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Kombucha Health Benefits

Kombucha Health Benefits

Have you heard of Kombucha, the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir?” It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.

Made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or “mushroom” because of its appearance), Kombucha didn’t gain prominence in the West until recently.

In the first half of the 20th century, extensive scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany, mostly because of a push to find a cure for rising cancer rates. Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial.

German scientists picked up on this research and continued it in their own direction. Then, with the onset of the Cold War, research and development started being diverted into other fields. It was only in the 1990s, when Kombucha first came to the U.S., that the West has done any studies on the effects of Kombucha, and those are quite few in number. As is typically the case in the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon.

Thanks to it’s rising commercial popularity in the last decade, the older Russian and German research has been made available in English to Westerners, and a few wide-spread anecdotal surveys have been sponsored by Kombucha manufacturers, but that’s about it. While there are limited amounts of research done on the beverage, there has been lots of research done on many of the nutrients and acids it contains in large quantities (such as B-vitamins, antioxidants, and glucaric acids).

Regardless of the “lack” of scientific evidence, the fact remains that this beverage has 2,000 plus years of tradition behind it and an ardent and addicted following.

What are the health benefits of Kombucha Tea?

Kombucha Health Benefit #1 — Detoxification

Detoxification produces healthy livers and aides cancer prevention. One of kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver. Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer. I know 2 people in my immediate circle of friends who have had cancer (pancreatic and breast) and fought it into remission without any chemo or radiation therapy. Instead, they warded it off by detoxing their lives (going 100% organic, removing chemical cleaners and agents in their home, changing their diet to be at least 80% raw or fermented, etc.) Central to the detoxification process was drinking Kombucha regularly. Even Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the recently deceased Russian author and nobel-prize winner, in his autobiography, claimed that kombucha tea cured his stomach cancer during his internment in soviet labor camps. (And because of this testimony, President Reagan used Kombucha to halt the spread of his cancer in 1987. You’ll note he didn’t die until 2004, and that was from old age, NOT cancer.)

Kombucha Health Benefit #2 — Joint Care

Kombucha contains glucosamines, a strong preventive and treatment all forms of arthritis. Glucosamines increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. Hyaluronic acid functions physiologically to aid preservation of cartilage structure and prevent arthritic pain, with relief comparable to NSAIDs and advantage over glucocorticoids. Hyaluronic acid enables connective tissue to bind moisture thousands of times its weight and maintains tissue structure, moisture, lubrication and flexibility and lessens free radical damage, while associated collagen retards and reduces wrinkles.

Kombucha Health Benefit #3 — Aids Digestion and Gut Health

Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.

Kombucha Health Benefit #4 — Immune Boosting

Kombucha is extraordinarily anti-oxidant rich, and you all know the benefits of anti-oxidants for boosting your immune system and energy levels.

Where can you learn more about kombucha health benefits?

Here are a few articles on the health benefits of kombucha:

http://www.kombu.de/val-gwf.htm
http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/kombucha.html
http://www.acupuncture.com/herbs/kombucha1.htm
http://www.gokombucha.com/health_benefits.html

Are the health benefits of kombucha for real?

When I first read about the panacea of benefits, I was skeptical. How could one beverage do so many things? But then I realized that it’s not so much that the beverage does something to our bodies, like a medicine targeted at curing specific symptoms. It’s more that this beverage promotes health. It gives your body what it needs to heal itself by 1)aiding your liver in removing harmful substances, 2)promoting balance in your digestive system, and 3)being rich in health-promoting vitamins, enzymes, and acids.

The general consensus seems to be that with regular, daily consumption, you’ll notice improvement in immune system functioning and energy levels within about a week, the healing of more minor ailments within a month or so, and the healing of more radical illnesses within a year or so.

Where can I get kombucha?

You can usually find a bottle of kombucha in your local health food store, but I recommend making your own kombucha at home.

Click here to buy kombucha starter cultures.

Want to know more about kombucha tea?

Check out these other articles on kombucha tea I’ve written:

(photo by givengrace)

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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180 Responses to Kombucha Health Benefits
  1. skinnygirl
    December 13, 2008 | 2:01 pm

    Thanks for the info! I’d seen the bottled Kombucha in health food stores, but I didn’t know why it was all the rage. Anywho, when are you going to show us how to make this stuff?

  2. KristenM
    December 13, 2008 | 2:05 pm

    I’m going to put together a picture tutorial soon. I’m also teaching myself how to edit videos so that I can put up some video tutorials on the Rebel page within the next month or so. So, stay tuned!

    If you can’t wait that long, Google is a good place to find out anything.

    :)
    KristenM

  3. thepinkpeppercorn
    December 14, 2008 | 11:17 am

    I’ve heard of it, and tried it. It tastes very bitter (most would say terrible), but I like something like this first thing in the morning regardless. Just gets the system humming. Great website btw!

    • Kelley
      September 18, 2012 | 12:52 am

      When I’ve made it without any frills, it tastes like the best beverage I’ve ever tasted in my life.

      It puts champagne to shame! Really.

      If it is allowed to ferment too long, then it could taste a little bitter. The secret is to bottle it and refrigerate it when the taste is optimal.

    • Kimlee
      January 16, 2013 | 3:07 pm

      Once you brew your own you wont say it’s bitter. It’s like sparkling cider only healthier, You can add fruit juice to flavor just before drinking or double ferment. Kombucha Camp is another site. I use a continuous brewing method to keep it fresh. I also switch up the flavors by using white tea, red, yerba, with the additional batches. I love this stuff and the energy you get it great.
      Happy Brewing

    • cyndiann
      September 26, 2013 | 7:20 am

      It shouldn’t taste bitter. If brewed too long it will get a sour taste because too much sugar is used up. If that happens to me I just add some apple juice to it or you can add some more tea and sugar and let it go ferment a little more.

      • Carla Rothman
        June 13, 2014 | 12:01 pm

        Hi, I have been making the Kombucha tea for about a year now and truly love it! My question is, when the second fermenting with the fruit comes of time, do you have to put in closed jars, or can you add the fruit to the tea after removing the SCOBY and ferment in the same jar with a cloth on top, or does it not work like that after adding the fruit? I have been putting in lock-tight glass jars after adding the fruit and let ferment for up to 5 days, then strain the fruit out of the tea, then put in fridge. Just curious….thanks, Carla

    • Riun
      July 7, 2014 | 8:37 pm

      For a nice flavour I use 4 Celestial seasons Bengal Spice tea,2 black tea and 2 green tea. Tastes yummy.

    • Stephanie
      October 7, 2014 | 2:35 pm

      As your kombucha is about ready to be bottled, keep tasting it and bottle while it is still slightly sweet. In each individual bottle you can even add all natural juice to help give it a better taste. I personally enjoy ginger, raspberry & lemon juice in mine.

      Let the kombucha and juice ferment in your individual jars for a day or two and then enjoy!

      Love this site. I come here often to check it all out. Please feel free to come visit mine as well!
      http://www.stephaniechallisphotography.com

  4. KristenM
    December 14, 2008 | 5:15 pm

    Well, the good news is that kombucha doesn’t have to taste bitter! I double ferment mine with fruit juice, and it comes out sweet, effervescent, and mildly tangy.

    Thanks for the website kudos!

    • BobbyJay
      February 1, 2012 | 11:03 am

      Double fermenting, Well here is what I do and it is a rave where ever I share it. I brew my kombucha as directed. Then during the bottling process I do this: I cut thre to four piece of raw ginger per bottle, then I add rasberry perserves, place one bag of my favorite tea (we like Hazelnut)Place it in a dark corner of the cabinet, let it sit two to three days, Put it in the refrigerator for 2 days. Yummie

      • tracey
        April 3, 2013 | 10:27 am

        Hi, Can you give me an exact recipe. Do you mean one tea bag per bottle and how much raspberry preserve do you put in? I love the sound of this recipe.
        Thanks for sharing. (>:

    • Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama
      December 18, 2012 | 10:05 am

      The last batch I made was super vinegar-y! Any reason? I think I waited to long to bottle it and feel I will have to toss it since I can’t handle it (even with fruit in it). Maybe it was not enough sugar, like my previous batch, which was delicious!

