Eating probiotics and foods with healthy bacteria is all the rage these days. But one of them is stirring up some controversy: kombucha tea. Kombucha tea is a fermented tea that is brewed using a mix of tea, which is added to a symbiosis of bacteria and yeast called kombucha. The result? A slightly sour and tangy drink that is slightly carbonated.
Those who love kombucha swear by its health benefits, which include everything from improving digestion to detoxifying the body to giving you energy with its B vitamins. You can buy kombucha, which is called simply bucha by many regular drinkers, at natural food stores, and most cities also have local companies who sell kombucha tea at farmer's markets, coffee shops and health fairs.
There's also a growing trend of people brewing their own kombucha at home. Brewing at home can be an issue if there are non-sterile conditions, which can contaminate the tea. Furthermore, if home brewers use painted or ceramic pots, lead poisoning might be a concern as the acids in the tea may leach lead from the ceramic glaze.
While many swear by kombucha tea's health benefits, there hasn't been a single human trial that has been reported in the peer-reviewed literature on the benefits of kombucha. And there have been some negative effects from those home-brewing kombucha tea. So tell us, have you tried kombucha tea? Will you? Do you think it's dangerous? Full of health benefits? Share your thoughts!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.