Kombucha and its Importance for Health

Kombucha is a fermented food popular around the world. It was used as an energizing and detoxifying beverage in China, Korea, and Japan in 220 BC. The name kombucha is formed from the combination of the name Kombu, which is a broad-leaved seaweed (Laminaria japonica) in Japan, and the words Cha, which means tea in Japan. In 414 AD, the Korean Dr. Kombu brought tea from Korea to Japan to relieve the Emperor of Japan’s digestive ailments. Later, the use of Kombucha tea spread to Russia, India and Europe. The importance of Kombucha tea, which is widely consumed in European countries, in our country is only recently understood.

Preparation of Kombucha;

When preparing kombucha, first of all, sterile glass containers should be used. The reason for this is to prevent contamination from mold and pathogenic microorganisms that can be transmitted from the air. Kombucha is usually made by adding black tea leaves (1.5 g/L) to boiling water and then sweetening and brewing with sucrose (tea sugar) (150 gr/L). After the brewing process, the tea leaves are removed and 100 ml of our tea fermented with SCOBY, the symbiotic culture of bacterial yeasts, as well as Kombucha mushroom, is added to this mixture. The addition of ready-made Kombucha tea ensures the proper pH level of the extract, initiates the growth process of the culture by adding many of the right microorganisms to the solution at the beginning. The fermentation process should be continued for 8-12 days, depending on the temperature. The higher the room temperature, the faster the fermentation. The 8-12 day period is given as a guide only. Kombucha culture needs a warm, quiet place and should not be moved in any way. The culture temperature should not fall below 20°C and should not rise above 30°C. The optimal temperature is between 23°C-27°C. The culture can be damaged when exposed to bright sunlight, so the cultivation should be carried out in the dark. The fungus that forms on the surface of the tea is removed and stored in a small amount of fermented tea. Finally, the kombucha tea is filtered through cheesecloth to make it ready for drinking. When the tea has cooled to room temperature, the solution is transferred into a glass, porcelain, glazed earthenware or stainless steel bowl. Among these alternatives, glass is the most suitable. Metal containers other than stainless steel are not suitable and should never be used. Because the formed acid can react with the metal.

Kombucha Consumption

The recommended daily consumption amount of Kombucha, which has a very strong probiotic content, varies between 100-300 ml. 100 ml is a sufficient amount, especially for those who have just started to consume it. If it does not cause discomfort after two or three weeks of regular use, there is no harm in continuing to consume 500 ml daily.

Health Benefits

Although there is evidence for the physiological effects of kombucha consumption in animals, definitive results cannot be given because there are no studies on humans. However, there are studies showing that it is effective on the gastrointestinal tract, including any functional bowel disease, in experiments on animals. The effects of kombucha on the nervous system are attributed to its content of B complex vitamins, and its laxative effect is attributed to its lactic acid content.

Kombucha has also been claimed to increase perception, aid weight loss, and extend lifespan. Studies have also reported that Kombucha has antimicrobial, antioxidant, detoxifying and probiotic properties.

Side effects

The harmful effects of kombucha tea have been mentioned in studies as well as its beneficial effects. However, it is not known whether these effects are directly related to Kombucha. It has been reported that nausea, especially some allergic reactions and renal insufficiency can be seen in people who are sensitive to acid as a result of unconscious consumption of kombucha, and that the complaints improve when the consumption of tea is stopped or reduced. In addition, unconscious consumption of kombucha can cause a decrease in fluid intake in individuals who want to lose weight. There may be deficiencies in food intake due to loss of appetite in people who cannot take enough fluids. Use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended. Also, Kombucha should not be taken with disulfiram due to its alcohol content. Kombucha is not recommended for people with weakened immune systems, as it has been associated with severe bacteremia (bacterial infection of the blood) and fungemia (fungal infection of the blood) in such people. However, it is thought that this may have occurred as a result of the development of contamination since Kombucha was produced under different conditions in homes.

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