The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Adventures with Kombucha

Home brewed kombucha

I started brewing kombucha when I discovered that it can lower cholesterol. Having been prescribe statins and wasn’t keen on taking them

I bought a scoby, tea leaves and a large glass vessel and started brewing. I drank kombucha for 18 months, gave it up for 8 and now have started drinking it again. I thought that you might be interested to hear about the effects that it had on me. That 8 month break was key to noticing the effects or lack of them.

In a nutshell Kombucha fermented tea is a source of probiotic bacteria which improves digestive health and the gut biome.  Most of us are conversant with the link between the stomach and the brain. Some claim that it’s a miracle cure all but there has not been enough research studies on humans to categorically prove the beneficial results of drinking kombucha.

There has been quite a bit of animal research in this field. Findings demonstrate that kombucha reduces the amount of sugar entering the bloodstream. That it lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol. Kombucha tea was more effective than black tea and enzyme-processed tea at protecting the liver against harmful substances, as well as treating liver damage. Of course what works for animals does not necessarily migrate to humans.

It took me a couple of months, drinking a small glass a day, before I noticed some unexpected beneficial effects. I smoke so I cough at night. My chesty cough cleared up. I get bad hayfever and dust allergies and that cleared up. A friend spotted that my hair was much thicker and glossy. My arthritis was far less painful. I actually craved vegetables and slept better.

So why on earth did I give up drinking kombucha?

I stopped because it seemed a palaver and I had started to take my good health for granted. Looking back I think that I was rather overwhelmed by the amount of work that I had to do on the cottage.  Brewing kombucha just seemed too much extra effort on top of all my other projects. Crazy. Brewing your own kombucha at home is easy and straightforward.

After a few months without kombucha noticed that I was much more creaky in the mornings but I was rebuilding a kitchen and fitting it myself – hard and heavy work. My arthritis was painful, I was getting gum infections. My eyes were streaming with the building dust and pollen but I still didn’t start a new brew. I just thought that I was run down and probably pushing myself too hard.

It was pure vanity that finally led me back to the larder to search for the kombucha tea leaves, sugar and scoby.

Over the past two years or so I’ve grown my hair. Initially it was because I was broke and couldn’t afford the haircuts. I think that longer hair on older people needs to be in great condition to look good. And mine did. I had put the healthy looking hair down to my shampoo- no parabens or sulphates. I’d always thought of myself as a short hair kind of girl but loved the switch to longer hair, feeling it on my back, playing with it. You can actually twist it and ring it out when it’s wet!

Working on the cottage, the building dust coated my hair within seconds of washing it. It was straggly, full of split ends and looked a fright. It was only when I created a dust free room in the cottage, washed my hair and it didn’t dazzle me with its shine, that I eventually put two and two together. Of course, it was the Kombucha that had improved the condition of my hair.

Within minutes I was sterilising my jar and getting my kombucha ducks in a row. My homemade kombucha takes about 5-6 days to brew.

Now I have been drinking it for a couple of weeks my mood has lifted too. Not that I was stamping around in a rage for months but now I feel as if I’ve just downed a glass of good champagne. Goofily happy. I must admit I didn’t notice that effect before and it’s more than welcome.

N.B. I forgot to mention that I have developed an intolerance of fats over the past couple of years. OK when eating at home but going out to eat was a nightmare. Drinking kombucha kicked all that into the long grass, after a few months.

  Leave a reply


  1. Danny Carey

    Interesting . . more about Kombucha

  2. Carole Brooks

    very interesting,i suffer with arthritis and wonder if it will help me too. what recipe do you use?

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Carole, ATM I use this method and recipe but there are loads on the internet. This works for me and their Kombucha blend tea B is excellent!

  3. Veronica

    That was very interesting — I’ve heard of kombucha and tried some a friend had made, but don’t really know anything about it. I need to find out more!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Yes it is worth checking out. Although most of the research has been dome on animals there is human research out there too. I just shared this as it has done me so much good. Personally I would always home brew as most commercial brands are pasteurised which kills a lot of the good bacteria. I am very interested in the correlation between gut and brain – fashionable now but fascinating.

  4. I’ve another online friend who swears by it, but I’ve never tried it myself. I think you might have talked me into giving it a go.

    • Fiona Nevile

      I think I am rare in kombucha drinkers – giving it up for 8 months! But te great thing is that I can see the results 🙂 However, these are just my results and it might be very different for you!

  5. The effects sound amazing, but I have to admit it doesn’t look/ sound that appetising. What does it taste like?

    • Fiona Nevile

      I think that it tastes a bit like sharp apple juice. You can change the flavour by adding fruit, sugar etc. I don’t bother as I like the taste. It is best chilled. It is refreshing.

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