Benefits of Kombucha Tea, Nutrition and Side Effects
Kombucha Tea is a fermented drink made from green tea or even black tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. It has been around for centuries and was originally consumed in Russia and China. The benefits of kombucha tea are vast and include detoxification, increased energy, improved digestion, and better skin health.
Kombucha Tea also has an acquired taste that takes some time to get used to. But once you do acquire a taste for it, you will be wondering why you didn't start drinking it sooner!
Table of Contents
- What Exactly is Kombucha Tea
- Tha History and Culture
- Kombucha Tea Nutritional Facts
- Benefits of Kombucha Tea
- 1. Kombucha Tea and Acne
- 2. Kombucha Tea Ulcerative Colitis
- 3. Kombucha Tea Weight Loss
- 4. Kombucha Tea and Fatty Liver
- 5. Kombucha Tea Can Help with Diabetes
- 6. Kombucha Tea Improves your Immune System
- 7. Kombucha can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
- 8. Kombucha Has Anti-Fungal Properties
- Kombucha Tea Side Effects
- Kombucha Tea During Pregnancy
- Does Kombucha Tea have Alcohol
- How to Make Kombucha Tea at Home
- What does Kombucha Tea Taste Like?
- Why is Kombucha Tea so Popular?
What Exactly is Kombucha Tea
Kombucha is a sweetened, fizzy, fermented and slightly alcoholic beverage that can vary in Types of Tea from Black to Green to even White Tea. Bizarre as it might sound, it remains a particularly popular drink in China, Japan and Russia. However, it is now spreading westward thanks in part to its Kombucha Tea benefits.
Regardless of the type used, the leaves must originate from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant as opposed to Herbal or Fruit Tea. This is because most other ingredients lack the necessary nutrients required to make Kombucha. The fermentation process is what makes this Tea so extraordinary. This has many effects.
First, it creates carbon dioxide (CO2) and a variety of acids, including lactic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid, gluconic acid and glucuronic acid. Second, it turns the natural sugars into ethanol, thus making it alcoholic, varying in strength from 0.5% to 2%. Helping the fermentation along is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, commonly known as a SCOBY.
This is a thick, round, floating microbial colony that looks very much like a mushroom. As such, many people nickname it Mushroom Tea or Fungus Tea. Doesn’t sound appealing, right? As the saying goes, “never judge a book by its cover”. This is never truer than with Kombucha Tea and its benefits.
Indeed, after a 30-day fermentation period, the result is surprisingly pleasant, if a little ‘different’. It typically boasts a unique bittersweet balance with vinegary undertones reminiscent of sparkling cider.
Tha History and Culture
Kombucha Tea has been around for centuries, with its origins tracing back to Northeast China around 220 BCE. It was here that the Qin Dynasty ruled over a particularly large and diverse empire. Consequently, their influence extended far and wide across Asia, introducing new technologies and cultures along the way.
One such technology was tea production, which the Chinese had mastered. They began exporting it to neighbouring countries, kombucha included. The history starts with green tea history. It is worth noting that kombucha was originally known as ‘the Tea of Immortality. This is because many people believed that its health benefits could help one live forever.
As kombucha spread west, it picked up a few different names. In Russia, for example, it was known as ‘chai kvass’. This translates to ‘fermented tea’, about its unique brewing process. It was also called ‘the elixir of long life’ and ‘Immortal Health Elixir’, again due to its perceived kombucha benefits.
Kombucha finally arrived in Europe in the early 20th century. However, it was not until much later that it started to gain traction in the West. This is primarily thanks to its rising popularity in California during the 1990s. From here, kombucha spread across North America before making its way to Europe and Australia.
Nowadays, kombucha is consumed all over the world and has even spawned a multi-million dollar industry. This is primarily in the United States where sales reached an impressive $600 million in 2016 alone!
Kombucha Tea Nutritional Facts
So, what are the kombucha benefits that have made it so popular? Let’s take a look at kombucha nutrition to find out.
First and foremost, kombucha is a great source of probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms (usually bacteria) that offer a whole host of health benefits. These include everything from improved digestion to a strengthened immune system.
