Kombucha & how to pronounce it

Kombucha & how to pronounce itReading a friend’s post today made me want to broach the topic of kombucha.

Many of you are familiar with it but there are a fair number not steeped in this crunchy REAL FOOD world who just said “Kombucha? Um, bless you.”

Don’t worry. We’ll uncover the mysteries of this miracle drink.

I think it best not to rehash information that most bloggers have either touched on or gone in-depth on previously.

Instead, I’m going to make this a linky link post as a reference point for everyone who could use a little more info about this amazing fermented tea.

What is kombucha and how do you pronounce it?

Kombucha is essentially sweet tea fermented with a SCOBY. A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeasts that has been handed down and shared through the generations. It is thought that the SCOBYs we use today are all related and descended from one brewed over 2,000 years ago. It is a Japanese word, and the basic pronunciation is kahm-BOOCH-ah (which is why you’ll hear people calling it ‘booch’).

Jenny at Nourished Kitchen has a wonderfully thorough post on kombucha basics.

[As a reader of this site, you’ve almost certainly heard about the fermented tea with a funny name, Kombucha. Perhaps you’ve brewed it yourself (or still do) or maybe you’ve only ever tried a store bought brand. Even if you’ve never tried it before, allow me to reintroduce you to Kombucha from the beginning and clue you in on a few secrets and tricks…The legend of Kombucha Tea stretches back thousands of years as home brewed beverage, often maintained by the grandmother and passed down through the generations. It is said to have been invented in 220BC for a Chinese Emperor, favored by Genghis Khan…Made from 3 simple ingredients – tea, sugar and water, the SCOBY transforms them into a powerful detoxifying and alkalizing tonic. Moreover, in addition to beneficial bacteria, Kombucha has been specifically shown to aid healthy liver function and detoxification, balance blood sugar and improve digestion…]

Kristen at Food Renegade digs deep to share the health benefits.

[…Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial…Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer. I know 2 people in my immediate circle of friends who have had cancer (pancreatic and breast) and fought it into remission without any chemo or radiation therapy…Next, there’s all the benefits of the glucosamines it contains, such as preventing or treating all forms of arthritis…]

And Patty at Loving Our Guts provided the inspiration that led to the post you are currently reading. Using it as an acute remedy for her family’s ills made me hightail it into the kitchen and pour a drink for Katie and myself. My four year old knows the good stuff!

We’re both feeling unwell from veering too far off our diet lately or a weird bug that has descended on my house, and I completely forgot about adding booch to our healing routine. I also use it for an energy boost and to obliterate sugar cravings.

It works every single time.

Want to brew it yourself? There are 3 ways to do it.

  1. Buy a SCOBY (see sources – affiliate link).
  2. Ask someone who already brews their own kombucha for a SCOBY. You may find somebody local who is happy to part with a SCOBY baby – they multiply every time you brew – or someone willing to send you one for the cost of shipping.
  3. Make one yourself! Fun, frugal, and funky in a good way.

Now that you have your SCOBY, it’s time to brew!

Amy at Real Food Whole Health has a great video on how to make a batch of kombucha. Though it’s commonly brewed in a wide bowl, I use a 1/2 gallon mason jar. I keep it covered with an unbleached coffee filter secured by a rubber band to keep out possible bugs and ick floating in the air and then wrap a towel around it to keep it dark. I love the thick rubber bands that come on certain grocery store veggies like broccoli for my ferments.

If you are ready to go whole hog and want to learn everything you can about kombucha, hit up Google for more information that you could ever hope to keep in your head.

Do you have any kombucha resources that you feel are essential (your own or otherwise)?

This post is part of GAPS Friendly Fridays.


Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

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