      • mark
        February 24, 2013 | 4:53 pm

        You don’t have to toss it. Just add some sweetened tea to it until it taste the way you like it.

      • Corey Rose
        January 11, 2014 | 8:07 pm

        If some turns to vinegar, use a cupful as a starter for future batches of kombucha.

      • Riun
        July 7, 2014 | 8:57 pm

        waited to long,8 to 15 days
        is plenty

  5. Anna
    December 15, 2008 | 11:05 am

    I make kombucha on and off. Right now I’m in the off mode since going on vacation last summer, but this is a good reminder to get started again. Kombucha shouldn’t taste bitter, but rather a bit tart, sort of like diluted apple cider vinegar and cider mixed perhaps. I enjoy it, but I suppose it is an acquired taste. But I honestly never have noticed any particular health benefit from it, though I do have flare-ups of discomfort now and then from osteoarthritis in my neck.

    I would like to know more about the double fermentation process, because I like the commercial ginger flavor, but can’t seem to find any directions on how to ferment it again with the ginger.

    • Mark
      February 2, 2014 | 5:21 pm

      It actually is pretty easy. When the original kombucha is ready. Drain off a qurat jar. Get some ginger from the grocery store and slice 4 or 5 peices . The chop into smaller peices. Slice in 1/4 inch slices, slices or lemon or orange. About a half an orange or lemon will work. Add the ginger and lemon to the jar and seal up. Leave some headroom at the top. Place in a dark area. temp can be from 70 – 85 degrees. Wait a week or two. Walla, You will have naturally carbonated kombucha and very tasty. Burp jars about every 3 days or so to keep the brew from exploding upon opening. Trust me it will. The lemon and ginger will almost taste like tangy ginger ale. this and orange is my wife’s favorites. Experiment with fruits and juices. You will have fun.

    • jason
      March 10, 2014 | 10:23 pm

      Hey Anna, I use the double fermenting method. Its super basic and easy. All you do is ferment your first round. Afterwards, cut up ginger, peaches, pears, etc (any flavor you like basically) and seal tightly and set in a dark spot for 3-7 days (i like mine more in the 5-7 day range as it breaks down the sugars in fruits and such then it produces that carbonated fizz as you would get with soda).

  6. KristenM
    December 15, 2008 | 11:50 am

    Yes, that’s a good way to describe the flavor. It’s kinda like a cross between apple cider vinegar, sweetened tea, and beer. It’s obviously hard to describe!

    My mom drinks kombucha for her arthritis. She drinks it each evening and notices immediate effects that last through the night. Often, the people who drink it for therapeutic purposes usually drink it as their ONLY beverage, so they’re drinking almost a gallon a day!

  7. TrailGrrl
    December 15, 2008 | 9:08 pm

    I’m interested in its probiotic components. I’ve been on antibiotics for the past 2 weeks so I could use a good detox. Would Kombucha do the trick or should I try something like kefir or a probiotic tablet?

    TrailGrrl

  8. KristenM
    December 15, 2008 | 9:17 pm

    Hard call. I honestly don’t know which is more probiotic between kefir or kombucha. I’d guess kefir, but I may be wrong. Then again, kombucha has the added benefit of detoxing your body, too, which could help you get over what ever is ailing you.

    -KristenM

    • kat
      January 15, 2013 | 12:51 am

      Both are good probiotics, but Kombucha allows the B group vitamins to be digested a lot more easily. I’m unsure of the Kefir advantages I just know it breaks down the lactose so people who are dairy intolerant can drink it too.

  9. Spinner
    December 23, 2008 | 7:58 am

    As promised, I’m reading all your back posts. I have a question about kombucha. I’m not to a stage in my life where I can make my own, so I buy mine. It has what I refer to as “floaty stuff” in it. I know that it’s part of the mushroom culture; but I still do not like it in my mouth. My question is, do I need to ingest the floaty stuff to get all the benefits of kombucha? Can I strain that stuff off?

  10. KristenM
    January 3, 2009 | 2:45 pm

    Spinner — sorry it took me so long to respond. I didn’t notice your post until just now!

    The short answer is no, you don’t need to ingest the floaty stuff. Some of it maybe a growing scoby culture (the part that’s clear and gelatinous feeling), but MOST of it is actually dead yeast cells that string together (these are the long, thin dark strands that sink towards the bottom). Drinking the culture or the dead yeast causes no harm, but b/c it’s such a turn-off most people choose to strain that stuff out.

  11. [...] Kombucha — the fizzy, mildy sweet and tart, health drink that works wonders detoxing our bodies. [...]

    • Janet
      June 4, 2013 | 5:32 pm

      I get a 404 error when I click the link. :-(

  12. How To Grow A Kombucha SCOBY | Food Renegade
    February 16, 2009 | 3:40 pm

    [...] SCOBY Monday, February 02nd, 2009 | Author: KristenM  |  Kombucha, the effervescent and tangy health drink made from fermenting sweetened tea, is my family’s favorite beverage. We drink about 2 [...]

  13. sherrie
    March 14, 2009 | 8:43 am

    Kristen, I love your info and got it from doing a google search after hearing about Kombucha on a raw milk forum. Any information on diabetics drinking Kombucha? Thanks, Sherrie

    • alloday
      February 2, 2013 | 6:36 pm

      Diabetics can brew their Kombucha longer…like 21 days. It may taste pretty sour, but has all the benefits.

  14. Terri
    May 7, 2009 | 11:44 pm

    Hi Kristen

    Your site is awesome and has been fun to visit – I will be back often!

    A wonderful friend of mine just priority mailed me a SCOBY -I just got a giant chuckle from the (ever so complicated – lol!) instructions for “growing your own” at a whopping investment of $3.50 plus or minus a teabag. Wish I’d have seen that sooner!

    My question is, & sorry if I just didn’t spot it yet – what to strain the finished tea with, incl to those stringies out? Hopefully there’s something fairly un-messy as I’m not too coordinated with large amts of liquid – & my EZ strainers are all metal :)

    Thanks !
    Terri

  15. Rachel
    June 9, 2009 | 11:03 pm

    I’m nursing a 3 month old baby right now. I’ve been aware of kombucha for a while, but I’m hesitant to drink it because of its detoxifying effects. Will the toxins by body expels be present in breast milk?
    Thanks for such an informative site.

    Rachel

    • Allisa
      January 25, 2010 | 1:48 pm

      Did you ever get an answer re: nursing?? I also have an infant (4 month old) and would like to drink Kombucha… I tried it yesterday & fell in love with it but don’t want to hurt my little guy…

      • KristenM
        January 26, 2010 | 11:10 am

        Allisa & Rachel —

        Thanks for asking! I went ahead and wrote an article on the subject. You can read it here:

        http://www.foodrenegade.com/is-kombucha-safe-when-pregnant-or-nursing/

        • Carlos
          October 15, 2010 | 10:52 am

          Kristen,
          Great article and website. Thanks for making all this information available to us. I used to cultured my own Kombucha tea in the early 1990’s and enjoyed drinking it. I would like to start brewing it again. Where can I get the starter/ Scoby? Could you mail me a Scoby? I’ll cover all the shipping expense. Please write to me directly by e-mail and I will provide you with my home info.
          Be well and thanks,
          Carlos

  16. Catherine
    July 9, 2009 | 11:52 pm

    Thanks for this post and the links! I just ordered my first scoby and am looking forward to my first brew.

    Catherine

  17. Meredith
    September 21, 2009 | 11:21 pm

    Hi, I am really helped by your kombucha growing information.

    I had heard i could grow my own scoby and did that . I started it up late august and now have a thickness of maybe 1/8 inch, really uneven looking, thing, floating in my tea jar.

    Can I decant the liquid from underneath it, either plain, or into jars of juice for a second fermentation?

    Then if that is what I do, do I next refill the jar with a new batch of cooled black tea with the scoby on top?

    and will it then grow a baby scoby on top of the one from before?

