A refreshing, fizzy drink, kombucha has been used in many parts of the world for hundreds of years. Strangely enough it is cultured from black tea and sugar. The “mushroom” or culture acts on the sugar and tea to produce acetic and lactic acid and small amounts of a detoxifying agent, glucuronic acid, normally produced in the liver. When the liver is overloaded, as is often the case in our industrial nation, kombucha can be an aid to the body’s natural cleansing processes. Other ingredients that have been identified in kombucha include B vitamins, vitamin C, folic acid, and various enzymes and minerals. It may help to improve digestion and elimination, increase energy, improve bowel flora, and boost the immune system.
Start with 2-4 ounces a day and increase this amount gradually to 6 or 8 ounces or more, if you desire. Some people have a reaction to kombucha because they detoxify too quickly. If this occurs, reduce the amount. Like any other food, kombucha may cause an allergic reaction in a few sensitive individuals, so if you have allergies start slowly and observe your reaction.
water (preferably not tap water)
bags organic black tea (non organic tea is high in fluoride)
kombucha from a previous culture
one gallon, wide mouth, glass or ceramic container
Boil water. Remove from heat and add sugar and tea. Steep the tea until the liquid has cooled and then remove the tea bags. Pour the liquid into the container and place the mushroom on top with ˝ cup kombucha liquid. Cover with a tea towel or similar cloth and secure with a rubber band or string. Put in a warm, dark place away from contaminants and insects. The drink will be ready in 5 to 10 days depending on the temperature. It should taste slightly sour and fizzy with no remaining taste of tea. Transfer to covered glass containers and store in the refrigerator.
When your kombucha is ready it will have grown a baby mushroom. Separate the baby mushroom from the old culture. You can use the new culture to start another batch or give it away. Mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator in a glass container and can be reused many times. If it turns black or the resulting drink does not have the proper sourness, it is a sign that the culture has been contaminated. Throw it away and start again with a new mushroom.