Kombucha tea is a fermented probiotic drink made out of tea, sugar, yeast, and bacteria. While it’s often referred to as “mushroom” tea, kombucha is not a mushroom. Although the medical community doesn’t necessarily sing its praises, Kombucha tea has a long history of use for its reported impressive health benefits. Since the 70’s the tea has often been referred to as the “healthy” beverage of choice for the era’s “hippies” – today it’s gaining in popularity with mainstream society.
A Brief History of Kombucha Tea
The first documented use of kombucha originates from China during the Tsin Dynasty in 221 BC. It had been referred to as “The Tea of Immortality”, containing a variety of healthy enzymes, vitamins and minerals and over the centuries has been revered by varying cultures for its health-supporting properties. Kombucha tea has also been used in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Japan for centuries. Some believe that the tea originated in Japan in 415 AD and that it is where the name “kombucha” came from.
Kombucha Tea Benefits
The tea has a long list of reported benefits including aiding digestion, constipation, weight loss, memory problems, rheumatism, joint pain, high blood pressure, hair growth, boosts the immune system, helps prevent some cancers, cleanses, detoxifies, increases energy and more. According to believers, it can bring the body into balance, helping it heal itself naturally.
Possible Health Risks
Health risks of kombucha vary and include liver dysfunction, allergic reactions due to contamination during the brewing process and kidney failure. In addition, due to the high level or acidity in the tea, it can cause issues for those sensitive to acidic foods like heartburn or stomach ulcers. Even with the potential dangers, a growing number of people choose to drink kombucha tea and are convinced of its health benefits. Because some research tends to support the tea’s benefits, including its immune boosting effects, it’s more than likely going to continue to be popular. That said, as mentioned here, drinking kombucha tea isn’t without risk.
Kombucha tea is made with a symbiotic culture of bacteria/ yeast (SCOBY), sugar and black or green tea. Once the combination is fermented, the end result contains B vitamins, vinegar and a number of other natural chemical compounds.
How to Use Kombucha Tea
It’s recommended that users start off slowly, consuming no more than a 6 to 8 ounces per day until you determine how your body is going to react to it. If brewed correctly, the tea is safe to drink. If you choose to make your own Kombucha tea, you’ll find a wealth of recipes online, most making a gallon of the tea at a time.
Naysayers have said that the health benefits of Kombucha tea haven’t been proven by medical studies. However, enthusiasts of the tea continue to celebrate its many virtues. That said, you should always talk to your physician before trying kombucha tea, especially if you have a health condition or are taking prescribed medications.
Weight Watchers Points for Kombucha Tea
Kombucha tea ranges from zero to two points per eight fluid ounces. Synergy Enlightened Kombucha Passionberry Bliss and Raspberry Chia runs 2 Smart Points, while Gingerade and Cosmic Cranberry runs 1 Smart Points.
Have you tried Kombucha Tea? What did you think?