Kombucha

English: Mature Kombucha

English: Mature Kombucha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I was in Spain, a woman told me about the many health benefits of a strange tea called Kombucha.  She swore by the stuff, saying that it changed her life.  I was very intrigued.  I never heard of it before, and so I started frothing at the mouth when hearing about this ancient medicine.  (I love all things ancient).

I’m a sucker when it comes to so-called “miracle cures.”  If I was living in the old west and a peddler was selling a special tonic brew outside my door, I would buy the lot of them.

Did you know that B-17 cures cancer?  I’m going to buy the lot of B-17!

Seriously though, B-17 really does cure cancer.  Google it!  The FDA put a ban on it – that’s how you know it works.  Yes, I’m a huge sucker indeed…

So anyways, as soon as I got home from Spain, I went to the health food store and bought a box of Yogi’s Kombucha tea.  I brewed a cup and it tasted delicious.  I felt it working immediately in my stomach.  I went on Amazon to post a review for it (I’m a nerd so I do stuff like that), and read that a tea bag of Kombucha is not really Kombucha at all.  Heating the Kombucha kills all the healthy probiotic enzymes and “how dare Yogi Tea company use misleading information to sell people a fake version of Kombucha.”

Again, I was intrigued.

“Just what kind of tea is this?” I wondered.

And so I googled it and looked for the proper way to brew it, and learn exactly what Kombucha is.

I stumbled upon this website:  http://www.harmonikireland.com/kombucha-tea/

My pupils dilated and my eyes became cartoonish glistening saucers scanning over the list of health benefits:

  • Increasing energy levels and stimulatintg the immune system
  • Preventing or alleviating cancer
  • Kidney problems,
  • Better functioning of liver and gall bladder, stones
  • Migraines
  • Moderation of fluctuating glucose levels in diabetes (with sourer tea)
  • Normalising blood pressure and cholesterol levels ,
  • Softening veins and arteries, Improving circulation
  • Sclerosis
  • Cataracts and formations on the cornea
  • Nervous stomachs, Digestion, Gastro-enteritis,
  • Inflamed large and small intestines
  • Multiple sclerosis, Arthritic and rheumatic pain,
  • General muscular aches and pains
  • Gout (uric acid excreted)
  • Candida (with recolonisation by beneficial yeasts)
  • Skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, tropical ulcers, rashes, boils, warts and fungal infections such as athletes foot (with tea or creamed culture dabbed on skin)
  • Bronchitis, Coughs, Asthma, Sinusitis and phlegm
  • Allergies
  • Menstrual and menopausal problems
  • Disorders of the bowel – its recolonisation with beneficial flora
  • Reduction of oedema and swollen feet/legs
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss (with sourer tea) by stimulating the metabolism – also however normalising the metabolism in the under-weight
  • Chemical sensitivity and exposure to radiation
  • Pesticides
  • Food additives and harmful industrial by-products – by detoxifying the body by excreting (after binding with) waste products such as mercury, lead, etc. from liver and tissues (as glucoronides in urine analysis), including after nicotine/drug use
  • Impotence
  • Insomnia
  • Sensitivity to winter cold and summer heat
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Softening wrinkles/scarring, increasing skin elasticity (it is also a skin humectant or moisture attractant)
  • Better skin tone and colour, Fading of brown spots on hands, Sunspot removal

“I’m sold, you won me.  Let’s brew this shit.”

I went on Amazon and bought a Kombucha starter kit.  Now here I am 9 days later with my newest health craze sitting in my hand.

But I have to be honest here and say that the stuff really freaks me out.  Kombucha is actually a fungus.  It feeds off of sugar and grows like a jelly fish.  The fact that it has “babies,” and is to sit for 7-14 days fermenting into god only know’s what – and I’m supposed to drink it?

When I got home yesterday, this is what my kombucha looked like:

20130816-221857.jpg

It looked like a monster growing tentacles.  It was my very own home-brewed monster that I kept in a pickling jar just like keeping a pickled pig fetus for science experiments.  But aside from that, it was time I tasted the brew.  My parents thought I was nuts.

I grabbed a straw, lifted the veil off my kombucha (an old t-shirt) and with trembling hands, pushed the straw passed the fizzy floating membrane on top so I could get a great big membrane-free swill of the bottom liquid.

And honestly, it tasted good!  I couldn’t believe my taste buds.  This was actually drinkable?

The first thing that popped into my head was a Slurm.  When Fry became addicted to a drink that came directly out of the anus of a slug monster.

It’s one of my favorite episodes.

After the taste-test, I had to stop the brewing process by taking out the floating, birthing “mother” with her translucent skin child and transfer my tea to a glass jar so it can be chilled in the fridge.

That was the most disgusting/frightening part.  The actual handling of the fungus monster.  It felt alive, do you know what I mean?  It felt like a gelatinous slug of human skin about to cohere with my own skin, sucking at my hand with a death grip and devouring my human flesh.  It was slimy, wiggly, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen or felt.  I was to take this mother SCOBY, they call it, and use it to brew my next batch with.

Last night was funny.  I went to Walmart to buy a couple of glass jars for my “tea” and a poor man standing next to me (he was buying bread with loose change) at check-out, asked if I was having a margarita party.

Me – “Nope, I’m brewing a fungus tea.  I might die.”

Three ladies waiting with us in line all turned their heads towards us with their mouths hanging open.  The cashier chuckled.

The poor man starts laughing and showed his missing teeth, “A fungus tea huh?  Ha ha, never heard of that one.”

Me – “It looks so gross.  It looks like a floating tentacle monster.  Just like a jelly fish.”

Poor man – “You better be careful with that stuff.”

Me – “My friend told me it’s really healthy, but I’m scared.  It looks really gross.  I’ve been brewing it for 8 days.”

We were talking, everyone listening in on our conversation.  I get to the register and the cashier wished me good luck with my tea.

Me – “My friend from California drinks it and swears by it.  California people are different from us.”

The cashier nodded her head in complete agreement – “That’s why they’re over there and we’re here.”

We both laugh and I take my bag of jars and head home.  It’s fun harboring resentment for healthy pretty people living in sunshine and eating healthy food all day while cashing out your groceries at Walmart.

I make friends everywhere.

I just finished drinking my first small cup of Kombucha and I can’t get over how good it tastes.  The only ingredients are tea, left-over sugar that the monster didn’t eat, and of course fungus excrement.

Slurm….Yum….

2 Comments

Filed under humor, journal, Strange & Unusual

2 responses to “Kombucha

  1. Jim E

    Melanie, I used to brew kombucha tea years ago. Yep, it is creepy and looks like something that has been in the pond far too long, but you get used to it. The taste is not bad, but after a few months it got kind of hard to take, so I gave up on it. Not sure how much good it did 30 yr old me, but maybe I’ll try it again for 57 yr old me. Let us know if you can tell any results from it!

    • Okay I will. So far it hasn’t done anything. I only drank two glasses of it between yesterday and today and I didn’t feel anything happen in my stomach. I’m not sure if I brewed it long enough. It’s still kind of sweet from the sugar.

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