cancer cells. You can read her more here. Both Dave and his mother have been a huge inspiration for me in my quest!

Kombucha Drink Benefits Hype?

However, for every ten drinkers reporting how amazing this stuff is, there are one or two that say there is no scientific evidence and that it’s Bologna.

As a kombucha company, it would be great to claim 101 health benefits of kombucha mushroom without any research. However ethically we didn’t think that was appropriate, plus so many other places are just putting up everything and the kitchen sink when it comes to the benefits of organic kombucha.

kombucha benefits in a cup


We thought we’d do something special here. Below you will find 3 sections that are all dedicated to sharing my kombucha health benefits list in the most transparent way possible.

Section 1 – My kombucha personal benefits.

The first is my personal experience with the benefits of drinking kombucha. It discusses how I first discovered it, my initial experiences with kombucha, and any associated benefits I continue to have by brewing and drinking kombucha.
I feel very comfortable speaking about this because it is my personal experience and personal opinion, so I know it is true for me.

Section 2 – Top ten real raw organic kombucha benefits list.

The second is a survey on our customers and their observations with kombucha. Once we began providing kombucha cultures and brewers, within weeks we received unsolicited testimonies. That encouraged us to send out a survey to document other personal experiences.

We feel it is doing a service to other kombucha drinkers or for those who are about to begin drinking kombucha to discover what other drinkers are reporting as benefits. This does not mean that you will have the same or different results, but it is a wonderful way to gauge the reported effects of this drink.

Before, the alternative was just unscientific claims (by some people who don’t even drink kombucha!).

Section 3 – How does kombucha benefit the body?

The final third section will discuss the general opinion of how kombucha is able to benefit so many different ailments. And why different drinkers enjoy different affects.


My Personal Story

A long time ago, I discovered the wonder of Kombucha while enjoying some lunch with a wonderful friend in a vegan restaurant and I was hooked. The taste was nothing I had ever experienced before. As soon as I drank it, I felt it go down into my stomach (kind of like drinking iced cold water on an empty stomach on a hot summer’s day).

My friend was explaining to me that it was a mushroom drink (which we know from class one that it’s not), and all the associated benefits. I thought it was all mumbo jumbo, but I didn’t care this stuff tasted AMAZING! plus it had about 1/5 the calories of soda but it still had that fizzy carbonation of a soda.

The meal was done and about an hour passed by and that’s when I realized it. I didn’t have any acid reflux! This was nuts considering I have been on acid reflux medicine for years (Prilosec, Protonic, Acifex, you name I’ve taken it and paid up to $166 bucks a month for it).

Not only that, I also realized that I went to the bathroom about ten minutes after the meal. I also didn’t have that “Just eaten let me sleep now like it’s Thanksgiving” feeling.

In a word, I felt CLEAN. That’s the only way I can describe it. I thought it was a fluke, so I bought a few more bottles over the next couple of days, and every time (with exception to the 2 apple pies I got at a famous fast food restaurant, nothing can save you from that), I felt CLEAN.

However, I was a little turned off by the price of Kombucha at our local markets (some places charged up to 5 Bucks a Bottle!) and decided to enter the wonderful world of brewing my own Kombucha with a Kombucha Culture. After brewing hundreds of batches, do you know what I discovered? Well do you? I am a computer typed message, so I can wait if you are still in thought.

I discovered that brewing Kombucha IS EASY and FUN. That’s right, if you can bake a cake, you can brew Kombucha. And not even a made from scratch, grandma cake. I’m talking about the pour and mix variety. I also began sharing the drink with my friends and family.

Soon, friends all around were stopping by just to say hi as an excuse to get a glass of my drink to get the same kombucha health benefits. Well as the saying goes:

Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; teach him how to fish, he will eat everyday, and the rest is history.

We’ll teach you how to fish in the next class.

So for me, the reason I drink kombucha (and I guess you can call these my kombucha benefits) is as follows:

  • Kombucha Tastes Amazing. With 1/5th the calories and sugar of soda why wouldn’t you?
  • Kombucha Cured My Acid Reflux. I have not bought any acid reflux pharmaceuticals in over 5 years!
  • Kombucha Makes Me Feel Really Really Good. In a word kombucha makes me feel clean. I digest my food better, it gives me a little boost both in my mind and body, it helps me poop and pee (yep I said it.), and it really comes in handy after a heavy night of eating and drinking.

