michelle@thegoodhealthshop.co.za
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11 years ago when I started The Good Health Shop, kefir was a swear word and kobucha wasn’t even a word! Thanks, in part to The Banting Diet proponents, and in part to the resurgence of Ancient Wisdom, these fermented drinks are making a comeback! In this blog I’ll attempt to answer all the questions we get asked on a daily basis…

What is Kombucha? Kombucha is drink made by fermenting a tea of your choice with sugar via the introduction of a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. A SCOBY colony or culture may be referred to as a mushroom or a mother. Making kefir, kombucha or kimchi requires a starter for the fermentation process. Kefir starters look a bit like cauliflower, but kombucha scobys look like mad science experiments gone haywire). Kombucha has an unusually high concentrate of beneficial microbes which are essential in assisting our bodies with healing, detoxing and functioning more efficiently, even optimally.

There are comprehensive scientific journals confirming the importance of probiotics, amino acids and polyphenols to justify consuming Kombucha regularly and safely to boost the immune system. These highly effective anti-pathogens are evident when consumed by candida sufferers; having yeast infections and consuming Kombucha may cause a detox reaction when the candida is destroyed. This is evidence of the dramatic and severe “die-off” of yeast infections and not a side effect of Kombucha itself but proof that candida has been destroyed dramatically.

Kombucha may cause some other toxins to be eradicated in various forms, hence it is always advisable to introduce Kombucha to your diet in small amounts until you are accustomed to the high concentration of cultures.

What is Kefir? Milk Kefir, the most popular of all the drinking ferments, is a fermented milk drink made with a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter of kefir ‘grains’, that originated in Russia. It is prepared by inoculating milk with kefir grains. (Wikipedia). Milk kefir is The Easiest Ferment to do at home, providing a cultured yoghurt-like drink every single day. Kefir grains are perpetuating – they grow and grow until there’s enough to share with all your friends. Kefir can be made from drinking yoghurt into a thicker eating yoghurt, and even a soft cheese. Over-fermented kefir is great with a little pepper and garlic in a baked potato

Water Kefir is the gentlest ferment and perfect for beginners’ tummies.  Made with sugar and water, the grains are slower to create a ferment and the result is mild tasting and gentle on the tummy.  Water kefir grains are a different variant to milk and they are not interchangeable.  A 2nd ferment allows for the introduction of fruit to flavour and create a fizz; this makes water kefir and kombucha healthy alternatives to gassy, sugared coldrinks.

We sell Kefir Starter Packs, milk and water variants (when available), and we have a SCOBY hotel here at as well. Kefir is a dairy product, while Water Kefir and kombucha are vegan, but all of them have dozens of strains of beneficial bacteria, including Saccharomyces Boulardii. Grains and sobys grow with every batch of product you make.