Blog

Remedy Kombucha College: The Benefits of Kombucha

Remedy Kombucha College: Lesson #2

The Benefits of Kombucha

'At Remedy, we freakin' LOVE kombucha. To help spread the love, we've created a little kombucha crash course to give everyone else the lowdown on everything there is to love about it!

The benefits of kombucha essentially come down to three key components: live cultures, organic acids, and antioxidants AKA tea polyphenols. Combined, these three powerhouses can help to support our all-important gut health and overall health and wellbeing. But let’s break it down in a little more detail…

LIVE CULTURES
When kombucha is fermented naturally and kept raw and unfiltered as we do at Remedy, it contains healthy, living, good bacteria aka live cultures. Every bottle of Remedy Kombucha contains literally billions of these mighty little microorganisms.

Live cultures can be amazing for gut health. We now know, thanks to the amazing work of scientists around the world, that good gut health is critical to overall health and wellbeing. Research has proven (and continues to explore in more detail) how it affects everything from our digestion to our mood.

Live cultures can improve gut health because they can increase the diversity of your gut flora, or gut microbiota, aka the microorganisms or bugs that live in your gut. They work together as a symbiotic community to get things working as they should and can also prevent the opportunistic growth of bag bugs. So, the more diversity in there, the better things will work!

ORGANIC ACIDS
When brewing Remedy, it’s not just magic that leads to a delicious drink with no sugar, but fermentation science! You see, the live culture is what consumes all the sugar, but in the process, it doesn’t just disappear, it gets converted into healthy organic acids, also known as short-chain fatty acids, the very same kind produced by our own gut bacteria to aid important body processes.

Without getting too technical or scientific, organic acids can help to:

  • Regulate appetite
  • Prevent the overgrowth of bad pathogenic bacteria
  • Provide an energy source for the good bacteria in your gut
  • Stabilise blood sugar levels
  • Regulate cholesterol

The organic acids are what gives Remedy Kombucha that subtle tang and good-for-you-but-still-so-damn-tasty flavour. Watch out for any kombucha or other drink that claims to be fermented without some tang - that's how you know they're brewing it right, and you're getting the goodness of organic acids.

ANTIOXIDANTS
Everyone knows that a cup of green tea is good for you, right? (Just ask your gran). Well, that’s because it’s packed with tea antioxidants, aka polyphenols, which can help your body fight illness.

In kombucha making, the first and very important step at Remedy is to brew a VERY big pot of tea. That’s where these mighty tea polyphenols come in!

Not all kombucha brews will have the same amount of polyphenols. Some tea blends have less or more polyphenols depending on quality, and this can even be impacted by what season the tea was harvested.

Polyphenols also vary on the tea type (i.e green, black, oolong, jasmine or hibiscus). We use a mixture of certified organic green tea for its high polyphenol properties and certified organic black tea for its rich superior taste.

Most importantly, we test every batch of raw tea at Remedy to ensure it meets our high standards of the goods when it comes to polyphenols. We then test each batch of kombucha at the end of fermentation to make sure it meets our top-notch standards for polyphenol goodness.

If you want to check if your kombucha is chock-full of tea polyphenols, pour your brew into a glass. Tea has a brownish background colour, so watch out if you find a kombucha that’s crystal clear.


NATURALLY FREE FROM SUGAR

In addition to the good stuff that IS in Remedy Kombucha, the other benefit comes from what’s NOT in it, and that’s sugar!

While some sugar is in our diets is necessary (and who doesn’t love a little treat now and then), the negative health effects of too much sugar in diets are pretty clear; from really basic and fairly immediate effects like weight gain, through to major risks such as diabetes, heart disease.

The beauty of Remedy is that although sugar goes into the initial brew, it gets eaten up by the live cultures during fermentation to produce those amazing organic acids we keep raving about. Remedy brews out ALL of the sugar, and we test every batch to make sure. 


