Friday, May 13, 2011

Kombucha Tea


I am better now, but last year I was treated for a blood clod in my leg that left me many months on crutches, and often in a wheel chair due to pain, my ankle often continues to swell by nightfall.

Six months on Warfarin took care of my pain and soon I was able to walk with a cane and now I walk carefully but without a cane. Knees and joints still creak and groan a bit!

I try not to depend on medication, and instead I often use home remedies. My husband’s brother tells me that he found a tablespoon each of vinegar and honey helped his joints.

I tried that for several weeks and yes, I believe it did help.

Thinking back prior to my injury; I was brewing a weekly batch of Kombucha tea, but because I could not lift and carry my large gallon bottle to my dark guest room. I had to allow my “starter” to die. I needed a new Scoby (starter) to begin my new batch of tea.


I remembered that Kombucha has a tart taste similar to apple cider and sometimes a mild vinegar taste. My problem was that I did not have a Scoby (the starter). I decided to try the method to make the tea by using a bottle of raw natural unflavored Kombucha tea purchased from the grocery store for a couple of dollars. (not flavored)  I was told it would create a small Scoby for me.

I brewed a half gallon batch using 4 tea bags with 1/2 cup sugar and let it cool  Then I added  3 T of apple cider vinegar and poured in my bottle of store tea, covered it with a cloth and put it into a dark room.  After 8 days, it produced a very thin Scoby “starter.” This was enough for me to begin a larger amount of tea. Some call the "starter" a mother or a mushroom, but it actually resembles a small pancake. Its proper name is a Scoby which will turn your tea into a Probiotic health product. Your Scoby will produce more Scobys.

After my wait of 8 days, I poured my small batch into a couple of quart bottles and began each morning, and every evening to drink a “shot” glass full. I found it necessary to mix it with some fruit juice which a lot of people prefer to do.

Wow. My knees are feeling so much better after only a few days, and my ankles are not swollen quite as bad.  After a few weeks all the swelling was gone.

There are all sorts of health claims for this tea, and I wonder about most of them, but they say it is an excellent builder for the immune system and will help detox your body too. Kombucha has been used around the world for centuries to help promote health and wellness and some call it the miracle elixir and swear by it.

Another health benefit of the beverage is its ability to speed up the body’s metabolism. The higher the metabolism, the greater one’s ability to lose weight and keep it off. Since the tea helps improve metabolism and the digestive process, it can also serve as a remedy for acid reflux. Kombucha tea contains acids that effectively calm the mind and body. Claims report that regularly drinking the tea will allow you to manage stress, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

If you search on e-bay, please use caution. Some sell the Scoby for very high prices, and some sell you a vile with only a sliver inside. It is best if you know a friend who will share a Scogy with you. I wanted to know where mine came from, so I chose the slow method by purchasing a bottle from my local grocery store and proceeding with a small batch first.

When brewing Kombucha, everything must be clean. Rinse all soap thoroughly from all utensils you are using. The cloth or paper cover on your jar is to prevent fruit flies from being attracted to your tea. You do not want your Scoby to collect mold of any kind.

Those who should not drink this tea are pregnant women, those who will be having surgery soon, and those on a blood thinner medication.

Some new to Kombucha should proceed with two tablespoons full twice a day and after a couple of days 1/4 cup twice a day, then 1/2 cup twice a day.

Once you have your Scoby, this is the Recipe:

Boil 2 quarts of water in a stainless steel pot (or glass pot) - - (boiling for 1 minute removes the chlorine.) - - remove from burner and add

1 cup white sugar - - stir well.  The Scoby will digest the sugar, so not to worry about this sugar.

Add 7 bags of black tea. (I use Lipton’s) Let brew 10 minutes then remove tea bags.

Let cool to room temperature (I cover with a lid and let set overnight)

Pour tea into a gallon jar. (large pickle jar, a gallon jar or glass sun tea jar)

Add Spring water to fill your gallon jar. (not distilled water)

1 cup tea from your previous batch.  OR - -
If you do not have tea from a previous batch add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar.

Stir with a clean wooden spoon that you only use for brewing your tea.

Add your Scoby and cover your jar with a clean cloth or paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Let set in a dark room or closet for 7 to 10 days.

Test for taste by inserting a clean drinking straw along the side and place your thumb on top of the straw. Remove the straw keeping your thumb in place and taste for flavor. If it is too sweet, leave for 2 or 3 more days. Tea should be tart and may be carbonated which is good.

When your tea has a bit of zip and tastes similar to apple cider pour into glass jars and cover. I use a funnel. Store your bottles in a cupboard until ready to drink. Refrigeration slows the carbonation.

I purchased some glass one quart jars with a snap seal. I found mine at Ross, but Wal-Mart has nice jars too. I also use clean empty glass Planters Peanut jars and save the lid. Clean empty glass Heinz vinegar bottles do well also. You can also use a glass sun tea jar for the family to drink when they desire.

Prior to drinking the tea I strain the tea into my glass using a small strainer.

To begin your tea experience, drink ¼ cup mixed with some juice morning and evening.

After a week you can increase the amount to half a cup two or three times a day.

This post has been entered in Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/
Do visit her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

I am not advocating a new way of life such as "New Age" or some others who practice odd therapies, but often we can glean from some of the health benefits they offer.

Kombucha can be purchased at your grocery or health food store, but home brewing will save you a lot of money and you can control the flavor of your tea.



4 comments:

  1. I need to be open to a cross-cultural experience here, don't I? It sounds like something that could become dangerous if I don't handle it correctly. Could it ferment in a way that makes me violently ill?

    Not that I don't trust you...or Kombucha...I'm just a little nervous to imagine that stuff growing in my closet. :)

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  2. Oh Hazel,I wish you will get better the soonest possible.Have you heard about Oil Pulling? I read about it and according to some it has great health benefits.

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  3. Thank you for your concerns and comments.

    If the home brew worries you, - - -
    You may want to purchase a bottle at your store and drink two tablespoons full in the morning and again at night. .

    Your local grocery or health food store carries this tea ready made for a few dollars a bottle.

    Home brewing cost only a few cents. Everything must be clean and the cover on the jar prevents gnats who might be attracted to the tea and would cause mold.

    Pregnant women, and those going into surgery and those on blood thinner medicine should not drink the tea.

    I edited my post to include some caution for the above.

    I do not advocate a new way of life such as "New Age" or some of the health addicts with weird ideas, but there may be some ideas we can glean from them.

    Do you enjoy yogurt? It is made with a "starter" and is a probiotic.

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  4. I recently bought a starter for this from a health food store...this reminds me I need to try this out!

    Thank you for your comment and visiting my blog. It is so nice to meet you!!

    ReplyDelete

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