Kombucha tea is a fermented beverage from East Asia brewed from tea leaves, sugar, and an organic starter of yeasts and bacteria that drive the fermentation process and lend the end result various probiotics with reputed health benefits. The combination of yeasts and bacteria creates a balance between alcoholic and acidic content so that neither becomes particularly strong. Its taste is somewhat like a hard (alcoholic) cider, though it comes in a number of natural flavorings.
Kombucha is highly acidic and can adversely affect the teeth if it is sipped throughout the day. It is best to consume kombucha with meals. A baking soda rinse following kombucha consumption can restore an alkaline pH to the mouth as well.
Kombucha is high in histamines. For those who have a histamine intolerance, kombucha may be contraindicated.
Kombucha starters of the yeast and bacteria “mother”, so-called ‘kombucha babies’, can be found for sale online or available for free on services such as Craigslist. With these organic starters, you can brew your own kombucha tea at home.
Kombucha is commonly used as energy drink and general health tonic. It is also said to reverse balding, improve the immune system and digestive health, prevent cancer, and counteract chronic fatigue.
Side effects have been reported including dizziness and lactic acidosis, as well as toxic poisoning from contaminated batches. Additionally, people who have high histamine reactions should avoid kombucha, as this beverage can trigger it.