I recently learned about Kombucha while searching for natural probiotics options. Knowing that my Lyme protocol would entail long-term use of antibiotics, I knew I needed to fuel my body with probiotics that would keep my GI system healthy and hopefully keep Candida yeast from becoming an issue.
This popular drink has been around for centuries. Yet, despite that it has good bacteria, which is helpful when needing to offset ones GI system on antibiotics, there is no scientific evidence that it can prevent or cure disease or even guarantee to help one lose weight (although, there are claims that dispute it).
My hope with this beverage is that it provides extra probiotics to help the GI system as well as prevent yeast issues. It is something I discussed with my LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) before drinking, so I decided to give it a go.
To be honest, at least for me, it is not a flavorful beverage that I am drawn to consume, although it is tolerable. I would rather drink a cooled decaffeinated tea. Personally, to me, it tastes like a carbonated drink that has a bitter taste, similar to alcohol. Since I am not one to enjoy carbonated beverages or alcohol, I find this drink to be questionable for my taste buds.
Despite my apprehension, I decided to learn how to make my own Kombucha, so that I could control what was put into it as well as save money. I have found a few store-bought flavors that I do enjoy, although I prefer the Kombucha that I make. Instead of using caffeinated teas, I use decaffeinated black, green and pomegranate teas. It suits my taste buds and I don’t risk the feeling of having to climb walls. You see, if I drink caffeine, I will be up for 36 hours, become exhausted, then unable to fall to sleep easily for a few days. Definitely NOT a good thing when I already struggle with getting plenty of rest without a daily nap.
When purchasing the Kombucha at your local health food store, I recommend checking the dates and make sure they do not have too much sediment on the bottom. They claim this sediment is good for you. I simply do not like it. BUT, if you are making your first batch to create the necessary Scoby, acquiring a plain one with a lot of sediment makes for a very healthy start to creating a Scoby ‘mother’.
Scoby is an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” which is a gelatin type, fibrous cellulose disk
with beneficial microorganisms. I realize that it sounds rather gross, but its job is to provide the necessary health benefits that many are seeking. The Scoby is reused and many times multiplies (babies) that can be separated to start new batches or share with others.
I had previously purchased a “kit” to make my own Kombucha with a dehydrated Scoby disk, which was okay for the first two batches, yet it never multiplied and died quickly there after. I spoke to the company, and although they said they would replace it, I have yet to see a replacement. So, I made my own from a fresh bottle of plain Kombucha, plus decaffeinated tea, vinegar and organic sugar. First time, and I had a fabulous looking Scoby! I did not drink this first batch due to the strong vinegar flavor, but kept some of the Kombucha in order to make future fermented teas (Kombucha), which have turned out quite flavorful. I brew each subsequent batch while I consume the fresh one that was recently made. Within 2-3 weeks I am ready to start again.
Some Claimed Benefits:
- Aids in digestion (GI system)
- Anemia – highly recommended for the elderly and vegetarians due to the beneficial iron created by plant sources
- Antibiotic Resistant infections
- Antioxidant – abundant source of vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene and other carotenoids.
- Asthma – contains a significant amount of theophylline, which is a bronchodilator.
- Atherosclerosis – reducing LDL and raising HDL levels, promoting regeneration of cellular walls in blood vessels
- Cancer – researchers believe it to increase the immune system’s defense against cancer.
- Candida (yeast) helps to kill the candida yeast.
- Detoxification – the glucuronic acid (GA) converts the environmental and pharmaceutical toxins into a soluble compound in order for the body to excrete them.
- Diabetes – reduce blood sugar levels with research dating back to 1929
- Eliminate kidney damage
- Energy by increasing the blood molecule “Hemoglobin” improving the oxygen flow to the tissues.
- Hypertension – treat high blood pressure and its affects causing headaches and dizziness
- Immune Support – high level of vitamin C with its antioxidant properties
- Joint problems – lubricating joints, relieve arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
- Kidney Toxicity – eliminate damage caused by environmental pollutants, used in the prevention of calcification in the kidney (preventing kidney stones).
- Liver Support – helps support toxicity from overdoses of acetaminophen
- Nervous system – the amino acids help those with headaches, nervousness and epilepsy, balancing the metabolism in the nervous system.
- Reduce cancer risks
- Reduction in gastric illness
- Regeneration of cellular walls in the blood vessels (Endothelial function)
- Weight Loss, balancing the metabolism
Kombucha is a drink that, once made, is refrigerated. It is full of probiotic and friendly yeast that helps your gut fight parasites and pathogens, as well as help your body minimize Candida growth.
For myself, my goal is to keep my gut flora in check with hopes to reduce the yeast issues that arise from antibiotic use. At first, I was drinking it sparingly due to cost, so I haven’t yet seen a difference in my ongoing joint pain or yeast issues due to antibiotic use. Yet, I am hopeful that over the next month, that between the probiotic supplement, Kefir and daily consumption of Kombucha that the yeast conditions subside.
Over the last month my blood pressure has been down in the healthy range (YAY), but I will not contribute it to the Kombucha alone as I think it is due to the treatment I am on. Chronic Lyme is a fickle disease, not one that I would wish on anyone. But, despite its negative appeal, as with all diseases, all one can do is work with a physician you can trust, weed out the naysayers, stick with those who want to see you well, and remain positive.
Basically, other than the Lyme and joint issues, I consider myself quite healthy. I haven’t had a cold since the horrible flu I had in 2008. I am hopeful, that through healthy food choices, daily exercise, working with my LLMD and other supporting health providers and family members, using Kombucha, Kefir, etc. and a few supplements along with 100% essential oil usage, I will remain healthy throughout the treatment and beyond.
Would I recommend Kombucha to others? I would definitely share a sample with someone who was interested in trying it, yet I feel that this is really a personal choice. I read about it and discussed it with my physician. Due to the fermentation process it creates a small amount of alcohol along with the sugar that is used to make it. I was concerned since both of these food choices are “taboo” for Lyme sufferers.
If you have medical concerns, pregnant or under the age of 18, I think it is imperative you discuss this option with your health care provider. It is NOT for everyone, and what works for one, might not work for another. Please do not serve to infants and children (at least not without discussing it with their pediatrician first).
I know that for myself, if I do not see improved symptoms, I will probably stop making and consuming it. I would much rather drink a glass of purified water! 🙂
Enjoy and love life while choosing a healthy lifestyle,
King, M., August 2014, 18 Healthy Reasons to Sip Kombucha, Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/18-healthy-reasons-sip-kombucha
Katie – Wellness Mama, The Benefits of Kombucha, Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://wellnessmama.com/23994/kombucha-benefits/
Jockers D., July 2013, The amazing health benefits of Kombucha, Retrieved May 15th, 2015 from http://www.naturalnews.com/041051_kombucha_healthy_drinks_scoby.html