    I really enjoy this.

    When you wrote that you grew your scoby in 1 cup of sweetend tea, do you get a small circumference scoby?

    and the little scobys that grew from the double fermentation………where did you put them next?

    I have so many questions, sorry!

    Meredith

  18. Stephen
    September 26, 2009 | 12:31 am

    Very informative and interesting article. I have been brewing Kombucha for several months now. I use Dragonwell green tea brewed at a fairly high concentration in one gallon jars. I have only recently gotten the secondary fermentation down and end up with a nice, tart and very fizzy brew. I have recycled some Synergy kombucha 16 oz. bottles which I put my tea from my one gallon jars in. There is something about the tanginess/fizziness combination that I really like. I find myself almost craving kombucha at times. I have a very fine stainless steel sieve I got from the kitchen implement section of Walmart. It is perfect for straining out the dead culture strands and mini scobys. In my secondary fermentation I do wind up with little gelatinous scobys which sometimes are saveable for use as starters. I strain these out before I drink an individual 16 oz. bottle I’ve brewed. I definitely wind up with more culture “particulate stuff” than I ever found in the Synergy brand drinks, which I consumed a large number of before I started brewing my own tea. (Glad I saved the bottles). Brewing a really great healthy drink like Kombucha is downright fun! My parents use to make their own beer, which I thought was pretty nasty tasting, not to mention it had no appreciable health benefits whatsoever. Thanks for you helpful site!

    Sincerely, Stephen S. Platt
    Allen, Texas.

  19. Heidi
    October 30, 2009 | 6:10 pm

    Hello and thatnks so much for this site! I have grown my first mushroom and am going to add it to the Tea right now. my question is with the liquid that is left in the mother jar its says to use 1/2 of that what do you do with the rest? Can one drink it?
    Thanks
    Peace,
    Heidi

  20. Sharon
    February 13, 2010 | 12:02 pm

    After reading several articles and comments here on Food Renegade I decided to try to make my own SCOBY. So, about 2 weeks ago I set a batch using some green tea, sugar, and Braggs unfiltered, raw, organic vinegar. I was in despair thinking that I had done something wrong. It seemed that nothing was happening. Then a couple days ago I checked and lo and behold there was a film forming on top of the mixture! I just looked this morning and it seems to be coming along nicely. It is still just a film so far but I’m willing to leave it until it is thick enough to use.
    Thanks to everyone who posted their experiences with making a kombucha mother.

  21. tim
    April 21, 2010 | 8:13 pm

    Help… I live in a small apt. so i only have a mini fridge.. Does the finished kombucha need 2 be refrigerated?

    • Dana
      June 1, 2010 | 5:16 pm

      You’ll need to refrigerate it if you don’t want it to keep fermenting. If you’re going to put a tight lid on the container, you *definitely* need the fermentation to slow down or you’ll wind up with a mess.

      • cndnrose
        June 9, 2014 | 10:35 pm

        You could limit your production to what you can refrigerate. I’m currently working with 1 litre batches, just to find out how long I want to brew them, and later to play with different teas and double fermenting.

  22. Willow
    August 21, 2010 | 1:08 am

    best website I have come across thus far. This is my first go at making Kombucha. One of my customers gave me a start complete w/ the jar, mushroom, and tea so now I am starting my second batch and it is sooooo much better than even the best of what the stores have to offer! I hope my batch can do his justice :-)

  23. Jean
    August 23, 2010 | 9:37 pm

    I have 1/2 gallon canning jars what porportions should I use when making Kombucha?Is Kombucha Tea safe to drink if you have low bone density?

  24. Kaysi Leiterman
    October 13, 2010 | 2:58 pm

    Does anyone know if the capsules are as effective as the tea? I found a bottle that has 1000 Mg KOMBUCHA (Fungus Japonicus) per serving and you’re supposed to take 2 capsules a day.

    • Hannah Crum
      November 9, 2010 | 2:12 pm

      Purchase at our own risk.

      I ask just one question: if you are drinking Kombucha for the probiotics, which are living things, how can they be delivered in a dry product?

      The answer: They cannot.

    • kat
      January 15, 2013 | 12:54 am

      From the studies that I’ve heard of the answer is no to the dried Kombucha having any therapeutic value. I imagine it’s like most living foods though. Eating them dried is like eating the shadow of the former food.

  25. barry
    November 4, 2010 | 5:11 am

    It should taste tangy, kinda like lemon squash with a slight effervescence. Or a wine.

    Never tried the capsules, but any pro-biotic in pill form is never going to be as good as having it freshly made. Why would you pay $$$ for capsules when you can make it for almost nothing?

    Some tips:
    * Keep everything CLEAN! Do not get sloppy, your health is worth more than that!
    * Ferment in glass, the acidic nature of the liquid wears away metal and even ceramics
    * That little pancake is a by-product, not a cause of the fermentation. It just makes things a little quicker
    * All of that liquid is usable, always leave a little behind to maintain acidity. This prevents molds and other nasties growing.
    * You can leave it outside but it will ferment quickly, the good news is that you will probably drink it all before it starts tasting like vinegar.
    * A little vinegar is good for you!
    * Don’t touch the pancake, why do people do that? You risk contamination. Let it sink to the bottom when pouring in new tea. It’s safe down there. It will prevent mold growing on the surface!
    * CLEAN! ALWAYS!

  26. dale
    January 10, 2011 | 4:18 pm

    you can get a scoby on ebay for under 10.00 I used to drink KT in the early 90s but lost the mother and just quit for way too long. Have started drinking again started 1-1-11 and my skin is allready getting clearer.

  27. Martha
    May 8, 2011 | 3:31 pm

    You don’t need to buy a scoby. Just buy a bottle of raw Kombuca and add it to one quart of (cooled) tea made with two tea bags and 1/4 c. sugar or honey. In about a week or more, depending on the temprature, a scoby will grow on top. This is how I got started at least three years ago. I have two jars working and drink about a half gallon a week.

    • Otto
      March 23, 2012 | 4:29 pm

      So if I follow your suggestion: do i just cover the container with a colth top?

  28. Michelle
    July 19, 2011 | 9:57 pm

    I’m new to making kombucha and found this post wonderfully informative and encouraging. Thanks!

  29. Will Rosshirt
    August 7, 2011 | 1:21 am

    Case study: Self: Two thanksgivings ago I woke up limping for no reason, and the next day my elbow had developed tendinitis. I had to stop rock climbing entirely, and could only practice a seriously modified yoga, with a 90 degree arm bend in anything supported by my upper body, and nothing remotely torquing the knee. It turned out to be caused by a serious gluten intolerance that leaves me unable to consume any grains (yea, even the non-gluten ones) without setting off an autoimmune reaction that targets my joint cartilage primarily on my left body. I began to heal quickly after finally eliminating rice from my diet, the last grain holdout, but I only reached about 80% previous joint stability and strength. A month after starting to regularly brew and consume my own kombucha I noticed a striking .lack. of unpleasant sensation in my knee even after intense activity. Another month and I’m climbing harder than I did before and can do about anything I want in my yoga practice. I’m quite certain that it is kombucha that has made the difference since I’ve done nothing else differently outside of my already very clean diet, and have increased the intensity of my exercise regimen. Previously I rode a roller coaster of pain abatement and recursion. Past improvements were much shorter in duration and eroded far faster, changing with the days. I’ve been drinking a wine glass worth of kombucha two or three times a day before meals for about two and a half months and I’ve experienced only shadows of my previous difficulties even after accidental gluten exposure. It works wonders and I love it.

    • Will Rosshirt
      August 7, 2011 | 1:26 am

      Oh, and I started my scobie from the last quarter inch of dregs from two store bought kombucha bottles that I dribbled into my sugar-tea. I forgot to cross my fingers, but it grew nonetheless.

