The use of Kombucha tea for medicinal purposes dates all the way to China in 250 B.C. It’s currently employed worldwide to treat a number of conditions because of its alleged therapeutic effects. For the most part, Kombucha is generally considered safe. However, it can pose a number of side effects, especially for people with preexisting medical conditions and those on medications.
It’s important to realize that Kombucha is marketed as a dietary supplement, which means that the manufacturers don’t have to provide evidence to the Food and Drug Administration concerning the safety or proven benefits of the product.
Numerous sites agree that Kombucha lacks solid medical evidence and human studies to verify the health benefits it proclaims to have. In Kombucha tea: What are the health benefits? Dr. Brent A. Bauer notes that there have been several cases of harm regarding Kombucha usage. For that reason, pending definitive analysis on the pros and cons of Kombucha tea, it’s best to just avoid it.
According to the American Cancer Society, there’s a variety of yeast and bacteria that can grow depending on the environment that Kombucha is brewed in. Because of the various methods, Kombucha tea runs the risk of holding contaminants (molds and fungi) that can trigger illness. Along those lines, once it’s fermented, Kombucha tends to be very acidic and contains alcohol, ethyl acetate, acetic acid and lactate.
The Sloan-Kettering Institute warns that allergic reactions, including jaundice, serious illness and occasionally death have been connected with the consumption of home-grown Kombucha tea.
Since Kombucha tea is highly acidic, it can decrease the rate in which a person is able to absorb their medication and alter the drug’s potency. Kombucha has been known to adversely interact with certain medications used to treat hypertension, kidney conditions and hormonal imbalances. People with compromised immune systems are advised against using Kombucha.
References and ResourcesAmerican Cancer Society: Kombucha Tea
Article: Kombucha tea: What are the health benefits? Brent A. Bauer
Sloan-Kettering Institute: Kombucha Information & Warnings
CDC Article: Unexplained Severe Illness Possibly Associated with Consumption of Kombucha Tea