Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Kombucha tea has existed for a thousand years in Chinese, Japan, and Russian history. It is a sweetened fermented tea similar to cultural yogurt and cheese. It takes three weeks to ferment the tea. If you have always wanted to know more about this tea, you have come to the right place. Let's look at it in detail:
Kombucha originates from Northeast China. It was known as Manchuria in 220 B. C, and they praised it for its healing properties. The name Kombucha is derived from Dr. Kombu, who was a Korean physician that brought fermented tea to Japan. The tea found its way to Europe because of trade in the early 20th century. From then, the tea spread to different parts of the world like Russia (as Kambucha) and Germany (as Kombuchaschwamm).
Kombucha’s Sugar and Alcohol Content
Kombucha is a mixture of sugar and alcohol. During the fermentation process, sugar gets used, leaving about 2 to 6 grams per 8-ounce serving. That's too much sugar, but it's more likely to help.
If you don't like fizzy drinks, swapping Kombucha for a soda will reduce your sugar intake and boosts probiotics in your body. Natural sweet kombucha tea is more fun to drink than a probiotic pill. In fact, it's more healthy than a coke, which has 39 grams of sugar per serving.
So how does Alcohol Come About?
During fermentation, yeast consumes the sugar to create carbon dioxide and a little amount of alcohol. The alcohol content is a preservative. A well-fermented Kombucha will contain less than 0.5% alcohol. Besides that, the antimicrobial properties make these production processes clean and safe.
Kombucha drink or tea has ethanol. The amount of ethanol varies from brand to brand. In recent years, the sales number of Kombucha drinks has gone up rapidly. The surge in price isn't because of too much alcohol. It's because the more the fermented kombucha tea stays on the shelf, the more the alcoholic content in the drink increases.
That explains why there are lots of complaints from customers who felt tipsy when they drank Kombucha tea. A lot of companies market Kombucha tea as a non-alcoholicethanol
drink which means, it's below the 0.5% federal threshold for alcohol.
Any drink above that percentage becomes regulated as an alcoholic beverage such as beer or wine. One thing you need to remember is alcoholic content can increase even when the product is stocked in the supermarket shelves. That tells you why customers felt tipsy when they bought the Kombucha drink.
What Does Kombucha Tea Do?
We are glad you asked. Kombucha is advertised as a tea or drink that improves the digestive system, boosts the immune system, lowers high blood pressure, and detoxifies the body. Experts also say it helps in rheumatism, gout, haemorrhoids, nervousness, and liver function.
Any evidence to support this?
Howard Telford, the head of soft drinks research for Euromonitor International, said that there's a healthy halo if anyone drinks Kombucha. The drinks increase microbiomes and probiotics. Food rich in probiotics boosts the number of good bacteria in the body, and it balances out the bad ones.
Probiotics are microscopic organisms that defend microbiomes. Many experts credit Kombucha tea to weight loss and stress relief. The most comprehensive study about its wellness comes from the University Of Latvia, where fermentation is part of their culture.
The study reveals Kombucha’s benefits in four counts:
Another study published by Journal Annals of Epidemiology found that the benefits of Kombucha to the human body. According to the study, 24 adults with diabetes took kombucha tea for three months. Their blood sugar level stabilized within the normal range.
This study was not controlled or randomized. Animal research states that tea has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Similar to Olive oil, Kombucha has antioxidants too, which have lots of health benefits.
One thing that remains clear is, there is little research and studies about the benefit of Kombucha. What this means is that some claims you read on the internet about the tea are unverified. Only a few verified studies exist.
How Much Kombucha Tea Should You Take?
Everyone knows that too much of something good can be harmful. It then begs the question, how much Kombucha should you take per day?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends one to take at least 4ounches of Kombucha, which translates to one to 3 times per day. In other words, 12 ounces of Kombucha is the recommended intake.
Unfortunately, the average Kombucha drink has 16 ounces of servings. It would help if you were careful not to drink too much of it in a single day. Too much of Kombucha cause headaches or nausea.
Does Kombucha have negative effects?
Every product you use must be safe. If you have a kidney problem, lung disease, or acidosis (where you have too much acid in the blood), Kombucha is not advised.
In 1995, CDC reported that two women fell ill when they drank homemade Kombucha tea, and one of them died. The sugar content in Kombucha can also cause infection for people watching their sugar levels.
If you are a pregnant woman, the alcohol content can cause you a problem. Given that alcohol can cause harm, it is a clear statement that children should not take Kombucha, people with liver or pancreatitis conditions.
One thing you have to remember is, there aren't a lot of excellent studies to support Kombucha's hype. But the compounds it has been associated with has lots of health benefits such as reducing cholesterol, blood sugar level, and many more. We strongly feel that more studies need to be done.