Blog Review: Botanica Health, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Botanica Health are about far more than kombucha.  This 40-plus-person Canadian company distributes a wide range of health products of which ‘booch is just one.

So why review their blog on Booch News? We decided to go ahead because this is a well written and beautifully designed blog with a stable of guest authors who address a wide range of health-related issues including fermentation and gut health.

Stats

Blogging since: February 29, 2016
Last Updated: November 13, 2018
Posting Frequency: 1-2 times a month (despite a tagline that claims to offer “Your daily dose of wellness & mindfulness tips.”)
Post Length: 800 – 1,000 words
Aesthetic Appeal: Beautifully designed with postings by a variety of authors.
Graphics: Professional full-screen-width shots of their products paired with foods, herbs and more.
Categories: Inflammation, Stress & Anxiety, Herbs, Nutrition, Supplements.
Comments allowed: No
Alexa.com global traffic ranking: 1,626,515
Social Media: They joined Twitter eight years ago and have attracted 613 followers with1,490 tweets. Their Instagram account has 11,600 followers and 361 pictures. There are 47,267 Facebook followers. They joined YouTube just over two years ago and their six videos have been viewed 814,000 times. They have 204 YouTube subscribers. Their Pintrest account boasts 1,600 monthly viewers and 541 pins.

Desperately Seeking Kombucha

Botanica do sell ‘booch, but finding the products, or a mention of it in their blog, is a challenge.

Their Botanica Fermented Kombucha has been renamed as a Daily Digestive Shot.  Their Berry Basil Soda is “spiked with kombucha”. The recipe for Lemon Spiked Kombucha Iced Tea calls for just 4 tsp of kombucha.  Indeed, guest author Katolen Yardley, writing on the topic of Supplement Confusion, states:

Unlike popular fermented beverages like kombucha – which are often noticeably sweet and sometimes carbonated, Botanica uses the fermentation process for maximizing the therapeutic value; continuing fermentation until all sugar have been used up and the liquid taste slightly tart – the end result is a zero-calorie enhanced herbal ferment with the benefit of easily assimilated nutrients.

When we brew kombucha at home if “all sugars are used up” then it tastes far more that “slightly” tart!  Be that as it may, there are just eight blog posts that mention kombucha, and none dedicated solely to the product.

Fermentation

Their post on Fermentation Methods and the Best Fermented Foods by nutritionist Miranda Wiley contrasts the production of kombucha–which uses sugar–with salt-based fermented pickles and sauerkraut and sourdough bread that is leavened with a fermented flour starter.

In the production of kombucha, a fermented black tea, or other fermented herbs a small amount of sugar needs to be added to “jump start” the growth of the bacteria and to give them enough energy to create the enzymes that will liberate the naturally occurring sugars from compounds in the tea or starting material.

It’s interesting that the author claims ‘booch only uses a “small” amount of sugar. Really?

Useful References

The post by Leesa Klich on The best brain nutrients you need to be eating includes an outstanding list of 40 references. Many of these will be useful for anyone wishing to understand more about the benefits of the probiotics and other beneficial elements in kombucha. Just one example:

Dolan, K.E., Finley, H.J., Burns, C.M., Gasta, M.G., Gossard, C.M., Parker, E.C., Pizano, J.M., Williamson, C.B. & Lipski, E.A. (2016). Probiotics and Disease: A Comprehensive Summary-Part 1, Mental and Neurological Health. Integr Med (Encinitas). 15(5), 46-58.

Bilingual Blog

As a Canadian company they have both English and French-language versions of their blog. Posting in mulitple languages is something companies elsewhere might think of duplicating to enable them to break into multilingual markets and new geographies. Since Kombucha originated in China we’d be curious to hear of any Mandarin or Cantonese language ‘booch blogs.

Brand Confusion

As we’ve noted, there’s risk to a brand when company names overlap. Botanica Health is not immune. They might be confused with Santa Cruz, California-based Kombucha Botanica. However, the California company is a fraction of the size of their Canadian namesake. They have a scant 117 followers on a Twitter account that’s not been updated in almost seven years. There’s a problem for anyone searching online for a “Botanica” brand of kombucha which lists the Santa Cruz outfit ahead of them in the results:

Overall

The blog reflects the mission of the company to be a partner in good health with their customers. They state:

You don’t do fads or believe in quick fixes and neither do we. We believe it’s not overnight changes or one-size-fits-all solutions, but a steady long-term approach.

This is evident in this well-written, carefully researched blog. It’s not all ‘booch, but that’s not all bad.

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