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Kombucha Tea (Video Library)

"Mutual assistance enriches even the poor."
~ Chinese Proverb

This post is a video compilation of the history, health benefits, and preparation methods of the fermented beverage known as Kombucha Tea. As you proceed through this post, you will begin to see the diverse opinions about the origins, nutritional profile, and preparation methods of Kombucha Tea. However, all agree that the tea makes a healthy addition to ones diet provided that simple precautions are taken to prevent contamination from the brewing vessel, utensils, or outside pathogens. I have tried to limit inclusion to those videos which attempt to present traditional methods for brewing the tea. This is the first installment of what may turn into a series of two or three posts on the subject of fermented foods and beverages.

Best of health~
Stillwater

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The Fascination of Kombucha - by Günther W. Frank
“Nowadays we experience a return to healing measures that are close to nature; also remedies and foods of a natural origin - away from industrial packaged products. This may be one of the reasons for the great attractiveness and fascination of the healthful beverage called Kombucha. Communalities of yeasts and bacteria have been used by people, and applied for their well-being, since ancient times in all the world for the creation of health-promoting fermented drinks and foodstuffs.

We read already in the Bible (Ruth 2:14) that the land-owner Boas invited the Moabite Ruth, who later became his wife, during her gleaning of grains: "Come over here and eat some bread and dip your morsel into the vinegar-drink! And she sat down beside the reapers; and he reached her parched corn and she ate and was sufficed and left." This biblical report from around 1000 B.C. not only gives us a hint of their exemplary nutritional habits, although they were modest by our perspective, we see from it also that, even at that time, people prepared beverages with microorganisms of lactic acid and how they served the people for strength and refreshment during the hard work of harvesting.

An ancient, pure relative of these related symbioses of bacteria and yeasts is the tea-fungus called Kombucha. It comes from the area of East Asia and came into Germany via Russia , around the turn of the century. This ancient house-remedy is used more and more also in other countries against all possible defects. The mushroom consists of a gelatinoid and tough mushroom-web membrane in the form of a flat disk. It lives in a nutrient solution of tea and sugar, in which it constantly multiplies through germinating. The fungal disc at first spreads over the entire surface of the tea and then thickens. When one treats the mushroom correctly, it thrives, germinates, and will accompany its owner for life. “ Continued...

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About Kombucha
Kombucha, a fermented beverage with real "Zing" in it - Article by Tom Valentine, at Search for Health Magazine

Kombucha - From the history of medicine in the USSR - A dramatic, behind-the-scenes account of the history of Kombucha Tea in the USSR.
Excerpt:

  • Episode from 1951 to 1953 and how the USA has profited by it since 1983.
  • Background to the breaking off of a promising research project on cancer therapy in the Soviet Union.
  • US President Ronald Reagan cured of cancer with metastases.

(Note: The page font and color are difficult to read. It may be helpful to temporarily copy the text to a word document for easy reading.)

The Kombucha Journal - Günther W. Frank's website

Kombucha - Healthy Beverage and Natural Remedy from the Far East - "Günther's book goes into considerable detail and includes many references. It is an excellent book that is the result of many years of studying Kombucha. I think this book is the original source of much of the current information on Kombucha."

Benefits of Kombucha - "This "Benefits of Kombucha" list was compiled by Bev Ferguson, owner of Kombucha Manna International. These results are from a survey she posted over the Kombucha Mailing List. The Kombucha mailing list is a group of over 600 people from all over the world who share their experiences with Kombucha on a daily basis. These benefits are based on their own experiences."

Kombucha Testimonials - From Günther W. Frank's website

Kombucha Testimonials - From kombuchaamerica.com

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Basic Kombucha - Presented by Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist.
Part 1
Part 2

Kombucha Advanced
Part 1
Part 2

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How To Make Kombucha Tea - Presented by Cherie King.
Part 1 - Ingredients For Kombucha
Part 2 - Making The Tea
Part 3 - Prepping for Brewing
Part 4 - Bottling and Flavoring Kombucha 1 of 2
Part 5 - Bottling and Flavoring Kombucha 2 of 2
Final Result After Bottling & Resting

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My Great Kombucha Movie - “Janine describes how to create Kombucha tea with a SCOBY.”
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

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Judi Harrington’s Kombucha videos - Based on Sally Fallon's instructions for making Kombucha in Nourishing Traditions.
Part 1
Part 2

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Making Kombucha Tea: 1st Workshop -. “Raw Dawg Rory talks Kombucha Tea @ Catch A Healthy Habit Cafe before a post potluck dinner crowd.”
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Making Kombucha Tea: 2nd Workshop - Raw Dawg Rory gives another educational workshop on kombucha tea at Catch A Healthy Habit Cafe.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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Miscellaneous Videos
Kombucha Tea - Tinsley discusses the health benefits of kombucha tea and how it helped with her celiac condition.