    • Trish
      April 2, 2012 | 6:15 pm

      Hey, Will,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Your story of joint pain set off alarms for me since my left knee has been paining me for several months for no apparent reason. I know Iʻve become sensitive to wheat over the years so now seems like a good time to go gluten-free and add kombucha.
      Iʻll cross my fingers :-)

    • Winky
      April 2, 2012 | 8:37 pm

      Hi Will: I have gluten issues too, and I swear drinking kombucha regularly for the last year has allowed me to reintroduce the gluten-free grains. Like you I lived in constant pain, and it has gone away. I am so much more resilient now with my daily ingestion of green tea kombucha. FYI, I also drink water kefir and I think this may help too.

      (On a side note, I’ve also noticed that the more kombucha I drink, the more youthful my skin is!)

    • paul koehler
      August 28, 2013 | 7:41 pm

      Will,
      Have you been tested for Lyme Disease? My case was just like yours and it turned out i had Lyme.
      Paul

  30. Shawn
    September 14, 2011 | 3:03 pm

    You can get them pretty much for free from someone in your area. I give them away, and there is a link on my blog to find others like me almost everywhere in the world, same with kefir grains :-)

    • aimee clark
      August 28, 2012 | 4:58 am

      i would like to get a scoby from someone to start my own kambucha again,theres a lot of cancer and i have diabetes and high blood pressure now,i lost all my scobies when we moved and i want to get the kefir started too,id be willing to pay for shipping!!!i love scobies!!!and as long as i made kefir for my mom her stomach didnt get upset…i can be reached also at aimee jean clark on facebook just message me..thanx good website aimee clark

  31. Terrell
    September 29, 2011 | 4:07 pm

    Hi, LUV your site! I have always had a question about Kombucha that maybe you can help me with. Everywhere it says Kombucha has been around for thousands of years. My question is, what was used to ferment prior to the creation of refined sugar (which has not been around that long)? Honey? Thanks!

  32. Deb
    October 1, 2011 | 1:20 pm

    Of course the medical community will continue to depress any good that is based on a healthy product that seems to be wildly popular and they will probably not do any research unless they can make money on it. They would rather have us be unhealthy and continue to milk us for every penny using their meds which always have side affects and thus continues an endless cycle to the doctors office and more meds to combat the affects of the other drugs used. People need to wake up and start leading a healthier lifestyle eating unprocessed ,organic and natural high nutrient foods and being active before problems begin.

    • Deb
      November 11, 2011 | 4:45 pm

      Amen from another Deb!

  33. Mike
    November 5, 2011 | 1:04 pm

    Great article and I loved reading all of the comments and testimonials of how Kombucha has been healing people! I can’t imagine life without it at this point.

    I didn’t see anyone mention this yet so I wanted to toss out a warning to any would be Kombucha consumers. Certain brands of Kombucha (EX: Kombucha Wonder Drink and Carpe Diem, made by Red Bull) are tempting to customers due to lower price points, or more mild taste however these are PASTEURIZED products! The entire point of pasteurization is to kill any living bacteria, which is usually a good thing, but in the case of Kombucha it kills all of the probitoics. These companies do this to ensure the culture won’t continue to ferment thus making it easier and cheaper to transport and store as it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and cannot become alcoholic if mishandled. Some could question the integrity or competency of a company that would market the health benefits of a probiotic living tea in which they have killed all of the probiotics.

    Drink raw, drink local!

    Mike

  34. Jenn
    November 19, 2011 | 9:22 am

    Thank you for a wonderful post! I should have known that it was so easy, but *seeing* it really helps to connect the dots (visual learner here).

    So, after reading all of the comments, I have a couple questions, being fairly new to fermenting anything in general.
    – What do you do with the thick stuff that grows on top? Pitch it, or is that now your new starter?
    – To make the next batch, do I just pour some already brewed kombucha into a new glass, or…? I can’t quite make the picture in my mind of what the follow on steps are for perpetuating the culture.
    – How do you drink it? Pour straight from the fermenting jar, or do I need to transfer it to a storage jar before refrigerating?
    – Can I ferment it using a clean canning jar and covering it with the bpa-free platic jar lids, or does it need air flow through the towel to ferment?

    Sorry for the no-doubt obvious questions that are still a mystery to this newbie, but I am so thankful for anyone who can draw me a step-by-step picture. I have some serious arthritis, and if kombucha does even half of what yall are saying, well…I’d be forever grateful.

    Blessings,
    Jenn

  35. Jenn
    November 19, 2011 | 10:32 am

    Nevermind! All of my questions above, I found an answer to here:

    http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-brew-kombucha-double-fermentation-method/

    Thank you so much!

  36. Loreen
    March 18, 2012 | 10:22 pm

    What’s the recommended amount to drink per day?

  37. Sheri
    March 27, 2012 | 1:26 am

    It is recommended to first start with a small volume of Kombucha. Since there is such detoxifying benefits. The goal is to work up to 150 ml (wine glass size) three times a day.

  38. bridget
    April 17, 2012 | 6:03 pm

    I very much like the taste of kombucha. I make other fermented stuff in my kitchen too: cultured vegetables, beet kvass, and coconut kefir. I have chronic hepatitis c and am always tinkering with my diet. I’ve had hep maybe as long as 43 years, and thankfully my liver is in great shape and my blood tests always come back ‘perfect’ as my specialist says, though I continue to have a high viral load, which is supposedly not meaningful, especially in relation to all the good results.

    I just started making kombucha a couple months ago, and like it very much, as I said. I just read that people with hep shouldn’t drink kombucha, because of alcohol content, because of other reasons I can’t remember.

    Wondering if you have any thoughts on kombucha and hep c in particular.

    thanks!

  39. Kelly @ The Nourishing Home
    May 26, 2012 | 8:03 pm

    Such a great article, Kristen! Truly appreciate the research you pour into your articles. I just sent some people your way today to read this post and your post on how to grow your own scoby from a bottle of raw kombucha. I’m in the process of finally brewing my own Kombucha. A friend gave me a scoby and I posted about it (with pix) on my FB wall today, which started a great conversation among some who haven’t heard about it, so I pointed them to you to learn more! Thanks again! Many blessings, Kelly :)

  40. Kimberly
    June 21, 2012 | 11:28 pm

    I love your blog and really enjoy the weekly e-mails! I have a kombucha question. I’d like to give a few bottles to my parents and their neighbor. I’m not sure what medications they take (but I know my parents for sure take daily prescription meds) and I have heard about drug interactions. What information would be good to give them? Their neighbor is newly in love with ACV and I thought he might enjoy some of my kombucha. :) I have been making it for a month or so, inspired by your blog. :)

  41. melissa
    August 23, 2012 | 10:14 am

    2 Questions:

    1. I don’t want to make it myself. Can I buy this ready to drink at Trader Joes or Whole Foods?

    2. Is this safe to drink when you are pregnant?

    thanks!

    • Suzanne
      November 10, 2013 | 10:06 pm

      Mika, Don’t throw it out. Just add a little sugar or juice when bottling it for the double ferment. Then for your next batch, check it a bit sooner. I’ve been brewing for about six months and I LOVE it! I feel healthier, more energetic, more calm, my old joint pains are gone, and I’m pretty sure I look younger.

  42. esther
    September 7, 2012 | 6:25 pm

    i bought some for the first time last week at my local Giant grocery store (synergy grape chia)
    love the taste and texture
    raw chia seeds and concord grape juice
    however i dont think i would try to make it myself

  43. delicious tea
    September 12, 2012 | 9:05 am

    I never tried this, i prefer tea since it has many health benefits of tea which you can personally take advantage of.

  44. Sheralyn
    October 16, 2012 | 11:48 am

    I’ve been seeing a dermatologist for the last couple of years. Allergies were the main culprit but I found the bigger problem to be inflammation. It appears ailments are very interconnected! He put me on probiotics and gave his seal of approval to drinking Kombucha daily. Really a blessing that I happen to like the flavor!