Top 10 Kombucha Benefits

Everyone wants to know… what are some benefits of drinking Kombucha. I know for myself it was pretty apparent that it was helping my digestion and acid reflux, but the interesting thing was that several other Kombucha drinkers were experiencing different Kombucha health benefits from one another.

There was a trend, but I wanted to know exactly what these were and what were the most common benefits amongst REAL kombucha drinkers. For me it is more important talking to other drinkers than just relying on what a dude in a lab coat analyzed from a petri dish (not knocking labs or lab coats for that matter as science is really
cool to back up your hunches and lab coats are damn sexy if accessorized correctly.. what?).

Well, rather then wait till a big drug company in the US was ready to fork over millions of bucks to research this stuff (ahem, by now you guys know that you can make kombucha at home for like pennies a serving so don’t think the drug companies will be having too much interest in funding a study on kombucha health benefits for a looooooong time), I decided to simply ask our customers and readers of our Kombucha newsletter.

The original survey was back in 2006 (5 years ago!), we have since updated the survey for 2011 and we continue to ask and survey our subscribers!! Together we are compiling the biggest REAL experiences on the internet.

We will be doing another round of surveys soon, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be included.

NOTE: Some people may experience some, all, or none of these and some kombucha drinkers have reported some slight kombucha side effects. Stay tuned for a kombucha video discussing both the Kombucha Health Benefits and Kombucha Side Effects and what you can do if you do happen to experience a kombucha side effect… here’s a hint; drink MORE WATER… I’ve done the research!

Also, sorry guys, the list got a little hard to maintain in terms of percentages as time went on so they are not in any particular order, however all have been reported in high enough numbers to be substantial… I am going to look into using a simple Face Book survey on our Facebooke Page so that it will keep count of everything… be sure to join our facebook page to get access to the always updating Kombucha Benefits Information!)

[editorial note] Reported by GetKombucha’s 9,300+ Kombucha Subscribers in Bold. I then add my two cents and a dime to why this might happen… again this is my insight of my research and personally drinking, making, and teaching kombucha for over 5 years. [dave]

#1 – Kombucha Improves Your Digestion.

Kombucha is a probiotic which contributes to healthy digestive flora in your gut that can help break down foods and absorb the good stuff, while evacuating the bad stuff easier. Kombucha also is a alkalize forming food when ingested. Kombucha also contains sever beneficial organic acids that have been attributed to better digestion.

(side note, if you want a double does of digestion… trying making chai kombucha! With chai kombucha benefits from both the gentle digestive herbs like carodmom and ginger, but with an upgraded delivery method thanks to kombucha!)

Here is a great source regarding probiotics from http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/probiotics-topic-overview

Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines camera. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of whichLactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures, is the best known. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probiotics are also available as dietarysupplements.

#2 – Kombucha Helps You Lose Weight.

Going one step further with the digestive benefits of kombucha, the better we can digest our food (both absorb and evacuate), the better chance we have at losing excess weight. This weight loss is usually experienced only for people that are over weight. In fact we have seen the opposite in people that are under weight, as kombucha will also help these people absorb their food easier.

A final thought though on the real reason why so many drinkers have reported weight loss, is that these drinkers are replacing their sugary sodas, coffees, and other soft drinks with delicious, organic Kombucha and water. That alone will show a huge success in weight loss.

Weight Loss

iframe src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/2QqNMuAaKfA?rel=0″ height=”315″ width=”560″ frameborder=”0″>

#3 – Kombucha Reduces Your Stress Levels.

Kombucha is usually made with tea, which contains the component theanine. Theanine promotes alpha wave (the in the zone waves) production in the brain as well as increases serotonin levels. Many other kombucha drinkers also mention that if you drink a little kombucha at night you will sleep better.

For me I have not experienced this on a consistent basis (sigh). Now, you could take a theanine supplement or simply drink tea (the green kinds usually have the highest amount of theanine), but as I have discussed before, kombucha will “super charge” any individual component due to its synergistic delivery system.

#4 – Kombucha Gives You More Energy.

