Healing Benefits of Kombucha Tea

Combat PTSD with a Cup of Kombucha Tea

By: Susan Schiller

In the "Healthy Recipes" Series

At about 50 cents a gallon, homemade Kombucha Tea may give you the biggest bang for your health supplement dollar. Kombucha is a fizzy, fermented drink that is refreshing and full of amazing health benefits!

Most of the survivors of PTSD that I know of, including myself, need to keep their lives as simple as possible. And that includes preventive healthcare which won't tip the scales and eat up our budgets.

When you are overcoming post-traumatic stress, you need to boost your immune system without it costing you an arm and a leg. The internal stress you're enduring often manifests in physical ailments, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer, joint problems, and more. The majority of survivors I know personally suffer from chronic ailments, and frankly, I cannot accept that as tolerable! Enough is enough!

By the way, I'm not a health care professional, so please contact your doctor to see if Kombucha Tea may be right for you. In the meantime, here's my little story, along with a recipe and resources to help you make Kombucha Tea, if you want to give it a try. It's fun to make and delightfully yummy to drink!

My Kombucha Tea spends most of its time at the bottom of my coat closet, as pictured above. I'm sorry the photo is out of focus – I was bending down on my sprained ankle – and ouch! The Kombucha itself looks pretty passive, but inside those two half-gallon jars it's busy as a beehive in there! Here's what's going on:

My anti-oxidant rich concoction of ordinary black tea, sugar, and "Mother" is a liquid universe of growing things: active enzymes, amino acids, glucosamines, probiotics, B-vitamins, polyphenol antioxidants, and so much more! It just sits in my closet, covered by a cotton cloth, for 7-10 days. You can see what the "Mother" looks like in the photo at the top of this page.

With every batch made the "Mother" produces a baby, called a Scoby. The sugar is the food for all these nutrients and also produces alcohol in the fermentation process. The alchohol level is very low, and since the sugar is consumed by the Kombucha, the final brewed beverage is considered low glycemic. It's recommended that you drink 12-22 ounces a day, although there is very little scientific authority backing up any of this information. Yet, Kombucha Tea has been used widely for over 2000 years and enjoys a rich history!

A little Kombuch Tea History, from the Food Renegade

… Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial.

… It was only in the 1990s, when Kombucha first came to the U.S., that the West has done any studies on the effects of Kombucha, and those are quite few in number. As is typically the case in the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon.

Kombucha Tea Helps the Body Detoxify

To summarize what I learned, Kombucha Tea is rich in active enzymes and amino acids that take a load off the pancreas, liver, and kidneys. These are the organs that work so hard to flush out the daily flood of toxins we soak in, eat, and breathe each day. This is the perfect environment to kill cancer cells, don't you think? Ronald Reagan thought so when he began drinking Kombucha Tea, as a result of hearing Alexander Solzhenitsen's testimony, and he drank it on a regular basis. You might note that President Reagan did not die of stomach cancer, but of old age…

Kombucha Tea Helps Get Rid of Pain in the Joints

I have paid a lot of money for glucosamaine supplements, little realizing I could get a dosage from Kombucha Tea for just pennies a serving! Glucosamaines help to lubricate our joints, which helps to protect cartillage and maintain flexibility.

Kombucha Tea is Non-Inflammatory and Low in Sugar

To me, Kombucha Tea tastes like a glass of wine. It's carbonated and fermented and you can mix it with flavorings or consume it plain. It's non-inflammatory and is considered to be low glycemic.

Kombucha Tea is Inexpensive

In my local health food store, I bought my first few bottles of Kombucha for $2.65 cents each! With one of those bottles, I brewed tea and made my first scoby. That got me started on brewing my first batch of Kombucha Tea. I use pint jars, and I estimate the cost of my homemade Kombucha Tea at 5 cents a jar. For a gal who has frequently spent as much as $120 a month for "health drinks" … well, need I say more???

