We’ve all heard about how good kombucha is for you but do you know why? On top of all the health benefits that are posted all over the internet, Eastern Dietary Therapy has a few things of its own that you should know about. We went to Urban Farm Fermentory (UFF) to taste their offerings of kombucha after a full day of seeing patients at Cape Chiropractic and Acupuncture.
One of the (numerous) great things about UFF is that they forage as many of their ingredients as they locally can and their flavors change seasonally. It’s like they have already taken a lesson in Eastern Dietary Therapy! They offer craft authentic kombucha, jun, cider, gruit, and mead at their tasting room in Portland, Maine. While you’re there, make sure you ask lots of questions, everyone there is super informative and friendly. For those of you who are saying, “What the heck is kombucha?”, check out UFF’s awesome description on their website and keep reading for our Eastern Dietary Therapy fun facts.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. The earliest record of its use dates back to China’s Qin Dynasty (220BC) where it was given names such as “The Tea of Immortality”. It was later brought to Russia and Europe by travelers in the 20th century when it started to re-emerge in popularity after a disappearance during the sugar and tea rationing of World War II. Kombucha drinkers report many benefits including increased energy, immunity to colds and flus and excellent digestion. Why is that? Well, here are some Eastern Dietary Therapy tid bits about kombucha…
Kombucha Improves Digestion
Kombucha supports the proper functioning of the Stomach and Spleen systems. The stomach’s job is to break down food. The Spleen’s job is to extract nutrients from the food to support the production of blood. When the Spleen system is “vacuous” there are often sugar cravings. Fermented foods, including kombucha, actually work to reduce sugar cravings. Raw kombucha has probiotic containing live bacterial cultures which support the breakdown of food. Being warming in nature, kombucha helps the Spleen system which prefers Yang (warming) food and drink. When the energy of the Stomach and Spleen improves, the side-effect is better immunity and better digestion.
Kombucha Improves Stomach Acid and Absorption of Nutrients
While the body does need alkaline reserves, some areas of the body do need to be acidic to do their job. One such is the stomach lining. If Stomach acid is weak, which happens quite frequently in our society because of adrenal fatigue – the fight or flight response will shut down digestion the result is poor absorption of nutrients causing malnutrition. It’s not just what you eat, it’s what you absorb. Kombucha has been found to contain seven plant acids as well as a number of B vitamins, vitamin C, enzymes and amino acids. These plant acids increase the acidity of your stomach lining which gives your stomach the ability to break down food. The improved Spleen and Stomach function from this drink results in improved athletic performance (the Spleen governs muscle tissue in TCM) as well as mental ability (the Spleen governs the intellect in TCM). Happy spleen = happy life.
Kombucha Detoxes the Liver
One of the main patterns we see in practice is a pattern called “Liver Qi Stagnation”. This means that the Liver energy is blocked, most often due to emotional stress and/or poor eating habits. Kombucha is the perfect remedy for the Liver system. TCM considers kombucha to be sour, bitter and warming. The sour flavor in Eastern Dietary Therapy is used to cleanse the Liver and Gall Baldder. Kombucha’s bitter properties mean that it has the ability to improve circulation, reduce inflammation and clear toxins from the body.
Kombucha Resolves Dampness and Phlegm
Dampness and phlegm are TCM terms used to describe a Yin pathogen that shows up as discharges such as excessive vaginal discharge (leukorrhea), excessive nasal mucous (rhinitis), productive cough, edema, and excess body fat. When pathogenic dampness has been in the body for too long, it becomes hardened by the natural heat of the body and becomes phlegm which appears as hardened nodules, lumps or tumors. Dampness and phlegm produce stagnation in the body. Kombucha, which has similar properties to vinegar in TCM, is used to remove stagnation by moving Qi and Blood. If you’re having a hard time wrapping your mind around the term “Qi” just know that wherever there is blood, there is Qi.
*Please note: If you are pregnant, are a child, have a compromised immune system, or have kidney disease, it may be advisable to talk with your health care practitioner before beginning to drink kombucha.
The Kombucha at UFF is 1.5% ABV.