We’re passionate about the benefits of kombucha, so we’ve started this blog to share ideas, thoughts, articles, recipes and much more!
Skin should be kept mildly acidic to stay healthy and strong – between 4.2-5.6 on the pH scale – and rich in naturally moisturising good bacteria which nourish the body from the inside (gut) out (to the skin's surface), keeping the complexion radiant and glowing.
Diets heavy in refined carbs, sugar and junk food deplete the gut - and therefore the skin - of vitality-enhancing live bacteria and digestive enzymes. But nothing sullens and ages the skin as rapidly as smoking, or strips the skin of natural oils so ruthlessly and efficiently as alcohol. Consequently, half the population has malnourished/"sick" alkaline/dry skin.
The benefits of ingesting raw - especially fermented - foods is well documented, and the same principle applies to what we put on our skin. Yet most high street soaps, cleansers and cosmetics are synthetic and abrasively strip healthy surface bacteria away leaving the skin, particularly the face, drier, more brittle and susceptible to sun damage and wrinkles.
On average women apply more than 200 chemicals – including formaldehyde, phthalates, lead, mercury parabens and ethanolamines - to their skin and hair daily, and over the past decade men too have been following increasingly intensive, chemical-laden grooming trends spawning a multi-billion worldwide men’s grooming industry.
Chemical-laden skincare products
Among the worst of these chemicals is found in everyday soaps, shower gels, shampoos, even dental products. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and its close relatives sodium laureth sulfate and ammonium laurel sulfate are cheaply derived chemicals found in many personal care products, including those described on the label as “natural” or “organic”.
Known as surfacants, these detergents break down the skin's surface tension to separate dirt and grease molecules, in the process creating a lather that washes the accumulated dirt away. Essentially, if it foams it's likely to contain a sulfate. So effective is their application that sulfates are used in industrial cleaning products, including engine degreasers!
Hence how and why surfacants also strip the skin of bacterial oils, leaving it dry and alkaline. New research into how our skin’s ‘microbiome’ works supports findings that even <0.5% may result in skin irritation and corrosion, that residual levels collect in the brain, lungs, liver and heart, and may also cause hormonal imbalance and lower male fertility.
The International Journal of Toxicology recommends levels of sulfates no more than 1% in products with prolonged use - some cleaning products have levels as high as 30% - but the message is clear: as a vital organ skin needs to be routinely nourished and replenished, so take care with what you apply to it and radiant, clear, healthy skin will always result.
Look no further than your kitchen
Oil-based, detergent-free cream cleansers are best, yet among the most effective ingredients can be found in your own kitchen. The internet contains numerous tips and recipes for cleansing the skin naturally using everything from bananas and olive oil to lemon juice and raw eggs - and kombucha! This simple recipe makes a natural, cost-effective face mask:
• Half a ripened avocado (rich in vitamin E);
Mash ingredients together to form a smooth paste. Apply a warm to hot water-soaked flannel to face and leave for a few seconds to open pores. Remove and immediately apply paste evenly from forehead down to the neck avoiding eye area. Relax for 10-15 minutes then rinse away. For a super-moistuirising boost add a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil!
• See Kombucha tea – beauty on the inside and out! below for commercial beauty products that use kombucha.
Ten years ago the first episode of a new BBC2 series, The Truth About Food, cast a sceptical eye over the purported benefits of probiotics in our food.
In the intervening 10 years the issue of probiotics has featured sporadically on British television, each time receiving a cynical rap. Until now, that is. The second series of BBC2's Trust Me, I’m A Doctor began on 1st February, finally lifting the veil on the now irrefutable benefits of probiotics - and why they received such a poor press previously.
Historically, the media focus on probiotics was largely based around big brand yogurt drinks. Over the years their big name manufacturers heavily emphasizied the high concentrations of gut-healthy probiotic bacteria they contain, spurring six in ten households to buy such products regularly and spawning a billion-dollar industry.
EU health food claims directive
Claims of their products’ purported positive effect on gut health remained scientifically unsubstantiated, however, spurring the EU to launch a Europe-wide directive in December 2012 forbidding food manufacturers making declarations about their products not backed up by scientific evidence, leading to such claims on packaging being outlawed overnight.
