These three organic drinks boast health benefits dating back centuries
No doubt about it: detoxing is trending. With more than 300 detox diet books on the market, the blizzard of information may be a bit overwhelming. Make it simple, and turn to these three ancient natural and organic folk cures that are great for a late winter cleanse.
It may sound, look and quite possibly taste like something out of an alien invasion flick, but over the centuries and across continents, it gained nicknames such as “miracle fungus,” “magical fungus,” “gout tea” and “elixir of life.” A fermented yeast enzyme tea, kombucha can be traced back to China’s Tsin dynasty, circa 212 BC. A couple of thousand years later, during World War II, it became popular throughout Europe. Kombucha finally reached the United States in the 1990s, and it’s currently one of the biggest trends in health beverages.
While no major research has been done in the U.S., and many advise against drinking it due to lack of proof that it backs up health claims, others believe that in addition to its other benefits the drink can help prevent and cure cancer.
Kombucha is naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, which makes this antioxidant-rich drink probiotic. The result looks like a slimy pancake floating in the tea.
One of kombucha’s greatest alleged health benefits is the ability to detox the body. Additionally, Kombucha contains glucosamine, which helps ease joint pain caused by arthritis.
It also is said to aid digestion and stomach health, reduce or eliminate symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, and is filled with an extraordinary amount of antioxidants, which boosts the immune system and energy levels.
Kombucha can be made inexpensively at home (a variety of recipes are available online). It also can be purchased at area grocery stores and markets like Newark Natural Foods. The most popular brand, GT’s Kombucha, has been handcrafted and bottled raw and organic in Los Angeles since 1995.
Another health-booster to thank China for, the practice of drinking lemon water originated with traditional Chinese medicine, which subscribed to the belief that the answers to disease prevention and health problems exist in nature.
Lemons are packed with nutrients, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber among them. Juice from lemons boosts the immune system, and is an excellent source of potassium. It also aids digestion, cleanses, freshens breath, promotes weight-loss, reduces inflammation, gives an energy boost and helps fight viral infection. When applied to age spots or scars, it also helps keep skin blemish-free.
Because lemon juice can be rough on tooth enamel, diluting it with water, preferably lukewarm, is important. Experts recommend squeezing up to half a lemon into a glass of water and drinking this first thing in the morning.
Raw organic apple cider vinegar
As a folk remedy that goes back to Babylon in 5,000 BC, this sour liquid has been credited with curing everything from the flu to warts. Many of its alleged benefits aren’t proven, but some experts think that drinking a few teaspoons of raw organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) daily has major detox and health benefits.
Filled with vitamins, minerals and enzymes in its raw form, ACV cleanses the body, kills bacteria, promotes weight loss and aids digestion. Make sure it is unfiltered and unprocessed and still contains the “mother”—the sediment leftover from the fermentation process, which can be the most nutritious part of the drink.
It also can be used to treat sinus infections, migraines and headaches: Steam some ACV in a pot of water, cover your head with a towel and slowly inhale the steam for about five minutes. And finally, ACV works as an excellent non-toxic household cleaner.