Can I make kombucha from herbal tea?

Have you ever wondered if you can brew kombucha using a herbal infusion instead of traditional tea?

Maybe you are doing something like a “locavore challenge” and only eating and drinking what can be grown or produced within 100 miles of your home. Maybe you are a prepper of some sort, wanting to know if your kombucha scoby will survive on your local tea substitute plants. Or maybe you like the idea of bitter-herb spring tonics, but find them to be too, well frankly, bitter!

This question about using herbal tea to make kombucha is one of those queries that you’ll see come up time and time again in fermenting forums. It’s a variation of the “do I have to use normal tea?” question, and is usually answered with the traditional wisdom that ordinary black, green or oolong etc tea is what kombucha needs and that to stray from that is to invite disaster.

Well.

It appears that, like much of life, the truth is much less straightforward.

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Lactic acid bacteria. Why you want them when you’re making kombucha.

lactic acid bacteria

When we’re making kombucha, we want it to be as healthy and as health-giving as we can. Because even though it tastes great, most of us are doing this because we want to see improvements in our health. Otherwise, why bother, right?

So, let’s dive into the exciting world of lactic-acid bacteria, and how they benefit your kombucha brew.

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Chinese herbal kombucha might help prevent the spread of Foot and Mouth disease

Research into Chinese herbal kombucha tea. Does it help protect against foot-and-mouth-disease?

chinese herbal kombucha foot and mouth cow
Today’s research paper is Anti-foot-and-mouth disease virus effects of Chinese herbal kombucha in vivo by Naifang Fu and colleagues, and was published in 2015 in the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology.
In brief, the researchers wanted to see if treating swine and cows with Chinese herbal kombucha would have any protective effect against infection with foot-and-mouth-disease virus. They had good reason for hoping it might be the case, and their research is highly promising.

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