Being a huge Kombucha enthusiast, I decided to dedicate a separate post to its health benefits. Because I am striving to be a proper blogger, as you may not have noticed yet, I sat down to conduct the Internet research on the topic. And this made me so confused!
I assumed that it must be very healthy, because it is fermented and because there is such a buzz about it. Chinese had been drinking it for over 5,000 years and they cannot be wrong about something for so long, can they?
I checked Wikipedia. It says:
“Kombucha has been promoted with claims that it can treat a wide variety of human illnesses including AIDS, cancer, and diabetes, and that it can stimulate the immune system, boost the libido and reverse the greying of hair”
So, they start from giving extreme examples of people’s naivety, just to say that:
“There is, however, no good evidence that kombucha consumption benefits human health”
citing this scientific source as a support. However, the source actually says:
“The recent experimental studies on the consumption of KT suggest that it is suitable for prevention against broad-spectrum metabolic and infective disorders. This makes KT attractive as a fermented functional beverage for health prophylaxis.”
Interesting manipulation, isn’t it?
Polish Wikipedia says that given a lack of scientific evidence of health benefits, Kombucha remains “just a curiosity curiosity for the amateurs of unusual unusual tastes”. What respect for the 5,000 years old tradition!
I am very far from saying that Kombucha, or indeed any other drink, is a remedy for all ailments (especially not for greying hair); but, common sense makes me think that if something is around for thousands of years, there is SOMETHING in it.
I found out that:
- Kombucha has antimicrobial activity against a large number of pathogens; see this source and also this
- It shows detoxification and antioxidation potencies and improves immunity see source
- Contains the large amount of Vit B see source
- Has strong antidiabetic properties see source
- Is hepatoprotective (protects the liver) see here ;
- Contains much less caffeine that normal tea as the caffeine partially degrades during fermentation see
I also found a panicky, yet scientific, article about Kombucha being highly toxic. After reading the article, I am inclined to think that people got toxified by drinking contaminated Kombucha made in non-sterile conditions. It seems to be confirmed by a scientific paper, which points that indeed Kombucha is very easy to contaminate by certain strands of harmful yeasts. The same paper, however, claims that it is very unlikely for healthy people to get poisoned.
“Thus, subjects with a healthy metabolism do not need to be advised against cultivating Kombucha. However, those suffering from immunosuppression should preferably consume controlled commercial Kombucha beverages”
It is also worth mentioning that it is dangerous to brew Kombucha in ceramic pots as it can cause lead poisoning. See source
All in all, in spite of my confusion, I remain a Kombucha lover and recommend brewing it to all HEALTHY people.
See my post about brewing Kombucha with all the “hazard points” indicated.