Not long ago Julia and I attended a #BlogHerHealth19 conference in LA. I was fortunate enough to meet Hanna Crumb, an expert on the drink, Kombucha, that can replenish good bacteria into our gut.  Many of us dealing with neurogenic bowel, take antibiotics every day.  The antibiotics can kill our good digestive bacteria. Because of this we need to be intent on what we eat as we continue our quest to stay healthy. Hanna was kind enough to answer some questions.

1. Can Kombucha help when a person has a sluggish bowel or constipation?

Kombucha is a traditional, fermented sweet tea. It has a tangy, refreshing flavor, light effervescence and is full of organic acids that aid digestion. Many people experience relief from digestive issues within a glass or two – though every body is different. Not a cure, it is a nutrient dense food that has been used for thousands of years to support a healthy lifestyle.

2. What are probiotics? How can they help a person like me?

Probiotics are beneficial microbes that confer a benefit on the host. What that means is when we consume foods that are imbued with living bacteria and yeast, they have a positive impact on our body. While fermented foods have been consumed by humans since the dawn of time, the recent research into the Human Microbiome and gut-brain axis are revealing just how crucial it is that we consume these foods on a regular basis in order to regulate our gut for optimal physical and mental health.

3. Is it safe for children? Is there alcohol in it?

All fermented foods create trace amounts of alcohol as a preservative. Alcohol kills pathogens – think of rubbing alcohol on a wound. It also relaxes the body and thins the blood making it easier for absorption of nutrients. The trace amounts are not intoxicating to most people. Some may experience a “buzz” though it is usually a niacin flush or B-vitamin rush that creates a brief euphoria yet does not impair. Of course, every body is different so Trust YOUR gut.

Children LOVE Kombucha and when you make it at home, its a low cost substitute for chemical laden sodas and sugary juices. It also helps when they have an upset tummy. Start them on small amounts 2-4oz a day and see how they respond.

4. Can you drink too much? Are there instances of food poisoning with it?

Kombucha is a food like any other. At some point your body will let you know when you’ve had enough (you’ll be in the bathroom!). Some folks who are new to Kombucha may find that their body is having a “healing crisis” as toxins are released. This is typically a temporary state as the body clears out old junk. If you experience any discomfort, simply increase water consumption to hasten the release. Those who have histamine allergies may need additional gut lining repair before they can tolerate fermented foods.

Kombucha’s low pH and organic acid profile kill pathogens and prevents mold from forming. It is one of the safest foods you can make at home! Over consumption may lead to discomfort but typically one would need to consume quite a bit before that happens. I personally consume 0-32oz per day. That means some days I don’t have any booch at all whereas others I’m thirsty for it. My husband drinks up to a gallon a day! Once you start consuming it, you will find the right amount for your body.

5. It is expensive, can I learn to make my own?

We experienced the exact same problem over 15 years ago! Our thirst outgrew our budget, so we started making it ourselves. It’s incredibly easy and inexpensive to make your own Kombucha at home, whether you try the Batch Brew or Continuous Brew methods. If you’d like to know more about the differences, try this link:

Little did we know the powerful transformation it would bring us both and here we are, Kombucha’s biggest advocates. The story of most brands, including GT’s Kombucha, the first commercial brand, is that a health challenge led them to Kombucha – transformation occurred and they were inspired to share Kombucha with their loved ones and community. Today there are over 500 brands around the world thanks in no small part to Kombucha Kamp’s empowerment through education as well as our category building efforts through Kombucha Brewers International, the trade association for commercial producers around the world.

6. Will you please let us know about your blog and the book you wrote?

Visit today to download your free e-book to learn more about brewing Kombucha safely at home. That will also subscribe you to any new blog posts as they come out, and our weekly newsletter for all the latest recipes and tips. Or check out The Big Book of Kombucha from your local library. Our 400 page book includes over 400 recipes and was released in 2016. With more than 100K copies in print, it’s an Amazon best seller. We wrote it to be the most comprehensive guide available, one that could help newbie’s or veteran brewers. And it’s launching in Spanish later this year!

Best, Hannah
Trust Your Gut

Used with permission of Storey Publishing, Matt Amendariz, all rights reserved