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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 flavor. 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, 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 traveling 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, Canada.

Speaking of traveling 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 (where Remedy was founded) from Germany by travelers 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.


New Research On The Benefits Of Kombucha And Other Fermented Food And Drink

We love to sing the praises of fermented foods and drinks around here, but did you know that traditionally fermented food/drink is also a hot topic in the science world right about now? Yes, siree. Researchers have been studying the link between consuming fermented foods and drinks (including kombucha) and the potential positive effect it has on overall gut health.

The New York Times (aka the big dogs) recently covered findings from a study carried out by researchers from Stanford University which were published in the scientific journal The Cell, that shows us fermenting-nerds are onto something, revealing that “foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha increased the diversity of gut microbes and led to lower levels of inflammation”.

You can read the full article here but for those who need the TLDR version, we’ve put together our own little summary below:

WHAT DID THE SCIENTISTS WANNA KNOW?
They wanted to see what changes happen in our gut when we amp up our intake of fermented foods versus how our gut reacts to a diet fuller in fibre-rich foods.

HOW DID THEY GO ABOUT IT?
The researchers recruited 36 healthy adults who were randomly split into two groups. One went from having almost no fermented food or drink in their diet to eating about six servings a day (let’s call them our Fermented Friends). The other group had their usual fibre intake doubled (we’ve dubbed them the Fibre Fans).

SO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?
At the end of the 10-week study, our Fermented Friends showed marked reductions in inflammatory markers along with increased diversity in their gut microbes. The Fibre Fans on the other hand, did not show either of these things.

WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT THIS ANYWAY? 
Basically, our Fermented Friends showed a reduction in certain inflammatory compounds that are often elevated in people living with diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Fibre Fans however did not show a similar decrease in the same compounds. But why should you care?      

Because the reduction in our fermented friends’ inflammatory markers corresponded to a change in their gut; consuming more fermented food and drinks meant a greater number and a much wider variety of microbial species started blooming!

More diverse gut microbiome = lower rates of Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and obesity (boo ya!). 

HANG ON, IS FIBRE NO GOOD?
Have no fear! High-fibre foods are still A-OK! Health professionals still agree that getting a good amount of fibre in your diet has a world of benefits including reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases and helping to keep you regular (TMI we know).  

But wait, there’s more. The article revealed that it might be the case that Fibre Fans with “low microbiome diversity may have lacked the right microbes to digest all the fibre they consumed”. This is because those who started out with higher levels of gut diversity showed a reduction in inflammation whereas those who had low diversity experienced increased inflammation in line with their fibre increase. 

We’re no scientists but it looks like researchers are speculating that increasing your intake of fermented foods (which can increase gut diversity) may actually help you to better digest fibre. Our fermented friends and fibre fans can finally come together (New BFFS!?).

*PSSST WHAT EVEN ARE FERMENTED FOOD & DRINKS?
Asking for a friend. No judgement here. Fermented foods are those that have undergone a process where a bacteria or yeast break down certain components of a food to produce live microorganisms and other by-products such as healthy organic and lactic acids and vitamins… along with delicious flavours. Kombucha happens to be one of these.  

SO HOW MUCH FERMENTED GOODNESS SHOULD I BE EATING & DRINKING?
OK. We’ll admit. The scientists got a little fermentation-happy with this one. Participants went from consuming no fermented products to 6 servings a day (but it’s not as much as it sounds like, we swear).

Their sample diet of 6 servings:

Breakfast: One cup of yogurt for breakfast

Lunch: 475ml bottle of kombucha

Dinner: 1 cup of kimchi

Remedy’s Sample Diet:

Breakfast: Remedy Ginger Lemon Booch to start the day

Lunch: Remedy Raspberry Lemonade Kombucha to wash the food down

Afternoon tea: Remedy Cola kombucha for the 3pm pick me up

Dinner: a sprinkle of kimchi (and maybe another Remedy)

Just joking (sort of)! But seriously, everyone is different so the amount of kombucha and other fermented products you wish to consume is totally up to you and how it makes you feel, but the insight from this new research certainly suggests getting a good range of traditionally fermented foods and drinks into your diet can only be a good thing. At Remedy HQ some of us are guilty of drinking up to 5 Remedies a day and as it turns out, this study showed us that our addiction is totally acceptable (take that Mum), especially if we throw a little yoghurt on our fruit salad and some sauerkraut on our sanger.

