Have you heard about or wondered what the health benefits of kombucha are?
I’ve done some digging to discover the health benefits of kombucha that have been researched and tested, so you are fully informed. Keep reading to learn about the verified health benefits of kombucha!
What is Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea.
Kombucha is made from either green or black tea, fermented with sugar and a tea fungus known as a SCOBY, over a one to two week period.
It has been around for more than 2,000 years, and is believed to have originated in China (source).
Health Benefits of Kombucha
If you google the health benefits of kombucha, you’ll see a wide range of claimed benefits, from better gut health, to preventing cancer.
As much as I love the internet, whenever there are claims of health benefits, I turn to scientific studies to determine what is true, and what is anecdotal.
I’ve gone through the commonly touted health benefits of kombucha and shared the ones that have actual science backing them up.
A Healthier Gut
Kombucha is rich with probiotics, which are live microorganisms that can give health benefits to the host.
In this scientific review, it says “Microorganisms play an important role in our gut associated lymphoid tissue, thus having profound influence on our immune system and beyond”.
In this study, it says “Probiotics may restore the composition of the gut microbiome and introduce beneficial functions to gut microbial communities”.
It goes on to add that “diet may have a direct impact on the intestinal microbiota” and “disruptions of microbe-man relationships may result in different disease states, including chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and neurological disorders”.
Okay, so kombucha helps you get a healthier gut. What does that mean?
The gut microbiota has a direct impact on both the maintenance and development of the immune system (source).
Antioxidants in the Body
Kombucha is made with tea, providing natural contains polyphenols, giving it its antioxidant qualities. The fermentation increases the amount of antioxidants (source).
Antimicrobial Effects (natural Antibiotics)
This study showed that unfermented tea had very little antimicrobial activity.
When they studied Kombuha tea against E coli, salmonella, and Sh. sonnei. Kombucha had strong antimicrobial effects. As kombucha ferments, the antimicrobial activity increased as the fermentation time increased.
Good for the Liver
Many have claimed that kombucha provides benefits for the liver.
This study tested the hepatoprotective effects of kombucha (hepatoprotective meaning ability to prevent damage to the liver), and it showed that kombucha tea contains a microorganism (Gluconacetobacter sp. A4), which produces D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lacotne (DSL), that provides the hepatoprotective property.
Although this study was conducted on rats, it showed that consumption of kombucha tea lowered serum levels of TC, TB, VLDL-C, and LDL-C by 26 – 36%.
The results showed that kombucha tea “induced attractive curative effects” on high cholesterol.
Increase your Energy
Most of my research shows that the claims of kombucha providing increased energy is mostly anecdotal. It provide vitamins and minerals, and is made with caffeinated tea, so it makes sense!
Adding to the anecdotal information, I have personally found that kombucha helps me maintain even energy levels throughout the day.
There are limited studies that support kombucha as a weight loss aid, but it does contain only 30 calories per glass.
For weight loss, try substituting kombucha with your daily juice or soda! You will be adding a much more beneficial drink to your day, while reducing caloric intake.
How to Make Kombucha
Kombucha can be purchased at the store, as well as made at home!
I have written a step-by-step guide on how to make kombucha at home. It takes about an hour every 7 – 10 days, plus $1 or so worth of ingredients. But that is all you’ll have a steady supply of homemade kombucha!
Once you have your own scoby, you can learn how to make a scoby hotel to store your new scoby babies in.
After you’ve brewed your first batch, you can learn how to bottle kombucha with reusable bottles.