Los Angeles: The lowdown on Kombucha
Lately, I've been drinking lots of GT's Kombucha tea, without knowing too much about it except that it's fermented, it quenches my thirst and it tastes good (gingerade and guava goddess are my favorites). It's also supposed to have probiotic and immune-boosting properties. But it's not cheap (about $3.50 a bottle) so it's a yoga indulgence.
With the expense in mind, I considered fermenting my own at home but was a little scared because growing bacteria isn't really my forte. When I picked up the L.A. Times this morning, a very informative article about Kombucha confirmed my concerns. When good bacteria goes bad, home-brewed kombucha can, indeed, make you very sick.
The article also explained that the drink is originally a 2,000 year-old Chinese tonic and even though it's revered in many cultures to have healing properties, there are no human studies to back up the claims. But some lab studies suggest it can kill harmful bacteria, increase immune cell activity and help prevent liver toxicity.
Any Kombucha drinkers out there? Or any one with home-fermenting experience?