Monday, 21 July 2008


On Wednesday at our seedsavers get together, Mary brought a large jar full of a brown liquid and a container of awful, lumpy things like pale brown pieces of liver, slithering and sliding through a brown liquid. When it was her turn to speak she told us all about this amazing concoction from the Ural mountains of Russia and she passed around glasses of the tea for us to try. Here is the gist of the story...

Cancer researchers in Russia gathered data and plotted maps of the incidence of cancers in various areas of Russia. There were 2 areas which stood out noticeably as having virtually no cancer at all, despite having the same living conditions and polluted environmental conditions and recording the same, enormous amount of vodka being drunk as elsewhere. On visiting the areas they found that every family has a store of the kombucha tea brewing in a corner and that every member of the community drank it daily. Tests were of course carried out and it was discovered that this symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria, fed by organic black tea and sugar, contains a potent detoxifying substance called glucuronic acid (as well as acetic acid and lactic acid) which acts as a dramatic immune system booster and body detoxifier.
Mary kindly shared her supply and now we all have a piece growing in our own homes and in a few days we will be able to strain off the slightly fizzy, fermented tea to drink and then, like with a sourdough starter, we will feed it and nurture it as it feeds and nurtures us, adding ourselves into the equation of the symbiotic relationship. Thanks Mary. Maybe it will help some of us live long and happy lives.


Maggie said...

The recipe was 1800mls water, 1/2 cup sugar and 3 black tea bags plus a 1 inch piece of kombucha.
Make a strong black tea with tea bags and sugar, allow to cool.
Stand for 7 to 10 days then strain.
Drink just 1/2 cup a day to start with.
Do you remove the teabags?
Maybe you could put that link I found in your post, it was under comments, under what you wrote about our gathering last Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

Looks interesting. My question would have to does it REAlly taste?
I like the concept of a living brew which renews itself and your health. I wonder if it is the same as the 'beer' the Tibetans brew in their kitchens.

Maggie said...

A bit sweet, sour and teay. i liked the taste.
I have a recipe for Tibetan Barley beer where you put your container in a sleeping bag to brew!