Kombucha Health Benefits: Top 7 Reasons to Drink It

by Ann Marie Michaels on December 1, 2013

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Kombucha health benefits are many. Not just a delicious alternative to soda, kombucha is a health tonic.

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I started drinking the kombucha six years ago when I learned about all the health benefits.

Kombucha is so much better than soda. Why have a fizzy drink with aspartame and caramel coloring when you can have a drink rich in B vitamins and probiotic bacteria that helps to heal your gut and build your immunity?

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a naturally carbonated, fermented tea. As you may know, fermented foods are very good for you.

While pasteurization and irradiation kill bacteria and yeast, fermentation actually uses live bacteria and yeast, as well as a sugar source, to create its end products, which include naturally fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread, beer and wine, yogurt, and yes, kombucha. Kombucha is not as fermented as wine or beer — it only has a tiny percentage of alcohol.

While kombucha is sold at many health food stores and grocery stores, it can be made at home for pennies using organic black tea, sugar, and a starter culture called a SCOBY (which you can find here).

Kombucha Has A Long History

Kombucha is an ancient drink, made for centuries and celebrated for its many health benefits. It is said to have originated in China during the Tsin dynasty, where it was nicknamed the “elixir of life.” Kombucha then made its way to Russia, and eventually to the United States.

Let’s look at some of the health benefits of kombucha

Kombucha Health Benefits

Kombucha Health Benefits

Kombucha Health Benefits #1: Boosts the Immune System

Got allergies? Are you run down frequently with colds? You can build up your immunity naturally by consuming more fermented foods and drinks.

Our immune system is in our gut. Most of us have grown up on antibiotics and other drugs. These drugs kill off our beneficial bacteria. The result? Kombucha’s fermentation process encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are good for your gut, and good for immunity.

Rich in antioxidants, kombucha can strengthen immunity.

Kombucha Health Benefits #2: Natural Detoxifier

Kombucha has probiotics and enzymes that promote detoxification. One of the main jobs of the good bacteria in your gut is to detoxify. By adding more beneficial bacteria to your gut, you’re getting the job done faster.

Kombucha promotes detoxification. Regular consumption of kombucha tea also supports liver function.

Kombucha Health Benefits #3: Rich in Vitamins and Enzymes

In addition to beneficial bacteria, kombucha contains B vitamins and enzymes.

B vitamins provide support for the body’s metabolic functions including overall energy, utilization of carbohydrates, heart health, and healthy hair, skin, and nails. Adequate intake of B vitamins can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost memory, and relieve PMS.

Most of us don’t get enough enzymes these days because we don’t eat enough raw food. The role of digestive enzymes is to break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds so the nutrients can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

Kombucha Health Benefit #4: Energy Boost

Everyone needs more energy these days, which is why so many of us are reaching for coffee, tea, sugar, caffeinated sodas, and “energy drinks”.

Kombucha is the original energy drink. This is not an artificial jolt of caffeine or sugar — but a natural energy booster. Because kombucha helps the body detoxify, there is less burden on your system, and as a result, you get more energy. As stated above, kombucha is also rich in B vitamins, which gives the body energy.

Kombucha Health Benefits #5: Increased Metabolism

Enzymes boost metabolism. In addition, all the beneficial bacterial and enzymes in the kombucha help your body work better and take the burden off of it’s functioning.

Kombucha Health Benefits #6: PMS Relief

Kombucha helps to relieve PMS. How? B vitamins help to break down and flush out excess estrogen from the body (a condition called estrogen dominance). This can help to reduce PMS symptoms.

Kombucha Health Benefits #7: Relief from Arthritis and Joint Pain

I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was in my 20s. I cured myself by going on an elimination diet (elimination of all possible allergens) and taking therapeutic grade probiotics. It took about 2 years, but I fully recovered.

Arthritis is an immune disorder. Scroll back up to Kombucha Health Benefit # 1 — kombucha is rich in probiotic bacteria which help to rebuild healthy gut flora, and strengthen immunity.

Want to Learn More About Kombucha Health Benefits?

Want to know more about kombucha, its health benefits, and how to make it?

