Kombucha is a fermented drink made using a SCOBY (which stands for “symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria”). After fermenting for ten days, the vinegar-like beverage is ready to drink. It dates back to 220 B.C. Manchuria, and other sources say it originated in Russia.
I first tried a bottle after a grueling hot yoga session in 2009, when I was dehydrated, drained and depleted. The local health food store sold me a chilly bottle after class—I recall having it spray all over me, as I didn’t know it was carbonated! Years later, I’m hooked on the stuff and swear I feel better every time I drink it. Here are seven benefits of drinking what the ancient Chinese have called the “Immortal Health Elixir.”
1. It Detoxifies
Studies have indicated that Kombucha helps flush the liver and detox your body. It’s loaded with bacterial acids and enzymes that our bodies make and use to clean house. For example, Kombucha is high in glucaric acid, which has been shown to help prevent cancer. In fact, Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn claimed in his autobiography that Kombucha helped him beat cancer.
2. It Promotes Restful Sleep
Drinking Kombucha in the evening appears to help insomniacs. Naturopathic advisors suggest incorporating it into your pre-bedtime ritual by swapping out a warm glass of milk for some Kombucha instead.
3. It Boosts Immunity
Kombucha boosts metabolism and enhances the immune system. With manufacturers offering a myriad of favors nowadays, try several different brands and see which you like best. Who knew that protecting the body against disease could also taste so yummy?
4. It Actively Fights Colds
When we’re run down, the common cold can sink its gnarly little teeth into us. Kombucha is loaded with antibiotic properties that keep the body functioning at an optimum level. Since it’s a natural antibiotic, drink up—and keep yourself extra healthy by taking plenty of vitamin C.
5. It Lowers Blood Pressure
Numerous studies have shown that Kombucha (when taken in conjunction with a healthy diet) lowers blood pressure. However, lifestyle changes must be made if you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure. Increased cardio, yoga and meditation pair nicely with Kombucha tea.
6. It Lowers Cholesterol
Research has proven that Kombucha helps to lower and then maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Its antilipidemic qualities aid in the reduction of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Kombucha has also been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol
7. It Treats Psoriasis
Some physicians suggest that patients suffering from psoriasis add Kombucha and other fermented foods to their diet. It is also used topically to treat the skin disorder. I’m an esthetician and have used apple cider vinegar as a facial toner, so I could see how Kombucha could have positive benefits on the skin.
No one item is going to be the cure-all – adequate exercise, rest, social activity and self-love all need to be on your daily to-do list. Throw a little Kombucha into the mix, and step up your self-care this week.