Today we shall look at some recipes for pro-biotic drinks from traditional Indian food culture. Yoghurt or buttermilk plays an important roll in Indian cooking. Bringing richness to a dish and helping to cool down a chillies heat in an entrée.
Yoghurt type drinks, called Lassi, and herbal teas add not only pro-biotics but also the medicinal properties of the herbs added.
Here are three Lassi drinks to get you started:
2 c water
½ c of plain yoghurt of your choice
2 tablespoons of sugar (or to taste)
½ tsp fresh, grated, ginger or ¼ tsp dry ginger
½ tsp ground cardamom
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes. Adjust sugar to taste and dosha. Doshas are part of Ayurvedic medicine system with the goal of keeping the body in correct balance. This lassi is good for all body constitutions and has a heating effect on the body.
2 c water
½ cup cultured yoghurt of your choice
2 tbsp of sugar
1 drop rose water
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes
Good for all body types but especially balancing for pitta dosha types.
This is a great drink for heading off colds and flu’s. It provides inner heat and energy to the body when needed. This is one of my favorite medicinal drinks for taste and easiness in preparation. The jalapeño milk is not as hot as the name sounds. The milk and sugar will mellow out the chillies heat.
People are surprised by the amount of energy it gives!
Start with 2-5 fresh jalapeño chillies
8 oz cultured yoghurt or milk
Raw honey or unprocessed sweeter, to taste
Chop the jalapeños and blend with the milk. Blend for least 5 minutes. The long blend time, ensures the chilies are incorporated and helps to froth the milk. Add sweetener and blend for a few seconds. Adjust the sweetener to taste. Strain and enjoy!
We hope you like these drinks as a change from the common yoghurt smothies here in the USA. Yoghurt style cultures are avalible in our store: store.organic-cultures.com
Drinking Kombucha promotes good health and helps millions of people with its excellent detoxifying and immune-enhancing qualities. There are no known negative reactions from drinking kombu tea, except for improper brewing methods. Its origins are lost in history, but in the earliest records two thousand years ago it was known as ‘the elixir of long life’.
Kombucha is not just a health tonic; it is a complete therapy.
Kombucha has proved itself to be a quite remarkable therapeutic drink, made from sweetened tea into which a Kombucha culture (a symbiosis of bacteria and yeasts) is placed. It can taste similar to apple cider or a refreshing light wine, depending on the fermentation time and type of tea used.
There are at least six million Kombucha brewers world-wide.
Doctors, consultants, and practitioners are now recommending Kombucha to their patients.
The Western World is Becoming Malnourished! It is well recognized that a high percentage of the Western population is getting insufficient nourishment from modern diets and, as a consequence, our health, and that of society as a whole, is suffering. Kombucha is a food rich in vitamins and minerals which are essential to good health. Many doctors believe that supplementary vitamins and minerals are unnecessary, saying that we get sufficient of these in a balanced diet. While that may be true in theory, who gets a really balanced diet now? Much of the food that we purchase, even so-called fresh food, has been grown with chemicals-herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. After this, they are sprayed with even more chemicals to preserve their colour and shelf life.
Many of the fast foods that we eat are processed to the point where most of the beneficial nutrients have disappeared altogether, leaving the meal virtually barren. The nitrogen fertilizers used in commercial agriculture stimulate plant growth too rapidly for the uptake of the trace elements and minerals essential for our bodies, resulting in the food lacking nutritional value. British government studies show that our intake of essential minerals and vitamins has fallen greatly since 1936, before the chemical revolution. The truth is that in the Western world we are malnourished!
As Hazel Courtenay tells: “Over 50,000 chemicals are either being sprayed on fruits, vegetables and grains, or added to our food. Many of these chemicals have now entered the food chain and we are reaping a bitter harvest. Our fruits and vegetables contain substantially less vitamins and minerals than they did 50 years ago, sperm counts are dropping, overuse of antibiotics is causing new resistant strains of bacteria which trigger food poisoning. What is happening today, with the tidal wave of illnesses from heart disease, diabetes, Candida and high blood pressure to asthma and arthritis, is that our bodies are telling us they have had enough. It is imperative that we wake up and educate ourselves and others in ways of protecting ourselves and our planet.” Many people, including doctors and scientists, don’t realize how much our immune systems are vulnerable to the effects of sophisticated forms of pollution.
