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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The magical wonder of kombucha...and you.

Today I shall tell you about the magical wonder of kombucha.

Did you just say, "Sambuka?  What the heck is frambuesa!?  Or whatever you...just...said..."

(For the record, I think Sambuka is a town [?] and a frambuesa is the Spanish word for raspberry. Kombucha is neither one of those.)  Now.  Let's begin.  Kombucha is a drink.  It has been called "the elixir of immortality" by some and it has been around for, oh, let's say, like 2,000 years.  No, for real.  Not kidding.  This is just an ounce of the awesomesauce, hang with me.  Some people have put their nasty, mean cancer into remission with the concoction.  Getting interesting-er?  I think yes.  Not only are these things reported about our babushka, er, kombucha, but it is also repudiated to be an excellent detox-er for your liver.  You kind of need your liver.  Just in case you were thinking that's not a big deal, you would be el wrong-o (not even close to Spanish).  Your liver is the junk bucket of your body, getting rid of all that high fructose corn syrup you've been eating (Adam and A-beans, this is a good thing - don't argue, just keep sipping your 24L of coffee and read on).  

Now I don't know if it promotes weight loss or anything - I haven't necessarily heard that - but you could totally pretend it does, because I am quite sure if I said that, you would be drinking it up the wazoo.  Weight loss is such a huge industry and interest that you could pretty much get people to drink pig bladders if you said it would make you lose 30 pounds.  And some of you would do it, wouldn't yas?  Drinking pig bladders.  For crying out loud, please, for the love of all that is good and decent, work with me here.  If you would consider eating spiders legs or drinking pig bladders if it promised you the worthlessness of being a waif, consider the slightly more important thing of let's say...overall health here.  And actually, since it's a probiotic, you've got that elimination of toxins from the intestines going on...perhaps it would be a slight weight loss thingy.  But don't be shallow, c'mon, big picture, big picture.  

So let me just tell you one very important thing here.  You need to drink it before you see it.  See the "scoby", that is.  Because I must be quite frank with you here, a scoby looks like an alien and feels like...a stingray/dolphin.  It is white and is generally shaped like a pancake.  I'm trying to protect you from the whole, "Thanks but, uh, no thanks!" thought that will absolutely invade your brain if you see the little dear scoby first.  Drink the lovely drink first, get all addicted to it (c'mon, I don't mean LITERALLY!) and then go brew some and you'll be all thinkin' you're cool since you're handling your stingray in the privacy of your own kitchen.  

Now, one other thing.  It is made from brewed tea and slightly ferments (awesome, something like .0000005% alcohol going on there) so if those things are forbodden (say that word aloud in a foreboding, deep manly English accent voice) to you, you ought to just sigh and say, yes, well, I guess that's not my thang.  People do give this to their children so I'm being quite serious when I tell you about the very miniscule alcohol level in case I just freaked you out.  Less than cough syrup.  Less than O'Doules, and 1000 times less than the rubbing alcohol the wayward vagabond is drinking on the city street under the overpass with the sign.  (p.s. I am totally in favor of you packing some snacks in your car to hand out the window when such opportunities arise.)

Ahem.  Now, where was I?  Oh yes.  Benefits.

I just got this for you from  She lists the benefits of the elixir of awesomesauce for you and heeeeeeere they are!
*Probiotics – healthy bacteria

*Alkalize the body – balances internal pH
*Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion – keep your system moving
*Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
*Cancer prevention
*Alleviate constipation
*Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
*Reduce blood pressure
*Relieve headaches & migraines
*Reduce kidney stones
*High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
*High in polyphenols
*Improve eyesight
*Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
*Prevent artheriosclerosis
*Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact
*Help clear up candida & yeast infections
*Aid healthy cell regeneration
*Reduce gray hair
*Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating

Woah.  Dude.  Insane, right?  After reading this list, did you just say, "Holy kombucha!!"  I know I did! 
So you're all like, okay, yeah, right.  What?  You think I'm a dummy head, don't ya, Daisy Pink?  You think I'm gonna believe all that.  What, are you selling me a miracle cure?  I've been around the block too many times to know that if it sounds too good to be true, it must be.  So what's your catch, Pinks?

First of all, no, I don't think you're a dummy head.  I think that if this were in pill form and marketed by Top Dawg Pharmaceutical Company, I'd be quite leery too.  BUT!  ALAS!  This special K drink doesn't cure you of anything.


Yes, that's right.  It doesn't cure you of your ailments at all.  It reduces the stress on your liver from all the toxins you put in it from your high fructose corn syrup (Adam) or whatever else you've got going on in there - by purging and detoxing your liver so that your liver can do the work God made it to do.  Namely, clean out your body. 

Our bodies have a few lines of defense of getting rid of the improper crapola we put into it.  The first is our liver, the main junk system of the whole place.  If your liver is all freakin' out because you are slapping it in the head (or equivalent) with all that disgusting processed food, environmental toxins, etc. and it can't do it's job anymore, you've got a backup plan.  (Thank God.  No, literally.  You should.) 

