Kombucha Tea Culture - The Ancient Rejuvenating Health Drink
Manchurian Mushroom Tea
Many people are drinking Kombucha Tea (pronounced /span>kom-BOO-cha). Others are wondering what it is and why so many people are enjoying benefits from this daily drink. The Kombucha Tea is healthy and refreshing. It tastes somewhat like a sparkling apple cider with a tang of vinegar, depending on how long it ferments. The benefits to the physical body vary widely. It is said to enhance the immune system. By detoxifying the body, it makes it unlikely for disease causing bacteria and viruses to find a suitable growth environment. The Tea is also known to rebuild the friendly intestinal bacteria lactobacillus acidophilus. This results in a healthier physical body!
People from all over the world claim drinking Kombucha Tea provides relief from many physical ailments. While it may not be the cure to all the ills of mankind, it is a traditional fermented beverage used in many cultures to promote well-being. Some of the reported benefits from testimonials are:
- Acts as a gentle laxative, helping avoid constipation
- Aids in the relief of arthritis
- Cleanses the colon and gall bladder, helps colitis and nervous stomachs
- Aids in healthy digestion
- Relieves colitis and stomach cramps
- Returns gray hair to it's natural color
- Helps stop diarrhea
- Relieves bronchitis and asthma
- Clears up Candida yeast infections
- Regulates the appetite and reduces fat
- Aids with stress and insomnia
- Improves eyesight, it has proven useful in cataracts, floaters and other formations on the cornea
- Relieves headaches including migraines
- Put Lupus into remission
- Helps reduces the alcoholic's craving for alcohol
- Clears acne, psoriasis and other skin problems
- Thickens hair and strengthens fingernails
- Enhances the sense of smell
- Vitalizes the physical body and adds energy
- Eliminates wrinkles and helps the removal of brown spots an hands. It is a skin humectant
- Prevents certain types of cancer: in Manchuria, where this mushroom came from, there has not been detected one single case of cancer. Every day people drink this tea as a religious atonement
- Eliminates menopausal hot flashes, reduces hot-flash discomforts. Just after drinking the Manchurian Mushroom Tea you may feel a warm sensation, due to the fact that the tea components join the blood stream causing a draining action of toxic chemical elements and fluids, reason for which you will notice increased mobility in your extremities and flexibility around your waist
- Helps muscular aches and pains in shoulders and neck
- Helps bronchitis, asthma, cough in two or three days. Will help children with phlegm
- Helps with allergies, also with aching nerves
- It is prescribed in kidney problems
- Helps heal diseases. It will lower cholesterol and soften veins and arteries
- Helps burning of fat, therefore, helps to lose weight
- Helps the liver work more efficiently
- Helps to level off glucose and sudden drops of blood sugar in diabetics. If taken daily, it will eliminate urea in 100 days
- It has surprising effects on the scalp, helps avoid balding, thickens hair and eliminates gray hair
It is well documented that there are pockets of people, who are centenarians, clustered not only in the mountainous Caucasia's where they are most celebrated, but also in outer rural areas like Yakutia in Siberia, or the Poltaya District of the Ukraine, as well as Tibet and Spain. Compare this to the elderly in the United States who are often medicated and placed in nursing homes resigned to dying, without ever thinking of reaching the age of 100. A centenarian In this country is interviewed, congratulated by the President of the United States and given a party in honor at his nursing home, so great is this occasion. These centenarians in Russia, Spain and Tibet are actively involved in life at that age.
There is an area in Russia called Kargasok, where the people are a dairy and vegetable-eating populace who cherish family ideals and traditions. Liquor and smoking are excluded from their lifestyles. A common outlook shared by the inhabitants is not to let life pressure them. They are a hearty outdoor folk who work hard as carpenters, bookkeepers, and farmers who usually live well over 100. These Elders are revered, an active and valued members of society and family.
The harmony prevalent in Kargasok society cannot be reproduced in our Western world of stress and fast-paced living. However, the Russian centenarians attribute their longevity not only to their work habits, but also to the Yeast Enzyme Tea which has been in their diet for hundreds of years. This tea contains a concentrated amount of high quality protein which the body ingests and uses immediately. Yeast Enzymes respond to the living micro-organisms in the body and metabolizes it readily.
