A tea which claims to cure ailments such as asthma, acne, cancer and high blood pressure to name a few. Seems too good to be true… and well, maybe it just is.
This magical tea to which I am referring is Kombucha. Kombucha tea can be found bottled in localhealth food stores or can be brewed in the comfort of your own home. Kombucha tea is a sweet black tea made of yeasts and bacteria. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
Part of what Kombucha claims to do is help digestion, rid the body of toxins, boost the immune system, aid in weight loss, ward off heart disease and relieve arthritis pain. When a drink claims to have these super healing powers, consumers will drink it, no matter what the aftertaste or smell. So, what’s the catch?
Well, the catch is that most of these claims are not backed by any scientific evidence. In fact, there have been reported cases of some negative side effects of Kombucha such as lactic acidosis and liver toxicity. The FDA also warns people about the possibility of contamination of fungi in susceptible individuals. There may also be a risk of harmful bacteria or mold if brewing your own tea at home, so be sure to use glass, stainless steel or plastic containers, nothing which can leach lead.
So now that we heard the good, the bad and the ugly on Kombucha, what’s our final take on it?
That it’s not for everyone.
Most of what we know about Kombucha are claims and not evidence based facts, which makes it a bit tricky to make a general conclusion on it. If you have been drinking it for some time now and are seeing good results, then great, stick with it. However, it’s safest to tackle whether Kombucha is for you on a case by case basis, particularly because it can interact differently with certain medical conditions.
And that’s the scoop on Kombucha.
by Adina Cohen, Eat 2 Perform Intern