Sassafras Kombucha

My father in law offered the girls and I root beer kombucha and my wheels started spinning. 

“How can I make root beer kombucha?”

Then I remembered our sassafras tree in the pasture. 

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The summer Brook found that tree he was a happy man. He made us all brush our teeth with the roots.

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Though our ancestors did use it for oral care it got its reputation from  Native Americans who would dote over the miraculous benefits of the sassafras properties and offered it to Europeans that came to North America. It’s how root beer got its name after Charles Hires created his root beer mix using the sassafras root.  Later pharmacists started adding the drink to sweetened carbonated water.  The sassafras root was a key ingredient in root beer until research found that the compound safrole caused cancer in rodents they now use artificial flavoring in rootbeer.  Ironically sassafras was banned by the U.S. Food And Drug Administration because it was found to be a carcinogen. So you decide what is best for your family. 

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Some health experts (most notably, Dr. Andrew Weil) still say that drinking sassafras tea is probably safe in moderation due to the wide variety of health benefits. 

  • Improved urinary tract health

  • Reduced symptoms of arthritis

  • Clearer skin and eyes

  • Treatment of sprains

  • Reduced itching or swelling from bug bites or stings

  • A boost in immune health

  • Improved circulation

  • Reduced symptoms of gout

  • Improved digestion

  • Reduced fevers

Sassafras leaves can be harvested from spring to fall, while the twigs and roots are good all year. All parts of the tree can make an herbal tea though the root will make the strongest tea. For medicinal use, the root is best. Scrape off the outer bark before preparing the tea. It is best to simmer the root for 20 minutes rather than steep like one would do for a tea.  When finished, strain and serve. You can still make root beer by adding seltzer water and sweetener to the tea. 

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We did end up making root beer kombucha simply by  adding the clean, peeled root to the kombucha on the second ferment.  You can also add whole clove and ginger to the mix for a full body flavored root beer. Another way we intend to use the bark  is to dry the root and grind it for a spice comparable to cinnamon.

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If you’rr thinking how do I get this root if I don’t have a tree on my property. 

You can find it already prepared through this link.  https://amzn.to/32KDil3

Can’t wait to see your root beer kombucha.  Make sure you tag me on Instagram @wellfolkrevival so I can see your beautiful combination.