Kombucha seems to be continuing its trend among the natural health crowd. But, this fizzy drink isn’t new to the scene, it’s just had a spotlight put on it in recent years. Kombucha has actually been around for a very long time, in fact, it dates back to 200 B.C., originating in China.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha, pronouced kawm-boo-chah or kuh m-boo-chuh, is basically a sugary tea that has been fermented with a SCOBY. SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha starts out as tea loaded with sugar, the SCOBY ferments the tea by eating the majority of the sugar. The final drink concoction is fizzy, has a tart bite, and is decently low in sugar and calories.
What are the health claims?
There seems to be a limited number of studies on kombucha, although there have been some rodent studies which look good. Many of the claims made have been from personal experiences with the beverage.
It is a fermented beverage loaded with probiotics (good bacteria). Probiotics are known to benefit your digestive system. It’s also said to be high in antioxidants, which are good for your immune system. And, kombucha is supposed to contain energy boosting b vitamins. If you want to learn more about the health benefits, check out this article from The Spruce Eats.
Are there any risks or other things you should be aware of?
Kombucha is relatively easy to make at home. But, if you’re not following safe practices, the kombucha could become contaminated. If it gets contaminated it could cause stomach issues or other allergic reactions. It’s also highly dangerous to brew it in a ceramic container, “the acids in the tea draw out lead from the glaze, contaminating the beverage with toxins.” If you want to brew it at home, just make sure you’re following the correct procedures to ensure your kombucha is safe to drink.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t drink bottle after bottle. This beverage has lactic acid, large amounts may potentially lead to life threatening, lactic acidosis. But, the good news is, you’d probably have to consume a pretty hefty portion for this to happen.
Also keep in mind, kombucha is said to contain a minimal amount of caffeine and alcohol.
Overall kombucha seems like a pretty safe beverage to consume, as long as you’re not brewing it in a ceramic container, drinking large amounts of it, or brewing it in unsafe conditions.
Kombucha has been boosted for its health benefits and has had a long life span. It’s hard to argue with something that people have been consuming for their health since 200 B.C. It may not fix all that ails you, but it could offer some health perks.