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Appreciating all of the mommies… even slimy ones

May 10, 2019

This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day. This is undoubtedly a human holiday, but I’d like to reflect on all things that bring life into the world. This includes something slimy and delicious and somewhat mysterious… kombucha!

Kombucha originated around 2,000 years ago in the Far East. It is a bubbly tangy fermented beverage with tremendous health benefits for your brain, your heart, and especially your gut.

The active culture in kombucha is called a SCOBY (which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). My kids like to call it the “kombucha mommy”.


As long as it’s fed and treated properly, the kombucha mommy will keep growing and producing kombucha babies indefinitely. Incredible!

You feed the kombucha mommy black tea sweetened with sugar (cane sugar, honey, or other sugars). Then, the mommy jumpstarts the fermentation process, eating the sugar and producing enzymes and lots of probiotic bacteria.

When consumed, these probiotic bacteria line your digestive tract and support your immune system, as they absorb nutrients and fight infection and illness.

The kombucha mommy takes the shape of the container it’s in and typically floats at the top. When healthy, it will continue to get thicker and thicker.

The kombucha mommy is odd to handle. It’s slimy and feels a bit like smooth raw chicken breast. You can chop up the mommy and make more mommies and even more kombucha.

Just like most human mothers, the kombucha mommy works tirelessly. It grows as its babies grow. It needs to stay in balance. And, it relies on input from the outside world to stay healthy.


Thank you to all the mommies this week who work tirelessly for their families. Thank you to the humans, cows, pigs, birds, bees, and all the other mommies. Without you, we would not have this beautiful diversity we call earth.

As Barbara Kingsolver wrote, “Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws."

I toast to you (with kombucha, of course)!

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