Japanese Goodies, Multiple Sclerosis, Tea

Kombucha Tea Not the best choice for MSrs

I used to drink kombucha tea in the 60’s when it was just a nice, bubbly Japanese brew. Now that it’s become really popular, some makers touting all kinds of questionable benefits, I decided to check and see if it would be ok for me to enjoy because I like the taste.

Since it may increase immune system activity, it seems to not be a good choice if you have MS or other immune system diseases.

Kombucha fermentation

Here’s a report from the Mayo Clinic :

What is kombucha tea? Does it have any health benefits?

Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it’s sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it’s a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds.

Proponents claim kombucha tea helps prevent and manage serious health conditions, from blood pressure to cancer. These claims are not backed by science. Limited evidence suggests kombucha tea may offer benefits similar to probiotic supplements, including promoting a healthy immune system and preventing constipation. At present, however, valid medical studies of kombucha tea’s role in human health are very limited — and there are risks to consider.

There have been reports of adverse effects, such as stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions in kombucha tea drinkers. Kombucha tea is often brewed in homes under nonsterile conditions, making contamination likely. When improperly manufactured ceramic pots have been used for brewing, lead poisoning has occurred — the acids in the tea can leach lead from the ceramic glaze.

In short, there isn’t enough evidence that kombucha tea delivers on its health claims. At the same time, several cases of harm have been reported. Therefore, the prudent approach is to avoid kombucha tea until more definitive information is available.

Japanese Goodies, Life in Arkansas, Tea

Mt. Fuji Japanese Shop, Little Rock

I love the little Japanese grocery situated under the Mt. Fuji Sushi Restaurant in Little Rock. It’s very much like walking into a corner store, shelves packed with all kinds of supplies and goodies. It helps if you can read some Japanese but the people there are more than happy to tell you what something is if you’re not sure. There are bath & beauty supplies, sushi making gear & ingredients, gifts, a small selection of popular manga books, decorations for the home, plates & dishes, tea sets, sake’ sets and the best price on 7″ Daruma dolls I’ve found so far.

The store is only open when the restaurant is open. In other words, you can’t get in when the restaurant is shut down between lunch and dinner. Access is either from the store level sidewalk or from a stairway inside the restaurant.

Since I moved to Little Rock in 2000 the Mt. Fuji Restaurant has remained my favorite place for a truly Japanese experience. It is owned and operated by a lovely Japanese family, the sushi is always great with (what I think) is the freshest fish supply in town, a very large menu and good selection of sake’ types and brands.

The proof that this Japanese restaurant and shop has a comfortable and welcoming environment is that I see parents coming in with their kids : well behaved, respectful, inquisitive & quiet kids. This is a great way for the youth to learn about other cultures, to widen their food experiences and to teach them how to behave in a quiet, cultured atmosphere. My choice of restaurants must be based not only on the food but also on the peacefulness of the environment, low volume/relaxing music and no noise or crowding.
Mt. Fuji fulfills all of these needs and, after a lovely dinner, I can stop in the shop downstairs and pick up more wasabi, sushi rice and Japanese toys.