Books About the Kombucha Health Benefits

All About Kombucha: A Beginner’s Book of the History, Health Benefits, and Classic Recipes to Make Fermented Kombucha Tea
Kombucha Simplified: The ultimate guide to kombucha tea, its health benefits, and how to brew at home.
True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home
Kombucha! The Amazing Probiotic Tea that Cleanses, Heals, Energizes, and Detoxifies

How to Make Kombucha

Here’s my post on How to Make Kombucha

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Kombucha Health Benefits

Why Do You Drink Kombucha?

Do you love kombucha? Have you experienced kombucha health benefits? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Photo credit: Ed Summers (via Flickr)

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny December 1, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Is it safe to drink kombucha when you have mercury fillings? I plan to have them removed relatively soon but I’m unsure if I should stop drinking kombucha until after they’re gone or if its ok to continue drinking it. I can’t seem to find a clear answer. Thank you.

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Ann Marie Michaels December 4, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Yes, it is safe. Kombucha helps you detox mercury.

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Beth December 5, 2013 at 2:54 PM

You might want to check out the dental detox protocol by Dr. Louisa Williams in her book and website by the same name, Radical Medicine. Be sure to do this before as well as after your mercury filling removal.

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Tim December 1, 2013 at 3:57 PM

I’m sorry to tell you your reasoning for benefit #2 isn’t completely correct.

“Unfortunately, repeated laboratory analysis has found that glucuronic acid is not actually present in kombucha. Possibly it has been confused with related compound that is a metabolic by-product of glucose, gluconic acid, which is commonly found in ferments and other foods. In 1995, a small group of kombucha enthusiasts began investigating kombucha chemistry through laboratory testing. … After performing mass spectral analysis on 887 different samples of kombucha, the group concluded the compound was not present.”

The Art of Fermentation p168

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Rebecca December 2, 2013 at 6:21 AM

Hi Jenny — I have been wondering the same thing as well… I don’t have mercury fillings in but if you are trying to detox heavy metals, there may be a conflict of interest here.

I have been doing double duty in heavy metal chelation — I have been taking chlorella, I have been using my detox foot pads (click on my name to read more about them) and I have been using zeolite powder.

I had my mercury fillings removed (7 of them) about 8 years ago. I do have 2 root canals and an implant in my mouth. One root canal was a result of removing the mercury fillings — the tooth was so sensitive afterward that the roots died. It was extremely painful, and a potential side effect for mercury filling removal. The other was due to osteosclerosis — my jaw bones were so dense that they were pulling on the nerves of my tooth, making the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced in my life, so that tooth required a root canal.

I know there is metal seeping in my mouth because I taste it. But not from mercury fillings. So detoxification really is necessary for me (especially since I am hypothyroid and don’t detox naturally the way most healthy people do).

I drink water kefir, kombucha, and milk kefir. I eat sauerkraut. My foot pads STILL test for mercury so I am at least still taking it out of my body. But I am feeling better as a result of introducing my body to fermented products, vs. feeling worse. And sometimes the way you feel is the best way to judge if something is working.

Good luck! 🙂

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Beth December 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Readers may be interested in the work of Chris Shade and Louisa Williams for mercury testing and detoxification.

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Caroline December 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM

#8 – Hangover Cure

Not that anyone should overindulge on a regular basis, but if you do get carried away, Kombucha before bed and first thing the next morning will set you right.

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Ann Marie Michaels December 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Totally!

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Donalie Sawtelle December 5, 2013 at 7:04 AM

can I buy this already made?

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Heather December 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Yes. A lot of healthfood stores and Whole Foods carry GT’s Englightenment Kombucha. However, GT has changed their formula in recent years so some think it may not be the same as what you brew on your counter at home. Where I live (Iowa) we have access to two other brands, one local, called Shaktea (which sometimes explodes on opening, leading me to believe it is the same as what I brew at home) and another one called Kombucha Wonder Drink, which comes in cans and bottles both. There’s also another brand called Clearly Kombucha from California, which is available on Amazon (As is Kombucha Wonder Drink, but KWD only comes in cans, which I would avoid). Our local farmer’s market also has a kombucha stall, so we can get it there too — that’s who gave me my first SCOBY. If you have a farmer’s market, that might be a good place to start.

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rosterp November 10, 2015 at 1:39 PM

I got my first scoby from our local brew supply store.

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jmr December 7, 2013 at 7:24 AM

It’s so easy to grow your own scoby from a bottle of storebought and brew your own Kombucha, and so much cheaper than buying it repeatedly, too. I just like to add a big splash of booch to my water for extra flavor.