SO, LET'S RECAP ALL THE GOODNESS IN REMEDY!

  • Live cultures
  • Organic acids
  • Antioxidants
  • No sugar, for real
  • Tick, tick, tick!

Remedy Kombucha College: The History of Kombucha

Remedy Kombucha College: Lesson #1

The History of Kombucha

Forget the fads. While some may have only taken notice of our tasty live-cultured drink when Remedy started popping up in your local supermarket, grocer, cafe, or gym in the last few years, kombucha as a beverage has been around for a loooooong time. We're not just talking pre-social media time when there was no way to snap a pic and show off your booch and acai bowl combo. We're talking BC time, peoples. For REAL old school.

So where did it all start? What's the story? Where does kombucha come from?  Well, here's the thing with those old pre-technology, pre-globalisation days. No one really knows. But there are a few theories that make sense.

Throughout its long and illustrious history, the mighty booch has also been known by some other ripper names, including: Olinka, Tschambucco, Kwassan, Champagne of Life, Kambotscha, Koucha kinoko, Manchurian Mushroom, Mo-Gu, Mother of Vinegar, Mushroom of Charity, Russian Jelly-fish, The Divine Tsche and Mushroom Tea... to name just a few.

Most people believe kombucha originated in China during the Qin Dynasty around 220BC for the Emperor Qinshi Huangdi, which is where the "cha" in the name comes from. As you may know, chá is the Chinese word for tea (yum cha, anyone?). In ancient China, kombucha was called “The Tea of Immortality”. Bold name, huh? Other Chinese names kombucha has been known by include “Sea Treasure”, “Stomach Treasure” (yes, really) and “Sea Mushroom”. Today in China, it goes by the names hongchajun, hongchagu or chameijun.

Believe it or not, the "Kombu" part of the name has nothing to do with kombis and hippies in the 60s who loved kombucha. Instead, the story that makes way more sense is that a Dr. Kombu from Korea introduced the drink to the Japanese Emperor Inyoko in 414 AD.  If you're ever travelling and after a booch fix, don't confuse it with “Seaweed Tea” which is called kombucha in Japan! The Japanese instead call it “kocha kinoko”, which means “red tea mushroom”.

Legend has it that Samurai warriors of ancient Japan carried it as an energy boost for battle. It's even been suggested that the mighty Genghis Khan and his armies were big on the booch.

Thanks to the infamous Silk Road, kombucha soon made its way to Europe, in particular Russia, where it was all the rage.  In Russian, a SCOBY is called čajnyj grib, which means “tea mushroom” and the drink itself is known as "grib" or “tea kvass”.

During World War II, tea and sugar - two important ingredients for kombucha - were rationed in Russia. As a result, the practice was lost in many homes but luckily enough preserved the tradition for it to flourish again in post-war Europe.

The drink soon made its way around the world, growing in particular popularity in the USA and in more recent years, Australia.

Speaking of travelling the world, every batch of our Remedy Kombucha that you enjoy today is a direct descendant from a live kombucha culture (aka SCOBY) brought to Australia from Germany by travellers more than 40 years ago!

Big props to our mates at Kombucha Kamp, an amazing resource and authority on all things kombucha, for much of the wisdom shared here.


4 Simple Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat Healthier This Back To School

Written by Jacqueline Alwill, Remedy Drinks Accredited Nutritionist @brownpapernutrition

As a nutritionist without a doubt, the most frequent question I’m asked by parents is - ‘how do I get my kids to eat healthier?’ And, it usually comes up at the beginning of a school term when we’re all trying to get back into routine and eat a few less of the holiday (aka indulgent and discretionary) foods. I could speak/write for hours on this, it’s my passion to help parents better the health of their children (and hopefully themselves!) but I don’t know many parents with hours to listen! So today, take these 4 simple ways to get your kids eating healthier as they head back to school and hopefully before long, things will click and it won’t be a hard push for you as a parent, but rather just a way of life.