As mentioned above, kombucha is usually made with tea which means

Kombucha Energy Like A Kid

Just drank a kombucha

that in addition to the happy relaxed effects of theanine, it also contains the happy “in the zone” effects of caffeine. Typically the drink has about a third the amount of caffeine that is found in coffee, and through the fermentation process the amount of caffeine decreases even more, however I would imagine that the caffeine does contribute to the reported energy.

However there are several other things going on. Kombucha also has a natural supply of Vitamin B6 as well as other B Vitamins. Kombucha also cleanses and detoxes the liver, so another explanation could be that it is not “giving” you energy, but rather “restoring” your body to its natural state, which is an abundant energetic body.

Finally, the small amount of sugar that is found in kombucha is already broken down (sucrose gets broken down into glucose and fructose during the fermentation process).

When consumed after exercise or high stress levels, it will act like a Gatorade on steroids… uh, except that it is all natural and the vital minerals that kombucha also provides (we tend to sweat these out), are from natural sources like tea, etc instead of synthetics.

#5 – Kombucha Increases Your Immune System.

So, hopefully by now you are beginning to see a synergy going on. Let’s put it all together b/c words like Immune System and Detox have been over used in my opinion to just say to cover all bases, but if you are digesting your food better, cleaning out your liver, reducing the amount of sugar intake due to drinking kombucha tea over soda, juice, etc, lowering your stress levels and getting micro nutrients delivered in a super charged way — obviously you are going to be and feel healthier.

Harvard has recently done some studies on this topic and weigh in with probiotic and building an immune system:

There are hundreds of different species of bacteria in your digestive tract, which do a bang-up job helping you digest your food. Now researchers, including some at Harvard Medical School, are finding evidence of a relationship between such “good” bacteria and the immune system.

For instance, it is now known that certain bacteria in the gut influence the development of aspects of the immune system, such as correcting deficiencies and increasing the numbers of certain T cells.

Probiotics are good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, that can safely dwell in your digestive tract. You’ll now find probiotics listed on the labels of dairy products, drinks, cereals, energy bars, and other foods. Ingredients touted as “prebiotics,” which claim to be nutrients that feed the good bacteria, are also cropping up in commercially marketed foods.

Another interesting observation is that I tend to get sick less during cold and flu season… now to be fair I live in California so it usually isn’t so cold here, but I am curious to see what the direct effect is of kombucha’s probiotics on people who have been taking antibiotics their whole life (perhaps we will be doing another survey soon!).


Video on Organic Raw Kombucha Benefits and Side Effects




#6Kombucha Relives Constipation.

Digestion = Poop Easier; Acetic Acids = Pee Easier. BUT – the missing ingredient in both equations is…. (drum roll, or hand drum, please)… W-A-T-E-R. In fact water will help all of these reported benefits.

A good rule of thumb is drink equal amounts of water for kombucha. This is in addition to the recommended 8 glasses a day (which by the way is only a general recommendation and would vary greatly based on individual, and of course their diet and lifestyle… more on that on another post).

So if you have 16oz of kombucha a day… a rule would be have an additional 16oz of h20 a day. And the best time to do it is right after you drink the kombucha.

#7 – Kombucha Cures Your Hangovers.

I wish I could say this benefit is something I experience every time I drink… ha ha for me though, drinking less is still the best cure for a hangover :) — BUT, if you can follow the kombucha protocol of drinking equal parts kombucha and h20, kombucha should help… that and a good immune system.

The reason why is plenty: kombucha cleanses the liver, it also has glucose and electrolytes which help blood sugar levels for as well as hydration… when drank with h20! In other articles we will show you how to infuse kombucha with your favorite spirit. Hey, if you’re gonna drink you mine as well add some stuff to you beverage that makes it taste better and is better for you… can you say Kombucharita?

#8 – Kombucha Cleanses Your Liver.

Kombucha contains gluconic acid which continues to break down to caprylic acid a potent anti-fungal and can immensely help those suffering from Candidiasis (fancy name for candida). Gluconic acid also works in the liver, possibly as part of a detoxification pathway and why it is believed Kombucha can help the body detoxify from heavy metals and toxins.

I have also found that when taken with milk thistle and other already known and more common liver cleansing herbs it will assist the liver even more. And I know I sound like a broken records (or tape cassette), but all this must be accompanied with WATER!

#9 – Kombucha Makes Your Skin Look Younger and Heals Eczema.