Are you ready to begin the Kombucha Tea adventure?

Making Kombucha Tea begins in a stainless steel pan. I use a big soup kettle. The materials you cook with are important. You want to use glass jars and not ceramic, for example. No metal lids is a nother big no-no. I will list a few resources at the end of this article so you can learn more – it's not hard at all.  I recommend learning from Kombucha brewers who have a good track record. I will share their links.

Here's all you need:

  • Stainless Steel pan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Two half gallon jars (no lids) or a gallon jar
  • Two small pieces of cloth (or paper towels)
  • Two rubber bands to attach the cloth to the lid of the jars
  • Sugar (usually about a cup)
  • Filtered water (not tap water)
  • Black tea bags (not flavored) Some people use green tea. I use black tea. (Usually 5-8 bags)
  • One or Two scobies, depending on how many jars you use
  • One or two cups reserve Kombucha Tea

First, you'll want to make a scoby, and I recommend the following video:


It takes very little time, less than a dollar's worth of ingredients, and it's SIMPLE! Next, you're ready to brew your first batch of Kombucha Tea! Here are some resources to help you get started:

How to Brew Kombucha Video (very good)

How to Brew Kombucha (The Kitchn) (sweet and simple)

There are health concerns for Kombucha Tea, since it is an unpasteurized drink with alchohol content. A clean environment with vigilance in watching for signs of mold, etc, are a necessity. If you do see mold, you simply throw out the scoby and start a fresh batch. Frankly, I'm much more concerned about the quality of the food in most of our restaurants. I've heard horror stories of what happens in those kitchens! At least I have control over the sanitation in my own home.

Here's a photo of the jars I brewed today, as I was writing this article…

These little Kombucha babies will go into my closet (dark and quiet) for a couple more days where they complete the fermentation and carbonation process. The warmer the temperature is, the shorter the fermentation time (in general). A lot of this is "cook to taste"! The longer you ferment, the more like vinegar it tastes. I like mine a little more on the fruity than the sour side!

Once I'm done brewing the large kettle of tea, I will put one "starter" brewed jar into the large kettle, prior to pouring into my half-gallon brew jars. Last of all, the scoby goes back into the jar, once I've checked to make sure the new Mother is healthy. My scoby today looks like this…

When I first started learning about growing a scoby, it felt like I was a new mama. I worried when the temperature crept past 100 degrees, and without air conditioning, would my scoby up and die? Or would it grow too fast? Would I have the courage to pick it up out of the bottle in my bare (washed) hands? I do confess to being afraid to take my first sip!

Yet it tastes so darn good! Our bodies know what they need, and for me, I'm beginning to crave my morning Kombucha Tea. I was so pleased that I opened up a little discussion on my Facebook wall, and here's what my friends have to say about Kombucha Tea:

  • After not being able to get pregnant all of my life after drinking kombucha for about six months I became pregnant. I was drinking it for osteoarthritis in my back and I haven't had issues with it since and i now I have two children. I'm just starting again. I was probably healthier than I've ever been and my weight was a lot less than now LOL
  • I think it cleared up my endometriosis and balanced my system to allow for the pregnancy to take.
  • We did it years ago and I plan to do again after we relocate to Indy. I believe it is a help to better health.
  • I apply it externally with a clean cloth to skin rashes, even poison ivy, and it takes the itch away.

Let's drink to our health with a cup of Kombucha Tea! I'm ready to end the chronic pain cycle and I'll keep you posted on my results, okay?

How about you? Have you used Kombucha Tea? I'd love to hear about your experience! Please share in the comment box below!

With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor –  to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can get a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2012, Susan McKenzie, http://TeamFamilyOnline.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline and bio, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.


{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Schiller January 26, 2014 at 11:21 am

Another little update… the pain in my knees is all but gone, including the swelling that nothing would take away. I've also been taking mega-doses of Vitamin D-3, so that may contribute to the pain relief, as well.

