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Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea

Kombucha Tea: Fact or Fiction

Kombucha tea is all the rage, but whether the health claims have been substantiated is a different story. I constantly get asked whether the kombucha (pronounced com-boo-cha) hype is real when I'm guzzling down my favorite flavor. Unfortunately, there haven't been enough studies on the ancient tea to leave us with a simple fact or fiction answer, but here's what we do know.

Kombucha tea is touted as a health drink that boosts the body's ability to fight disease while also bringing balance back. Often referred to as a mushroom, kombucha is actually a symbiosis of bacteria and yeast. After sugar and tea are added to the kombucha starter, a fermentation process results in an effervescent tea. In addition to the new fizz, the final product contains vinegar, B vitamins, and a number of other chemical compounds. I'll be honest; the flavor of kombucha is definitely an acquired taste. Some folks think it's plain awful, but many people claim the drink gives them a calm energy and a helping hand, cleansing their bodies of toxins.

Although it has been consumed by the Chinese since 221 B.C., there hasn't been a single human trial on the benefits of kombucha. Many experts, including Dr. Weil, have expressed concern about kombucha. In addition to the unsubstantiated health claims, some worry about the possibility of contamination in home-brewed kombucha — some batches can grow aspergillus, a toxin-producing fungus, which has been shown to cause adverse reactions in individuals with weakened immune systems. While this doesn't necessarily mean there are no benefits to the tea, it does leave me with the feeling that we should take the advertised health benefits of kombucha with a grain of salt.

Do you enjoy this tea regularly? Be sure to get a glimpse at how kombucha is created, and tell me whether you love it or loathe it in the comments below!

Join The Conversation
Hayleecakes Hayleecakes 7 years
I've always been a healthy eater. Thats why I was surprised when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in May of 2008. I opted to not take any medication. Instead I started drinking 16oz of Kombucha a day, usually at night. My first experience with kombucha was a turn off. I started with synergy ginger flavor- I thought that the stringy floaty culture things slipped by the inspectors at the factory. I tried it and spit it out, and made my kombucha loving friend down the rest of the bottle. I researched some of the health effects of the drink and decided to give it a second chance. Mystic mango and guava goddess from synergy are actually more palatable in my opinion. Ive even grown to love the green one, and old ginger gag too. Since I've added 16oz/day of Kombucha to my diet, Ive had enough energy to exercise, lost thirty lbs, and my glucose fasting test is reading an average of 110-which is really, really good compared to the 190's I was reading before. So, do I think kombucha has health benefits? YES. For those of you that also adore kombucha, do you notice how it kind of makes you sweat a little about an hour after you've had one? I think that's proof that it cleaning out your system.
Prizm Prizm 8 years
I must say, after a week of drinking the grape flavored Kombucha tea by Synergy (sold at Whole Foods) my energy levels have noticeably increased! I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder in which fatigue is an almost ongoing symptom. Since drinking the Kombucha, I've had better mental clarity, less food cravings (I also have blood sugar problems), better bowel movements (too much info?) and yes, more energy. I groom dogs for a living, and since drinking this stuff, I have been able to work longer without taking a break. I'm really impressed! I also read on a message board that there was a study done in a Turkish university where Kombucha was discovered to destroy a certain bacteria that is theorized to cause Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I am not sure if it's true, but it was because of that message board post, and a positive testimonial thread written by a person who claimed to have cured himself of hashimoto's after drinking the tea, that I decided to try it for myself. It also tasted disgusting at first, but now I actually enjoy it.
simplerootz simplerootz 8 years
I also love the taste. I like the citrus and grape flavors. I actually have taken it at the onset of a cold and it has helped me recover very quickly like in a couple of days. It does help detox the body and I feel energized. I am a long distance runner and enjoy drinking Kombucha at least 3 times a week.
freshcracked freshcracked 8 years
I make this stuff myself, and LOVE it. It turns out different every time, and is like a work of art. I've given away many cultures. I blogged about it at if you'd like directions. Just do a search there for "kombucha."
GiggleSugar GiggleSugar 9 years
I love the taste (I am drinking Guava now) but I mostly love the marketing buzzwords on the front: organic, raw, restore,rejuvenate,replenish, revitalize, regenerate. I'm a sucker for that stuff! :nerdgirl:
quietone84 quietone84 9 years
I tried it and found the taste to awful to care about any health benefits.
spacebear spacebear 9 years
OK i just tried the ginger one and it tasted and smelled like cider vinegar! Is that how its supposed to taste?
spacebear spacebear 9 years
I had never heard of this but will definately try it!
SophiaKatya SophiaKatya 9 years
tea laden, what do you mean by "infused with water?"
Tea-LAden Tea-LAden 9 years
Seems like everything that is infused with water is called "tea" I think that some of these infusions actually turn some people off to real tea. I know when I was young my mom always gave me "tea" that tasted like yuk and I never drank tea because of that. It was later in life that I actually experienced real loose leaf tea and it became such a passion and enjoyment that I started my own tea company.
Genie Genie 9 years
i make this before but i dont really like it...healthy thou!
VolleyJen14 VolleyJen14 9 years
I drink gt's too.....i like the ginger flavored one, it tastes like a really tart gingery soda, a little weird, but you get to like the taste of it.... I love the way it makes me feel, i get a total boost of energy without getting the jittery effects of coffee...and it seems like it settles my stomach too!
lixystix lixystix 9 years
i tried to like it i really did but after 3 sips i wanted to be sick. The taste is really hard to get sounds like those who finish bottles love it--but i dont know if that will ever happen.
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