Digestive issues and stomach pain has become the one thing I can sadly depend on being in my life. Without fail, unless I am eating very plain whole foods, I will expect to have a stomach ache, bloating and other issues caused by my small intestine hating me. For the most part I am good at avoiding the food I am allergic to or have a hard time digesting, but sometimes you really want a cookie and forget that most of them use milk as a filler. By that time it is of course too late, and the stomach pains are unavoidable. However, my delightful new diet consisting of whole foods, no dairy and soy products has brought me on quite a few adventures in the grocery store. One of which led to my discovery of kombucha.
According to Kathleen M. Zelman’s article on WebMD, kombucha is a combination of tea and bacteria. Similar to the production of mead or beer, tea and sugar are combined with yeast and bacteria. This produces a substance that is intermingled with the tea and results in kombucha. Yes that sounds terrible, and I am the first person to tell you I did not find it to be appetizing in the beginning. The strange smell of dirt mixed with vinegar was almost enough for me to empty the bottle and forget about it forever. However, the slightly-above-my-budget price tag talked me out of it and I tried my first sip. After that I was hooked.
Kombucha is a tea that has been created and used for thousands of years, originating in China, states the Seeds of Health website. They claim it was used as a tool to heal people and coined as “the tea of immortality.” I’m not sure it will keep you alive forever, but it keeps me feeling good while I am out there living. From China it moved onto Russia and then many countries in Europe. While there is no scientific evidence that kombucha really does all of these things, there are people who experience the great effects of it.
Since I have started eating natural foods without preservatives my body seems to be more in tune with what it wants to be fueled with. Fried foods, frozen foods and foods with unnatural coloring repulse me while raw peppers and carrots call my name. Kombucha, while it smells horrendous, is another thing I now crave. The live cultures floating around in the bubbly liquid are not the gross things I originally thought. I like to think that they are personally invested in the well-being of my small intestine and get to work upon entering my belly. My digestive issues are still there, so it is not a cure, but its properties ease the pain some nights. Like regular tea, depending on the ingredients it can give you natural energy for the day or help you sleep. I just think since tea is generally good for the body, tea with natural probiotics is even better. It also provides help for those of us who want to detox.
I am not suggesting everyone should love kombucha, because I know that the flavor is not for everyone, but giving it a try when it is on sale couldn’t hurt. You may find that your stomach thanks you for the extra help in digestion and detoxification. Make sure to tell us if you like it, have tried it or want to try it and your thoughts! Kombucha is not for everyone but if you like it you love it!