Kombucha also contains antioxidants, which are nutrients that help protect your cells from damage. This damage is caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cell death and disease. Antioxidants help to neutralize these free radicals and prevent them from causing harm.
Finally, kombucha contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are beneficial for overall health. For example, kombucha is a good source of vitamin B12, which is important for energy levels, brain function and red blood cell production.
It also contains iron, which is essential for transporting oxygen around the body, and copper, which helps to maintain healthy bones and nerves.
Benefits of Kombucha Tea
So, kombucha is healthy. But what does that mean for you? Let’s take a look at some of the kombucha benefits in more detail.
As we mentioned earlier, kombucha is rich in probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that offer a whole host of health benefits, including improved digestion and a strengthened immune system. The antioxidants also help to neutralize free radicals. Let's go into more detail:
1. Kombucha Tea and Acne
Acne is a skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by the appearance of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. Acne can occur at any age, but it is most common in teenagers and young adults.
Many different factors can contribute to acne, including genetics, hormones, diet and stress levels. However, one of the most common causes of acne is bacteria. This bacteria enters the pores of the skin and causes inflammation, which leads to the formation of pimples.
One of the most impressive kombucha benefits is its ability to improve skin health. This is thanks to the probiotics and enzymes, which help to detoxify the skin and promote a healthy complexion.
Kombucha has also been shown to be effective in treating acne. In one study, 60% of participants who drank this tea every day for eight weeks reported a reduction in acne lesions. Skin health is not the only kombucha benefit that has been backed by science.
2. Kombucha Tea Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the colon and rectum. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, blood in the stool and weight loss. Ulcerative colitis is an incurable condition, but there are treatments available to manage the symptoms.
A study published in 2012 found that kombucha was effective in treating ulcerative colitis. In the study, 60 participants with ulcerative colitis were divided into two groups. One group drank kombucha tea for eight weeks, while the other group did not.
The results showed that it was effective in reducing symptoms of ulcerative colitis, including abdominal pain and diarrhoea. The kombucha group also had a significantly lower relapse rate than the control group.
3. Kombucha Tea Weight Loss
Weight loss is a common goal, and there are many different approaches to achieving it. Some people opt for fad diets, while others try more traditional methods like calorie counting and exercise. However, there is one method that you may not have considered: Kombucha Tea.
Kombucha tea can help with weight loss in several ways. Firstly, it aids digestion and helps to break down fats. This means that your body can absorb nutrients more efficiently and eliminate toxins more effectively. Secondly, it suppresses appetite and helps to reduce cravings. Finally, the probiotics in kombucha tea help boost metabolism.
A study published in 2010 found that kombucha tea can help with weight loss. The results showed that it was effective in reducing body weight, body fat and waist circumference. Kombucha drinkers also had lower levels of bad cholesterol and higher levels of good cholesterol than those who did not consume it.
Kombucha tea is also low in calories
A typical kombucha contains about 30 calories per serving. This makes kombucha a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
4. Kombucha Tea and Fatty Liver
The liver is a vital organ that plays an important role in detoxification, metabolism and digestion. However, it can become damaged due to certain lifestyle factors, such as alcohol consumption and obesity. This damage is known as fatty liver disease, and it can lead to serious health problems.
One of the kombucha benefits is its ability to improve liver health. In one study, kombucha was shown to protect against fatty liver disease in rats. The rats that consumed it had lower levels of fat in their livers than those that did not drink it.
Kombucha tea is also effective in treating other liver diseases. In a study of rats with hepatitis, shown to reduce inflammation and protect liver cells from damage.
5. Kombucha Tea Can Help with Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease and nerve damage.
One of the kombucha benefits is its ability to lower blood sugar levels. It has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels by up to 25%. Kombucha tea is also effective in treating other diabetes-related complications. In a study of rats with type-II diabetes, it was shown to improve insulin sensitivity and protect against kidney damage.
Kombucha tea may also be beneficial for people with type-I diabetes. In a small study of six participants, kombucha was shown to improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of complications.
6. Kombucha Tea Improves your Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s natural defence against infections and diseases. However, it can become weakened due to certain lifestyle factors, such as stress and lack of sleep. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including colds and flu.
