DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert on kombucha. AT ALL. This is my own personal research and testimonials on the drink.
Oh man. This is a topic I love talking about. Because it is weird and not a normal thing, but guys… IT IS SO GOOD FOR YOU. Grant it, that is my personal opinion. Let me tell (as a person who brews his own and drinks it daily) this stuff is magic.
Here are 7 reasons from Dr. John Axe, why you should consider drinking kombucha:
- Helps the digestive system with probiotics.
- Boosts energy with enzymes and B vitamins.
- Detoxifies the body with gluconic acid and probiotics.
- Strengthens immune system with anti-oxidants.
- Weight loss with acetic and polyphenals.
- Fights cancer with glucaric acid.
- Eases joint pain and helps prevent arthritis with glucosamines.
The benefits are crazy good. Not only that but, kombucha is super tasty! But you’re probably wondering, “what the heck is it?”.
While kombcucha seems to be the latest trend, it is actually a “come-back”, if you will. Records of kombucha being consumed date back 2,000 years ago to the ancient Chinese. So it has been around a while. It sometimes referred to as the “mushroom tea”, but alas, there are no mushroom remnants to be found in this drink. Basically, kumbucha is either black or green tea that has been fermented by something called a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). So this scoby sits and floats on the surface of the tea and ferments it, releasing all sorts of nutrients, like, probiotics, vitamians, anti-oxidants, etc. After the tea has been fermented, it tastes kind of bitter and vinegary, but usually you mix the base tea with fruit juices to make it more pleasant tasting (although I prefer it unflavored).
So why is this tea all the rage? I mean why not? Did you not read the 7 points made above? Honestly, I have no idea why it is so popular. I kind of jumped on the bandwagon a few months ago and went above and beyond. I actually brew my own. Yep, I have my own scoby and I make my own batches. But I can honestly say this stuff works, it is rather miraculous to be honest.
So a just a few ways it has worked for me:
1. This year I decided not to get the flu shot. Kombucha was said to wonders for the immune system, so I put it to the test. I am one of those people who needs the flu shot, otherwise I am guaranteed to get sick for sure. So it was risky, I know. But guess what? I haven’t got sick once since I started drinking a glass of it daily back in November. All my coworkers were getting sick left and right, and I never felt a symptom. Not once. It really did an amazing (and is) job at fighting off sickness in my body and preventing me from catching any bugs. Crazy, I know.
2. It helps stomach aches so much. I cut dairy out of my diet (personal conviction), but when you cut out something like dairy, after a while you make yourself intolerant to it. So now whenever I eat dairy (which is very rarely), I get a really bad stomach ache. But I’ll just sip on some kombucha and soon after I feel a whole lot better. It does wonders for my digestive system.
These are just a few stories from one person, that person being me. But being a skeptic of it at first, I have nothing but rave reviews for the health drink. But just like with everything, there are possible side effects to drinking kombucha, and so to be real with you all and honest here they are (these are from webmd.com). The article states under its “side-effects” tab the following:
Kombucha tea is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for most adults when taken by mouth. It can cause side effects including stomach problems, yeast infections, allergic reactions, yellow skin (jaundice), nausea, vomiting, head and neck pain, and death.
Kombucha tea, especially batches made at home where it’s hard to maintain a germ-free environment, can become contaminated with fungus (Aspergillus) and bacteria (including anthrax). In Iran, 20 people got anthrax infections from taking kombucha tea. This tea is LIKELY UNSAFE in people with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS, who are more likely to get infections, as well as when it is prepared in a lead-glazed ceramic pot. Lead poisoning has been reported following ingestion of kombucha tea.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Kombucha tea is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Alcoholism: Kombucha tea contains alcohol. Avoid it if you have a drinking problem.
Diabetes: Kombucha tea might affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use kombucha tea.
Diarrhea: Kombucha tea contains caffeine. The caffeine in kombucha tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea.
Surgery: Since kombucha tea seems to affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using kombucha tea at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Weak immune system: Don’t use kombucha tea if you have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or other causes. Kombucha tea can support the growth of bacteria and fungus that can cause serious infections.
Wow. In my opinion and personal experience, I think that this is very dramatic (referring to the possibility of dying). But when talking about medical aspect of things, you have to cover all possible possibilities, regardless of how drastic they are. I will tell you, I know people who were pregnant who drank kombucha all through out their pregnancy and everything was fine. I know people who have diabetes who consume kombucha daily and it does not seem to effect them (in terms of these side-effects). But every person is different and every one has a different body that reacts in different ways. If you have concerns or questions about whether kombucha is something you should drink, I would consult your doctor. They actually have a degree and know what they are talking about when it comes to these types of things.
Last thing I want to point out is the alcohol part. NO I am not brewing my own alcohol. You will not get carded for purchasing this at a store. This is not a beverage that you can get drunk on. It has a alcoholic content percentage between .02 and .05. It is not even going to get you buzzed, at all. The very little trace of alcohol is solely from the fermentation process. So just keep that in mind when thinking about kombucha.
So like I said, I brew my own. It is more affordable for me to do that and honestly more practical (since I drink a glass a day). With that, unfortunately I have not tried many brands that can be bought at your local health foods store. I have had the brand Healthaide, and it was delicious. I copped some of those for a road trip at Whole Foods. But there are several different brands, and honestly I recommend trying them and seeing which one you like. Because just because I like something, does not mean you will like it.
So say you get some kombucha and are all about it. Let me give some advice. If probiotics are not a normal part of your diet, I would start slow. Maybe drink half a glass your first time, instead of the whole thing (it will not go bad). It just may be overwhelming for your insides to go from receiving no probiotic to all the probiotic in a short amount of time. You won’t die or get sick, you will just have to make frequent trips to the bathroom because it is cleaning you out. So start slow and work your way up. Think of a marathon. You have to start running 1 mile before you can think about running the race. Once your system is acquainted, I wouldn’t drink more than 32 oz. a day. Again it is more of a bathroom thing than an actual threat.
All in all, I have nothing but wonderful things to say about kumbocha. I love it. It works for me. Try it out for yourself. See how it can help you live the life you want to live!
Get some, post it, and use #etc