Kombucha has a way of growing on you, in you, all around you, literally. It has certainly had a profound affect on my life in many ways. As I continue to pursue this funky little “mushroom” as my passion, I continue to evolve my vision of my purpose and what it means to be the “Kombucha Mamma.” The opinions expressed below are my own but they are not set in stone. Its not to say that I’m fickle, but rather I’m open to change as new wisdom is gained.
Kombucha has come to symbolize many things to me: symbiosis, harmony with nature and resilience. Kombucha tea is made using a SCOBY – Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. The bacteria and yeast each serve their own function and each require the other to successfully make KT. Symbiosis (from the Greek: σύν syin “with”; and βίωσις biosis “living”) is close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. (from Wikipedia). The specific definition encompasses several possibilities for how organisms can mutually benefit from each other.
As humans living in a dynamic eco-system, we wouldn’t be able to survive without symbiosis. From the cells in our bodies, to living with nature, we are constantly affected by the symbiotic relationships we form with other beings. Not the least of which are the relationships we form with other humans. But back to the microscopic level, for me, Kombucha is a symbol of my conscious desire to invite healthy bacteria and yeast into my body. It is an opportunity to give conscious acknowledgment that without other living organisms – even microscopic ones – I could NOT survive.
In fact, we are currently waging a war on ourselves through over-sanitization. For thousands and thousands of years, humans have lived in close contact with nature. It is only within the last 200 years that we have removed ourselves from our natural environment. We have closed ourselves into successively tighter boxes. Our floors are no longer made of dirt (we have lost direct contact with the earth). Our vehicles have transitioned from living, breathing animals to machines made of steel and glass. We luxuriously control the temperature of our surrounding atmosphere the touch of a button thanks to A/C & central heating. Some of these things are great! They help us live more comfortable lives. However, we have lost a lot in the process of “civilizing”- direct contact with the earth, community (our TVs & computers allow us to never leave our homes) and nutritious food (we eat processed, tainted food packaged in plastic and heated in microwaves – completely devoid of nutritional value AND we are brainwashed and disassociated into thinking that is actually GOOD for us – scary!).
Of course, we needed to learn better hygeine habits. Of course, the advances we’ve made in medicine and science have had a tremendous affect on everybody’s health. There is no doubt about that. However, we seemed to have gotten to a certain point in our knowledge and then haven’t progressed. In fact, we’ve regressed. We are so chemically sensitive, allergic to everything and sick all the time as a result of our current attitude towards “germs.”
Moreover, the current state of America is such that the consumer cannot afford to sit back and trust the government to protect its citizens. We have to educate ourselves or fall prey to the constant drone of advertising that bombards our psyches on a daily basis. Got an ache? Have this symptom? Pop a pill! Want to be skinnier? Look younger? Plastic surgery! Want to eat healthy food? Lose weight? Drink diet soda! Our consumer culture has the cure to everything that ails us. The problem is, oftentimes the cure is worse than the disease.
Kombucha is a simple, inexpensive and healthy beverage that helps to balance the body through the daily stresses of life. From the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to the tainted food supply, we are constantly assaulted by toxins. And more are piling up! Where do the pills go when we flush them down the toilet? There isn’t a Neverland where all of our garbage and waste is magically cleaned. It gets recycled back into the food source via the water supply and agriculture. We are literally eating and drinking the by-products of all the pills and synthetic hormones that people are blindly consuming. I’m not against modern medicine. Of course it has improved the quality of life for many people, but it comes at a high cost, especially when we aren’t willing to take personal responsibility for our actions.
Kombucha is a gentle, natural way to help keep the toxins flowing OUT of our bodies so they don’t accumulate and lead to even more problems. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Kombucha and other natural foods have so many naysayers and detractors. If you can’t patent it, then you can’t make a billion dollars selling it in a pill. The sum total of our cultural values has been boiled down to the bottom line. Make money by whatever means necessary. It doesn’t matter what the “truth” is, as long as you make a profit. It doesn’t matter how many people lose their homes, if the Wall Street gamblers still get their giant payouts. Sad to say, but our current system is broken and will remain that way if we, the consumer, we, the little guy, don’t stand up and decide to live a life based on ethics rather than closing our eyes and refusing to see the truth of our existence. Our actions do matter. There are repercusions, whether we can see them in front of our eyes or not.
No longer can we rely on insurance companies to pay our health bills while they continue to gouge our pocketbooks with exorbitant fees. No longer can we rely on the FDA to make sure the foods we eat aren’t contaminated with GMO’s while they continue to approve untested cloning practices to make more “food.” It sucks – I know! But when profit and money is more important than ANYTHING ELSE, there is sure to be an imbalance. Only through self-education, only through building community with common goals, only through doing hard work can we right these injustices in our society. Truth is, if we band together, we can stand united against those who would do us harm to further their own selfish ends. But they have us afraid, isolated, victimized and ashamed. They hire liars who have to dope themselves up just to live with the lies they are being paid to tell. The human organism is sensitive. Dishonesty hurts to the core because we know the truth when we listen to our inner voice.
In my worldview, preventative health care & whole, nutritious food are HUMAN rights. So, Kombucha will cure it all? NO!
Our cultural brainwashing through traditional media outlets has made us soft and weak. Humans are tough, resilient and adaptable. We have been sold a bill of goods that says feeling pain is unnecessary, undesirable. WE should never have to feel discomfort – here take a pill, drink some coffee, eat some chocolate, watch TV. All of these are means of avoiding that which we need to confront – our feelings of disconnectedness, our feelings that something isn’t right with this world, our feelings that our bodies are sick and need to be healed.