One of the kombucha benefits is its ability to boost the immune system. Kombucha has been shown to increase the activity of white blood cells. White blood cells are a type of cell that helps to fight infection.
7. Kombucha can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. There are many different types of heart disease, but the most common is coronary heart disease. This occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become blocked.
One of the kombucha benefits is its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease. Kombucha has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and protect against artery damage.
In one study, it was shown that Kombucha reduces bad cholesterol levels by up to 25%. This is significant because high levels of bad cholesterol are a major risk factor for heart disease.
Kombucha tea may also be beneficial for people with existing heart conditions. In a small study of six participants with coronary heart disease, it was shown to improve blood flow and reduce chest pain.
8. Kombucha Has Anti-Fungal Properties
Fungal infections are a common problem that can affect anyone. They are usually harmless and can be treated with over-the-counter medication. However, some fungal infections can become serious if they are not treated properly.
One of the benefits of kombucha is its ability to fight fungal infections. Kombucha has anti-fungal properties that make it effective against a variety of fungi, including Candida albicans.
Kombucha tea is also effective in treating other types of fungal infections including athlete’s feet, kombucha was shown to reduce inflammation and kill the fungus.
Kombucha Tea Side Effects
Although kombucha tea is generally safe, there are a few side effects that you should be aware of. The most common side effect is an upset stomach. This is usually because kombucha tea contains live bacteria and yeast.
If you have a sensitive stomach, it’s best to start with small amounts of kombucha tea and see how your body reacts. Some people may also experience allergic reactions to kombucha, such as hives or swelling. If you have any allergies, it’s best to speak to your doctor before drinking kombucha tea.
Kombucha Tea During Pregnancy
It's generally safe to drink during pregnancy. However, there is a small risk of infection. This is because kombucha tea contains live bacteria and yeast.
If you’re pregnant, it’s best to speak to your doctor before drinking kombucha tea. You should also avoid drinking kombucha tea if you have a history of miscarriage or are at risk of preterm labour.
Does Kombucha Tea have Alcohol
Kombucha tea contains a small amount of alcohol. This is because kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened tea with bacteria and yeast.
The alcohol content of kombucha varies depending on the type and how it’s made. However, most kombuchas contain less than 0.50% alcohol. This is considered a non-alcoholic beverage by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How to Make Kombucha Tea at Home
Kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened tea with bacteria and yeast. This process can take up to two weeks.
The first step is to brew sweetened tea. You can use any type of tea, but Black Tea or Green Tea works best. Once the tea has cooled, add a culture of bacteria and yeast. This culture is also known as a “scoby” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).
Cover the mixture with a cloth and let it ferment for seven to ten days. The longer you let it ferment, the more tart and acidic the kombucha will be.
fter fermentation, add fruit juice or flavouring to taste. You can also second ferment kombucha by adding fruit or herbs to the mixture. This process takes an additional two to three days.
Once kombucha is fermented, it’s ready to drink! Be sure to refrigerate kombucha tea and drink it within a month.
What does Kombucha Tea Taste Like?
Kombucha tea has a sour, acidic taste that some people love and others hate. The flavour depends on the type of tea used, how long it’s fermented, and what’s added to it.
If you’re not a fan of sour flavours, you can sweeten kombucha tea with fruit juice or honey in tea. You can also try second fermentation with fruits or herbs to add more flavour.
Why is Kombucha Tea so Popular?
Kombucha tea has been around for centuries, but it’s only recently become popular in the Western world. There are a few reasons for this:
First, kombucha is a healthy alternative to sugary drinks like soda. It’s low in calories and contains probiotics, which are good for gut health.
Second, it is easy to make at home. You can find kombucha starter kits online or at your local health food store. Finally, has a unique flavour that some people love. If you’re looking for something different to drink, kombucha tea is a great option.
Kombucha tea is a fermented beverage made from sweetened black or green tea. It’s low in calories and contains live bacteria and yeast, which are good for gut health. Kombucha tea has a sour, acidic taste that some people love and others hate.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to sugary drinks like soda, this tea is a great option. You can find kombucha starter kits online or at your local health food store. Give it a try!
I hope this article has answered all of your questions about kombucha tea!