Kombucha tea is an ancient health remedy that has been around for nearly 2000 years or so. Kombucha Fungus japonicus, it is often referred to as a mushroom, but is actually a colony of yeast and bacteria that looks like a jelly-like substance. First used in China to help relieve digestive problems. Advocates believe kombucha can reduce symptoms of arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis and shingles. In addition some say the tea turns gray hair dark, increases energy and curbs excessive alcohol consumption. I have to say I haven’t used or prescribed this tea to anyone, so I have no first hand experience of this tea.
Brewing the tea requires a starter containing the kombucha culture. The gelatinous pancake is floated on top of a mixture of brewed green tea. After a week or 10 days of fermenting, the culture replicates itself or “has a baby” and creates a carbonated drink that resembles cider. The tea is strained and put into the fridge and stored for daily consumption. It is not a taste that most people like it is probably an acquired taste.
Along with the health benefits of kombucha, researchers are analyzing its potential to cause health problems. There have been reports that caution is needed do not drink large amounts. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) cautioned the necessity to know how very important it is to prepare this tea properly. Since the tea is produced in individual homes under varying conditions, contamination with pathogenic organisms is possible. The FDA have advised people to make the tea in glass or ceramic containers, not to store the tea in enameled and lead crystal containers. The finished tea is acidic in nature which can encourage leaching of toxins into the tea.
Lastly, kombucha tea can trigger low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in those susceptible or with yeast problems (candidia). Though, kombucha tea has been extensively touted as immune enhancing. If you have an immuno-compromised disease or a serious illness like diabetes, you should not consider taking this tea without professional advice.