When we surveyed we did not have this as a question, but my guess would be it is two fold, both ingesting kombucha and applying the drink (and/or culture), externally to the skin. When applied to the skin it will act as an astringent cleansing out and balancing oily skin.

If you do decided to use the culture, set it a aside as your designated external culture and do not use it for making k-tea that will be ingested. Drinking kombucha will benefit the skin, in my opinion, from the liver cleansing effects.

And Kombucha Benefit #10 – Kombucha Strengthens and Restores The Color Of Your Hair.

Though there were some peps that claimed kombucha grew back their hair, the majority of peeps that have noticed Kombucha hair benefits was that kombucha restored their hair color and strengthened their hair.

Again, this is from both internal and external use. I created an instructional kombucha hair recipe video on how to make a kombucha hair rinse.. to this day it works better than any fancy shmancy over priced salon product.

Kombucha Benefits Explained

“The wide variety of complaints relieved by Kombucha is almost not
comprehensible. But it is explainable on the basis that Kombucha
does not target a specific body organ but, rather, influences the
entire organism positively by effecting a stabilization of the
metabolic situation and the detoxifying effect of its glucuronic
acid. In many, this leads to a heightened endogenic defense
capacity against those toxic influences and environmental stresses
which inundate us from many sides. The result is the invigoration
of a damaged cellular metabolism, and the restoration and firming
up of one’s well-being.” -Gunther W Frank (leading authority on
kombucha tea, author of “Kombucha: Healthy beverage and natural
remedy from the Far East”)

In other words, drinking kombucha lets your body heal itself. In my opinion this is the best general answer, however I would like to add the following. Kombucha, though acidic by itself, is alkalizing to the body when ingested. PH balance is extremely important, and more so than ever when you consider that coffee, caffeine, sugar, and all refined grain products (bread, crackers, cakes, etc), are all Acidic.

I also have read the benefits of Apple Cider vinegar in healing with numerous ailments, one of which being Acid reflux. Kombucha has many vinegar properties (though it is NOT apple cider vinegar, if over fermented, it resembles it).
If that is true GREAT, I most certainly would enjoy drinking an iced cold kombucha beverage over apple cider vinegar!

There are some other benefits with Kombucha (specific hangover applications, advanced weight loss, curing athletes foot, etc), but you guys are

Kombucha Health Benefits May Help With Hangovers

Not even a kombucha will help this guy

probably Kombucha’d Out today, so we’ll save it for an Advanced Class.
Great Work Guys! Till next time…

Happy Brewin’
Dave :)

NOTE: Some peeps may experience some, all, or none of these benefits… and some kombucha beverage drinkers have reported some slight kombucha side effects.

Stay tuned for a kombucha video discussing both the Kombucha Health Benefits and Kombucha Side Effects and what you can do if you do happen to experience a side effect… here’s a hint; drink MORE WATER!

Also, sorry guys, the list got a little hard to maintain in terms of percentages as time went on so they are not in any particular order, however all have been reported in high enough numbers to be substantial… I am going to look into using a simple Face Book survey on our facebook Kombucha Page so that it will keep count of everything… be sure to join our page to get access to the Kombucha Benefits Info!)


Kombucha Mushroom Benefits & Where Can I Buy a SCOBY Mushroom?

Kombucha Mushroom Tea RecipeKombucha Mushroom Benefits Baby!!

So is Kombucha a Mushroom or Culture, or Scoby Mushroom? Which is which? Guess What?

They are both the same awesome amazing thing that brews kombucha tea!

Depending on my mood I will refer to them as either Kombucha Mushroom, Kombucha Culture or a Kombucha SCOBY.

Huh? Wait, I was with you until you said SCOBY.. (is that some sort of Scooby Doo character?)

No. (well it might be I have not seen Scooby Doo in a really long time). SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Colony of Yeast and Bacteria, and it is the m ore technical name over Kombucha Mushroom.

big kombucha mushroom

carefully lifting kombucha mushroom out of a glass jar

In fact, a Kombucha Mushroom, are not mushrooms at all.

Many people believe that it got the name Kombucha Mushroom because of two things:

1. The thing is it does kind of look like a mushroom cap.

2. Kombu translates to “Mushroom” and Cha translates to “tea” in China (side note, Chai which sounds very similar to Cha means “tea” in India, hence Masala Chai or “Spiced Tea).