Kombucha Experiment: Creating a SCOBY without a Mother - “This is a time lapse video of a Kombucha SCOBY being made from scratch (aka WITHOUT a mother.) The whole video took about 19 days. I snapped one picture every hour. I replenished the tea about halfway through.”

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Related Links
Kombucha Recipes - List of 20 Kombuch recipes showing showing the similarities and differences of opinion about how to make it.

Other Kombucha Websites

The Kombucha Center - "The Kombucha Center, is a reliable informative source of information about Kombucha that describes Kombucha's history, health benefits, how to make it, where to get it and related resources."

Kombucha FAQ

www.HappyHerbalist.com - "Ed Kasper has been a leading advocate of safe and wonderful kombucha since 1997. He has served as a consultant and advisor to several national, regional and local kombucha brewers, including many kombucha brewers online."

Kombucha-Research.com - Michael Roussin’s website. "The Kombucha Consumer Research GroupTM was formed as a research coalition in 1995. It consisted of three Utah business which shared time and financial resources to conduct and compile contemporary research on the topic of Kombucha. This coalition consisted of: Information Resources, LC (Michael Roussin), in conjunction with San Rafael Chemical Services, Inc. and Earth Net Consulting, LC. SRCS is a commercial analytical organic chemistry laboratory and ENC was a commercial environmental microbiology laboratory. Information Resources, LC ("IRLC") was formed specifically to conduct Kombucha research and disseminate that information."

Common Sense Questions for the Lay-Person on the Topic of Kombucha or Manchurian Mushroom Tea - Article by Michael Roussin

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I love it!

How cool that DPers know about and use Kombucha! I have a 2 gallon vat on my kitchen counter that I use... I have also given away a few scobys for others to enjoy... VERY COOL!

I love this stuff. I have 2

I love this stuff. I have 2 gallons alternating every month. SO easy too once you get the routine down.

Bookmarked!

Thanks for putting together such a great thread. I just had some store-bought GT's Gingerade Kombucha a little before finding this.

Just to share an experience, an inflamed tooth had begun to swell my cheek when I went to my favorite supplement store, intuitively picked up a bottle of kombucha, and swished and swallowed about two-thirds of the 16oz. bottle. The swelling subsided surprisingly quick, and the tooth inflammation went away. I finished that bottle and bought two more for the next day. Months later I got a crown with no problem till then.

I've shared that with two folks who had worse dental challenges than I had, and both thanked me for the relief that kombucha helped them with, until they got the repairs needed.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

I just started a new...

culture last weekend. My previous culture died when I was away from home last summer. Store bought KT is pretty pricey but homemade KT is fairy inexpensive. It's nice to have an inexpensive beverage with such a wide range of health benefits.

That's a creative way of using Kombucha for your teeth. I tend to make mine on the vinegary side so it might make my teeth a little sensitive. I've heard of people soaking their feet in it to cure infections or just for general foot care, but I've never tried it myself.

Not an everyday brew, but glad to know better ways to make it

I just followed what made sense, knowing some of its properties. Our gums are used to dealing with many different cultures. This proved itself better than the infection culture, so it won!

Likewise, knowing the qualities and availabilities of products in the market helps make it more accessible to folks who'd never follow the disciplines of making it properly.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

I bought six bottles

of GT's kombucha tea in the last month. I figured it was about time for me to make it again. You're right, not everyone will go ahead and make it on their own, though it's one of the easiest and hardy fermented products to make once one gets the hang of it. Also, it does take some time which I suppose not everyone has.

Bump for kombucha

I am about to start brewing my own.. thanks for a thread that passed the test of time!

T4L

"When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty."

-Thomas Jefferson

KT is easy to make

Mine tastes a lot like Cider when it's done. It has a nice tart effervescence, almost carbonated. I just get some commercial KT and start a scoby with that. I don't know that I'm any healthier, but it's a nice alternative to coke, etc.

