Kombucha is a very old mixture made from green, black or oolong tea and refined sugar that contains bacteria and yeast. It has sour-sweet taste and contains vitamin B and probiotics good for our body and brain.
All the studies regarding kombucha are limited, but that doesn’t mean this beverage isn’t healthy.
“Probiotics, or the good gut bacteria, are being linked to multiple health benefits, including improved digestion, immune health, fighting depression, and even improved dental health in children,” says dietitian Heather Mangieri, spokeswoman for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
And Michelle Crowder, ND, the senior naturopath at Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, MI, stated “We do know from a biomedical standpoint that B vitamins are … important for nervous system function and hormone and nerve signaling balance. Some of the health claims are likely overstated, but it does seem that true health benefits do exist.”
Can You Get Drunk from Kombucha?
Brian Nummer, Ph.D., Utah State University Extension food safety specialist, authored a special report on kombucha in the November 2013 Journal of Environment Science. He says:
“There is likely no harm in … considering kombucha healthy. I would just caution people from elevating it to a panacea.”
Since there are live cultures in kombucha, they are also in charge of alcohol content. The typical fermenting process of this drink lasts about 7-10 days and during that time, the bacteria and yeast shovel in sugar in the tea, while producing acids and some amount of alcohol.
“Many fermented foods and even ripe fruit and fruit juice contain trace amounts of alcohol due to the same process,” Nummer added. “If prepared, stored, and consumed correctly, the amount of alcohol in the finished kombucha product should be minimal, less than 0.5%.”
Is it Safe?
Some scientist linked kombucha to some side effects like stomach problems and allergic reactions, but all that is not confirmed.
But in the end, drinking of this tea in moderation will not cause any side effects. You should not drink more than 4 ounces of kombucha a day.
“Like most things, more is not better,” Mangieri stated. “As a precaution, young children, pregnant women, and anyone with a compromised immune system should avoid drinking kombucha tea until further evidence is available.”
Where can be Found?
You can find kombucha in health food stores, or you can make it at home with a starter kit. Keep in mind that some brands of this drink contain more alcohol than the others, but that should be labeled.