This Just In.. Breaking Kombucha Mushroom News…

In cupboards and closets across the world, Kombucha mushrooms are floating in bowls and pickle jars of sugared tea and causing a growing number of homes with the smell of vinegar and the hope for restored vigor. : )

So how the heck can do I make Kombucha Mushroom Tea, oh wait, I mean SCOBY?

SMILE. That’s how baby! Because it is way easier than you think. You are going to benefit greatly today!

Brewing Kombucha is a simple process of boiling water, adding and steeping with green or black tea, and then adding some sugar.

Uh? You mean just make some tea and add some sugar?


Wait that’s it?

Pretty Much… I took the pleasure of writing out a simple kombucha mushroom recipe for you below to break down the steps, but the basic recipe is very easy.


Random Kombucha Mushroom Facts To Benefit From:

To separate a baby mushroom from the mother mushroom all you need to do is gently peel it away from the top of the mother mushroom, taking care not to rip them too quickly.

kombucha mushroom benefits

If you have not already checked it out, we have a great page dedicated just to all the kombucha benefits our own readers have reported.

I thought it might be a nice compliment to show a medical doctors point of view to help balance our anecdotal research on kombucha mushroom benefits.

Brent A. Bauer, M.D. over at Mayo Clinic says:

Health benefits attributed to kombucha include stimulating the immune system, preventing cancer, and improving digestion and liver function. However, there’s no scientific evidence to support these health benefits.

…In short, there isn’t good evidence that kombucha delivers on its health claims. At the same time, several cases of harm have been reported. Therefore, the prudent approach is to avoid kombucha until more definitive information is available.

Though there have not been huge studies (you know, the ones that can only be funded by major pharmaceutical companies?), that does not mean there is extensive research about the reported benefits.

The independent medical research has been conducted principally in Russia and in Germany over the whole of the present century.

Among early reports were those listing the benefits of Kombucha for stomach, digestive and intestinal disorders. One of the most famous of the later
researchers was Dr. Rudolf Sklenar of Oberhessen who recognized the detoxifying properties of glucuronic acid in Kombucha is for removing
waste matter such as cholesterol and toxic deposits.

He developed a biological cancer therapy which is based on Kombucha, and it is his recipe which is still generally used today and for the production of the commercially bottled brew.

He became a champion for the remedy, which he found helped invigorate the entire glandular system and the metabolism. He successfully treated arthritis, constipation, obesity, arteriosclerosis,  impotence, kidney stones, rheumatism, gout and significantly, cancer, especially in its early stages.1

Pro Kombucha Tip – imagine your tongue was stuck to a frozen pole.. what would you do to help unstick it?… that’s right slowly AND with the help of a liquid. Same with separating your Kombucha Mushrooms. I have found that when you separate them it is best to do in the solution or even under running water; assuming you have a reliable water source.)

The Kombucha Mushroom is a live culture very similar to kefir without the dairy base.

Though Kombucha mushrooms begin cream colored, they darken with time, which often can take place because of staining by the tea’s tannins.

Give your old Kombucha mushrooms or layers to your houseplants and lawn for a healthy boost. Also great for composting!

I usually have two Kombucha Mushrooms going per brew container, and the amount of kombucha mushrooms you could have fermenting for each container can differ based on personal preference, how big your brewing, as well as the size and thickness of the kombucha mushrooms.

Cultured foods such as miso, seed cheese, kim chee, sauerkraut, and kombucha mushrooms promote the expansion of advantageous bacteria to improve the immunity processes and provide defense against unfavorable bacteria.

While you can purchase kombucha mushroom in dried out bag form, if you want the real taste of organic kombucha mushrooms, you can buy a kombucha brewing kit.

How To Make Kombucha Mushroom Tea At Home

This is the simple Kombucha Mushroom recipe for 1 making gallon of kombucha mushroom tea. Adjust accordingly to the size of your kombucha brewing vessel.

