After a health diagnosis transformed Elizabeth Gunther’s life, she made sure that the change was by far a net positive. After attending a workshop on the two thousand year old, naturally fermented tea, kombucha, she soon began to feel its impact on her health and in her line of work.

When Elizabeth was just 21, she was diagnosed with Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes, a chronic condition where the body makes little or no insulin – the hormone which allows sugar to enter your cells and produce energy. Treatment involves managing the amount of sugar in your blood using insulin, diet and lifestyle.

Growing up in a very health conscious household, Elizabeth’s diagnosis came as a shock. And with it, her dreams had to shift to adjust to her new lifestyle. Elizabeth soon started her health journey of trying to find out what works best for her and that’s when she stumbled across kombucha.

“When I started drinking kombucha, it was almost like a sour, slightly sweet tonic that gave me energy, balanced my blood sugar, made me lose weight, dropped my cholesterol levels and [made] my Vitamin B sky high,” she explains.

Elizabeth fell in love with the benefits of kombucha, and decided that she wanted to share it with people. She quit her day job and started brewing the fermented drink and thus, Tea of Life was born. This week, we joined Elizabeth and her employees at the Tea of Life Brewing Factory in Capricorn Park, Muizenberg.

“Kombucha is a fermented tea which is made from a culture [that] is a symbiosis of bacteria and yeast, and that ferments with the sugar and the tea,” explains Elizabeth, “it kind of eats the sugar and the caffeine from the tea then makes a lot of acids. This is the fermentation process and all those bacteria that’s in this culture are very good for your gut.”

Made with real ginger and lemons, no artificial flavours or colourants, the natural, unfiltered, unpasteurised product is a hit at Craig Holmes’ café – Hang Ten Café.

“A lot of my customers are health conscious people, so the concept of kombucha is not new to them, but the Tree of Life product is their preferred one. Elizabeth is often around and she espouses the values of this place which is sustainability” explains Craig. 

With her kombucha drink now stocked in over fifty supermarkets, cafes, pharmacies and health shops, Elizabeth needed a bank to fit her enterprising spirit.

“I recently became a client of Capitec. The app is incredible. I’m still exploring it, so I’m not sure of all the benefits yet, but every time I look, I discover a new benefit and it’s quite amazing,” she exclaims. 

“The virtual card is really cool because I always lose my card so having my phone with me and paying with that is awesome. And, I think it’s also safer,” explains Elizabeth. As a successful businesswoman, we asked Elizabeth what was the biggest takeaway from all this.

“If I can give anyone advice, it is that life is super short. Find out what you love and do it. If you can build a business from it, then that’s even better, but live as if every night is your last.”

That’s true wisdom, learned by a woman who transformed a life-altering challenge into endless opportunity for herself and others. 


If you have your own live better vision, let us know and stand a chance of winning a R1000. Simply reply to the competition post on The Insider SA’s social media platforms using #CapitecLiveBetter. Ts & Cs apply and can be found on The Insider SA website.



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