Mine tastes a little like peach. Sometimes it tastes like cider.

It tastes different drinking it fresh vs after it has been in the fridge for a while. I also ferment it longer that normal so it isn't too sweet. Since white sugar is used to feed the culture, I want to make sure most of it is used up but without it becoming too vinegary.

I use Choice Organic Teas which has a green tea called "Classic Green". Sometime I mix green and black tea together.

Tea

Sounds very interesting and thank you for your extensive efforts although it might take me a month to get through it all lol

ps. Is this stuff ok for the liver?

I had an Asian doctor and he drank some tea concoction everyday by the mug and later got liver damage and eventually passed away from it.

I do not know if he was a 'boozer' though.

cheers,

donvino

Yea, I tend to...

get carried away with my posts sometimes. lol This actually is a much smaller post that it could have been. I tried to present some basic introductory videos with a few links for those who want to do further research on their own.

Here is an article by the CDC that mentions possible ways in which the kombucha tea could become contaminated. It doesn't say that kt was the culprit but it does state that two people who shared cultures in a town became ill(115 other people in the town had a culture from the same source "but no other cases of unexplained acute illness were reported among these persons"). However, samples of the mushrooms and tea were sent to the FDA and "no known human pathogens or toxin-producing organisms were identified." The article ends by stating that the "Because of the acidity of Kombucha tea, it should not be prepared or stored in containers made from materials such as ceramic or lead crystal, which both contain toxic elements than can leach into the tea."
(Source)

The above article doesn't specifically mention the liver, but I would like to add that people who are extremely toxic(from chemo, drugs, heavy metals, etc.) or who have weakened organs have to be even more careful when they detoxify their bodies. For example, if a person were to start juicing extensively the tissues would start to rapidly release toxins into the bloodstream which the liver would then have to filter out and may become overburdoned if it cannot evacuate it fast enough through one of the elimination channels. Similarily, as kombucha tea is a good detoxifier, it should be taken in small quantities at first with an understanding of any preexisting medical conditions that one may have. In cases like this, it would be best to first check with a doctor knowledgeable in natural medicine.

Here are a couple articles on the same subject.
Does Kombucha have any side effects? - by Günther Frank

Kombucha Mushroom Tea: Cautions & Concerns. Smart Brewing Tips - by Ed Kasper LAc. Acupuncturist, Herbalist, & Homeotoxicologist

I don't believe kombucha is a cure-all, but it seems that, if taken in moderation, it could prove to be a healthy addition to a balanced, nutritious diet -- although it may not work for everybody.

Going to have to try this!

Another excellent post, thank you so much!

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

I figured

after a hard days work on the farm it would be nice to wind down with a healthy, refreshing drink. :)

stillwater, you're a farmer??

stillwater, you're a farmer?? That's awesome! And, hey, look atchu! You were writing health posts back when! LOL. Go, stillwater!!

Speaking about Kombucha tea, raw milk dairy company Organic Pastures sold that tea. I don't know if it sells K tea. It might, but I know OP did sell it. If that dairy doesn't sell it, I think the state government, the California government (an extension of the federal government), got after OP, you know, threatened OP to stop or else, *rawr.* K tea has great health benefits, I've read. I'd like to drink K tea someday.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

No, I'm not a farmer. I just said that

in a general sense because this post kind of goes along with my gardening/farming posts... food preservation, traditional foods, etc...

Regarding KT, I once spoke with the owner of KombuchaAmerica.com and he said the situation in CA started when Lindsay Lohan was arrested because her blood alcohol content was over what she was allowed to have while on probation. She said she had been drinking KT so when it hit the news the KT distributors and stores got worried that the product might be alcoholic. What happens is that KT continues to ferment and produces a little alcohol if the stores don't refrigerate it right away. Also, some producers use too much sugar in their products. Interesting story about Organic Pastures though.

I have a friend that had terrible digestive problems and used to buy digestive enzymes with limited success. I set him up with making his own KT and in a month or two he was completely off his enzymes and his whole outlook was changed. It's only one piece of the puzzle but it's a life changing piece for some.

Lohan, Homemade Sauna, probably the best sauna

Didn't know that Lohan story. Sometimes I wonder if such events are planned to change the consumer landscape, to remove something good from the market. In most cases, probably not. But I wonder.

I'm happy for your friend! You did him a great help, stillwater! When I have time, I want to get into making my own KT and other beneficial drinks and meals. I love learning about health!