The ancient yeast-culture tea which the Kargosoks believe sustains their excellent health into their hundreds, found its way years back to Japan again, when a prominent Japanese lady traveled to Kargasok, Russia. Upon arrival there she made an extraordinary observation of an unusually healthy people. The woman were virtually without wrinkles and few other visible signs of aging. It was disclosed to her that everyone drank at least eight ounces of the Kombucha tea daily. To make this tea, the Japanese lady obtained a piece of the special yeast culture with instructions on how to make it with her close friends. After drinking it for several weeks, her friends reported an astonishing difference in how they felt physically. Her reports also claim the pronounced lowering of high blood pressure, the fading of wrinkles, the gradual beginning of hair restoration and an overall feeling of well-being. Today over a million Japanese people drink the fermented tea daily. It is a common conversion piece on television and over radio.
Dr. Pan Pen, A scientist of Japan, reports his findings as follows: the tea helps restore hair growth after 4-6 months, and gray hair will darken; and it can strengthen the eyesight. Because he found the culture contains three basic vital elements needed by the body, he claims that the tea is a life extender.
Dr. Sklenar of Germany is using this tea to support cancer treatments. He is also using Kombucha 1X and some other remedies to aid in cancer treatments. he believes that this tea can prevent cancer if drunk daily.
The first recorded use of Kargasok Tea was during the Chinese empire of the Tsin-Dynasty in 211 B.C. It was referred to as "The remedy for Immortality" or "The Divine Tsche." In 414 B.C. Dr. Kombu, from Korea, brought it to Japan during the reign of Emperor Inkyo. Afterwards, this tea was used throughout China, Japan and Korea and later introduced into Russia and India.
It was called by several different names: "Fungus japonicus", "Fungo-Japon Kombucha", "Pichia fermentans", Cembuya orientalis", "Combuchu", "Tschambucco", "Volga-Spring", "Mo-gu", "Champignon de longue vie", "Teekwass", "Kwassan", and "Kargasok Tea".
The kombucha fungus is built in membrane-form and is a symbiosis of yeast cells and different bacteria. Among these bacteria are: Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconicum, Acetobacter ketogenum, and pichia fermentans. The Kombucha fungus needs to live in a solution composed of black tea and sugar. In the right temperature they multiply constantly. They don't build spores as yeast normally does, but instead multiply by a process glucuronic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid and several vitamins. The yeast culture transforms the sugar and black tea into enzymes useful for the body. The fermented mixture later contains not only these products, but also 0.5% alcohol.
Glucuronic acid is used in the body to build the important polysaccharides such as: Hyaluronic acid which is vital for the connective tissues; Chondroitinsulfat acid which is the basic substance in our cartilage; Mukoitinsulfat acid which is for the mucous and for the vitreous (eye), and also Heparin and Lactic acid which is especially for our colon. Kombucha works like a natural antibiotic.
The kombucha 1X or the Kargasok 110 has been used for many thousands of years by those who believe it can activate the glandular system;
stimulate the metabolism, reduce weight, lower uric acid, cholesterol, rheumatism, arthritis, neurasthenia, stomach-liver-kidney disorders, gout, boils, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, skin diseases, etc. The tea is also felt to rebuild the colon flora and increase the blood circulation and acids those under stress.
We are talking about a "Panacea" Manchurian Mushroom that takes about seven days to reproduce itself; it looks like a hot cake but is grayish in color.
The Kombucha Tea Culture has been used for thousands of years in different parts of the world. This in itself lends testimony to the fact the Tea has long been beneficial to many for a variety of physical ailments. The Russians, Germans, Swedes and others have compiled information on the benefits of the Kombucha Tea for nearly one hundred years. In the book "Kombucha, Healthy Beverage and Natural Remedy from the Far East," Gunther Frank lists many references from Russian and German doctors who have seen a variety of benefits to their patients. Rosina Fasching's book "Tea Fungus Kombucha, The Natural Remedy and its Significance in Cases of Cancer and other Metabolic Disease" also discusses this in more detail.