In 2014, independent laboratory tests on popular probiotic yogurt drinks concluded they have little or no benefit due to most of their good - mostly lactobacillus - bacteria not surviving the journey through the harshly acidic digestive tract, while those that do make it through don't last for long once they reach the gut.
By contrast Dr Paul Cotter, Head of Food Biosciences at Teagasc in Cork (above with Trust Me presenter Dr Michael Mosley), concluded from an experiment with volunteers that if the bacteria are fermented in an acidic base, like in kombucha, then most of the good bacteria do bypass the digestive tract to reach the gut intact conferring a net benefit.
As good as home made
Furthermore, lab tests were run to determine if commercial ferments contained as much live goodness as their home-made counterparts. Surprisingly, shop bought pickled kimchi and sauerkraut were found to contain no live acids or enzymes possibly as a consequence, Cotter surmised, of their being pasteurized prior to distribution.
By contrast, commercial kefir brands were found to contain almost as much good lactobacillus bacteria as home made, while there was virtually no discernible difference between the vast amounts of lactobacillus bacteria found in off the shelf kombucha compared with home made.
As more fruit-infused kombucha brands Stateside switch to pasteurization and artificial carbonation due to to the destabalisation that can occur when adding fructose prior to bottling, GO! Kombucha will continue using only the finest teas and nothing else, ensuring fermented tea that is 100% raw and authentic as home made.
Hot on the heels of Go Sober October, Dry January is a campaign run annually since 2012 by Alcohol Concern to encourage people to give up alcohol for all of January.
A YouGov survey revealed that 16 per cent of the UK adult population attempted to steer clear of the bottle in January 2016, and research by the University of Sussex has found that 72 per cent of people who completed Dry January drink less in the six months afterwards. So, GO! Kombucha is stepping up a gear to promote the uniquely effective role kombucha tea can play in beating the booze, and even providing a permanent stepping stone to sobriety.
multitude of benefits
Kombucha tea is essentially a nutritious fermented food to be enjoyed sparingly as opposed to, say, sodas and booze. Paradoxically, our customers often tell us how GO! Kombucha - which is brewed longer to yield more sharpness and bite – has replaced their alcoholic tipple of choice. Kombucha isn't a medicine or wonder cure but, like all live fermented foods, helps to restore balance to the body’s natural functioning. And nothing pulls the body out of balance more than alcohol…
Physically, alcohol causes dehydration by increasing oxidative stress and free radicals in the blood, leading to a gaunt and sullen appearance. This can be reversed by replenishing the body with the good bacteria and yeasts, minerals and enzymes abundant in fermented foods and the antioxidants and polyphenols in teas which work as an army to mop up the free-radicals, revitalizing the skin from the inside out thus slowing down and even reversing signs of ageing.
comparing the calories
And with 4.2g sugar/100ml, GO! Kombucha packs less than half the calories of any alcoholic beverage. Per 125ml serving:
• Wine (12% ABV) - 114 calories
• Champagne - 92.7 calories
• Beer - 47.3 calories
• Cider - 46.2 calories
• GO! Kombucha (all flavours) - 21 calories
So, with all of these things going for it - and also being far easier on your pocket to boot! - little wonder that fermented tea, and GO! Kombucha in particular, is fast gaining a reputation for being the best hangover remedy bar none!
"The healthy living trend that will improve digestion and boost your immune system... Try Go! Kombucha’s delicate green brew."
49 Best Things in the World to Eat Right Now! - "An acquired taste but totally worth it for the health benefits." (http://www.menshealth.co.uk/)
"Our friends at Go!Kombucha (brew) a number of Chinese teas to make tasty variations on this 100 per cent live and raw ferment. Since no industrial processes are used, no two batches are ever the same"
For some years now, in-the-know top cosmetic companies such as Chanel and Estee Lauder have been using kombucha in their skin renewal formulas.
A 2012 L’Oreal Research & Innovation Study found that kombucha extract was "beneficial to the skin, helping to maintain moisture and elasticity so it appears more even in tone and texture."
As anyone who uses GO! Kombucha’s vinegar (available from our online shop) will know it makes a great toner (tip: soak in a flannel and place over your face covering the forehead down to nostril level and leave for 20 minutes as the acids slough off dead skin cells to reveal radiant new skin beneath).
