I have had digestive issues and anxiety since I was a teenager, and it's been a long, painful journey trying to find the cause. After years of tests, seeing various GP's and natural practitioners, I feel I'm getting somewhere at last and have nailed down most of my food intolerances (a lot!) and emotional triggers with a regular yoga and meditation practice. But, it wasn't until I started drinking Kombucha daily that I've felt the freedom that comes with a non bloated tum, so much more energy and, well, other benefits relating to ones toileting which I won't go into because I am a lady (??!!).
Our 'second brain' is housed in our gut, where serotonin (happy feel-good chemicals) are produced. The gut is the only organ with it's own nervous system with an intricate network of 100 millions neurons embedded in the gut wall (1.) Stress can affect gut bacteria, disrupting digestion and creating a vicious cycle of psychological and physical reactions feeding back to the nervous system. For me it has been a bit of a question of chicken and egg - did the anxiety cause the gut distress or did the gut distress and lack of serotonin production cause the anxiety?
I think it's probably a bit of both, but what I am sure about is feeding my gut with probiotics and prebiotics has helped amazingly, and thanks to Karen from The Yoga Social who donated me my first Scoby baby (more on that below!) I am now perhaps just slightly obsessed with prebiotic filled Kombucha!
Below you will see an alien like substance which are the Kombucha scoby's in some of the tea. DELICIOUS! The Scoby (is this not the best word ever??) is actually an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. That might sound like some form of venereal disease (mmm yum), but the good bacteria in the scoby helps to seal off the fermenting Kombucha tea of the outside air and bad bacteria.
The results are not as disgusting as you fear, and I find the tea can actually be quite refreshing. See below for basic instructions, there is also a lot of info online. To start out you will need to either purchase a SCOBY or get one donated (as Karen did for me and now I have Scoby's coming out my ears!)
Step 1. Preparing the tea (this recipe is for 1 Litre to start out)
Step. 2 Fermentation
Step. 3 Flavouring & Second Ferment (optional)
If you are not so keen on the natural taste of the Kombucha and would like an extra fizz you can go for a second ferment.
Written by Polly Wilson
1. American Psychological Association By Dr. Siri Carpenter September 2012, Vol 43, No. 8
The Yoga Social Team