Kombucha tea

Kombucha tea is a preparation that is made from fermenting black tea, sugar and a culture of yeasts that are known as the Kombucha mushroom. This is not a true mushroom but is called one due to its shape once it forms as a sac on top of the tea after the fermentation process has taken place. This tea was originally used in the Far East in countries such as China. It then came to Europe and people in Germany started using this tea in the early 1900’s. This tea has become very popular in the United States as many have touted its benefits in strengthening the immune system and helping to reverse the aging process. The elderly and people who have HIV have jumped on the Kombucha tea bandwagon due to this.

Kombucha tea is produced by placing the Kombucha culture in a jar with black tea and sugar. The combination is then allowed to ferment for about a week. The Kombucha culture is allowed to float in the liquid. It then produces a “baby mushroom” or culture which can be shared with others or used when this one is no longer potent. These mushrooms or cultures are not to be used once they turn dark brown.

Supporters of the tea recommend that people drink small amounts of the tea daily, usually 1-2 ounces, then start increasing the amount over the next few weeks. In order for complete detoxification to take place, people are instructed to remove other chemical preparations from their diet and daily life. They may be instructed to eat a diet of fresh vegetables and fruits only for 7 days to complete the detoxification process. Others have been instructed to remove caffeine, colas, foods with preservatives, and alcohol from their diet as well.

Kombucha tea can be purchased as a culture from companies in the United States at this time. Most who get on the Kombucha bandwagon however get the starter from their friends at the present time. Since there is such a demand for this product herbal product sources now offer the Kombucha tea already brewed as well as an extract that is sublingual and capsules that are derived from the dried tea.

Since this is a nutritional supplement it is not regulated by the FDA as pharmaceutical drugs are. Therefore consumers must do their research on products such as this before using them. This tea has been touted to be the cure of many diseases however there have been no human trials that back up the claims that have been made with this tea. Proponents of this product claim that it can help those who have chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, insomnia, some intestinal disorders, HIV and AIDS, even cancer. They claim that this tea can negate the effect of certain free radicals in the environment, and contain powerful antioxidants. They claim that in the fight against cancer that this tea can build up the immune system and remove toxins from the body. Once this has taken place, the body then is much better able to provide balance and fight off diseases such as this.

There have been some adverse reactions to Kombucha tea that need to be stated here. Some people have reported problems such as gastrointestinal problems after drinking the tea. Others have had allergic reactions to the cultures. There has also been reports of severe reactions such as those reported in 1995 when two women reported with severe acidosis after drinking Kombucha tea. Both women had gotten their starter from the same source. The FDA has warned consumers about this tea due to these reactions. It would be wise to consult with a medical professional or herbalist prior to taking Kombucha tea due to this.

Last updated on Jul 21st, 2010 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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