In America kombucha-related skin renewal formulas are gaining momentum, so much so that The Huffington Post recently recommend their seven favorite beauty products using the fermented tea:
1 Marie Veronique Organics Treatment Serum $90, MVOrganics.com Blended with vitamin B5, niacinamide, argan oil and kombucha extract, this facial serum helps to reduce acne breakouts and control oil buildup.
2 Murad Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator $50, Sephora.com I was already a huge fan of this lightweight moisturizer before taking a closer look at its ingredients label. It leaves your irritated skin calm and virtually poreless.
3 Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Revitalizing Eye Gel $20, Walgreens.com You can rest assured dabbing this gel onto your puffy and dark under-eyes knowing that it's free of parabens, synthetic colours and fragrances. Instead, you'll get a soothing mix, including aloe vera and lavender.
4 Philip B Chai Latte Soul & Body Wash $35, Neimanmarcus.com This body wash smells almost good enough to eat thanks to exfoliating, toning and hydrating ingredients like honey, ginger, black tea and milk proteins.
5 EmerginC Kombucha Cleanser $34, Dermstore.com This face wash is gentle yet effective enough to wash away a day's worth of dirt and grime, leaving behind a more luminous glow.
6 Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask $88, Sephora.com Our complexions can all use a boost after enduring winter, and this black tea, lychee seed extract and jicima root juice blended mask helps to soften rough skin and stimulate natural collagen.
7 Juara Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer $49, Juaraskincare.com Here's another anti-aging option in the form of a kombucha moisturizer that's safe to use on normal to dry skin, as well as mix with your foundation.
Top 7 beauty products © The Huffington Post
Being a small business that has grown organically (literally!) by building up a retail base in Greater London and Brighton, we’re finally setting our sights firmly on the north!
Aided in no small part by the hospitality extended to us by fantastic chains like Whole Foods, Planet Organic, As Nature Intended and Panacea and wonderful independents and co-operatives such as Alara and Infinity, GO! Kombucha now has a ubiquitous presence in the southern health food store and raw foodie scenes.
However, if you live in one of the major northern cities such as Manchester, Leeds or Liverpool, there is a good chance you'll soon be seeing GO! Kombucha stocked more prominently in independent health food stores there before long as we look to broaden our horizons.
We’re also keen for our authentic kombucha tea to have a presence in the smaller towns and larger villages surrounding these sprawling metropolises, so feel free to drop us a line (at email@example.com) if your area is starved of real kombucha tea and you would like us to present GO! Kombucha to your local independent!
Next Sunday at 9pm sees the pilot episode of a new documentary-style police series on Channel 4, Babylon, written by Peep Show duo Sam Baine and Jesse Armstrong – with a guest appearance by GO! Kombucha!
Created and directed by Olympics Ceremony/Slumdog Millionaire/Trainspotting maestro Danny Boyle - who is also executive producing this highly anticipated pilot and subsequent 6 episode series - Babylon takes a wry look at the people and politics in the command rooms and on the frontlines of a modern London police force.
"We look at different levels of the police from guys on the street to the top brass. It's a comedy-drama, it's got jokes and people involved in dangerous situations, which is a new one for us," Bain told Radio Times.
"[Producer] Robert Jones and Danny had wanted to do something about the police, especially about all the Police Camera Action kind of cops, real life filming of police shows and the way they look on TV," added Armstrong, "so we have a documentary crew within our show."
The eclectic cast is helmed by US actress Brit Marling (Another Earth, Sound of my Voice, Community), above, with co-stars James Nesbitt, Paterson Joseph, Jill Halfpenny, Adam Deacon, Daniel Kaluuya, Jonny Sweet, Andrew Brooke and Bertie Carvel.
Marling plays American visionary and fitness fanatic Liz Garvey from the world of new media who is parachuted in from the US to revolutionise the force's PR department. Her first move on arriving to the UK, naturally, is to dispatch her PA to track down some kombucha tea. So look out for glimpses of GO! Kombucha, Garvey's preferred brand, on her desk and elsewhere in next Sunday's episode.
Millions are expected to tune in to Oscar-winning Boyle's return to TV after a 12 year absence, and who knows? He may even be about to inadvertently trail blaze the next big UK health drink craze into the bargain!
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