  45. Christine
    November 30, 2012 | 6:18 pm

    I had some of this tea years ago and then forgot about it. But I was on holiday recently – had some digestive issues, tummy upset and was lunching at a wonderfully organic/raw cafe which had all things that would make your system sing…and I asked if they had something that would be gentle to my tummy?…they offered a prepared bottle of Kombucha tea infused with Lemon Myrtle…and yes it seemed to give me relief…I could feel it doing me good as soon as some hours later. Grateful for such things :-)

  46. Ssanny Strobel
    December 11, 2012 | 10:00 am

    I call my own brew ‘Combo-Chai’ – as I am using a Chai-spiced teabag or two , to spice up the other tea bags; it works well!
    We swear by our home brew – and add it to practically all our salads and vegie dishes as an organic marinade!
    I used it for raw olives, fresh from the tree, and it brings out the unique olive oil aroma, and makes olives last for months, without me having to pickle them in salt! I also found that raw strawberries, soaked in Combo-Chai, taste divine the day after!
    We are now mostly raw foodists and have developed the Y Diet. Please visit our website to download the ‘Color Manifestoas a free e book!

  47. benefits of tea
    January 13, 2013 | 1:57 pm

    I haven’t tried kombucha yet. I have heard that there are possible side effects and adverse reactions due to bacteria. I think this may be from unsanitary conditions in the first place. At any rate, I’m curious to try it.

  48. Kim
    January 23, 2013 | 4:47 pm

    I’m curious but a little scared to try it, I saw it at a local healthfood place, you have to admit it is frightening lol!
    I need some advise on a brand and flavor to try, I am not ready to venture out and make my own at this point.
    Thanks!

  49. Amy
    February 2, 2013 | 10:11 pm

    Kristen-I am curious about your mom’s progress with this. I am looking to heal my rheumatoid arthritis. You said this could heal ailments, I wanted to know if this could help me. Thanks!

  50. Eugene
    February 11, 2013 | 12:26 pm

    Hi, my mother’s friend has pancreatic cancer and is going through chemotherapy, is it okay for her to drink kombucha?

  51. Ari
    February 11, 2013 | 12:45 pm

    I LOVE kombucha! I am currently trying to cut down on alcohol consumption and lead generally a healthier lifestyle, so this drink is a big help. Not only does it have powerful detox and health benefits, but kombucha is a great substitute for beer, wine, etc. when socializing! Its something to sip on thats not water or soda, its fizzy and looks funny, and comes in all kinds of colora and flavors! Great conversation starter

  52. Ari
    February 11, 2013 | 12:51 pm

    In response to Kims blurb about being scared to try kombucha… i reccommend GT Dave’s brand, its like the most mainstream one ive seen so you can probably find it places. I know Wegmans supermarkets carry them if theres one of those near you. Mild taste and not chunky or slimy like it may look. Try different brands though, and find out what you like! Good luck and have fun with it :)

  53. Nina
    February 15, 2013 | 8:49 pm

    Someone else uses their lovely wine glasses to drink their kombucha in!

    • KristenM
      February 15, 2013 | 8:53 pm

      I drink *everything* in my wine glasses (well, aside from hot beverages like tea).

  54. Alison Murphy
    February 16, 2013 | 12:02 pm

    how much kombucha do you think would be the right amount for children? I’ve been limiting them to 8 oz. a day because of concern that the residual caffeine and sugar will harm their teeth and behavior. We brew our own 1 week- 10 days old, then often double ferment with fruit juice for 48 hours.

  55. Alison Murphy
    February 16, 2013 | 12:08 pm

    also here’s a reference you might want- kombucha helps control blood sugar levels!

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22591682

  56. Garden Goddess
    February 26, 2013 | 12:23 pm

    Just trying to find info about the amount of kombucha one should drink daily. I’ve been told it shouldn’t be more than 12 oz/day. Any truth to that rumor? I produce my own kombucha and am apt to drink it several times a day.

    Thanks

  57. Amber
    March 6, 2013 | 8:44 pm

    I have a question… My sister-in-law has had her internals removed due to a screw up on the doctors end & now get her “life source” nutrition in something called TPN which is inserted via a”port” to her bloodstream. withou it she will die. The TPN is destroying her liver & could shut down her kidneys as well. My question is : Could the tea help repair some of the damage that is being done to the organs she has, i.e… liver, kidney…?

  58. Alex
    March 10, 2013 | 10:42 am

    I remember my mom making her own kombucha when I was a kid and being thoroughly freaked out by the process, not to mention the taste! A decade or so later and I drink it several times a week, it’s truly a wonderful elixer.

  59. Dr. Daniel Muffoletto ND
    March 13, 2013 | 7:08 am

    Reed’s Ginger Brew /Virgil’s Root Beer has started a line with 8 flavors. It is the best tasting. My favorite is Kombucha with cocnut water, and lime.

  60. Warlene
    March 22, 2013 | 7:40 am

    Thank You for all of your Comments, They have been very encourageing. I drink Synergy 95% Kombucha,the cranberry flavour, when I can find the 100% Kombucha,that is what I buy. I do not make my own.

    I suffer with Kidney stones, I was told the Kombucha drink will help.

    Thank You again.

  61. Justin
    April 16, 2013 | 6:49 am

    thanks for sharing this information, a German friend of mine introduced me to Kombucha tea over 20 years ago, we used to brew it while at University together. Experimented with many different types of tea to find the best flavor. We also used to experiment with hydrogen therapy – drinking small doses of hydrogen peroxide (two or three drops per gls of water).

    I have only been thinking lately of brewing more Kombucha – I need to find where to get it in Australia,
    cheers
    Justin

  62. Gigi
    April 19, 2013 | 3:58 pm

    I am interested in adding kombucha to my daily diet but I have concerns because I had a kidney transplant and I am on immunosuppresants. Can you give me some feedback on whether or not it’s advisable.

  63. Karen Lee
    April 25, 2013 | 11:45 am

    I am sixty years old and am always getting compliments on my wrinkle-free skin. Didn’t think about it too much, my mother (90) also had beautiful skin. She began using kombucha when I was 18 and I incorporated it off and on throughout my life. Really, I know that the glucaric acid is very good for your skin. Doing this over a lifetime, I can attest that I am pill-free and healthy, very few sick days. I have always made the basic brew with green tea bags, then stored the batch in the fridge when I liked the taste. I might mix it with fruit juices; however I never brewed it with anything other than green tea and white sugar.
    I have introduced lots of people to this brew, never thought it would go ballistic! Missed my opportunity years ago!

  64. Kelly
    June 5, 2013 | 5:32 am

    Please be careful recommending solely “detox” cures for cancer. My best friend decided to treat her breast cancer by detox and eating a 100% raw food diet, etc. She refused medical treatment. She died 3 years later from a type of breast cancer that was very slow growing and which would have had an almost 100% cure rate if she had agreed to a lumpectomy when it was first detected. I am a natural, crunchy, hippy type person; but cancer is not something to play around with. Using Kombucha in addition to seeking evidence based medical care for cancer would be a great idea. Relying on Kombucha to cure cancer on its own could be suicide. It sure worked like that with my best friend.

  65. Amber
    June 23, 2013 | 10:46 pm

    Is it safe to drink Kombucha while pregnant?

  66. Jo Innes
    July 4, 2013 | 7:30 am

    Hi Kristen, just a quick comment – do you know that that Leonard Coldwell guy is using your kombucha article word for word on his scammy site? I wasn’t sure who was ripping who off at first but after a little digging, I have a feeling it’s him. I found both his and your articles from another unreliable site, Natural News who, incredibly and dammingly, clearly didn’t read the articles he was citing. I’d be interested to know what you think.
    Kind regards,
    Jo

  67. Dr. Jean Logan
    July 4, 2013 | 6:33 pm

    I have been brewing kombucha for over 15 years and as a doctor of nutrition I feel it is safe during pregnancy in moderation. Common sense should prevail. Scare stories put out by a medical industry that is killing people with drugs should be questioned as to their motivation. I have not had so much as a case of the sniffles during this time. I want to add that I eat fresh organic vegetarian food, exercise often and get adequate sunshine. I am not vegan, consuming raw goat yogurt and kefir. Alway question the source of information. Is it to educate or create fear? Scare stories should be considered suspect. The focus of the present medical establishment is to make money. Blessings to all. Dr. Jean.

