I have recently been hearing more and more about Kombucha tea. I have relatives that love it and some brew their own at home. I keep hearing from them that it is so great so I decided to do a little research and see the benefits/risks for myself. Important note: I have not ingested a significant amount and can not claim any benefits or bad reactions. I simply did some reading.
Apparently, this is a very hot topic! People are pretty heated about whether or not they think Kombucha is a safe thing to drink. Here, I read a rebuttle, point for point, against “mainstream media’s” take on Kombucha. The only issue I have with the arguments made here is that Kombucha Kamp seemed to have demonized western medicine. Western medicine is a science. The writer on this website dismisses deaths that were suspected, but not proven to be caused by Kombucha. I don’t think this is fair. They dismiss the opinions of people who have literally spent their lives studying medicine but claim the tea is healthy based on their own opinions, not proof.
The deaths were linked to extremely high levels of lactic acid in close proximity to consuming Kombucha, the same toxin your muscles release when they are tired and don’t have enough oxygen. It causes that burning feeling when you run too hard. Kombucha tea is claimed to be a detoxifying tea and I don’t disagree. From what I’ve read, no one disagrees that point. It stands to reason that the deaths linked to Kombucha were cause by Kombucha doing the job it is brewed for. I think it was releasing the toxin lactic acid, just too much too fast. This can cause heart failure, which obviously can lead to death.
I also read this American Cancer Society article that demonizes Kombucha tea as a snake oil that will kill you. Once again, I disagree. Advocates for Kombucha tea do not claim it to be a “cure-all” as described in this article. As far as I can tell, they claim only that it will detoxify your body and help boost your immune system by making sure your body can absorb nutrients well. I think this is accurate.
As with anything, be careful. Too much of anything is a bad thing. I think the most balanced thoughts on Kombucha tea I found in this article online. This M.D. suggests moderation when drinking Kombucha tea until the day there is a conclusive human study done. I like that he took the time to do his own research and didn’t rely on fear mongering to get his point across. Both in this article and the one I read on KombuchaKamp.com suggested starting out slow and to make sure to brew it in a safe container, which is great advice. Downing a gallon of it everyday from the start would release a terrible amount of toxins. Brewing it in a container that contains lead is just plain stupid.
Conclusion: Go ahead a drink it. Just only drink a little bit at first and for a while. Brewing it at home should be done carefully and hygenically. If you reap some benefits, great.
What do you think? Have you ever tried Kombucha?