Blood – Brings Life to the Whole Body
When blood gets too alkaline calcium tends to crystallize out of the blood solution. These crystals are deposited near the joints, causing joint tenderness, arthritis, rheumatism and allergies. Older people’s blood becomes more alkaline, which can affect their circulation, oxygenation and energy. An acidic blood condition can lead to diabetes where fat and protein wastes are not being discharged. Another acidic condition results in adrenal depletion and general exhaustion. Conventionally, blood is thought to be sterile. But through his dark-field microscope research, Professor Gunther Enderlein has shown that it is teeming with microbiological life. Normally these micro-organisms are in a mutually beneficial symbiotic state of balance but, for example, the lowering of the oxygen content of the blood, nutritional deficiency and toxicity may lead to the development of pathogenic microbial flora which can result in disease in other organs of the body. These micro-organisms can travel freely between the blood plasma which surrounds the blood cells, and the interstitial fluid which surrounds the fixed tissue cells of the body. Kombucha is known to have a balancing effect of the pH of the blood which is likely to make it less hospitable to pathogenic bacteria.
Contamination and Toxicity It is important to remember that Kombucha has a home-brewing safety track record of two millennia. Contamination of the culture by molds is not a problem if normal standards of kitchen hygiene are observed and if the ambient temperature of the fermentation is adequate. If it occurs, the culture and brew are disposed of, just as one would a moldy tomato paste. Kombucha tea has its own protection against pathogens, as it contains an antibiotic and, containing acetic acid (vinegar) it is self-protecting. Those who mention toxicity in connection with Kombucha misunderstand the nature of what is called a ‘healing crisis’ – the discomfort experienced with rapid detoxification of the liver. Kombucha is a powerful detoxifier and we always recommend anyone who begins taking Kombucha start with a small amounts to avoid any discomfort, gradually building up to the normal dose of 150 ml (one wineglass) three times a day.
There are also the chemicals added to our food (both in farming and in food processing) that are supposed to make us enjoy them more. These are not friendly chemicals; they destroy the body’s functioning, cause allergic reactions, digestive disorders and pollute our blood – they are poisoning us! In the worst cases, of the common prescribing of powerful drugs like antibiotics, cortisone and steroids, the homeostatic balance of the body is disrupted. Some people who were suffering from the side effects of these drugs believe that Kombucha therapy was in great measure responsible for restoring their metabolic balance and health.
Encouraging Self-Empowerment Kombucha has helped with a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. Some of the most enthusiastic responses we have had to Kombucha have come from those people with difficult long-term illnesses such as arthritis, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, poor circulation, high cholesterol and cancer, and from older people, many of whom doctors have been unable to help. In addition, alarming numbers of young people are developing illnesses resulting from poorly functioning immune systems, such as eczema, acne, allergies, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME), etc.
When Kombucha was widely publicized by the media a few years ago as a trendy new health craze, of the thousands who started to brew many gave up because they were not getting their ‘quick fix’, were not able to make a pleasant tasting drink, or because their culture failed. It is also very helpful to know of the dozens of other applications of Kombucha. For example, Kombucha tea is excellent applied topically, as a compress, or added to the bath, and made into an effective cream that can help to heal leg ulcers and fungal nail infections. Kombucha can also be used in food recipes, with animals, in gardens & around the home. Kombucha tea was known in the East, and found its way across Russia in the 1800s, becoming widely established as an effective folk medicine in many rural communities. In the 1950s, it surfaced dramatically when Soviet doctors discovered whole communities which had apparently been protected from dangerous environmental pollution by a nutritious drink called ‘tea-kwass’ or kombucha tea.
There are some over-sensational claims for kombucha’s benefits as a panacea for all ills, to is not. It is difficult, in a symptom-based medical system, for people not to expect a cure for their specific illness, rather than seek an understanding of the underlying causes of that illness or imbalance. The human body constantly seeks health and balance, but when it has been abused for many years, this balance is compromised. Once brought back to strength through detoxification, improved functioning and an enhanced immune system, the body can initiate its own natural mechanisms for healing.
How Does Kombucha Work? Kombucha is an effective metabolic balancer (helping the various organs work together), probiotic (supporting the beneficial bacteria), adaptogen (balancing processes that get out of kilter) and detoxifier. The probiotic case for Kombucha is that it encourages healthier intestinal flora by introducing lactic acid-producing bacteria. These work in a similar way to acidophilus bacteria, the active ingredient in live yogurt. An old saying, ‘healthy gut, healthy body,’ puts it simply. The acidity level of the gut is all-important, as is the health of its microbial flora which play a crucial role in the functioning of the whole body.