The Kombucha Tea Culture has many names. Gunther Frank states "From many of the names it can be seen straight away that the origins of the Culture presumably lie in the east: China, Japan, Manchuria, Russia and India." It is known by Combucha (Japanese word for tea sponge or tea fungus), Kombucha (Germanized form of Japanese name, used internationally), Marine Alga (Brazilian), Tea Kvass (Russian), Olinka (Bohemian and Moravian monasteries), Kargasok tea (Japanese brought the culture from Kargasok, Russia), Manchurian Mushroom (Manchuria), as well as many other names. According to some literature, it was introduced to Japan by the Korean doctor Kombu in 414 B.C. Rosina Fasching reports that Kombucha enjoyed wide popularity until World War II when tea and sugar, the nutrients the Kombucha Culture thrives on, became scarce.
Although commonly called the Kombucha Mushroom, IT IS NOT A MUSHROOM. The beneficial bacteria and yeasts form a symbiotic colony in a
strong cellulose matrix. It propagates itself during the fermentation process yielding another Culture, often referred to as a "baby." The scientific term for this jelly-like mass is a zooglea. When placed in the appropriate substrate, the yeasts in the Kombucha Culture feed on the nutrients and rapidly multiply to produce alcohol. The rich environment created by the yeasts allows the bacteria to convert the alcohol into acetic acid, which is vinegar. The bacterium
Acetobacter aceti subspecies xylinum, along with other organisms associated with production of vinegar, has been identified in Kombucha. It is interesting to note that vinegar has been used by humans for thousands of years. In his book "Kombucha, the Essential Guide,"
Christopher Hobbs states "Vinegar was mentioned in the writings of the Assyrians, Greeks and Romans as an important medicine in its
Because the Kombucha Culture is a living organism exposed to all kinds of influences, the finished beverage doesn't always have the same composition and taste. The Russian research scientist Danielova stated in 1954 "... that the actual composition of the symbiont varies according to geographical and climatic conditions, and depends on whatever types of wild yeasts and bacteria exist locally."
Variances may occur in each batch of Kombucha and may become more obvious during
seasonal temperature changes.
The Tea is made by placing the Kombucha Culture in a solution of tea and sugar. BLACK or GREEN TEA and WHITE SUGAR are the best nutrients.
Within 6-15 days, biological and chemical metabolic processes take place producing a small amount of alcohol, carbon dioxide, vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, plus acetic acid, glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, oxalic acid, usnic acid, heparin, dextrogyral (L-Lactic Acid+) plus enzymes and minerals. The end product contains a very small amount of alcohol, 0.5% - 1%, which is as much alcohol present in "alcohol-free" beer and many beverages including apple juice.
By law, a beverage can contain up to 0.5% alcohol and still be labeled "non-alcoholic." Most beer contains approximately 3% - 8% alcohol. The end product also contains a small amount of sugar which is not converted. The longer the drink ferments, less sugar and more alcohol will be present. It will turn to vinegar if allowed to ferment too long.
The slight amount of alcohol present in the fermented Tea is normally harmless and is no more potent than non-alcoholic beer. 'on the wagon' alcoholics may want to approach Kombucha use with caution. Some sober alcoholics who drink Kombucha find it reduces their craving for alcohol. An alcoholic who drinks Kombucha says "I found it would slow me down when I was on a binge. It minimizes hangovers when you drink it with the booze (not mixed but between beer and whiskey shots). But most interesting...I found that when I drank K-T all day, I had little or no craving for alcohol." Many diabetics drink the Tea, but ferment it longer so the sugar content is decreased. In a four ounce glass of Kombucha Tea (that's 1/2 cup), there may be 3 - 10 calories of sugar present depending on how long it has fermented. Many articles do not recommend the Kombucha Tea for pregnant or lactating women. The fetus and young baby do not yet have a developed digestive system to filter unwanted toxins out of their bodies. It may be best for the pregnant woman and the breastfeeding mother to forgo Kombucha until pregnancy or breastfeeding passes. Kombucha, in small doses, has benefited children with ADD and constipation. Even though only a small amount of heparin may be present in Kombucha (it retards the body's blood clotting ability), hemophiliacs may wish to avoid this Tea. Heparin may be the ingredient which helps people suffering from migraines, reducing platelet aggregation in blood vessels of the head.