  68. Alan Linnitt
    July 13, 2013 | 5:33 am

    Hi, Solzhenitsyn wrote that he cured himself with Chaga chai, not kombucha. Chaga grows on birch trees naturally and is widely available in cool climates.

  69. G
    July 31, 2013 | 2:17 pm

    While I am sure kombucha has some health benefits it is irresponsible int he extreme to promote claims that it has cancer curing or preventative properties. What evidence do you have to support you claims other than anecdotal stories about “research” conducted in Russia in the early 20th century? Much research into cancer cures is done not by big Pharma but by universities and federal labs. Science-free conspiracy theories have no place in health debates.

  70. Katie
    August 16, 2013 | 8:54 pm

    Oh my goodness!, I just drank a glass of homemade kombucha and looooved it! First time! It had ginger in it… I was pleasantly surprised. It was on ice and fizzy and sweet and felt like I was having a glass of wine! I will def be drinking more!!

  71. Laura C
    August 21, 2013 | 1:19 pm

    I just read in the mayo clinic that there are no health benefits from kombucha, but there are several cases of negative effects.
    I got some today because I have been wanting to try it and I belive in the effects of kim-chi and sauerkraut, which are kind of like kombucha.
    Why do you suppose the mayo clinic would say there are no health benefits??
    I also think it is so great that your friends are in remission from going natural instead of chemo. I think the processed crap and toxins in our food and cleaners are responsible for a lot of common health problems, including cancer.

  72. CJ
    August 23, 2013 | 7:27 pm

    “Much research into cancer cures is done not by big Pharma but by universities and federal labs.”

    @G-And just who do you think funds those studies at the universities and federal labs? Come on now. Of course Big Pharma will pay to put a different face on the studies so people like you what eat it up.

  73. Dave
    September 23, 2013 | 1:26 am

    @Amber kombucha is a bit controversial with drinking during pregnancy… b/c of a few reasons:

    1) most kombucha is made with camillias senensis (ie Tea), which contains caffeine. Which many experts advise against.

    2) kombucha contains alcohol, which many experts advise against.

    3) kombucha is detoxifying which some say will actually detoxify the pre-bourn baby.

    Being that I have never experienced pregnancy, I can only go by my sister who has and who’s mid wife said kombucha is fine during pregnancy is small amounts.. the caffeine, alcohol content are so small that it will not effect the pregnancy negatively and as to the 3rd, she said it was an old wives tale.

    I mention this to offer perspective and ultimately it is a very personal choice.. so please consult with your medical doc to weigh the pros and cons!

    happy brewin
    dave :)

  74. GeeCee
    September 23, 2013 | 1:39 pm

    I have been home brewing kombucha for about eight months. I have tried different teas, my favorite are 1/2 Japanese herb & 1/2 Red Zinger & Acai berry tea. I don’t necessarily drink it for the health benefits but because I really like it. I have 3 – 1/2 gallon jars going so I have a new batch about every 3 days, if left too long it gets too vinegary for my taste. I am constantly trying out new tea combinations and keeping track of which ones I like. My daughter started me out with a scoby, I have already passed scobies on to two friends.

  75. Michelle
    September 23, 2013 | 5:23 pm

    Hello

    I just today picked up a “Scoby” from someone on the internet and a bit of starter for my 1st batch of this kombucha .

    The question is TEA.. So of course I do not have regular black tea. SO My first batch is 2 Black with Pumpkin / 1 Black Chi and a 1 Green bag all together.

    Wonder what my monster kombucha Frankenstein will taste like??? Am I going to kill off my first kombucha because I didn’t use plain tea bags?
    Thanks
    -Michelle

  76. jeff
    October 1, 2013 | 1:42 am

    Thanks for the great write up. With your tips I will be brewing up my batch in no time. Hoping to put a step by step guide to help the other new people learn from my brewing, or failure :)

  77. Thu
    October 11, 2013 | 5:49 pm

    I’ve heard of this a few times. The word seems funny to me, it’s of japanese origin and it’s a chinese drink? I think american health overall would be better if they munched on kombu and drank ocha like a certain other country.

  78. Jon
    October 15, 2013 | 9:21 pm

    Real good article but you don’t have to buy a scoby when you can culture your own simply by dumping some “high country” kombucha into the mix.

  79. georgie
    October 21, 2013 | 4:23 pm

    What about the low pH;2,9 and all the lactic acid; which is a waste product of anaerobic metabolism that makes muscle “cramp” up? The heart is a muscle, is that why those women died from heart attacks from acidosis?

  80. elsie hensley
    October 31, 2013 | 2:11 pm

    is it safe to wash the fermenting jar with soap and water? also, I have to touch the scobies to separate them, will this contaminate them? what will make the kombucha more fizzy? sometimes mine is not very fizzy at all. Also, sometimes the kombucha tastes like a rubber tire–what would be causing this?

    i know i have a lot of questions, but i like kombucha and would like to improve the taste and carbonation along with making sure it is kept safe to drink.

    thanks a lot,
    elsie

  81. Wanda Bachmann
    November 3, 2013 | 7:25 am

    No apostrophe here:
    “Thanks to IT’S rising commercial popularity in the last decade,”
    should be
    ITS.
    Wanda

  82. Katie white
    November 8, 2013 | 4:29 am

    Hello everyone! My nan makes kombucha and I have used it for quite a while now as a face cleanser. Just put some on a cotton wool pad and wipe your face. It is fantastic for clearing up spots and evening your skin tone, I swear by it! Honestly give it a go :)

  83. Mika
    November 8, 2013 | 1:08 pm

    I think I let mine sit too long and its very sour tasting with no fizz. My SCOBY very thick and is slightly pink too. Any suggestions what to do with the brew to fix it? or should I let it sit longer and make a vinegar with it? Also can I use the SCOBY in my next batch or do I need to start over fresh?

  84. David Fred
    November 14, 2013 | 9:20 am

    delighted with Kombucha….it has an appetite – suppressant quality to it, that gives me a break from over-eating, and it’s very helpful….just sipping a small amount of ‘Booch is quite satitsfying, been doing it for a couple of years.

  85. Ellen
    November 16, 2013 | 3:30 pm

    My daughter gave me a scoby last June and started me making Kombucha. I have two gallon jars going at all times. So far I have used fresh or frozen blackberries to do a second fermentation. It is delicious. My husband and I drink it daily. I try to limit my husband to twenty ounces a day. He always wants more. Can one drink too much Kombucha?

  86. Mel
    November 19, 2013 | 10:40 pm

    Thank you for another great post. I have been brewing my own kombucha for a while now and have been curious: what did the older cultures use to feed their kombucha? I mean, I think most of them didn’t have access to sugar cane and I hear that honey and maple syrup aren’t good alternatives to regular sugar as we know it. Any thoughts? (I keep having these thoughts: “What would I eat/drink if there were no grocery stores? How would I nourish my family?? So I would like to know what to “feed” my SCOBY if I have no access to sugar!)

    Thank you!

    • barbara
      May 4, 2014 | 10:05 pm

      I use Agave syrup in my kombucha tea & its GREAT !

  87. Lisa
    January 6, 2014 | 8:26 pm

    Thanks! I’ve been drinking a ton of raw kombucha lately (I finally found a raw nonGMO brand that doesn’t taste like ACV) and the other day I got an older bottle of Original flavor (or unflavor…?). I’m growing my own SCOBY from it and I already see it forming!

  88. Clyde
    January 9, 2014 | 11:42 pm

    Thanks for the great info! I drink the Synergy kombucha with the chia seeds added. It fills me up as much as a full meal.

  89. Carolyn bojo
    January 30, 2014 | 9:12 pm

    I recently read that you should not drink kombucha if you have mercury fillings. Do you agree?

  90. Carolyn
    January 30, 2014 | 10:00 pm

    I have read that you should not drink kombucha if you have mercury fillings. Do you agree? Thanks so much

  91. Tisha
    February 6, 2014 | 3:55 pm

    Hi Kristen,
    I have a very low tolerance for caffine. I get the shakes, nausea and dizziness. After several days of caffine build up in my system I feel a strain on my heart as if the most dreadful thing is going to happen and even get nightmares. I want to try the tea because I love to detox. Can the tea be bought or brewed caffine free?
    Thank you :)!