I also learned something important! Don't let the tea steep for more than 3-5 minutes, because it can introduce too much flouride into the drink. That goes for tea you make any time and any place for any reason. I'm so glad my brother brought this to my attention!

Read and study as much as you can before making your Kombucha Tea – it's well worth the effort! I still love drinking my kombucha tea and usually I drink 2 pints a day, or 1 quart…. with lots of blueberries!


Susan Schiller October 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I just wanted to share an update, now that I'm a couple months further down the road. I'm drinking 2 bottles a day, or about 32 ounces. My knees and joints feel A LOT BETTER and I can run up and downstairs again.

My taste for sweets is pretty much gone, and if I do have a soda it really tastes bad to me…. nothing compares to kombucha, especially blueberry kombucha.

Oh…. and my skin (which used to be chronically dry) is now "just right" – more youthful in appearance!!!


Debbie August 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I am very much for healthy, but the thought of mushroom tea. I don't know.

That is wonderful that it made you healthy.


Susan Schiller August 21, 2013 at 7:10 am

I know what you mean, Debbie :)  My husband was skeptical, as was I – but now we're both loving it! Thanks for stopping by and sharing!


Princess Shimari August 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

HI Susan,

Firstly, welcome to the 30 day challenge. 

I am surprised that I am not familiar with Kambucha tea.  I gather the concept is fermentation of tea leaves. This is rather interesting.

I also believe that internal; emotional stress will mamifest itself physically, and it is necessary to keep it under control.

Much success with the challenge, and I look forward to hearing more from you. 


Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Hi Princess,

Thanks for the warm welcome! Best wishes on your blogging – I look forward to reading your posts :)


Beth Hewitt August 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hey Susan, 

This is really interesting.  I havee never heard of this, but I can see how this would benefit people.  Great to have you back in the challenge :)


Beth Hewitt recently posted..Be Consistent: Be SeenMy Profile


Rachael Phillips August 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm

REALLY interesting. I like the sound of something that could substitute a glass of wine and be good for you. I've bookmarked this to read again tomorrow because I'm so interested in natural rememdies for things and this seems right up my street. 


Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Hi Rachael… I’d love to hear what you think of Kombucha Tea, if you decide to try making it. Let’s stay in touch!


Merle Gibbins August 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

I have tried all types of tea but have never heard of this one !  Sounds interesting though.  Thanks for sharing the recipe.


Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Hi Merle,

I believe you might like Kombucha Tea, since you’ve tried so many varieties already. It taste more like a glass of wine than a cup of tea… but you never know till you try! Thanks for coming by and sharing!


Lorraine McNulty August 1, 2013 at 8:23 am

Hi Susan,
That looks fascinating. I definitley think we need more natural products in our diets. As a former chemist I love the idea of creating this. May just have to give this a go as soon as I can find some closet space.
Best wishes


Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Hi Lorraine,

What an interesting occupation – to be a chemist. And now you create websites. That’s a whole story in and of itself! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I look forward to getting to know you!


John Barton August 1, 2013 at 5:10 am

Hi Susan

What an inspirational story! It would appear obvious that Kombucha tea is a gift of the gods and your post was so interesting from knowing about the origins, history and great health benefits it has to offer.

In particular, I like your comment when you stated thar the Drugs companies were not interested in developing it further because there is little money to be made!

Anyway Kombucha tea seems to be doing very well without them! Especially the way you have described it all and isn't word of mouth the best way to get it known much better! Many thanks indeed. Cheers John Barton


Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 6:47 am

Hi John,

I agree… word of mouth is the most powerful form of spreading ideas, especially with social media and blogs, these days!

Thanks for visiting today and sharing your comment – I look forward to learning more about you!