Oh, stillwater, something for your health post: full spectrum infrared saunas. I built one for myself. Although the person who created this sauna, Lawrence Wilson, MD, at drlwilson.com, says the sauna produces near infrared heat, I couldn't confirm the percentage of near infrared when I wrote him and talked with him. Because I couldn't confirm it and based on what he said and wrote to me and what I read about the bulbs his sauna uses, I inferred if not near infrared only or mostly, his sauna delivers the spectrum of infrared -- far, middle and near. Wilson recommends three bulbs. I use Sylvania's Havell 250 watt, one of his recommended bulbs. He did speak about this bulb well but said its filament changed, resulting in focused heat instead of wide projected heat, a heat he prefers and thinks very sick people should use rather than the focused heat. What I want to know is Havell's infrared heat distribution: Does it consist of the three kinds of infrared and are they emitted equally or unequally, and if unequal, which heats to what degrees?

From what I've studied, humans generate near infrared heat when working out, moving around, and near is the kind that penetrates the body deepest and easily. But I need to study this issue more because I think we generate the spectrum of infrared, not just one type of it. Whether the sauna produces near mostly or in equal to the other infrareds, at least near is involved. I think it is the most beneficial infrared to life. Close to percentage preference without more research and is what I think bulbs I use is: 33% each infrared type. Based on my research and observations, I'd like 36% near, 32% middle and 32% far.

Having used far infrared sauna for a couple years, I can say this sauna, the advertised near infrared but what I think is full spectrum infrared, has gotten me to sweat more than I did in any other sauna -- far infrared, rocks and wet room. This homemade sauna isn't fancy but it does the job very well and it does it for cheap, real cheap.

Here're methods I used to produce the most sweat in my usual length session, an hour, in my small bathroom while covering the gap below the door to prevent heat escape.

1) By itself and first use, I didn't sweat until 45 minutes into the hour and a half using it. Little sweat, too. Used this method, oh, twice before modifying my method.

2) Next Method: Added spray bottle. Result: a little more sweat and began sweating a little sooner than previous method.

3) Added a small air blowing space heater that has two heat settings, low and high. Turned on to high. Much more sweat and much sooner, sweating at about minute 15.

4) Added shower use before entering room, then turned off shower once I entered bathroom and began session. Shower was to provide condensation because it will heat whether in the air or on body. This method got me sweating in about five minutes. By far, I sweated the most using this method, leaving what I'd estimate to be seven ounces of sweat on the floor below the chair I sit on. After about a half dozen times using this method, my sauna short circuited (read: drew too much electricity) and wouldn't turn on again without short circuiting. Bulbs were fine, though. But I used new wires, the same switch and the same plug. Sauna was up and running again and has been since.

I attribute the short circuiting to condensation seeping onto the small exposed portions of the wires, therefore ruining the wires. Presently, the new wires are "exposed" only where they connect to the terminals instead of an inch beyond them in each of the two directions, the coming and going directions. Also, I changed the wiring's connection from series to what Wilson recommends, to parallel, not that I think series connectivity was the or a reason for the short circuiting. I asked him what problems series connectivity cause. He replied to my question but didn't answer it.

Returning briefly to the latest method, steam. Usually I fill the tub with hot water instead of using the shower. This use provides good amount of steam. I'd say I begin sweating at 10 minutes into a session using this method rather than the shower method which induces sweat at 5 minutes.

So, to recap what I use with the light bulb full spectrum sauna:
1) Spray bottle

2) Space heater used intermittently at my comfort, not continuously.

3) Plugged tub with hot water OR two or three minutes of hot shower. When time isn't important, I use the tub. When I'm racing against the clock, I use the shower. Mostly I use the tub more often than the shower.

Session length: 1 hour.

NOTE: The person whose health is sensitive to heat or is miserable should listen to his or her body especially. Trust yourself, accept what your body is telling you at any time. Do nothing more than what your body tells you. At first, do short sessions and work up to long sessions if desired. Allow heat to escape from the enclosure whether session is in a bathroom or especially in a self-made enclosure.