GIVE THEM HEALTHY FOODS WHEN YOU KNOW THEY’LL BE AT THEIR HUNGRIEST
It’s hard to turn down food when you’re hangry - no matter what it is! The hiccup is however that all too often we are unprepared for those moments with healthy food on hand. This year take note of your children’s hungry times and be ready. They’re usually first thing in the morning, immediately after school and just as you’re in the final stages of getting dinner ready.  You’ll know best though. Some ideas.

  1. First thing in the morning - bircher muesli packed with seeds and whole oats the night before so it’s ready to dollop into a bowl the next day. Cut fresh fruit when you get up and have it waiting for them - there’s something about it being cut first thing in the morning that encourages kids to eat it too. Have the healthier options for toast spreads out and ready - all-natural peanut butter and other nut butters, some avocado ready, grab or make a chia jam on the weekend, eat a banana and cinnamon on toast in front of them some time and let them try it too. Make smoothies with some extra veggies (frozen zucchini, baby spinach or frozen cauliflower) for those with little time in the mornings because of sport or you know… a bit of a late sleep in and mad rush out the door?!?
  2. Immediately at school pick up - over it, tired, hangry - have the good stuff at the ready. Try veggie sticks and dips, half an avocado with lemon and salt, chickpea peanut butter balls. And rather than soft drinks or juice boxes go for a bottle of Remedy Jnr. instead. Remedy Jnr. is the newest member to the Remedy fam - a lightly sparkling, live cultured, organic drink in 3 fab flaves - Ace Apple, Tropical Tango and Berry Blast, AND of course it contains NO SUGAR, for real.
  3. Pre-dinner - have steamed veggies, salads, and veggie sticks ready for the munching, that way if they’re too tired at dinner to eat them you know you’ve tucked them in prior!


PUT HEALTHY FOODS AT EYE LEVEL IN THE FRIDGE AND PANTRY
Out of sight out of mind is probably the easiest way to start and then popping the right food in sight is the next step. Create a snack drawer/basket/shelf in the pantry with healthy options for them to grab at eye level.

In our pantry, this includes seaweed snacks, rice crackers and other quick delicious cracker options, muesli bars, toasted fava beans and chickpeas, and popcorn. The same goes in the fridge! Aim for the fridge to have options that are raw but also ready-made for ease of decision making such as dips, smoothies, fresh whole fruit, boiled eggs, cooked edamame/soybeans, felafel and ravioli to heat and eat, baked fruits to have with yoghurt, washed berries visibly ready to eat, and other healthy snacks you’ve made so the kids don’t even have to ask - it’s just there.

ENCOURAGE DIFFERENT WAYS OF LOOKING AT HEALTHY FOODS
Whilst we’d love for kids to simply accept and eat healthier foods, sometimes this just really won’t be the case. And telling them to ‘eat it BECAUSE it’s healthy’ doesn’t necessarily work. Start to reframe how you explain healthy foods to kids.

Try to mix up your approach with :
+ “this food might help you sleep better” (a good one for disrupted/more anxious sleepers),
+ “this drink (*Remedy Jnr)  can help the good bugs in your gut WIN! or “can help your brain think more clearly so you can ace your test!”
+ having some fun with sayings too - we all need it! Try “eat your fruits and eat your veggies, stay super happy and have less wedgies!”

BE THE ROLE MODEL TO THEM
It’s hard for kids to rationalise healthier eating and WHY they should do it if their parents aren’t leading by example. Let’s be honest too - it’s also double standards if you don’t right? So give eating healthier whilst going back to school more purpose and do it not just for your kids, but do it for you too. That’s the beauty of parenthood. In the process of wanting the absolute best in life for our kids, we have the opportunity to shape and create the best life and health for us too.

If you want them to eat fresh veggies as a snack, eat those with them. If you want them to drink kombucha (Remedy of course) instead of soft drink, give up your alcoholic choice, and have one too. If you want them to eat a healthy lunchbox, maybe time to start packing your own.

