Some beverages have a history in medicine. Coke can trace its origin back to the late 19th century when it was sold as a medical elixir. 7-Up launched in the 1920s, originally contained lithium, and was marketed as a mood stabilizer and hangover cure. Today, both of these household names and are also more sugar and water than anything else. But every day, new beverages appear marketing themselves as health aids. These claims are rarely verified.
A few years back, Kombucha came onto the scene. This Russian fermented tea has a long history of being considered a medicinal product. Its name refers to the culture containing several types of bacteria and yeast....sounds appetizing?
Often called the "elixir of life," the tea made a splash on store shelves until Whole Foods issued a recall this past summer. Turns out the yeast in the fermentation process was turning the sugar into alcohol, so these products were coming in above the legal limit (0.5%) established for non-alcoholic beverages.
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That was June, but demand stayed strong and manufacturers across the country, big and small, have been tweaking their formula to get the product back on store shelves. Slowly brands like Katalyst, Lev's Original, Buchi and Carpe Diem are reappearing in cooler sections across the country with Honest Tea's Kombucha leading the way for the big players.
You may not get that daily buzz it once gave you, but manufacturers state that it will "detoxify your body and energize your mind". Not sure about that one either but it will quench your thirst.
If you are interested in making your own Kombucha, check out Kombucha Kamp for guidance. This way you can ensure you're getting the full affects you want, not those dictated by the FDA.
Follow me on Twitter @christitta.