Stuff You Need

Kombucha Mushrooms – (also known as a kombucha culture or kombucha SCOBY)
1 cup of kombucha mushroom starter
1 cup organic sugar – you can use white sugar but make sure it says “cane sugar
Four to Six tea bags (ahem.. or you could pick up some of our Signature Organic Kombucha Loose Leaf Blend) – if using premium loose whole leaf use between four to six teaspoons.
Breathable cover – (you can use a simple paper towel or handkerchief and will allow fruit flies in your brew
rubber band to fasten the cloth cover over the kombucha brewing vessel.
A magical unicorn (optional)
Water (we recommend spring water if possible)
Stainless steel pot
Kombucha brewing vessel – glass, stainless steel or oak – you can use food grade plastic or a Porcelain Brewer if you know it is certified lead free.. like our Kombucha Continous Brewing System.

Step One: Prepare Your Sweet Tea Solution

AKA The SweetTS and it will feed your Kombucha mushroom and in return your kombucha mushroom will turn it into delicious Kombucha:

  • Boil 4 cups of water.
  • Add hot water & tea bags directly into your kombucha brewer (that’s what ever you chose to brew kombucha in!)
  • Let it sit/swim/relax in the water anywhere between for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the bags (or if you are using a strainer you ca strain it out)
  • Eventually you will need it to cool down before adding your Kombucha Mushrooms, but in the meantime, let’s take advantage of it being hot and move on to step 6 baby!
  • Add you sugar into the hot tea and keep stirring until it is dissolved all the way.

Now this is the fun cool ninja part… Chances are your SweetT is still hot. This will cool it down quickly!!

  • Fill your kombucha brewer with cold spring water all the way until it is around ¾ full.
  • The name of the game here is that we want the newly prepared SWEETT to be below 80 degrees.

WHY? Because the yeast in kombucha do not like the heat too much (their like your Aunt Sally).. and when you add your kombucha starter and kombucha mushrooms to the SWEETT solution, you risk having the yeasts die off.

Step Two: Add Your Kombucha Mushroom and Kombucha Starter
I know buy now, you are wondering to yourself (or maybe to the person you are reading this site with)

“Where Can I Find A Kombcuha Mushroom and Kombucha Starters?”

Excellent Question… here is where to buy kombucha scoby, follow the link to buy kombucha scoby mushroom culture.

Happy Kombucha Mushroom Brewin’
Dave :)

Health Benefits of Black Tea: Fermented, Unsweetened & Beyond!

benefits of black teaYes boys and girls, it’s that time again!  Another installment of our kombucha diversiTEA series.  This one talks about the what many consider to be the grand daddy of all of the teas.  I’m talking about Black Tea.  This post will discuss the origins and history of black tea as well as the health benefits of black tea.

This should wet your appetite and then we will have another post on the applications of black tea and kombucha for another healthy session.  sound good? (or should I say, taste good?).

what is black tea

My girl Cathy Wong writes:

Black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are dried and fermented, which gives the tea a darker color and richer flavor than green tea (which does not undergo the fermentation process).

ok, so there is that word fermentation again.  the last post already went over the difference between fermented tea in terms of loose leaf teas and fermented teas when we talk about kombucha.

BlackTeas.com chimes in with a great history of black tea:

The origin of tea brewing originated many thousands of years ago. The simple act of putting leaves into hot water has provided ancient societies with medicinal benefits, as well as a tasty beverage to enjoy by itself or with a meal.

Many attribute the discovery of tea to the Emperor Shen Nung, a Chinese ruler in the 2700s BC. A leaf accidentally dropped into a glass of hot water, or so the story goes, and tea brewing as we know it was born.

By the 1800s, tea had spread across the world, from China to Europe, and from there to a New World full of tea drinkers in the far west, where the Boston Tea Party and other events in American history show the power of tea in the marketplace.

Now keep in mind, before I started getkombucha.com I was working with an outstanding tea company and became bit of a tea dork/nerd/enthusiast so I freakin love this stuff (and I hope you do too)…

I mean, aside from health, tea has played such a big part in our history!  I probably would have paid more attention in middle school if more classes were about tea :)

Because of the way black tea is made, the finished product holds its flavor and potency well, making it a hot commodity for generations before our modern methods of food preservation.

The ancient tea sellers made black tea into compressed bricks and sent it on long journeys, trading it with foreign merchants for other materials. In some cases, black tea has even been used as a kind of currency, and over some parts of Asia, experts say, that persisted even into the 19th century. Black tea eventually made its way to the West, where today tea drinkers enjoy black tea in a variety of hot and iced specialty drinks.

what are the benefits of black tea

Black tea has tons of health benefits some are all on to itself and some are across the board no matter what type of tea you drink you will benefit from.