  92. DCasey
    February 9, 2014 | 2:15 am

    I know some guys from my gym that started brewing kombucha and now they have it in Wholefoods etc and many other stores. I love their stuff and have found another good brand that tastes like soda. Gonna check out how to brew via your link. Sounds like fun!

  93. Charlotte
    February 12, 2014 | 4:36 pm

    I had this problem years ago and toward the end of last year it came back. Basically I would struggle to burp every few seconds. The gas would overwhelm my esophagus and it would try to force out a burp. Then I would
    practically choke trying to get it out. I tried everything. Diet, supplements, getting treated for h pylori. I had just started reglan yesterday and it seems like it made me worse. I thought I was going to die soon. Then this morning my daughter was begging me to buy her a kombucha and I gave in. I figured the kombucha might give me a brief burp, so I decided to drink some since I was afraid I was going to choke driving home. Car ridea are the worst. But actually the kombucha ripped all my gas out in a few burps and even if I burped a bit after, it all came out easily with no choking sensation in my chest. Now it is an hour later and I feel totally like a normal woman again after feeling like I was going to die or be under massive surgery soon. So before going home I stopped ans bought myself a whole bunch of kombucha!

  94. Mike
    February 27, 2014 | 10:09 pm

    I’ve been drinking Kombucha for 2 years now and no longer get laryngitis twice a year. I actually haven’t caught a cold in 2 years. I’m a rock singer and that’s unreal. I also am no longer lactose intolerant after 10 years of that. I’m not saying it’s definitely the Kombucha, but it’s awfully coincidental.

  95. Dana
    March 2, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    Thanks for this easy to read article about the benefits of Komucha. I recently got addicted and have been reading and watching all kombucha related articles and videos.

  96. Hoo boy
    March 3, 2014 | 1:51 pm

    I like the part where you spend paragraphs explaining all the research on kombucha, all while dancing around the fact that the research led to no conclusive health benefits. You then put “‘lack’ of research” in quotes, as if the lack of evidence is somehow up for debate. Science is science. And yet, you go on to make claims about its health benefits. Hey, you can drink and eat whatever makes you happy, but don’t fool yourself and others into thinking something is necessarily good for you when (as you KNOW) there is no body of evidence to suggest this.

  97. Zachary Waltier
    March 5, 2014 | 8:24 pm

    This is a joke! Bias everywhere, this is a classic case of pseudoscience. Nothing adds up here… If this is so great than lets give it to all cancer patients so they can suevive… Haha this stuff is a joke!

  98. bred
    March 10, 2014 | 4:12 am

    Alright. I have a REAL bucher’s question.

    I need to make my own scoby from scratch… BUT WAIT!!!!

    DO NOT tell me I just need to go buy a bottle at the store and mix yada yada. This is NOT an option for me. I am living Cambodia. NO kombucha here.

    SO. Anyone have any success out there with a real ~RECIPE~ for starting your own culture from TRUE scratch?

    I am flabbergasted at the # of posts out there that say “to make a culture from scratch just go buy a bottle of the product you want to make from scratch and add it in…” Am I the only one that has noticed this paradox?

    In any event thank you savior if you’re out there:)

  99. David Darell Galbraith
    March 16, 2014 | 12:23 am

    I just read your “Kombucha Health Benefits”. Great article. I look forward to reading more from you.

    Dear Kristen Michaelis,

    Last summer I collected enough nopal prickly pears, also called “tunas”, to make five gallons of a very concentrated purple “tuna juice’.

    Since 2002, I have suffered from Type II Diabetes. In 2007 I developed a numbness in front of my thighs that felt like a one inch slab of numbness that covered the whole front of my thighs. I also had a very uncomfortable burning kind of numbness on the bottoms of my feet, in the balls of my feet behind my toes.

    Less than one week after drinking 4 ounces of this juice daily, all the numbness and the burning was gone.

    None of the doctors I mentioned this to has expressed any interest in my discovery.

    Next summer I will attempt to make twenty gallons of this “tuna juice”, that I freeze until needed.

    I haven’t researched your sight yet to see if you have already written on the subject, but I thought you would be interested in my results.

    The “tuna juice” that I get directly from the “tunas” is highly concentrated and can be diluted up to four times and still be effective. I was using the Whole Foods 365 brand spring water for the dilution. After reading your article, I plan to use this water to make Kombucha tea and use this tea for the dilution.

    By the way, “tuna juice” taste a whole lot like watermelon. It is surprising delicious.

    I also consider myself to be a food renegade. I have a powerful dislike for big pharma and the FDA, that I feel are turning people into diabetics and turning diabetics into cash cows that they milk to death. An early death that is more likely cause by complications cause by antidiabetic medication rather than any complication from diabetes.

    Organic, grass fed, free range, raw, non-GMO and all those other wonderful concepts are very important if we are ever going to stop the runaway epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

    So are people like you.

    I thank you for your efforts.

    Your new fan,

    David Darell Galbraith

  100. Sia
    March 25, 2014 | 8:07 pm

    I bought a scoby and have it happily brewing away – very excited…

    HOWEVER I stupidly put it in a terrible jar (with a wide body and thin mouth) and will basically have to break the new baby scoby to get it out of the jar… Can I start a new brew with a broken scoby? Or will I have to buy a new scoby?

    Thanks!

  101. Kimberly
    April 18, 2014 | 12:15 am

    So I’m at my daughter’s house a few days ago and she says here mom , try this. She reaches in the fridge and pulls out this red stuff, that I’m thinking is some type of home made drink because she’s always making something home made. I put it to my mouth, at the same thinking OH NO!, what do I do if I don’t like it? We never want to hurt our children’s feelings right? Anyway…… this stuff was mind blowingly DELICIOUS!!!! It reminded of Strawberry Boones Farm Wine. Now, if your younger than 40, you may not remember this stuff. This Kombucha stuff is so good in fact, I’d like to try my hand at making some myself!! Yummy! And for all the benefits, what’s not to like! And I think in a couple of months when I can get my hands on some fresh peaches at the farmers market, I’ll see how it taste made with those.

  102. Shunghilaska
    May 2, 2014 | 12:17 pm

    I got a scoby from a friend about four months ago. I have been making kombucha every ten days since. I can’t get past all the slime that forms in my brewing jug, so I filter the final result through coffee filters to take out the gunk before I bottle it. I use organic Earl Grey tea and mint. I also use organic cinnamon sticks. For my sugar I use a combo of dried cane juice and maple syrup. My resulting kombucha is outstanding. I’ve brewed it from 7 days to two weeks. Ten days seems to be the ideal. My only regret is that I have to pitch a scoby every two batches. Making kombucha is like having a pet. It takes care and attention. Otherwise you will end up with a nasty tasting product and a dead scoby. A half scoby will work just fine.

    • Jo
      June 26, 2014 | 2:59 pm

      Shunghilaska, the reason you have to keep replacing your scoby is because of the natural oils that are present in the Earl Grey, the mint and cinnamon. Ideally, you want to keep these things from being in direct contact with your scoby. The best way to do that is to add the flavorings after you separate the tea from the scoby (during the 2nd fermentation.) If you love how it’s turning out, though, and you just want to keep replacing scabies then it’s no big deal. But if you take care of your scoby by keeping it separate from any herbal or spice oils, it can last for a really, really long time, years in fact.

  103. cosmas
    May 14, 2014 | 12:15 pm

    i want to know if there is any side effect of cumbucha, can someone who is taking medication of antibiotics as well drink combucha,

  104. Umah
    May 14, 2014 | 2:58 pm

    I realised that drinking kambucha made me bloated. How do I get rid of that fizzyness?

