Kombucha tea is very popular in many other parts of the world, however just because it has a following in other areas of the world doesn’t mean it is safe or has any health benefits. Kombucha tea is often referred to as mushroom tea, but its actually a tea that is fermented using bacteria. The tea is produced or fermented by using black or green tea, the bacteria colony and sugar, white sugar. The product after the fermenting process is said to contain vitamins and other compounds.
Kombucha tea is commonly prepared using a starter sample from an old batch of tea or by growing a new batch. Kombucha tea can be bought several ways including on the Internet or from herbalists. There are many people who believe Kombucha tea has health benefits such as improving liver and digestion function, stimulating the immune system, clearing up skin problems, detoxification and even weight loss. There are also many people who believe the tea can prevent certain cancers. It should be noted however that none of the health benefits have been medically substantiated. Before starting any alternative therapy or herbal regimen it is vital that you contact your medical professional, many herbal remedies or alternative therapies can cause adverse reactions especially if you are taking conventional medications.
In some instances there have been allergic reactions associated with Kombucha tea and some reports have even cited metabolic acidosis and toxic complaints due to tea consumption. Kombucha tea is also reported to have a high risk of mold formation due to the bacteria and yeast that is used in the fermenting process. The non-sterile conditions in which this tea is also home fermented is also cause for many health concerns.
In 2003 a study was published in Biomedical Environmental Science saying that Kombucha tea acted as an antioxidant and enhanced the immune system, however this study was done on rats and there still to this day have been no reported human studies on this tea.
Kombucha tea while being growing in popularity by many should be approached cautiously, talk to your physician about this tea first before you make any rash purchase decision. Do plenty of research into the health claims of the tea, as well as all the adverse reactions that some consumers have experienced. I have been a nurse a long time and in my opinion this tea has not undergone the proper medical research studies to be deemed medically beneficial in any way.
References for this article include: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00039742.htm