You've got other systems in place in there - the last one being your skin (eczema, zits, et cetera.).  By that point, it's literally trying to leap out through your pores.

(And can I just recommend a book to you right now?  It's old.  It has no fancy pictures.  It was written in like 1960.  But let me just tell you, there are some things in there that you might look at with a crazy eyebrow, but there is so much good stuff in there that it will blow your whole mind.  It's called Food Is Your Best Medicine by Dr. Henry Bieler.  This guy was a stinkin' genius.  You'll have to find it on amazon or something because this puppy is out of print.  Get your hands on a copy of this and I promise you, it will change the way you think about food completely.  And then you'll feel ultrapopular because you have an out of print book and all your friends will want to be just like you.  Duh.  Isn't that the easiest and best way to seek popularity among your peers?  I thought so.  Anyway...)

So, anyway, I just want you to think about it.  Could this help you?  Consider it.

There is one thing I must say to you, though.  I must warn you.  If you do decide to get into it and go all stingray in the kitchen, you've got to be super hygenic.  You can't be a gross-ey pants because if you introduce outside bacteria into your scoby, you could end up with making yourself an e.coli cocktail.  And I'm pretty sure that's not what you're going for here.  Scobys can also grow mold if they aren't kept in the proper way.  If they're too humid or don't get enough air to breathe, they can get moldy - just like bread mold.  It doesn't have fancy special mold, just the regular run of the mill kind you're used to on your 12 day old loaf that got shoved in the back of the fridge/cupboard, etc.

If you want to do it right, find someone near you who has done it before and have them give you a hands-on tutoring session.  The wonder of kombucha is not only all these benefits that are mentioned above but (gasp!) there's another - scobys have babies!  They double every batch.  That means your friend can give you one of her/his baby scobies and you can go on with your bad self on your own.

If you have nobody in the entire circle of your world who has ever even heard of kombucha, search our wide world of the web and find a how to.  I recommend the KombuchaKamp website, they are very knowledgeable and they can even sell you a scoby, I think. 

If you want to see someone make it, you should check out this youtube video of a guy with no shirt and a flappy winter hat who does a great job of it.  He uses green tea, though, and I only use black tea, but it's all good.

Last thing.  I know you're thinking, "So what in the world does this weird voodoo thing taste like anyway?"  I have heard it was an acquired taste, but I liked it right off the bat.  It has a vinegary smell, but it doesn't taste vinegary (unless you let it brew for like 20 days and then you can clean your floors with it fo' sho').  Have you ever had apple cider that went a little too long and got all fizzy?  It's kind of like that plus a little "beer-y" from the fermentation and bubbly-ness.  Do you like beer?  Maybe you'll like it.  It also has thoughts of apple cider vinegar but not that sharp and bitter taste that vinegar has.  The longer you let it brew, the more vinegary it will be. 

Did I just totally freak you out by saying vinegar?  I know.  It sounds HORRIBLE.  In fact, I hate vinegar.  But I LOVE KOMBUCHA!!!  Seriously.  Be brave.  You can do this.  Put on your big girl undies and man up.  (Er, um...?)

Just see if you can get your little mitts on a cup of it and try it for yourself.

Your liver will thank you. 


  1. You so need kombucha, homeboy. Are you gonna do it? Do it, do it! Next time ya'lls are around, I'm so hooking it up. I'll even let you talk to the stingray! Can't pass that up...

  2. How often is it recommended for consumption? And why black vs. green tea - just taste or other reasons?

    Also, thanks for the shirtless tutorial.

  3. Hey Ems,
    When you first start out, I say drink about 4 oz. a day for a week. The next week, if all is good, do 6 oz. After that, 8 oz. is good to go. Somedays you'll feel like you need more of it, some days you'll feel like you don't want it at all. I think your body regulates how much you should have based on what's going on inside. The reason I say to start off with 4, go to 6, go to 8 is because of the probiotic factor. Some people - if they're not used to probiotics - can have a reaction in their intestines and have some poops (this is not special to kombucha, but rather to anything with probiotics in it - like how people take acidophilous and other stuff like that). But it is an amazing thing. My hubby gets heartburn sometimes (usually related to stress and then eating too many tomato-based things in a day) and if he drinks a cup of kombucha when he gets heartburn, it goes away within 30 minutes. He has had it so serious before that he had to take Prilosec and the other ones that they tell you to take, but now - no meds needed. It works amazingly (I think because of balancing out the pH in your guts.). I think you'll like it, Ems!
    Ms. Daisy
    p.s. Green tea vs. black - no idea. It really is the same leaf - black tea is just pan fried and green tea is just air dried. So it's probably fine. I haven't had green tea kombucha before so I'm not sure of the difference in taste. I just go for the black tea. Whatever you choose, just make sure it's plain tea - a.k.a. not flavored or herbal. Lmk if you've got more questions!