When I picked up my first bottle of kombucha I must admit that I was confused, skeptical and maybe even a little scared. But being the adventurous health freak that I am, I decided to give it a try and do a little research. I not only discovered my new favorite beverage, but I also learned of the amazing health benefits that accompany the pleasantly fizzy drink.

Kombucha has been around for more than 2,000 years and is referred to by the ancient Chinese as the “Immortal Health Elixir”. If you’re like me, I was sold after hearing those three words. Immortal? Yes please. Health? Love it. Elixir? I don’t know what that is but it sounds like an awesome potion. But if you need a little more convincing, kombucha has a rich history of preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.

Okay, so it’s good for you, but what is it exactly? Kombucha is simply a sweet tea that has been fermented with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a.k.a. a SCOBY or a “mother” culture) as shown in the picture below, and I must admit that it looks absolutely disgusting. The fermentation gives the drink a bubbly, slightly vinegary taste while still maintaining a sweet and delicious flavor. Kombucha is sold in most health food stores and comes in a variety of flavors, from mango to lavender.


Photo by Sarah Haselhorst

One of the main benefits of drinking this ancient health tonic is the probiotics that fermented foods offer your gut. Consuming probiotics aids in digestion and gut health, while fighting off harmful yeast overgrowth, promoting mental clarity and mood stability. Additionally, kombucha is antioxidant rich and helps to detox the body, boost your immune system and increase energy levels.

Some people are skeptical of the health claims made by kombucha enthusiasts like myself. But to tell you the truth, whether or not kombucha truly has all of these benefits doesn’t concern me because drinking it makes me feel like I can conquer the world or run a marathon. And who doesn’t want to feel like that? Regardless, kombucha is a tasty drink that everyone should give at least one chance. 

If you’re still unsure, here are a few things you didn’t know kombucha could do:

Prevent hangovers

It has naturally detoxifying  properties such as gluconic acid that targets the liver.

Use it in a mixed drink

It’s like a sour mix, let’s call it kombucha-rita.

Pair it with food

Anything you can eat with a beer, have with a bottle of kombucha instead. It also helps after a meal to stimulate metabolism and digestion.