Monday, August 25, 2008

Kombucha Ancient Healing Tea From Fermented Mushroom

The use of microorganisms for medicinal use is certainly not new.
Mainstream antibiotics are derived from microorganisms (such as penicillin) and pathogens (such as polio or smallpox) play a role in vaccine development. And we use the friendly organisms in acidophilus (found in yogurt, kefir and tablets) to restore the beneficial flora in our intestines.
Kombucha, or Mandarin Mushroom Tea is a specially fermented tea that you can make at home with a simple recipe. You need a "baby" Kombucha to begin and you can either buy the baby, or get one free from an avid Kombucha tea drinker. Each mushroom comes with step-by-step instructions, or you can get written instructions from the person who is giving you a baby Kombucha mushroom.
It is a flat, dark, pancake looking mushroom and looks very odd in the bowel as it ferments. Kombucha tea, when fermented properly, offers a host of beneficial microorganisms. Although the Kombucha mushroom has been around, and used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, it was considered an exotic Chinese Mushroom until this century.
Before the days of modern food preparation and packaging for commercial resale, fermenting food was how people preserved foods. Lactic acid fermentation was the most popular way to preserve food. Vegetables, cheese, cured meats, and other whole, unrefined foods were kept down in the basement, especially in the winter. These old basements were not completely sealed from air, light or moisture. Preserving food via fermentation today would be considered primitive by today's standards. When we lost our old fashioned ability to maintain the active constituents of raw food by lactic acid fermentation, our rate of cancer and other diseases skyrocketed.
Research into lactic acid's ability to kill cancer cells in vitro, and its ability to work with beneficial flora in the intestines has emerged as a new science once again. Our own bodies manufacture some lactic acid, as a weapon against disease, but there was a time when our natural diet supplied lactic acid too.
What are some of the health benefits of consuming foods rich in lactic acid?
From acetylcholine, we develop choline, which is an important brain chemical and is involved in healthy blood pressure. · The lactic acid fermentation process promotes the development of acetylcholine which promotes healthy neurotransmitters, the cells that relay nervous signals across the body.
· Lactic acid fermented foods are rich in enzymes and Vitamins A, C, and B. Enzyme deficiency is the root cause of many diseases.
· Lactic Acid makes the bowel environment very unfriendly toward viruses and bacteria and aids in the healthy expulsion of such pathogens.
It usually takes about 4-7 days for a Kombucha mushroom to produce the ordinary looking tea. I find the tea very refreshing…a cross between bubbly champagne and apple cider. Most people find it very tasty too. It may not be a cure all, but it is a healthy drink for most people.
It probably seems very odd that Kombucha tea is made with white sugar instead of raw, whole sugar. But the mushroom consumes and completely alters the sugar in a few days during the fermentation process. And the mushroom does not seem to produce any babies if you use unrefined sugar. I have not found a naturopath to advise against diabetics using the tea, but if you are diabetic maybe you should check with your local naturopath or licensed clinical nutritionist who is schooled in Chinese mushroom herbology. I have seen Kombucha successfully used in candida yeast support therapy and it does not seem to harm anyone who has a lactose allergy. Many Chinese Medicine doctors are familiar with Mandarin Kombucha tea, but most westerners are not.
Kombucha tea drinkers swear by it. It appears to help a wide range of health problems. And we already know that all teas are very healthy drinks.
Bubbly anyone? So why not give Kombucha a try?


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