What is Kombucha?


My friend was talking about a drink that was helping him detox and how much better he was feeling.  He showed me this stuff that looked like Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother in it. It looked slimy and unappetizing.  Then I saw the SCOBY and I almost grossed out.  I was just beginning to learn about the natural health road that I was going to be following so I tried it.

That was over 20 years ago and I have loved the stuff ever since!

Its flavor is like ACV if you allow it to ferment longer than two weeks.  Before that it is kind of like apple juice with a zing.  And the results are wonderful.  I will explain but if I miss anything please let me know.

SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.  Kombucha and Kefir both have SCOBYs and both are extremely good for your body. But I am talking about Kombucha today.

Kombucha was discovered in Russia.  The people in a couple of the districts drank the same amount of vodka and the foods as other villages but there were no cancer or liver failures.  There was neither as much social drunkenness nor poor work records. The KGB researched this.  One of the agents was offered a drink of Kombucha and in another home one was offered Kvass (made from fermenting beets).  Most every home in these districts had one or the other always brewing and available.

There is a large amount of glucuronic acid Kombucha.  This acid is what a healthy human liver produces in abundance.  This acid binds up poisons and toxins, cleaning the blood and boosting the immune system.  I think that drinking this on a regular basis is what has been part of why I am so healthy and vital.

A while back one of my favorite milking does became sick.  She quit eating, lost her hair in big patches and was so weak that if one of the other does bumped her she would lose her balance.  This is one time I took an animal to the vet and had tests done on her.  When the blood work came back I was informed that she had massive liver failure.  The bilirubin in her blood was extremely high.  Normal is in the mid-teens.  Hers was 187.  I was told there was nothing to do except to put her down.

Well, I am not one to take defeat easily.  So I offered this goat some Kombucha.  She liked it so much that she buried her nose in the brew up to her eyes and drank and drank and drank.  I offered her the SCOBY and she ate it.  I also offered her milk.  This goat is the only one that ever drank milk and she drank it like she drank the Kombucha……with her nose buried to her eyes.  Every milking time, I gave her Kombucha and milk.  Soon she was eating again.  This goat that was not supposed to live for more than a few weeks became healthy and vibrant for another 2 years.

Kombucha is becoming a fad now.  You can get it everywhere.  Even big chain stores carry it.  But nothing compares to making it myself.  I spend a lot less money on supplies and can make whatever variation that pleases me this week.  Well……..next week.  It takes 2 weeks to brew properly.  I have started putting chi seeds into some of my bottles.  I have tried adding juice concentrates for different flavors.  But I still prefer the basic Kombucha.

My kids come home and ask for it.  If it is not bottled, they pour it right from the gallon container……and as I watch, they might empty it.  I feed my extra SCOBYs to my chickens, pigs, and goats.  I have yet to have an animal turn one down.

(Hummmmm……..I need to get one to the calf.  He is still not on top of his game.)

The basic recipe is this.

1 gallon water, boiling

Dash of salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

5 tea bags (black or green)

Cool to lukewarm.  Pour into a gallon jar and put a SCOBY on top.  Cover with a cloth and keep in a warm place for 2 weeks.  Another SCOBY will have been made.  I have just taken the SCOBY out and put the whole container in the fridge, but now I am straining it into bottles for easier storage and drinking.



Always store your SCOBY in glass and/or make more.  It is normally a light tan color so when it becomes dark brown I stop reusing it and feed it to my animals.

Take the time to read up on what Kombucha can do for you.  It is well worth the time.  And then make some.  If you would like a start, sign up for my mailing list and as soon as I can, I will privately message you for your address and send you one.  First come, first served.

For those who have made Kombucha, what results have you seen in drinking this brew?

About Janolyn

I am a mother of 5 wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 girl. During the years that my children were growing up, we grew most of our own food with a vegetable garden, many fruit trees and berry patches. I grew flowers for joy. We milked goats and raised our own meats and eggs. I learned to make my own cheeses, butter, canned foods, sourdough, and fermented foods. I made our own health products like soap, hand creams, lip balm, and herbal tinctures. We live off the power grid and have learned to do without conveniences that most Americans consider essential. The land clearing and building has been mostly accomplished with hand tools; some of them even the right tool for the job. After a couple of miscarriages between #2 and #3 due to “standard medical procedures”, I consulted a midwife and my last 3 children were born safely at home. That was when I was first alerted to the fact that doctors did not know everything nor would they have the time to share it with their patients if they did. As I learned the basic principles of heath-through-nutrition from my midwife, I learned alternative gardening practices from her husband. That introduction started a lifelong love of learning the practical life of our ancestors. I want to share what I have been learning with you and learn from those who are also living a sustainable life.


What is Kombucha? — 6 Comments

  1. My mother gave me a jar of Kombucha last week, and I still have it sitting on my counter. I can’t get my mind wrapped around it to drink it. Still not able to get past the fermented smell and the looks of the jellyfied creature she had floating in it.

    Is there anything I can use it for besides drinking it?

    • Hello Coleen,
      I had the same problem when I got my first jar of Kombucha. As long as it is not over about 2 weeks old, it still has some sweet to it. Put it in the refrigerator and get it nice and cold then add it to some juice to get started. You could also put it to smoothies.

      Good luck. I hope you like it.

    • Hello Colleen,
      Try buying some from the store. It looks a lot more familiar being “packaged” so maybe you can get past the idea and get it’s benefits.

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