Bacteroides and Bifidobacteria
The bacteria in the intestines can be divided into two main types;
1: The less acid-forming bacteroides are responsible for the decaying matter in the colon; elderly people tend to have more gastric disorders; these stem from a low hydrochloric acid production in the stomach, creating more room for fungi and parasites to take hold; bacteroides are encouraged by a diet high in fats and proteins.
2: The more acidic ones, called bifidobacteria, are more beneficial because they produce essential organic acids, such as acetic, lactic and folic acids, which raise the acidity of the intestines, preventing invading pathogens from taking hold. In addition, by keeping down the bacteroides population, they discourage the putrefaction from becoming toxic. The bifidobacteria are favored by a diet high in carbohydrate, fiber and lactose-vegetarian food and are more common in individuals who were breast-fed as babies. They are also assisted by drinking Kombucha tea.
Kombucha – A Nutritious Food The Kombucha beverage should be regarded principally as a food unusually rich in nutritive properties, rather than just a health drink. As in yogurt, the bacteria are a great source of nutrition, but in addition Kombucha has a wide range of organic acids, vitamins and enzymes that give it its extraordinary value. It contains the range of B vitamins, particularly B1, B2, B6 and B12, that provide the body with energy, help to process fats and proteins, and which are vital for the normal functioning of the nervous system. There is also vitamin C which is a potent detoxifier, immune booster and enhancer of vitality.
Tea and Sugar’s Role in Kombucha
Tea (Camilla sinesis) is very nutritious, especially in its unfermented green or white form. It is high in fluorides and has anti-carcinogenic properties; it provides nitrogen, minerals, vitamins, and other substances essential for nutrition, and promotes the growth of the micro-organisms and the cellular construction of the Kombucha culture. Green tea is also high in vitamin C. Sugar plays an essential part in Kombucha’s brewing process, providing a nutrient solution for the culture, assisting in the feeding and respiration of the micro-organisms, and activating the yeasts. It also gets the fermentation process going. The yeast cells make certain organic acids, vitamins and supplementary yeasts, while the bacteria produce carbonation, ethanol and other organic acids. The bacteria break down the sugars into acetic acid and carbon dioxide.
Kombucha culture has a wide range of organic acids, vitamins and enzymes that give it its extraordinary value. It contains the range of B vitamins, particularly B1, B2, B6 and B12, that provide the body with energy, help to process fats and proteins, and which are vital for the normal functioning of the nervous system. There is also vitamin C which is a potent detoxifier, immune booster and enhancer of vitality Probiotic Organic Acids
There are two organic acids produced by Kombucha culture which encourage the activity of the resident bifidobacteria, thus restoring a healthy balance with the bacteroides: Lactic Acid which is essential for healthy digestive action (through its derivative lactobacilli) and for energy production by the liver, and is not found in the tissues of people with cancer. Acetic Acid which is an antiseptic and inhibitor of pathogenic bacteria. Kombucha’s Vital Organic Acids
Other valuable organic acids produced by the Kombucha culture, some of which have a more direct effect on other organs include: Glucuronic Acid normally produced by a healthy liver, is a powerful detoxifier and can readily be converted into glucosamines,
the foundations of our skeletal system. Usnic Acid has selective antibiotic qualities which can partly deactivate viruses. Citric Acid is an antiascorbic. Oxalic Acid encourages the intercellular production of energy, and is a preservative. Malic Acid also helps the liver to detoxify. Gluconic Acid is a sugar product which can break down to caprylic acid to work symbiotically with — Butyric Acid (produced by the yeast) protects human cellular membranes, and combined with Gluconic acid which is produced by the bacteria, strengthens the walls of the gut in order to combat yeast infections such as Candida. Nucleic Acids, like RNA and DNA, transmit information to the cells on how to perform correctly and regenerate.