Livestrong wrote a nice article on this:

Drinkers who enjoy black tea regularly may benefit, especially if they already have cardiovascular disease. Because the theaflavins stop oxidation of LDL cholesterol, this effect helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Drinking black tea may help heart attack patients by increasing their rate of survival following a heart attack.
Black tea improves the ability of the blood vessels in the body to relax and expand, thus helping consumers maintain a healthier blood pressure. Black tea also contains a molecule called a catechin, which produces nitric oxide, helping the blood vessels in the body to dilate.

You can also benefit with drinking black tea in other ways, like killing viruses!

Yes.. in fact if you ever get a touch ache or mouth sore you might have hear, “gargle with salt water”.. if you want to kick it up a notch for your health, gargle with salt black tea!  BOOM.

New research conducted at Pace University by Milton Schiffenbauer finds that drinking black tea can help to neutralize the virus that causes herpes. Researchers have known that black tea can render the germs that cause diarrhea, skin infections, pneumonia, cystitis and skin infections.
Tea drinkers can kill viruses lurking in their mouths.

health benefits black tea vs green tea

black tea benefits vs green

ok, so how are the health benefits of black tea different than green (or white)?  well here’s the thing.  they are different AND they are ALL GOOD FOR YOU!

Until recently, tea research has focused on green tea. Green tea is loaded with the compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), a powerful anti-oxidant. Since the fermentation process used to make black tea converts EGCg into other compounds, researchers assumed black tea had less health benefits than green tea. However, recent studies indicate the compounds contained in black tea – theaflavins and thearubigensdo more than contribute to its dark color and distinctive flavor. They also provide health benefits originally attributed solely to green tea.

So although studies are limited in terms of comparing one to the other, there have been some interesting health studies out there…

A long-term study by the Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and the Environment found a correlation between regular consumption of black tea and reduced risk of stroke. Researchers looked at data from a study examining the health benefits of foods that are high in flavonoids – phytonutrients with antioxidant benefits. While some of the flavonoids were obtained from fruits and vegetables,

eventy percent came from black tea.The study looked at 552 men over a 15 year period. Researchers concluded that the flavonoids in black tea helped reduce the production of LDL – the “bad” cholesterol that can lead to stroke and heart attacks. Furthermore, men who drank over four cups of black tea per day had a significantly lower risk of stroke than men who drank only two to three cu

ps per day.

A separate study by Dr. Joseph Vita at Boston’s School of Medicine supported these results. For four months, sixty-six men drank four cups of either black tea or a placebo daily. Dr. Vita concluded that drinking black tea can help reverse an abnormal functioning of the blood vessels that can contribute to stroke or heart attack. Furthermore, improvement in the functioning of the blood vessels was visible within two hours of drinking just one cup of black tea.

In another post we will talk about the health benefits of black tea for kombucha fermentation.  It’s pretty, pretty, pretty, amazing stuff…. uh, but then again I am a tea dork/nerd. :)

Happy Brewin’,

Kombucha Dave :)

Finally I would like to leave you with a video that I really enjoy on how to prepare Black Tea.  There are tons, but this is one of my favorites!



Easy Coconut Kefir Recipe To Get US Started!

coconut milk kefirBefore we get into the coconut kefir recipe let’s back up and see how this post came to be.  One of the biggest questions I get from readers of the blog “is what is kefir and how can I make it?”.

Truth be told I have never made it.

Reader:  “What?!!  Dave, how could you say that?   I thought you were the fermentation kombucha recipe king!!”

Dave: “Well, actually I’m a regular dude just like you (uh, unless you are one of our female readers, then I am a regular gal, just like you… if that isn’t weird?”

You see, as much as I love kombucha I have been a bit of an elitist in the world of other fermented foods.  Kombucha has been a wonderful action starter for other things like growing my own wheat grass, to trampoline jumping; I have not been to open with MAKING other probiotics.

I thought this post would not just encourage you, the reader, but also me, the writer, to take action and give it a go.

