Here we are, we’ve brewed kombucha, flavored it, tasted it and started a hotel. What’s next? I’ve been consuming a bit of kombucha each day, noticing some immediate effects that I needed an explanation for. I’ve read the long lists of the things that kombucha cures, but where was the meat and potatoes behind it? A bit of searching told me there was no science behind any of it, which was a bit saddening honestly.
But as I delved deeper I’ve found that’s not the case, especially in the last 5 years there’s actually been a lot of research done about kombucha, how it works and how it affects us. So I’ll just dive into it and give you a big summary of what I found. At the end, I’m just going to list the best sources I found on the subject, which go into what I’m talking about in much more detail, with much better citations.
“a jellyfish-like zooleogical mat, a near-lichen, a symbiosis of beneficient non-toxic yeasts and bacterium”
This is honestly one of the most specific ways I’ve found to describe kombucha, or rather the SCOBY that makes it happen.
It’s a simple but concise way to put it. But what does that actually mean? What the hell is in the thing we call a SCOBY, and how does it work?
The mat is really called the pellicle, and it’s just a cellulose mat with the yeast, bacteria and byproducts of the process suspended in it. The process starts when you add sweet tea. The yeast eat the sugar, convert it to alcohol. The bacteria eat the alcohol and produce acids, which is where the vinegar flavor comes from.
The yeast found in kombucha are described as “split fission yeasts” meaning they have no spores, which is generally what people have an issue with as far as yeast is concerned. Most people actually have a yeast overgrowth in the gut, which is why eating breads can be problematic for more people.
Kombucha actually is proven to regulate and get rid of those bad yeasts in the gut, which is one of the many interesting claims as far as health is concerned.
Many sources online will tell you there’s not actually any research done on kombucha, but what my research told me is that many of the sources aren’t in English, being Russian or German studies. Much of the research is also very recent, due to the resurgence in interest recently. What I found was interesting, and certainly supports the good feelings I have about this drink, dubbed by many the elixer of life.
For example, german studies have found that kombucha has shown to help or treat:
- kidney stones
- high blood pressue
- and the list goes on.
Recent studies have found that kombucha possesses antibacterial properties beyond the capabilities of acids. The bacteria produce many different kinds of acids such as: citric acid, acetic acid, glucuronic acid, lactic acid and butyric acid. So these inherently have an anti-microbial nature due to the nature of acids, but there’s something else currently unidentified that seems to go after bad pathogens while leaving the good, which is very interesting.
The acids are important too, as they’ve got their own uses. For example, acetic acid is a known detoxifyer, as it binds to toxins and sweeps them out. Glucuronic acid has been proven to be instrumental in early cancer treatment because its used for the sanitation and balancing of intestional flora. Used early on, this can really help the odds of a cancer patient. Lactic acid is known to be beneficial and was previously considered to be only found in foods like yogurt. Science has shown that at least recently Kombucha has started producing lactic acid, all over the planet.
The pellicle, also referred to as the mat is actually really beneficial as well. It’s known as an insulin stimulator which implies that if you work this into your diet, you’ll have better blood sugar control.
So from what I can tell, there’s actually some ground to this stuff. As I read how the things found in kombucha effect our bodies, I understand the effect it’s having on me specifically which I find extremely interesting to say the least. It’s allowed me to get a different view of what’s going on, while providing a solution that seems to be helping so far, which is saying something.
I’ve noticed that it appears my body is detoxing, which is interesting but not always pleasant honestly. I’ve noticed some pretty interesting effects, that seem to be related to the kombucha. Despite the fact that some of my effects aren’t necessarily pleasant, I can’t help but get the overwhelming feeling I’m doing something good, not something bad.
I did my best to look into the claims against kombucha and from what I can tell, they’re poorly researched. Much of the research I found on the subject wasn’t easy to find, which makes me believe that most of the stories out there citing negatives aren’t founded in reality. Upon reading many of them, it was clear that the authors only had a basic understanding of what was going on and had failed to do the proper research.
The best thing I could find about it in regards to negative effects is that some people notice teeth issues, like pain and decay from drinking it. This is most certainly due to the acids contained in it and most people curb those issues by drinking with a straw. I’ve not noticed this myself despite my crappy teeth condition and from what I can tell isn’t very common. You get these same issues from drinking tea or coffee without fermenting it, too.
So there you have it, a quick rundown on what’s really going on in that jar. Having done the research, I’m a lot more confident in my kombucha adventures. The recent studies on it seem to be simple, straightforward and accurate which I appreciate.
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So thanks for following my on this kombucha adventure. Stay tuned for the next and final post for now, which will be all about the many ways you can use kombucha and it’s scoby mat practically. So far, I’ve composted my mat and fed some to Rebel, who seems to be hooked on scoby. Until next time, happy brewing!
Click here to check out the 7th part of the 8 part series! By part 8, you will have the knowledge you need to start your own Kombucha brewing project!
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