Kombucha 
To Brew or Not to Brew? 
That is the Question

By Ariana Estelle-Symons, Ph.D., Copyright 1998
From the March, 1998 issue of the Kombucha Konnection Newsletter.


On a daily basis I hear from people that are curious about Kombucha. They have heard glowing reports from friends and co-workers who tell them of increased energy levels and relief from arthritis pain. Perhaps they have read an article about Kombucha in a newspaper or magazine, or they may have tuned into an `alternative health' radio program, and they are intrigued about this delicious and beneficial health tonic. Not only are they intrigued they are certain that Kombucha is just what they have been searching for. From all that they have read and heard, they are now convinced that they want to try it. Well, that's great!

However, they simply do not want to brew it themselves. Here (from our archives) are just a few of the reasons why:

Obviously, the biggest drawback to most people is that they feel they simply do not have the time to brew Kombucha. When I tell them that it will take no more than one hour each week to change their life and improve their health, they simply do not believe it. Something that great must involve a lot of time, knowledge, and hard work.

It's a sign of the times we are living in. Everything is super fast, super-charged. Food product labels say "quick n' easy, ultra fast, super easy, no mixing, no fuss, no measuring, and above all. It microwaves in 2 minutes". No one drives leisurely to work, or anyplace for that matter. Very few families sit down to dinner together at 6 PM (or any other time). We communicate with each other by post it notes on the fridge, messages on the recorder, and voice mail. We contact our kids with pagers, cell phones and Email. In most families, the `family reunion' has been replaced by the long and newsy Christmas `info letter'. Little kids seldom have birthday parties with cake & ice cream prepared by Mom or Grandma - they send the little darlings out to Chucky Cheese or the skating rink with 4 or 5 of their friends. No muss - no fuss. Dad puts in 60 hours a week at his job and most Moms do the same. If she's a `stay at home' Mom, most of her time is spent chauffeuring the kids around to soccer or baseball games, dance or music lessons, karate class and other such activities. If she's really lucky, she could possibly arrange to have all of the family members under the same roof for 8 hours out of 24 - and that's when they are sleeping. If she wants to spend some quality time with her husband - she might have to call his secretary for an appointment. Ditto with the teenage kids. Page them or call them on their cell phone and hope for the best. Family picnics, dinners, prayers, celebrations, discussions and just plain family fun, are too much to hope for. Long and leisurely bubble baths, or curling up with a good book on a rainy day are remnants of another age. Dad no longer has time to hand carve whimsical wooden toys on the front porch while watching the fireflies dance around the kids playing tag in the garden. Mom is not usually in the kitchen stirring those home-grown strawberries into jam, and ladling that fragrant concoction into pretty little jars to be opened for Sunday brunch. She probably won't have time to deliver any of that fictional jam to Grandma in the nursing home either.

It's a busy world, and we're all busy people. To some, it is totally inconceivable to set aside an hour or so a week to brew Kombucha - or anything else.

Here's a little food for thought. You get a sore throat, a headache and you are running a little fever. You call the doctor. They tell you to come in tomorrow at 2 PM. You take time off work, you drive across town, the traffic is horrendous which makes you feel even worse. You spend 20 minutes looking for a parking place, and then walk 3 blocks to the clinic, wait 10 minutes for the elevator (or, climb the stairs if you're able), and then ..... you wait! You wait anywhere from one to three hours. Then you hit the jackpot! You get to see the doctor for 10 minutes and he gives you a prescription for an antibiotic. Back the three blocks to the car (after you pay the $40-$50 doctor bill), get back on the freeway to the pharmacy at the shopping center, where you drive around for 15 minutes looking for a parking place. Then you trudge across the parking lot to the discount pharmacy where you walk another mile - way to the back of the store. You realize that you are running late, so you call your spouse at work and ask him/her to pick up the girls at school and run the boys to practice. He/she is NOT happy! You go to the counter and give them your prescription and while you are there, you tell the pharmacist you want to refill your prescriptions for your blood pressure medication, your Prozac, and your allergy medication. The sweet little clerk smiles at you and says, `it'll just be a few minutes - so if you have other shopping to do'. So, you spend that time pushing around a shopping cart in that 10,000 square foot discount center, picking up $50 worth of stuff you probably don't need. By now, your head is pounding, you throat is so sore you can't swallow, your back hurts, your arthritic knees are killing you, and you are pretty sure that you are suffering from the `plague'. You trudge back to the pharmacy and your prescriptions are ready ..... and it's only $165. Wow, what a deal! You glance at your watch and it's nearly 6 PM. Struggling with the basket (full of the stuff you don't need) you laboriously work your way across the 3 acres to your car. It's `rush hour' and the traffic is unbelievable. You realize that it's way too late to think of fixing any sort of meal, so you pull into the fast food place, wait in line for 15 minutes just to order $30 worth of junk food. It's just not your idea of a good day.

Figure it all up and it has cost you a half day's pay - an unhappy boss and co-workers - plus another $200 (give or take). Your spouse is not at all pleased with you, and the family will eat junk food for dinner. Not only that, by this time you feel soooooo awful!

What if  you scheduled one to two hours a week to brew Kombucha? What if  because you drink Kombucha every day. you don't catch every `bug' that goes around? What if  you experienced increased energy and endurance? What if  after a few months , your doctor tells you your blood pressure is way down and you decrease your medication? What if  your back and knees don't hurt any more? What if your allergy symptoms have decreased to the point that you no longer need your medication? What if your doctor thinks you can finally stop taking prozac? What if  you no longer suffer from constipation? What if  you sleep better? Is it worth an hour or two a week?



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Ariana

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UpDt 10/25/1999