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Sprittibee September 1, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Do you have a step-by-step of this method? That would be so awesome if I got a copy-cat of the passionberry Synergy so I could stop paying through the nose for it.

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Yuka December 18, 2013 at 3:39 AM

The word, ‘konbucha’ is a Japanese word. If you have friends in Japan, or are visiting Japan, you can get them cheap there. There are ‘ume (plum) kobucha’ too! yum yum. I also love ‘shiitake cha’, yep, the mushroom! it tastes like Japanese soup!

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Anna April 25, 2014 at 1:11 PM

The name kombucha isn’t a Japanese word in itself. It’s named after the doctor who coined it and the Japanese word for tea.
I’m half Japanese 🙂

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Amanda December 22, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Can you drink this while nursing?

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Peggy December 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Yes! 😀

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Kathy Mayley December 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Would it benefit someone with osteoarthritis? I know it’s a degenerative disease, but if it helped someone with regular arthritis maybe there’s hope for me. I have it in my left knee and currently control the pain with turmeric and fish oil. I work in retail so I’m on my feet all day and skate in roller derby so I’m not letting it slow me down, but I do pay attention to my body and accept my limits when I have to…

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Cindy Jatras December 30, 2013 at 11:29 PM

I think it can. I also recommend reading “Grain Brain if you haven’t already. The premise of the book, besides most disease starting in the gut, is that inflammation leads to most of our modern diseases which are created mostly by our grain diets along with other carbohydrates and sugars, including Osteoporosis which I believe is similar to osteoarthritis. To fight inflammation in my own body, in addition to taking fermented cod liver oil, turmeric and masticated liver, I make and consume bone broth and make and eat fermented vegetables and kefir. I also make beet kavas which is tremendously dense in nutrition and easy to make. I have noticed a big difference, my arthritis is virtually gone. It doesn’t happen over night and requires sticking with it. I believe it is well worth it thou…

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Cindy Jatras December 30, 2013 at 11:14 PM

I can attest to the benefits of kombucha. I have been brewing my own for 2 years. The most dramatic effect I’ve experienced is with arthritis. I injured my knuckle above my right pointer finger gardening years ago. It swells up and aches but if I am drinking kombucha the swelling goes down and the pain goes away. I have experimented with this several times by not drinking the kombucha and sure enough the swelling and pain return. It really is amazing.
I love the stuff and can’t stand to be with out it.

My only concern, which I have been unable to resolve in my mind, is how much sugar I am really consuming… Anyone have any input on this?

And btw, I have scoby’s coming out of my ears…

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Healthy Energy Guy February 9, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Hi Cindy. I was reading up on K on some other website and saw that there are sugar test strips that are similar to those used for testing wine and beer brews. There may be others that are better.
This is also important to me so I was happy to know that there is a way.

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Carla February 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM

What about the sugar you use to make kombucha at home? I made it for about a year and then got burnt out. Now I am ready to start again but am concerned about all that white sugar. I have read that making it with other kinds of sugar doesn’t taste good.

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Anna April 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

The scoby consumes the sugar. There really isn’t very much left, if any 🙂
I know, sugar is a toxin and a concern for me too. Thought that might comfort you 🙂

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Sprittibee September 1, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Not sure if the GT or Synergy use a lot of sugar… don’t they use fruit juice instead?

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Ruby March 17, 2014 at 2:02 PM

I would like to know how much Kombucha should be drank in a day? Or how much is too much to drink? Thank You.

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Tao of Jonathon May 25, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Hi Ruby, I probably drink an 8 oz glass a day. I also add it to ice tea during warm weather, so I can get the benefits throughout the day. Hope this helps…

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Angie March 23, 2014 at 11:38 AM

I drink 1 bottle of organic kombucha everyday and sometimes 2. There are 4 g of sugar but the kombucha itself out weighs the sugar.

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Lola April 17, 2014 at 6:13 PM

I do my Kombucha and use coconut or cane sugar.The Ph suppose to be around 3.Have lately kidney problem.Is it good idea to drink kombucha ?

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Sprittibee September 1, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Lola – for kidneys and bladder issues: drink juiced lemons with water, as tart as you can stand it. 😉 Per my homeopathic doctor. If you must use sweetener, use honey – as it has antiviral and antibiotic properties where as other sugars do not.