  105. In terms of health, i am very passionate. Hope this would be more a lot easier.

  106. Joel
    June 7, 2014 | 6:03 pm

    I only just started drinking kombucha and absolutely love it, specifically the ‘synergy’ brand. I have arthritis so am so glad to read that it can benefit joint pain – it would be great to be able to replace my NSAIDs with it long term

  107. Devon
    June 12, 2014 | 8:14 am

    I love kombucha, I’ve been noticing alot of the benefits and am kinda surprised when I see people having issues with it. Make sure its clean and pure guys…

  108. Carla Rothman
    June 13, 2014 | 12:08 pm

    Hi, I have been making the Kombucha tea for about a year now and truly love it! My question is, when the second fermenting with the fruit comes of time, do you have to put in closed jars, or can you add the fruit to the tea after removing the SCOBY and ferment in the same jar with a cloth on top, or does it not work like that after adding the fruit? I have been putting in lock-tight glass jars after adding the fruit and let ferment for up to 5 days, then strain the fruit out of the tea, then put in fridge. Just curious….thanks, Carla

  109. Ali Hall
    June 17, 2014 | 4:23 pm

    Hello All,
    Just learned about Kombucha!!!! I drink unsweetened tea/beverages and if I do need sweetener I use Stevia. . .(don’t really like/avoid sugars). . .can you make this without the sugar??? or use Stevia???
    Thanks for any help & info!!!

    • Victoria
      July 20, 2014 | 8:05 pm

      Hi Ali! Actually, Kombucha feeds from sugar. The sugar you add to it is not for you, but for itself. The sugar you add will turn to yeast, so don’t worry. You can brew the tea a little longer, so it won’t be too sweet.

  110. Yvonne Leach
    July 17, 2014 | 7:23 pm

    Regarding defrosting meat: Cold water is actually more effective and safer. It melts the crystals evenly, rather than the outside first. Also, I leave it in a wrapper. I’ve been using cold water for 40 years. Give it a go…

  111. Ronna
    July 21, 2014 | 8:06 am

    I put a mushroom through my blender to make a facial. It formed a new mushroom. Can that mushroom be used to start a new batch of tea?

  112. Eilish Foley via Facebook
    August 5, 2014 | 7:31 pm

    I have an open bottle of Braggs apple cider vinegar that seems “the mother” has turned intot two small scoobys – they look like two flat pancakes – can these be used for something like kombucha?

  113. Kristin Lindsey via Facebook
    August 5, 2014 | 10:09 pm

    Following Eilish Foley’s answers …

  114. Liz Leona Kadri Gonzagowski via Facebook
    August 5, 2014 | 10:11 pm

    no not kombucha but maybe you can add water and sugar to produce more vinegar,,,

  115. Wild Lantana via Facebook
    August 6, 2014 | 5:41 am

    But all those people are still dead?

  116. Clara J Balliet via Facebook
    September 13, 2014 | 7:27 pm

    I decided to start making my own because I tasted my friend’s homemade kombucha. Now it’s just part of my weekly routine. A tasty treat and healthy at that! Still working on getting consistent carbonation, but it’s fun to have an ongoing science experiment that I can drink.

  117. Cris Devine via Facebook
    September 15, 2014 | 2:38 am

    Another great fungus among us. :)

  118. Nicole Hayes via Facebook
    September 15, 2014 | 6:12 pm

    Dusty Hayes

  119. Marc
    October 3, 2014 | 7:41 pm

    I have been drinking GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha for a couple of weeks now I am pretty much addicted “multi-Green” is my preference I pretty much live in hotels due to my job and it would be difficult to do myself do you have any opinion on this “expensive 4$ a bottle” product

  120. Dale Faulkner via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 7:02 pm

    Just finished our second batch and LOVE it! I need to find a way to make more though because we drink it and wait – -

  121. Shannon Rice via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 7:04 pm

    Melissa

  122. Kerry Gavin Duker via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 7:06 pm

    Justine :)

  123. Kim Kelly-Rhinewalt via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 7:27 pm

    What does it taste like? Is it grainy,

  124. Justine Godfrey via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 7:32 pm

    the problem, Kerry Gavin Duker is that it is just TOO delicious. I can’t handle it.

  125. JoAnne Franzene via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 7:37 pm

    It is not at all grainy and has a flavor of its own. . .that kind of grows on you!!! I have been drinking it for about a year now, and am just starting to make my own–the SCOBY is developing (thinking positive thoughts)!! It is MUCH cheaper to make than it is to buy. . .so good and good for you!!!!

  126. JoAnne Franzene via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 7:39 pm

    @Dale Faulkner. . .split your SCOBY in two and make two at the same time! It will change to fit your jars. I am looking forward to eventually splitting mine–one to use and one to experiment with!!!!

  127. Scott AndRachel-Thousand via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 7:52 pm

    Does the fermentation make it alcoholic?

  128. Food Renegade via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 8:10 pm

    Scott AndRachel-Thousand Not really, no. It contains 2% or less alcohol.

  129. Shannon Dorman via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 8:12 pm

    It does have some alcohol, but it’s like .02%. I have 2 2gal jars that I use to make mine. I do continuous brewing, & I almost never run out before the next batch is ready. That’s w/4 people drinking it regularly.

  130. Maryanne Manyamoon via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 8:16 pm

    I like to put thinly sliced ginger in it when I
    Put it in the frig…it is excellent over coconut ice cream and in smoothies…

  131. Diane Paterson via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 8:38 pm

    It tastes like vinegar to me. I really wanted to love it but it hurts my stomach when I drink it.

  132. Ashley Warneke via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 8:50 pm

    Kahri Okerstrom :)

  133. Sylvie Cormier-Arsenault via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 9:38 pm

    I enjoy the tangy flavour and the fizz.

  134. Camille Martinez via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 9:39 pm

    You all make it sound so good! My husband loves it and drinks it all time. I wish I enjoyed it, it’s so good for you but I can’t stand the taste!

  135. Megan Alethea Brown Hull via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 9:40 pm

    When I feel yucky or am getting sick, it fixes me right up!

  136. Nicole Mathews via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 9:48 pm

    Definitely a grow on you kinda taste, but you can experiment with different flavors… Although I still say everything in moderation :)

  137. Debora Crandall via Facebook
    October 8, 2014 | 10:16 pm

    Keeps me from getting sick. Dilute it with with fresh squeezed or juiced fruits and veggies Diane Paterson

  138. Grace Firaben Reddy via Facebook
    October 9, 2014 | 7:27 am

    Ok to have while breastfeeding?

  139. Piper Lindeen via Facebook
    October 9, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    Yay you’re back on my feed!

  140. Susan Sanislo Tilly via Facebook
    October 9, 2014 | 4:38 pm

    Kathy Hammonds

  141. Al Hennington via Facebook
    October 9, 2014 | 4:46 pm

    Nobody should drink that crap

  142. Sabrina Baker via Facebook
    October 10, 2014 | 2:04 am

    We do continuous brew in our giant crock with spigot at bottom. Then we second ferment with all the yummy favors we can think of. The second ferment is what really gives it the fizzzz!

  143. Jesse
    October 17, 2014 | 10:56 am

    Safety Record

    Some experts warn about the dangers of home-brewed and unpasteurized kombucha prepared in nonsterile conditions and the risk for unhealthy bacteria getting into the tea.

    “If you want to drink kombucha, a safer bet is to go for one that is commercially prepared and pasteurized,” says Janet Helm, MS, RD, a Chicago nutritionist and author of Nutrition Unplugged blog.
    Kombucha Yes! But beware of making it at home,
    http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-kombucha

    There have been reports of adverse effects from drinking the tea, ranging from upset stomach to toxic reactions and metabolic acidosis (excessive acid buildup in the body). The FDA cautions that home-brewed versions are at high risk of contamination. In 1995, the CDC issued a report linking kombucha with the illness of a woman suffering from metabolic acidosis.

  144. kelly
    October 19, 2014 | 10:29 pm

    GTS Kombucha teas in various flavours just came onto my radar….$3.50 bottle all sort of different flavors…..
    vegan, gluten free, no GMO.

    A little pricey. But I am really enjoying it. I abhor water and am trying to break a long standing cola habit.

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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