All HEALTHY food for thought this school year - for your kids AND YOU TOO.


Trialling The Only Shots That Will Leave You Feeling Better The Next Day

When Remedy reached out to me with an offer to trial their new Digestion, Immune+ and Energy shots I said yes without thinking too much about it. Like many people raised on a steady feed of short-form internet content, I've come to worship at the altar of intestinal health. I watch those clear-eyed, dewy-skinned, macro-laden social media gods pile their plates high with kimchi and kale, nodding silently as they preach about gut flora, stabilised blood sugar and over-flowing energy levels.

I believe them.

I believe that their carefully tended tummies hold hidden secrets that could unlock long lives, healthy minds and let’s face it…good looks.

Then I put down my phone and return to my own life of discounted late afternoon pastries and special edition Tim Tams, knowing that my body holds no such secrets. Most of the time I'm just happy if it’s not holding too many biscuit crumbs.

But this range offered a glimpse at a possible new era for me. A chance to jump-start my body and brain while hopefully also avoiding what does low-key seem like a lot of work and kale massaging.

Side note: Isn’t it funny how food and health influencers always manage to cut their overflowing sink of dishes out of frame?

The Remedy range of shots is simple and designed to serve as a selection of convenient boosters to get you across the day.

Immune+ is a little punch of Vitamins A, C, B6 and other goodies. I found myself reaching for it first thing in the morning as a zingy entree to breakfast. It joined the existing army of multivitamins that I employ each day in an effort to fight off the stresses of the modern world without actually changing any of my behaviours to meaningfully combat said stresses.

It was like a considerably tastier green smoothie – except without the problem of having to clean a blender or admit that you’re the kind of person who drinks green smoothies.

Even my boyfriend – who lives his life like Kevin McCallister – took a shine to them, regularly swiping one and devouring it with the enthusiasm of a kid dipping into a lolly bowl.

Usually, about an hour later I’d turn to Energy, which incredibly has managed to replace my usual late morning coffee. That’s no small victory, considering that spot has been held for at least a decade.

Containing 60mg of caffeine from green coffee beans, green tea and ginseng it provided a much-needed kick without the steep ascent and crash that my usual filter subjects me to. It also tasted like berries, which on a warm summer morning felt more appropriate than a boiling hot mug of blackness. Overall, it was all the buzz with none of the jitters.

Finally, we arrive at Digestion (my personal favourite) that’s made up of apple cider vinegar (ACV), lemon juice, a prebiotic, and ginger. This fiery little guy tastes like health in a bottle but is also somehow delicious. You can almost feel the good vibes shining through you as it (pleasantly) tingles down your throat and tummy.

It also came to form a nice little ritual at the end of the day. I’d sip it as a very wholesome aperitif. Not only did it settle my stomach, which as established, often takes a beating. It also provided a mental trick of telling me it was time to wind down my grazing ways. I found myself snacking less late at night as if my stomach and endless appetite had been gently put to bed.

Now I’m a real person, and not a bot trying to sell you supplements on the internet, so I’m not going to say that my brain, body and lower intestines were totally transformed over two weeks of drinking these little guys. But I did feel better!

Starting the day with the Energy and Immunity shots gave me a pleasing amount of pep that, as mentioned, I didn’t later pay for with a caffeine or sugar crash. It was also a relief to know that even when my breakfast didn’t live up to the highest nutritional goals (there’s calcium in cream cheese right?) I was still putting something of value into my system first thing.

The Digestion shot was probably the one that made the biggest difference though. Again, as a lifelong evening snacker, I used to go to bed with a grumbling tummy that sounded as if it was trying to ask me in morse code “why do you do this to us?” But with this little nightcap, all was silent and still.

Overall, I can confidently say these are the least-regrettable shots I’ve ever done! If only every flavourful shooter made you feel this good…