Decaffeinated tea has been used successfully for those who are sensitive to caffeine or for those who wish to ingest less caffeine. A strong cup of coffee contains approximately 100mg, opposed to approximately 4 mg. of caffeine in a 4 oz. cup of Kombucha Tea brewed with black tea. Many people use green tea which is lower in caffeine and is regarded as a medicine in itself in China and Japan.
People who have problems with Thrush or Candida may actually benefit from drinking Kombucha. The yeast in the Culture are similar to Brewer's yeast used in fermenting wines and beers. People vary in their ability to tolerate new foods. If you have any ill effects from Kombucha, stop drinking it.
Let's talk about a few important constituents of the Kombucha Tea. Glucuronic acid has reportedly been found in the Tea and is also produced in a healthy liver. It has an extraordinarily important detoxifying function that binds toxins so they cannot be reabsorbed by the intestines or the urinary system. One must think about how important it is to detoxify our body, especially in this day and age when excessive toxins are found everywhere - in the soil where we grow our food, in the air we breathe, in the water we drink and the food we eat. Usnic acid has a strong antibacterial effect. It has been reported to contribute to the inactivation of viruses. Dextrogyral (L-Lactic Acid +) has been reported to be lacking in the connective tissue of cancer patients. Gunther Frank states "So long as it (L-Lactic Acid+) is predominantly present in tissue, cancer cannot develop. It is interesting to note here that a pH value of 7.56 is exceeded in cancer patients. Organisms which are free from cancer (and also precancers) show pH values of under 7.5. Serological tests of the blood in the veins have shown that the Kombucha beverage shifts the pH value noticeably towards the acid side."
To a certain extent the Kombucha Tea preserves itself. Any micro-organisms that do not belong to the Kombucha Culture are repressed by the acetic acid and lactic acid it produces. The yeasts in the Kombucha Culture produce carbon dioxide as well as alcohol. Carbon dioxide is a gas with antimicrobial properties and alcohol is a universally known preservative.
If you believe the Kombucha Tea will help you, then it probably will! In the long run, one must remember that healing on the physical level brings little help without real change on the emotional, mental and spiritual levels. A person's attitude is an important part of any type of healing. Negative emotions such as fear, shame, worry, hate, resentment, anxiety and jealousy cause energy blockages that lead to illness. Once you realize these emotions are damaging to your health and immune system, you have no choice but to give them up if you wish to have a healthy body! We can help heal ourselves by being non-judgmental and by exhibiting love, forgiveness and patience. It's important to keep a positive attitude when riding the roller coaster of life! It is also helpful to use daily affirmations such as: All my cells are healthy and reproducing properly. All my cells are communicating correctly and all my body functions are at the proper rates and levels. It may also help to pray over your Kombucha. Many people find it beneficial to pray over the food they ingest, asking for the full nourishment the food products offer. And remember to give thanks. Gratitude can also be healing. Kombucha is not a magical, miracle elixir. It would be impractical to lead a life of excess and then drink a bit of Kombucha Tea to try to even things out. Through the stimulation of the individual immune system, Kombucha offers many people the physical resistance they need to maintain and restore health.
Kombucha Tea Recipe
- Boil 3 quarts of water
- Add 1 cup white sugar
- Boil 5 minutes
- Turn off heat & add 5 tea bags or 5 tsp. loose leaf Black or Green tea
- Steep 15 minutes
- Remove tea bags or leaves & LET COOL
- Pour cooled liquid into fermenting container
- Add Kombucha Culture & 1 cup Fermented Kombucha Tea Starter
- Cover & let ferment for 7 - 12 days.
- Do not expose it to sun light.
When working in any kitchen with food products, it is important to remember cleanliness is essential. Canning, drying and freezing can be done safely in any home kitchen. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is very important. Set aside a special time for preparing the Kombucha Tea during which you will be uninterrupted. If you do get interrupted, you will have to wash your hands again. Gather and wash the utensils you will need.
Pregnant and nursing mothers should not drink the beverage, as it would pass liver toxins thru the placenta. Children have yet to develop the need for this dietary supplement, Kombucha beverage is only recommended for mature adults.