Ch'a the health drink

29/04/2019
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Kombucha is an ancient fermented health drink that takes care of your gut health. Cha' is a hand brewed original Kombucha- a health drink

  1. Ch'a -the health drink

“Microbes in our gut outnumber the cells in our body by more than 3 to 1. We’d better make peace with them” says Prof David Ludwig. The gut has both the good and the bad bacteria. The balance is delicate and is never perfect. Alterations in the ‘gut barrier’ and ‘gut microbiota’ is the cause for several diseases. 
As a nutritionist- I am on a constant search of new, local, age old foods and products that have preventive and curative properties. In my search for gut friendly foods I bumped into Kombucha an age-old fermented tea beverage. 

The origin: 
 ‘Kombucha’ is reported to have originated in north east China 220BC- disseminated to Japan in 414 A.D. as a medicine and spread through trade routes to Russia and eastern Europe. Although, an ancient beverage it is becoming popular world over and also in India. 

What is Ch'a?
Cha’ is the tasty and healthy brand of Kombucha- hand brewed made in Pune by ‘The Chef’s Story. Cha’ is the original Kombucha with a lingering taste, hand brewed refreshing drink for hot summers and also other seasons. In my opinion, it is a nutritious gut friendly health drink and a good substitute for all those chemically laden soft drinks. 

How is Ch'a made?
Cha’ i.e. Kombucha is a beverage made by fermenting tea (black tea or sometimes green and oolong tea) and sugar with a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) usually for 7 to 10days. 

What it contains? 
Cha’ has the right blend of yeast species, fungi, and acetic acid bacteria that help to prevent and heal ailments. It has many other beneficial components-  sugars, tea polyphenols, organic food acids, fibre, ethanol, amino acids- lysine, essential elements like copper, iron, manganese, zinc, and nickel, water soluble vitamins- vitamin C, B12, biotin, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, carbon dioxide, antibiotic substances and hydrolytic enzymes and also caffeine. 

What are its health benefits? 
Cha’ has many health benefits. Most of the health benefits are related to the healthy microbiome it helps to create in the body, the antioxidant nutrients, B complex vitamins, essential minerals present in Kombucha. 
Kombucha is a potent probiotic- it aids digestion, lowers inflammation, cures gut ulcers, stops candida and is effective to treat irritable bowel disease. The body’s immune system resides in the gut. The microbiome in Cha’ helps to strengthen the immune system. The antioxidants present reduce inflammation, detoxify the body and can potentially reduce the risk of cancers. Kombucha helps to protect the liver from oxidative stress and damage induced by chemicals. 

Are there any potential health risks? 
Kombucha contains small amounts of alcohol-0.4 to 0.8%. Ch’a maintains this alcohol level at 0.4% to keep it to minimum.  Kombucha should not be consumed by pregnant women and people with detected renal, pulmonary and liver disease. Since, it contains sugar hence should be consumed in restricted amounts by diabetics. The research on the potential health risks, the dose to be consumed is very limited and needs to explored further. 

Take home message: 
Cha- kombucha an ancient fermented health drink with several health benefits is now available. If you are looking for a health drink that scavenges toxins, oxidative stress and heals the gut, Kombucha is the choice for you. 
Source
  1. 1. Jayabalan, R., Malbaša, R. V., Lončar, E. S., Vitas, J. S., & Sathishkumar, M. (2014). A review on kombucha tea—microbiology, composition, fermentation, beneficial effects, toxicity, and tea fungus. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety13(4), 538-550

2.   Kapp, J. M., & Sumner, W. (2019). Kombucha: A systematic review of the empirical evidence of human health benefit. Annals of epidemiology30, 66-70.

3.     https://www.kombu-cha.com

Geetanjali Bhide, Msc- PhD is a reputed sports nutritionist, author, academician, and researcher.www.geetanjalibhide.com