The Weston A. Price Way

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kombucha! (Part 2) 'The Elixir of Life': Evidences of Better Health

I like mine 'on the rocks'.
This is quite a fun post for me. I love sharing good news and some of the things I hear about Kombucha just sit there in my brain waiting to be retold. Before telling you, however, I wanted to be sure to have my facts straight, so I re-read the areas dealing with this subject in my Nourishing Traditions 'handbook' and at The Happy Herbalist

In Russia, cancer increased drastically after WWII. There were two districts in the Perm region that grabbed the attention of researchers intending to find the reason for the increase. The districts of Solikansk, and Berenski had hardly any cancer and of those suffering from it there, most were non-natives having moved there recently.

Researchers, divided between the two districts, found no environmental differences that would make the region better than the rest of the Soviet. In fact, even fish and trees were dying. Mines contributing to local pollution were abundant, including potassium, lead, mercury and asbestos mines.

After extensive research into and analysis of the private lives of the people in these areas, there were still no answers. Scientists scratched their heads over all the likenesses and yet, differences between the people of these districts and those of Russia in general. For instance, they drank equivalent amounts of vodka...yet those of this area didn't have problems associated with drunkenness, such as public drunkenness or  poor work records, as the rest of Russia had. And as already sited, the cancer-causing elements were there, but not the cancer.

By 'chance', a doctor from one of the teams, Dr. Molodyev, visited the home of one of the families being studied in Solikamsk. It was a summer day and the only one home was an elderly woman who offered him a cool beverage. Within the same time range, a Dr. Grigoiev was in the other district, Berinski, and came across yet another 'family' beverage, kvass. (We'll get into that later.)

(Somewhere in there, was the beginning of a "Eureka!" moment...)

Soon, it was discovered that the one thing alike in every home in these nearly cancer-free districts was a crock of continually fermenting kombucha or kvass.

The above information was originally given by Tom Valentine, Search for Health and is a side bar reprint in Nourishing Traditions.

An excerpt from the chapter in Nourishing Traditions, Feeding Babies: "Beet kvass and kombucha, with their liver-supporting properties, are useful in preventing future morning sickness-as are foods rich in vitamin B6..."

And another side bar excerpt from Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions and founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation:
" More importantly, kombucha is the cure for a hot day--it tastes delicious and refreshing, a fizzy, dark colored, energizing beverage, at the same time acidic and slightly sweet, this gift to the world from the Ural mountain region of Russia qualifies as the soft drink of the twenty-first century, the answer to the scourge of cola drinks that now wreaks havoc with the health of Western populations."

And more from Tom Valentine:
"The Soviet experience is part of the large body of documentary evidence that the beverage made from kombucha fermentation of tea and sugar is, indeed, a dramatic immune system booster and body detoxifier."

In traditional Chinese medicine, kombucha was called the 'Tea of Immortality' , 'The Elixir of Life', and the 'Immortal Health Elixir'. The Happy Herbalist reports that around the world, kombucha is known by many names: "Kombuchal, Berbstoffe, Combucha, Kum-Cha, Fungus japonicas, Fungojapon, Indo-Japanese tea fungus, Pichea fermentans, Cembuya orientalis, Combuchu, Tschambucco, Volga spring, Mo-Gu, Champignon de longue vie, Tea kvas, Teakwass, Kwassan, Kargasok, Kocha kinoko...Manchurian Mushroom and Tibetan Mushroom..." Chances are, that's only the tip of the iceberg, and as you peruse the Happy Herbalist pages on Kombucha, you will find the kombucha SCOBY, (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast), comes in varying types and there, you may choose from several.

Even though I am not yet writing about how to make kombucha, please hear me when I tell you this: Regardless of what you may find on other sites to awe and overwhelm you, making kombucha tea is NOT rocket science. Anyone can do it and there is no need to purchase a heating element or many of the other 'must haves' the obsessive-compulsive kombucha brewer may say are imperative. I will tell you the imperatives, I promise. And I will even tell you some ways to get creative with it. But if you want the "techie- frills", check elsewhere. I've been doing this so long I don't even remember what they all are.

*THIS EXCERPT, written by Tom Valentine, is the BEST overall information I have found about kombucha. I am adding it to all my kombucha posts.

Next Post: HOW TO DO IT!

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