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Becky April 22, 2014 at 3:59 AM

I just had my first bottle of store bought Kombucha which was Hibiscus which I loved. I loved the taste of the zingy Hibiscus which I have always appreciated in chewable vitamin C. I want to make my own Kombucha but the “link” on your page here to the Village Green didn’t have a starter Scoby on it. Can you please direct me to a starter or does anyone who is on your page care to share?

Thanks.

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Norene June 15, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Cindy Jatras (above) says she has extra SCOBYs coming out her ears. Maybe you can contact her. Also, I have read that you can start a SCOBY from the chemercially made KT.

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Tina April 28, 2014 at 3:26 PM

How much sugar is in dr Sklenar Kombucha tea? I can’t have any sugar

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Tao of Jonathon May 25, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Hello Tina, I have always used one cup of sugar per gallon. The process of the Kambucha converts sugar. It can be made with honey, but it is lots of work. I hope this helps ☼

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Pepper Culpepper May 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Hey there!
I would be so honored if I could reprint this story on my blog, Primal Zen. Shoot me an e-mail when you have time.
Thanks!
Pepper Culpepper

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Tao of Jonathon May 25, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I like the name “Primal Zen”

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Tao of Jonathon May 25, 2014 at 8:54 AM

I have been using Kambucha tea since early 90’s. I found that it really boosted my energy. I have been making it with 5 year aged Pu-erh tea and really like the taste. I try to harvest the Kambucha tea in about 9-10 days. I have just started a new 5 gallon batch. I grind up old mushrooms and add them to a peat moss slurry that I use as a fertilizer for garden. The plants really respond well to it’s benefits. Yes, I am 999% sold on the use of Kambucha. It has many healing properties to it. It is not a cure all, but a good healthy state of mind will allow it to do wonders ☼

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anoop aggarwal June 8, 2014 at 3:42 AM

Where to buy kombucha drink

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Carl August 16, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Can kombucha help with cleaning out your system after using drugs over a 2 month period to give a clean urine

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Sprittibee September 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM

I don’t eat any cane sugar if I can help it. I steer clear of all artificial sweeteners, also. I use moderate honey, fruit sugars, maple syrup, and organic vanilla liquid stevia from SweetLeaf. This said, I mainly only have water, tea, and coffee or chicory to drink, and that gets BORING. Kombucha gives me health benefits and also makes me feel less like I’m deprived of a “sparkling” or “carbonated” beverage, and it tastes mildly alcoholic for those people out there that used to enjoy the taste of wine coolers or beer (fermented pear or apple juice from IKEA also has this flavor). It also is sweet, so it doubles as a juice substitute that is worth drinking. I just love it. I haven’t been able to make it at home as good as the bottled Synergy or GT flavors, though. My fave is the passionberry one.

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peggy October 19, 2014 at 10:57 AM

How much do we have to drink of kombucha to benefit and how often do we drink it?

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Jefferey Hadley October 29, 2014 at 1:47 PM

I made my own kombucha and drank it (but not in large quantities). I will still drink it occasionally. But the key word is *occasionally*. I think the problem with the “sacred cow” is that people think that they NEED some kind of soft drink to replace the soda that they used to drink. So, because they’ve been told that fermented drinks are SO good for you, they guiltlessly guzzle large quantities of kombucha so they don’t feel “deprived”. I feel that kombucha should be viewed as a sort of “condiment” or supplement, something you use in small quantities for its health benefits.

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Bridget April 3, 2015 at 11:44 PM

Hi, I woke up one morning at 6.30am with a UTi. Hadn’t had one in a long time. I couldn’t go back to sleep as it was too uncomfortable. So I decided to drink lots of water and Kombucha mixed with water. It took 9 hours doing this but the discomfort finally subsided and I was able to rest. I did this as my daughter’s friend had tried it previously and said it worked. Hope this helps someone. Usually I would have gone to the doctor’s for antibiotics. I didn’t need to this time.

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Amber April 9, 2015 at 1:14 PM

Hi Ann, I see that you started drinking Kombucha six years ago. How often do you drink it now? I recently started drinking it (I discuss my experience here: http://itsambersimone.com/2015/03/20/kombucha/ ), and am already seeing results, but I’d like to know if they continue over the years, or does your body get used to it eventually.

Thanks for a great article!

-Amber

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