When you look at it for the first time you wonder what’s that little experiment in a bottle. Well, quite a lot is often going on inside that tiny almost medicinal bottle because it’s full of yeast culture that’s taking it from the palate to places. Kombucha, a new rage, is a mildly fizzy, tea-culture, that sweetens and sours thanks to the presence of yeast in it giving it a lovely but acquired taste. It’s a type of fermented tea but far from tea really and has got both young and old hooked. India today has a large number of people making it commercially and for fun as little experiments in their kitchen. It surely is, a refreshing and healthy drink that packs a punch for a sweltering summer season.

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Popular drink Kombucha

This unique beverage is a preferred option for people who are looking for a healthy lifestyle with no compromise on taste. It is also considered as a great alternative to soda because it is fizzy like soda but without sugar plus there are a dozen flavours to choose from.

Health benefits of Kombucha

Kombucha is supposed to have numerous health benefits as it helps in digestion, boosts energy and improves the immune system. It also helps in weight loss, ward off high blood pressure, heart diseases and helps the body to get rid of toxins.

Many people say it helps prevent hair loss too.

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What’s it made of?

Yeast, sugar and black tea are the basic ingredients of this popular beverage. The mixture is set aside for more than a week for bacteria and acids to develop in it. This process is known as fermentation. The amount of time a batch is left to ferment determines the taste of the drink which can be sweet and vinegary.

Where did it originate?

Kombucha is believed to have originated in Manchuria, China where the drink is traditionally consumed and then it spread to Japan and Russia. It became highly popular in Europe during the 20th century. It is now brewed globally, and also bottled and sold commercially by several companies.

Risks and precautions

The process of making Kombucha involves letting bacteria grow in a liquid which one is going to drink, hence, one needs to be careful. Some of the bacteria are considered probiotics, which means they are good for health, but if care is not taken the brew can grow harmful bacteria also.

Since the mid-1990s, several cases of illness linked to Kombucha were reported. Liver problems, lactic acidosis, allergic reactions and nausea are some of the ailments reportedly caused by it. Hence, some research groups have advised against drinking it, considering the risks involved.

However, the FDA says kombucha is safe to consume when properly prepared. If one is making it at home, experts recommend using glass, stainless steel, or plastic containers. Further, one should keep everything clean, including the equipment and hands.

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Saumya Tiwari is an intern with SheThePeole.TV

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