I just checked the calendar and realized that its April 12th, and I still haven’t done my taxes! Yikes! My heart rate jumps, muscles in my face start to twitch, my hair falls out and I double over from instant ulcers! STRESS!!!!
Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but waiting until the last minute is sure to jack my stress level through the roof. And stress is incredibly powerful, causing devastating effects on the body over time.
Taxes are but one of the many modern day stressors that affect us on a daily basis; job, family, relationships, commute, neighbors, or even buddies are all causes of stress.
Even if you love something, the stress from that thing can be very tough on the body. Never fear, Kombucha is here to take the edge off!
side note – I’m quaffing Pink Lemonade
now that strawberries are in season again.
Yes, Kombucha benefits the body by helping to reduce the effects of stress, however, before we can understand how it works, first we must understand stress.
What is Stress?
Stress is one of the body’s valuable defense mechanisms. When a threat is perceived, a snap decision must be made – fight or flight. Specific chemicals & hormones (adrenaline & cortisone, if you must know) are released to increase the heart rate, sharpen the senses and prepare the muscles for quick action.
This is exactly what you need when surviving in the wild but for modern man, who now confronts multiple stressors on a daily basis – most of them non-life threatening, this over reaction is detrimental to one’s health.
When the “high” of the stress homones fades, the body is left depleted. As this depletion occurs several times, the body is left fatigued, mentally muddled and depressed. It also creates a host of symptoms that adversely affect the body.
How does stress affect the body?
The physical manifestations of stress vary from person to person. As is demonstrated in the image below, nearly every part of the body can experience harm from stress.
While there are prescriptions and creams for many of the symptoms of stress, none of those treatments heal the source of the ailment. Exercise, healthy eating habits, being with friends and relaxing in nature are excellent ways to de-stress.
Adding Kombucha to the mix can help too! Here are 5 Ways Kombucha Relieves Stress.
1. Kombucha acts as an adaptogen.
An adaptogen is classified as an herb or plant derivative (fermented tea in this case) and must meet these conditions: a) nontoxic, b) benefits the entire physiology rather than a specific part, and c) normalizes and balances the body.
Ginseng, Reishi mushrooms and Ashwaganda are other adaptogenic herbs recognized in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Auyerveda as tonics that strengthen the human organism as a whole.
Adaptogens are also high in antioxidants which eliminate free radicals that can cause oxidative stress ←– yet another type of stress that Kombucha protects against!
2. Kombucha calms IBS,
kills ulcers & soothes eczema.
Several of the physical ailments and conditions listed above can be eased when Kombucha is applied, either as a beverage or Kombucha cultures applied topically. It makes perfect sense that Kombucha helps with so many different symptoms – asthma, IBS, eczema, yeast infection, ulcers – when you realize that their root cause is the same – stress! Kombucha tea does not cure any of these things, but rather brings your body back into balance so that it may heal itself.
For example, Kombucha is known to kill h. pylori, the bacteria that cause ulcers, on contact. (Roussin, 1995) It also regulates the digestive system through increasing the acidity of the gut.
side note – Did you know that weak stomach acid is what
causes acid reflux? I thought it was due to too much acid.
The skin curative properties of Kombucha come from the nanostructures of cellulose in the SCOBY itself and the pH of the tea, which has a softening effect.
3. Kombucha contains B Vitamins
& Vitamin C known to decrease stress.
Kombucha contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B6 & B12 – all of which are known to help the body fight depression, stabilize mood and improve concentration. It also contains Vitamin C which suppresses the release of cortisol (remember, one of the stress hormones). Higher levels of cortisol in the blood contribute to hypertension, depression and impaired mental clarity.
Moreover, these vitamins in Kombucha are bio-available and in living form making them the easiest for your body to assimilate and use. Oftentimes the minerals in supplements are not assimilable by the body because they lack the co-factors or other enzymes that are found in whole foods needed to catalyze the absorption process.
4. Switching to Kombucha in the morning
reduces caffeine and sugar intake.
Many people have upgraded from coffee to Kombucha as their morning go-to eye-opener. As mentioned in Kombucha and Caffeine Explained, the L-Theanine in tea counteracts the harmful effects of caffeine. (see Kombucha Recipe for a list of ingredients)
The rollercoaster ride of jittery high and then depressed low that comes from drinking coffee and sugar is replaced with focused, calm energy.
5. Kombucha contains low amounts of alcohol
that have a beneficial effect on the body.
Naturally occurring low levels of alcohol in Kombucha increase feelings of well being and decrease stress. Several studies show that moderate consumption of alcohol has many positive benefits to the body. Kombucha normally contains between .3-2% alcohol, a natural by-product of the fermentation process. This low level of alcohol serves a variety of health purposes, including boosting mood and imparting a pleasant, relaxed feeling.
Alcohol has been used medicinally for millenia. In my opinion, because Kombucha’s alcohol levels are so low, it is the best way to consume micro amounts of beneficial alcohol (warning: pdf!) as the body receives the benefits without getting intoxicated, requiring further detox of the liver.
Okay, I’ve got a glass of Kombucha in hand, my tax forms in a neat pile and I’m ready to dive in and get it done. Who knows, maybe I’ll be eligible for a refund. =)
I know this for sure, nothing beats my stress more than a big glass of Kombucha and clearing those important tasks off my plate so I can relax with my hubby and sweet pup.
What are your favorite ways to bust your stress?
Has Kombucha alleviated your symptoms? Which ones?
Leave a comment below!