Kerris August 1, 2013 at 4:38 am

Hi Susan

Loved the post and as we are all looking for more natural foods I am pleased you shared this with us. I remember when my son was younger and was diagnosed with ADHD, 30 years ago, he had an intolerence to red and yellow food colouring. I decided that I needed to cut out all foods with artificial colouring and flavourings, but it is not easy, especially when fruit juices had the colouring in. I starting brewing my own orange squash and would make it a gallon at a time. The strange thing was that it tasted like orange squash but was clear. I must say it tasted good.

Would love to try your tea but feel that a gallon would be too much especially if I diidn't like it. 

Looking forward to your future posts



Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 6:46 am

Hi Kerris… thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

My brother, also, was diagnosed with ADHD and had to avoid the same colorings…. as a child, I remember he got to drink coffee. I’ve never heard of brewing orange squash – and you say it tastes good – that sounds amazing! There’s so much to learn about good diet, isn’t there?

Thanks again!


Helen Willsher August 1, 2013 at 1:29 am

Very interesting Susan. This is not something I have heard about before. Looking forward to learning more about natural remedies ffrom you.


Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 6:55 am

Hi Helen…. it’s nice to meet you!

I’m not a natural remedy specialist – it’s just something I’m fascinated by. I didn’t have health insurance for two decades, so it also became a way of saving my life on a couple of occasions. I enjoy sharing what I learned, because word of mouth is how I was introduced to Kombucha Tea.

Thanks again – I look forward to learning more about you :)


Keri Kight July 31, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Susan this sounds amazing!  My mother has joint pain (in too many areas of her body).  I will be telling her about this tomorrow, and I also want some for myself.  My boyfriend has neck pain and migraines, and I'm wondering if it would work wonders on him as well.  I guess it doesn't hurt to try.  Thank you so much for the wonderful information. 


Susan Schiller July 31, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Hi Keri,

It’s great to meet you! As with any supplement, it takes time and consistency in use to begin seeing results. There are other simple things to do to ease pain, as well, like vitamin D-3…. I wish you and your family the best!


Garen July 31, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Hey Susan,

For dealing with PTSD I recommend reading the book "The User's Guide to the Human Mind: Why Our Make Us Unhappy, Anxious, and Neurotic and What We Do About It" by Shawn T. Smith (say that three times quickly!).  Do you find this tea to be more benefical to green tea?  I would almost like to see the two head to head.  Also, have you considered mixing coconut oil with it, which is a super food.


Susan Schiller August 1, 2013 at 7:13 am

Hi Garen,

Thanks for the lead on a good book. As for a comparison with Green Tea…. often people who brew kombucha will use green tea. Personally, I drink 1-2 cups of green tea every morning, in addition to the Kombucha, simply because I love it!

I love to use coconut oil, as well, but not in tea :)

Hey, did you know that your comment went into my spam folder. I almost missed it. I marked it “approved” so if you visit again, hopefully you’ll be good to go. :)


Agnes Knowles July 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Hi, Susan!  great information!  It always amazes me at what Mother Nature has to offer that we have no idea about.  and getting away from the "mainstream solutions" is often a wise choice!

Now that I'm here, I look forward to browsing around your web-site!


Susan Schiller July 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Hi Agnes,

It’s a pleasure to meet you! I agree, Mother Nature is so lavish and abundant with good things for us! It’s just up to us to discover her riches :)

Feel free to browse around and contribute your stories, comments, and questions…. THANKS!


WILLIAM O'TOOLE July 31, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Hey Susan

It's been a while! How is the book coming along? I have never tried the tea, Is it available in the UK? I am more of a coffee person but I do have tea time to time.. I can even be partial to some green tea.




Susan Schiller July 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Hey there William – it’s nice to see you again!

Kombucha is available as close as your kitchen…. you can make it yourself for about 50 cents a gallon… not sure what they equals in metrics :)  As for the book, it’s still in the making. I  never realized how complex book writing it. It’s much harder than writing blog posts, but I’m making it inch by inch! Thanks for asking :)


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