Hey look, I’m no “green” saint. I’m not advocating we all eat a raw food only diet or live in huts or give up air conditioning. We live in a modern world. I am grateful for many of the modern conveniences. I eat meat, but less than I used to and I look for organic, grass fed, free range, hormone free options. But it costs more money. I drink coffee and yes, I do buy it at Starbucks sometimes. I still drink Coke from time to time even though I know HFCS is toxic, but I only drink raw milk. I used to go to the gym, but have found that I prefer Kundalini yoga. I enjoy cocktails with my friends, but don’t drink until I’m drunk. Overall, I am a pretty normal person (well, mostly ;) In my fantasy, everyone returns to buying organic, locally grown food at a fair price such that farming returns to being a way of life. People who lived and thrived off the land but were forced out by subsidies and agribusiness can return to being connected to the land. Citizens are nourished. Communities flourish. Doves are flying through the air – okay, that’s how I know I’m in fantasy land!
Hey, I’m also a realist. It’s not going to be an overnight transformation, but evolution is occurring. There are several ways in which we can reconnect to the earth, to each other and to our bodies. For me, Kombucha is the tonic that supports my lifestyle. It may be right for you or it may not. There is no one-size-fits-all solution – it truly is up to you as an individual to figure out what works best for you. With freedom comes responsibility. I want to live the most ethical life that I can. It won’t be perfect. I will make mistakes and hurt others, but when I claim responsibility for my actions, I am then free to behave as I desire because I understand that there will be repercusions and I can make an educated decision. Wake up! Stand up! The time is now!
All of this is a way of looking at symbiosis. I need you to survive and vice versa. I need healthy bacteria in my gut to survive and vice versa. I’m sick of being narcisistically focused on myself – how boring! I want to find a meaningful way to connect with my community – locally and globally. I want to find a way to connect with you! For me, that is through Kombucha. I make fat, happy, healthy cultures, infused with my love energy to send to you so that you can take that love seed, imprint it with your own energy and evolve your own culture. Together our energies intermingle to make the best tasting Kombucha in the world – your own!
So, back to the bacteria. The fact of the matter is that while in the 19th century we were in dire need of sanitary practices, the negative attitude towards ALL bacteria has spiraled out of control. Bacteria outnumber our human cells 9 to 1! With all the hand sanitizers and constant antibiotic prescriptions, we have created a worse problem than we have realized. The bacterial cells tell our human cells what to do, how to behave, how to replicate. We NEED bacteria. When you have an over population of “bad” bacteria – sugar loving bacteria – they send signals to your brain that you need to consume MORE sugar so they can reproduce. You may think you have a sweet tooth, but more likely you have an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria and unhealthy yeast like Candida.
By incorporating “good” bacteria into your body – those found in ALL fermented foods – foods that humans have been consuming since they figured out how to use it for preservation (no fridge), you start to displace that “bad” bacteria. Your body’s pH returns to a more alkaline state. Your gut moves those sugar bugs out and your cravings decrease – in fact, you may find that our over-sugared food supply doesn’t taste good at all. Your body will regain its natural instincts and ability to “tell” you which foods are most nourishing.
This notion of “good” bacteria also extends to pasteurization (named for Louis Pasteur – who recanted his position on his deathbed). When we pasteurize food, we kill all of the bacteria present – good and bad. When it comes to a product like raw milk, that means that the bacteria that helps your body naturally digest the milk as well as the most nutritious enzymes are killed off. You are left with a dead product that provides no nutrition and causes phlegm and congestion (vehemently denied by the Dairy Board, of course!) We NEED bacteria to help us deal with our natural environment. We NEED bacteria to help our bodies absorb nutrients and enzymes essential to our health. Most of the time, they want to pasteurize the milk because the conditions in which most dairy cattle are kept are downright disgusting.
Drinking Kombucha, making Kombucha at home – or kefir, or sauerkraut, or sour dough bread, or …the list goes on and on, all contribute to recolonizing the body with the good stuff. So it can return to balance and allow your immune system to function as it should. It empowers you in a simple and inexpensive way to take control of your health! Of course, I have to remind you that you should consult with your physician before starting any new dietary changes, especially if you are currently taking medications. Though I will also tell you that Kombucha has been consumed for thousands of years and not a single death has been attributed to drinking it. Can prescription drugs claim that? (no, they cannot.)
Yes, life is painful. But Kombucha is here to help. I’m not saying that it is a cure for pain at all, but rather, it helps support you through it all. You can talk to your Kombucha – tell it your hopes and dreams, share your sorrows and joys, and ask for advice. When you open yourself up to engaging in a relationship with other living beings that don’t communicate the way that you are used to, it opens you up to trusting your instincts and the information that we are receiving on a daily basis from angels, God, the universe, or however you cast that role. Kombucha is adaptogenic – it is going to respond to and change based on the environment you provide for it – internally and externally. As you develop a symbiotic relationship with your booch, you will discover that it is possible to connect with EVERYTHING under the sun – including the sun!
This relationship will reconnect to you to that which you are missing so much – other living beings – human or otherwise. We crave this connection and feel sad when it is seemingly lost. We couldn’t survive on earth without sunshine, rain, insects, rocks, pets, people and so forth. There is energy in everything and when you begin to connect to that energy, you connect to your beingness! Pain is not inherently bad. Oftentimes it is a signal that we need to pay attention to a particular part of our body or our emotional health. It is the fire that purifies the soul – no, I’m not saying that suffering or being a martyr is somehow to be exalted, but rather that it is a normal part of life and the more we embrace it (rather than avoid it) the sooner we can move through it.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and my philosophy a little better. I’m no expert on any life other than my own, but I feel very strongly about the topics above. I’m grateful to be here now. I’m grateful that you are here now. I’m looking forward to connecting with you here in cyberspace, through my Kombucha cultures (into which I instill a lot of love!) or perhaps even in person! Feel free to drop me a line with your thoughts or experiences brewing the booch.