Kombucha is known for being a great source of probiotics (healthy bacteria) for the intestines… But is it good for you?

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Around the time of our engagement in 2012 JD and I both experienced a horrible rash of pimples on our face – romantic, right? It was almost like we were both experiencing our teenage years again and we just couldn’t seem to get rid of it. I tried so many topical creams, new face washes, changing the linen almost daily et al, to get rid of my rash, but nothing seemed to be making it go away.

That’s when the light bulb went off.

Could it be an internal reason?

We are the type of people to thoroughly research things until we think we have found the cause of the problem. We don’t like leaving things unanswered, so we researched and researched and we found the root of our problem – gut health.

Until then I was a little naive about gut health and digestion. I didn’t really know much about it and I definitely wasn’t aware that my stomach could be affecting me on the outside. I was 22 and had a lot of learning to do. I found out that the digestive system is the cornerstone of our well being. Basically, if our digestive system is in order, we feel great and if it’s not in order, we can end up with impaired immune and nervous systems. Sometimes when you’re feeling fatigue, colds, aches and pains it’s all comes down to your stomach. Furthermore, the quality, quantity, and composition of the bacteria in your gut have enormous influence on your brain too. Sometimes when you’re feeling depressed, anxious or just off this is all coming from the inside too.

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When your gut is in great shape, about 80-85 percent is good bacteria and 15-20 percent is bad bacteria. (Well that’s what I took away from that annoying Inner Health plus ad on TV a few year ago). Your good bacteria and bad bacteria must be in balance for you to be healthy. This may blow your mind, but, there are five hundred species and 3 pounds of bacteria in your gut. Your gut has a lot to do beside digest your food every day. It also has to produce vitamins, help regulate hormones, excrete toxins and produce healing compounds that keep your gut healthy. But if you have too many of the wrong ones like parasites, yeasts or bad bacteria, or not enough of the good ones like lactobacillus or bifidobacteria it can be damaging to your health.

What we found in 2012 was that we had an overgrowth of yeast – Candida. Yes, you can have an internal yeast infection and it’s only too familiar for a number of individuals. Chances are you’ve had one without even knowing. I thought I was really healthy at the time, but even when you think you are healthy, something can knock your gut health off balance and cause havoc in your system.

Things like:

  • Stress
  • Antibiotics
  • Too much sugar (and things that metabolise to sugar like alcohol et al)
  • Not enough fibre
  • Zinc deficiency
  • can all throw your gut health off balance.

At different times we get a yeast overgrowth. We now know how to stop feeding the yeast – we cut out sugar and refined carbohydrates because the suckers love those two things, and we also put back in healthy bacteria with probiotics, healthy food aka gut healing nutrients. We also love drinking kombucha for this. We also use a topical fungal cream called Selsun and this helps to kill the bacteria / yeast on your face. Everything used in conjunction with each other helps get rid of candida.

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Kombucha is a sweet tea which is naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and no harmful yeast. It is a probiotic beverage and is said to have many benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. It’s also noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety.

I am the first person to question “but does this actually work / have those benefits”. I’m not a skeptic or cynic, but I do like to make sure I am not just buying into the latest bullshit / health craze. I like to know that what I am buying has merit and I like to know that I can also pass on my advice without coming across like a crazy person, trying to enforce my beliefs on you.

Kombucha is what the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir”, and it has been around for 2,000 years. There is a lack of scientific evidence when it comes to Kombucha – which was a little bit of a red flag for me, but, through further research I have found that despite this, It’s what happens after being fermented that makes kombucha so beneficial for your health. Kombucha becomes carbonated after it’s fermented and contains b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are tied with the following effects: Improved Digestion, Weight Loss, Increased Energy, Cleansing and Detoxification, Immune Support et al. All you can do with something like this is try something yourself, and see if it adds to, or detracts from your health. For me, I feel like it has added to my health. I feel less bloated and my stomach feels better after meals, which in hand has helped my skin too. #healingfromtheinsideout

I thought I would mention too: It’s got quite a sour taste, but I recently found a brand called Mr Kombucha – a local sydney kombucha maker (this is in no way sponsored) and the taste of theirs, especially the beetroot flavour, turmeric and ginger flavour or the blueberry and mint flavour, isn’t too sour at all compared to other ones I have tried over the last couple of years. I am so obsessed (which you may have seen on my snapchat: @allymayhayward).

Like anything – you should also use caution when drinking or eating things. Always drink or eat things in moderation. Also be wary that everyone reacts to things differently. JD and I have been fine, as have friends of mine, but some sites claimed that “while most people feel benefits from drinking kombucha, some people’s symptoms worsen”. So please, exercise caution and drink small amounts to begin with.

As for the extraordinary health claims (curing cancer and helping HIV) — we’ll just have to wait until researchers test them out. I hope that one day soon there is a definitive answer to the claims about kombucha. Until then, I am still going to continue to drink it because I think it does help my digestion and level of good Vs bad bacteria.

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PS: This is my friend Carly’s batch! She has stared making her own at home, which is really cool!

Disclaimer: This advice is general only and does not replace the advice of your doctor. Please – any one with diagnosed medical conditions should check with a doctor before consuming this or any other type of supplement.

FOR MORE INFO

I found these articles really interesting, so I thought I would pass them on!
http://www.acupuncture.com/herbs/kombucha1.htm
http://wellnessmama.com/23994/kombucha-benefits/

 

What are your thoughts? Have you tried it before?

 

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

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