NOTE II: When wiring, in my rebuilt sauna, my second sauna, I used threaded rather than solid wire at 12 gauge. In neither sauna did I stay with wrapping two wires on any one socket because two 12 gauge wires wrapped around a terminal proved too thick for the screw to clamp down the wires. In my first sauna I used two 10 gauge wires wrapping around the terminals at the switch and all socket terminals. My guess is 10 gauge wires wrapped around any terminal once will do the job. But, again, my present sauna has 12 gauge wires wrapped once around each terminal -- the switch's two terminals and the two terminals on each of the three sockets. I discuss wire gauge because the free instructions on the doctor's website don't mention gauges sizes. That information, however, might be in Wilson's book "Sauna Therapy" which I've read includes sauna construction details and information about body chemistry changes from sauna use. I don't know but I think most of the body chemistry information is calculations and observations from studying his health when he began using his sauna about 12 years ago. A recent book of his is "Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis."

As for me: My hair growth has hastened, skin is firmer, smoother and has fewer blemishes than before using the sauna; finger and toe nails grow fast and nail appearance where a couple toes nails were hardened because they were crammed are returning to normal nail appearance; blood pressure and pulse are near what they should be, low, because I played sports almost daily before dentistry altered my life immensely; all pains are reduced greatly; more urine output; increased blood flow, feels vibrant well after sauna session; blood is less dark when certain areas of the body are pricked to evaluate its color, consistency and outflow which is returning to running out and staying uncoagulated more often than dribbling out and coagulating fast; and cholesterol has fallen about 40 points. All these improvements are since using the sauna, about a month and a half ago three days a week on average, an hour each session.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

I'm drinking some right now.

I'm drinking some right now. So glad you made this post because I wanted to hear from others interested in Kombucha. Its great stuff!

I'd be interested to

hear about other peoples experience with Kombucha after they've been on it for a few weeks, or longer. In the first two batches I used green tea, but in the current batch I have brewing I am using half green and half black tea. It's too early for me to notice any health benefits other than an overall lift in alertness. The strange thing is that when I take it later in the day it seems to help me wind down before I retire for the evening.

I use Lipton tea. Many people

I use Lipton tea. Many people swear that it is the best for Kombucha because they have old plantations that never use pesticides and are completely organic. Some people caution against green tea because it has antitoxin properties that actually are not as conducive to growing the Kombucha bacteria.

I usually always double brew mine. I try different types of juice in my double brew. Anyone else double brewing? What is your favorite blend?

Debbie's picture

What do you mean by "double brew" it?

Interesting info about the Lipton tea, but how do you know it's organic? I don't think it says on the pkg.

Debbie

When you harvest

kombucha after the first fermentation, you take the SCOBY culture out of the tea. You then can seal the tea in bottles for a secondary fermentation. You can add flavoring like pieces of fresh or dried sweet fruit or juice, which also provide a sugar source for the bacteria in the tea to feed on during the secondary fermentation(brew).

Here are a couple videos I copied from the OP. You can search for Cherie King in the main post to watch the rest of her KT videos.

Part 4 - Bottling and Flavoring Kombucha 1 of 2
Part 5 - Bottling and Flavoring Kombucha 2 of 2
Final Result After Bottling & Resting

Debbie's picture

Great - thank you!

*

Debbie

Thanks for the tips...

I read mixed views about green vs. black tea. My culture source said to start with green tea, but I think most of the recent history(100+ yrs.) about it has it being used with black tea. I'll have to give the Lipton tea a try. That's an interesting point you make about the antitoxin properties of green tea.

I'm still working on the basics so I haven't tried double brewing yet.

Debbie's picture

Me too. I've been making it for years. One interesting

thing about it is that it will make you immediately sober if you are drunk.

Debbie

My neighbor makes it

Delicious stuff! And so healing.....and a tiny slight buzz from it too.

Colchester, New London County, Connecticut

One of my clients is a Kombucha maker/seller

http://www.kombucha2000.com

I redesigned his labels and do other graphics for him.

Nice graphics~

The designs give a comfortable look and feel to the bottles.

In the link I posted in the OP about the history of Kombucha in the USSR, there is a reference about Paracelsus fermenting all of his medicinal herbs. Just from my preliminary reading, it appears that the Kombucha culture feed off of the tannins in the black tea and the caffeine in the green tea and produce a host of beneficial byproducts. There seems to be a lot we don't know about the interactions that take place during fermentation.

Makes for interesting reading...

Debbie's picture

Beautiful bottles and labels -

Kombucha is an awesome beverage.

Debbie

Thank you so much!

I have a scoby, but have yet to make my first Kombucha. I appreciate the information. :)