Kombucha: Panacea or 2 Hype?

I have a lot of friends who swear by the benefits of Kombucha, a living culture of beneficial microorganisms infused into a tea.  I have friends who drink it daily and even make their own.

I’ve only tried about half a dozen store-bought brands, and most of them are expensive and difficult to drink…the fermentation process gives them a sour, overwhelming vinegar taste.  And I have yet to “perceive” any benefits?  Perhaps it’s because they are typically pasteurized, and that basically would kill all the good bacteria and active pro-biotic benefits, no?  But still, I can’t decide what I think.

I had a friendly debate with twitter friend @KombuchaKamp on the subject.  The FDA, which has been bought and sold a hundred times over, doesn’t endorse or recognize the benefits of Kombucha.  However, did I mention the FDA has been bought and sold a hundred times over?  Dr. Weil, a wellness expert I trust to some extent, doesn’t think it can hurt anything, but isn’t sold on it.  A few experts warn it could become contaminated and dangerous (contamination is probably unlikely with a pasteurized, commercially sold brand).  Most benefits seems perceived to me, or individual/anecdotal. “Loyal Kombuchees” will send me links to rather obscure sources, like studies done at some goofy institute in New Zealand.

I do know that our digestive system and healthy flora are absolutely KEY to staying well!  the first thing I lose when I get sick is my appetite and ability to digest.  It’s an established medical fact that cultured/fermented foods have probiotic properties, no?

What do YOU think?

I DID want to give a shout out here on the blog about a brand I’ve been drinking for the last 5 days.  it’s VERY enjoyable and light on the sour vinegar taste…you can almost fool yourself into thinking you’re drinking ginger ale.  Kombucha Wonder Drink Essence of Lemon (there’s a coupon on the site, FYI) is darn yummy, and I started drinking it Tuesday when I caught a cold/flu bug.The bug never got past 25% in terms of taking over my body and today it’s pretty much GONE.  Could this be the Kombucha?  Could it be the elderberry extract I also took?

The story of Kombucha Wonder Drink:

“Steve Lee, founder of Kombucha Wonder Drink, was on a trip to Russia in the 1990s. An elderly woman shared her secret for longevity and vitality – a jar containing a starter from her kombucha culture. The batch she had kept brewing next to her bed dated back to her relatives in Siberia 50 years earlier.  With that starter, Steve began brewing small batches of kombucha in his own home. Steve was determined to make a great tasting version of the drink he could share with the millions of people who had never experienced this wonder drink and the sense of well-being it offers.With help from his friends, including microbrewery experts and a microbiologist, an authentic kombucha was finally developed in 2001, and Kombucha Wonder Drink was born.”

I wonder what kind of shape that elderly woman was in?  Maybe she’s still alive?  🙂

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

Posted in nutrition, Wellness