What is kefir and what are the benefits

According to Dr. Perricone

“Kefir (kee-fer) is a fermented, probiotic milk drink from the Caucasus Mountains in the former Soviet Union. The name kefir loosely translated means “pleasure” or “good feeling.” Due to its health-promoting properties, kefir was once considered a gift from the gods. Fortunately it is being rediscovered and recognized for its many health and beauty benefits.”

“Kefir also contains unique polysaccharides (long chain sugars) called kefiran, which may be responsible for some of its health benefits. Much of the Russian research on its health benefits remains untranslated, and Western research is in its early stages—but the results to date support kefir’s impressive folk reputation.”

I was getting, what I thought was my kefir firx with yogurt, but as you will see they are a bit different…
“Unlike yogurt recipes, which is created from milk by adding certain lactic acid bacteria, kefir is made by combining milk with a pinch of “kefir grains”—the folk term coined to describe a complex mixture of yeasts and lactobacillus bacteria. The small amount of carbon dioxide, alcohol and aromatic compounds produced by the cultures give kefir its distinct fizzy, tangy taste.”
Mike Adams, from natural has a great article on the benefits as well.  He talks about some great scientific research on the topic.

“The Journal of Medicine and Food, June edition, reported an investigation to determine probiotic properties of kefir. Researchers used a carbohydrate fraction isolated from kefir to test for anti-inflammatory activity both in vitro and in vivo using rats. Results indicated a significant reduction in rat paw edema and overall trauma after treatments with kefir compared to the control rats.

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring fatty acid found in kefir and other ruminant products that has been shown to possess anti-cancer activities in in-vivo animal models and in vitro cell culture systems. The BMC Cancer Journal, July edition, reports a study to determine the effects of CLA on apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human breast tissue. Researchers found that CLA induced apoptosis through estrogen receptor alpha in the breast cells. These findings suggest that the affect of estrogen on breast tissue is modulated by CLA.”

I have been playing around in the world of CLA with grass fed beef (I will be writing a post on grass fed beef very soon as it has greatly improved my lifestyle!).

What is coconut and what are the benefits?

Coconut is finally getting the notoriety it deserves.  After being bastardized (am I allowed to say that word on a clean fun loving kombucha blog?).  I use it in tons of my recipes.

You see not all saturated fat is created equal.

“You’ve no doubt noticed that for about the last 60 years, the majority of health care officials and the media have been telling you saturated fats are bad for your health and lead to a host of negative consequences, including high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Meanwhile during this same 60 years, the American levels of heart disease, obesity, elevated serum cholesterol and Alzheimer’s have skyrocketed.”

The above statement is from Dr. Mercola. Who goes on to say:

The fact is, all saturated fats are not created equal.

“The operative word here is “created,” because some saturated fats occur naturally, while other fats are artificially manipulated into a saturated state through the man-made process called hydrogenation.

Hydrogenation manipulates vegetable and seed oils by adding hydrogen atoms while heating the oil, producing a rancid, thickened substance that really only benefits processed food shelf life and corporate profits — just about all experts now agree, hydrogenation does nothing good for your health.

These manipulated saturated fats are also called trans-fats — and you should avoid them like the plague. But if one form of saturated fat is bad for you, does that mean all saturated fat is bad for you?

Absolutely not!”

I have been eating coconut oil, coconut water, and coconut milk for the last year or so with outstanding results  (in fact I now blend some in my tea and coffee!!).. if you’re interested in that I can shoot a video for the blog!

Here are some of the benefits of coconut… now keep in mind we are talking about real coconut that is not processed with heat.

Loose weight and have more energy!

While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.

It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats (pubmed).

One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day (pubmed).

My own experience of consuming coconut oil is that I feel more satiated… not just less hungry but more satisfied!

Another benefit of coconut oil is that it may actually HELP with heart disease due to its cholestrol properties.

Kris Gunners writes…

“Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.

Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype.

In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil.

There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.

This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.”

Finally the Coconut Kefir Recipe

Ok.  Now that we know that both kefir and coconut rock!  Here’s an easy to do Kefir Recipe Coconut Milk Video.  I’m gonna make it this week and so should you!

and here is a great video FAQ about kefir… the guys answers a lot of questions on the basic how to make kefir recipe in general.. and though it might not be as entertaining as some of my kombucha video :), they are just as informative!