How do you know Remedy is the real deal?
Aside from the fact that we’ve self-claimed the title of kombucha connoisseurs, we’re also committed to making it right. We pride ourselves on being the real deal – brewing our kombucha the same way it has been for thousands of years. We’re talking small-batch, 30-day long-aged brews starting with a descendent of the very first batch our founders Sarah and Emmet made on their kitchen counter. You can rest assured knowing you’re getting a kombucha that is chock-full of live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants (and you won’t have to carry a jar of kimchi everywhere). Click here to find out more about how we make our kombucha the old school way.

How many live cultures exactly you ask?
Our drinks sit at a mighty minimum of 100 million live cultures per 100ml of Remedy (for real!), we’re raw, unpasteurised and contain no nasties – all naturale baby! How do we know our live cultures are swimming? Because we test every batch to make sure of it!


What's The Best Time to Drink a Remedy?

It's come to our attention at Remedy HQ that Remedy fans everywhere struggle to know when they are supposed to drink it. So, as self-proclaimed fermented beverage connoisseurs, we have climbed over mountains and sailed across seas to bring you the truth and finally answered the age-old question of when you should drink your bottle (or can) of Remedy!

And you know what? It would be easier to answer "when can't you drink it?!" and friends, the answer to that is never. It's always a good time to reach for a Remedy!

Our Remedy Kombucha doesn't have much caffeine compared to coffee (a wee 10mg per 100ml) and unlike our arch-nemesis - the soft drink - Remedy contains no sugar, for real. Instead of giving you that quick burst of energy followed by a sudden crash (we're looking at you, work birthday cake), Remedy Kombucha provides an all-natural pick me up. As for Remedy Switchel? It contains no caffeine at all. Hence why Remedy lovers are poppin' bottles and cracking cans at all hours of the day.

To offer some consolation for the uncertain sippers, we have compiled the ultimate list to guide you through which of our flavours have the right tannins and finish (fancy, right?) to complement each time of the day or special occasion.

 

Breakfast

Blood Orange Switchel. Cliché, we know, but you'll thank us when you can stop dry retching at the thought of downing a shot of straight apple cider vinegar and swap it out for a Switchel. The fiery ginger and fresh citrusy goodness can help to assist with digestion.

 

Morning tea

Raspberry Lemonade. Lip-smacking goodness — the perfect companion for a morning tea that calls for something a little fancier than the breakroom cookie jar.

 

Lunch

Ginger & Lemon. Best for those days when you forget to organise lunch and end up at the local sushi shop. It's hot and sour, fiery and tangy and adds oomph to even the simplest of lunches.

 

3 PM slump

Cherry Plum. We know you want to reach for a chocolate bar and the most caffeinated drink you can find, but you know you'll end up in a world of regret as you crash 30 minutes after. Instead, have a Cherry Plum Kombucha. It has all that flavour you're craving without the BS (sugar, chemicals, you know the guys).

 

Girls night/boys night

Wild Berry. The name says it all. Treat yourself and your tastebuds to this three-berry sensation. Throw in some gin, mint and fresh berries to really please the crowd.

 

Dinner with friends

Mango Passion. Still lots of passion but brewed with the euphoric feeling you get when tucking into a mango, this one is best shared around the table with friends.

 

All-nighter at work

Peach. It's fruity and sweet and will make you daydream about sitting on the beach with a Bellini in hand. Then you will remember that your job funds those Bellini's and kick back into gear.