A product of the oxidation process of glucose – glucuronic acid – is one of the more significant constituents of Kombucha culture. As a detoxifying agent, it has come into its own today in our highly polluted world. It is one of the few agents that can cope with the pollutive products of the petroleum industry, including all the plastics, herbicides, pesticides and resins. It ‘kidnaps’ the phenols in the liver which are then eliminated easily by the kidneys. Another byproduct of glucuronic acid are the glucosamines, the structures associated with cartilage, collagen and the fluids which lubricate the joints. Collagen reduces wrinkles, while arthritis sufferers have their deficient cartilage and joint fluids replenished. Amino acids, which are constituents of proteins, produce important enzymes, such as glutathione a powerful antioxidant which provides protection from alcohol and pollution, and which is depleted by drug regimes.
Sugar, Yeast and Tea When Kombucha tea is made correctly, all the sugars are fully converted into organic acids during fermentation, enabling Kombucha tea culture to be is safely drunk by diabetics and Candida sufferers. Also the yeasts found in the Kombucha culture do not stimulate the Candida yeasts as they are of a different type; Candida sufferers have therefore often found considerable relief in taking Kombucha. Black or green tea may be used as a nutrient for the culture, but as green tea has anti-carcinogenic properties, is beneficial to the heart and blood circulation and is particularly nutritious, it is preferable to use.
Balancing the Body Metabolic balancing is perhaps the most important function of Kombucha. This is one reason why it is not symptom specific – why it does not always help a specific immune-related illness, but rather seems to go to a person’s own weakness or personal imbalance. Such a substance which has no specific harmful effect is called an adaptogen. Kombucha’s adaptogen effect is seen mostly through its influence on the liver, the blood and the digestive system, where it normalizes the acidity or pH.
The Acidity Factor Human metabolism depends on the acid-alkaline balance which is constantly responding to the food that we eat, the air that we breathe, and to our emotional state. The body has a remarkable balancing system that maintains the different organs at the pH level each requires for health. A cell’s pH balance is disturbed by toxins, which create more acidity. The body gets rid of toxic acids by various means. One is through breathing – that is why deep breathing is so therapeutic – it makes the blood more alkaline. Another is by flushing out toxins– one of Kombucha’s roles is to flush out the toxins through the kidneys.
The Liver Filters Toxins The liver is vital to life; it has the ability to restore itself and has many functions – to assist digestion, to store important vitamins and minerals, to metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates to provide energy for the body, to recycle red blood cells, and remove toxins from the body. Because of its role in pH regulation and of its detoxifying acids, Kombucha is a valuable restorative of liver function.
Research on Kombucha’s Benefits There is an extensive literature (some 300 books and research papers) dealing with the analysis of Kombucha Tea and its therapeutic effects. The independent medical research has been conducted principally in Russia and in Germany over the whole of the present century. Among early reports were those listing the benefits of Kombucha for stomach, digestive and intestinal disorders. One of the most famous of the later researchers was Dr. Rudolf Sklenar of Oberhessen who recognized the detoxifying properties of glucuronic acid in Kombucha for removing waste matter such as cholesterol and toxic deposits. He developed a biological cancer therapy based on Kombucha, and it is his recipe which is still generally used today and for the production of the commercially bottled brew. He became a champion for the remedy, which he found helped invigorate the entire glandular system and the metabolism. He successfully treated arthritis, constipation, obesity, arteriosclerosis, impotence, kidney stones, rheumatism, gout and significantly, cancer, especially in its early stages.
The Importance of Polysaccharides in Cancer and Digestive Disorders
Sugars also play a part as polysaccharides, which form the fundamental connective tissue of all human organs. Their ability to cope with metabolic waste products is a crucial part of a healthy body. The Japanese have conducted interesting research with these substances within the area of immune-therapeutics, very much the domain of Kombucha therapy. These tests focus on the role of polysaccharides which are found in Kombucha and their positive effect on macrophages and T-cells. One trial showed that the survival rate in cancer sufferers given polysaccharides was twice that of patients undergoing conventional treatment. A German naturopathic clinic in Gaggenau, Germany, did trials which showed the curative effects of polysaccharides on gastro-intestinal ailments as well as cancers.
By obtaining your own kombucha culture or kombucha tea you can start your own detoxifying program or simply use it as a daily health tonic. Other pro-biotic cultures such as kefir will assist, however, for detox we recommend kombucha tea culture starter. Traditional, kombucha is used for aiding the body in detoxifying the body, maintaining metabolic balance, but it is said to also promote overall wellbeing throughout the body. People from all parts of the world use it as a general daily health tonic.
You can order your own kombucha culture at our store and
start making this tea beverage today !