Friday, January 13, 2012

How is Kombucha Tea Made?

Although kombucha tea has been promoted for centuries for several health benefits, it remains a controversial treatment. Clinical studies have yet to demonstrate its effectiveness, and some medical authorities even consider it to be dangerous. Discuss kombucha use with your doctor before using it to prevent or treat any medical condition.
The Kombucha Mushroom
The "kombucha mushroom" is the distinguishing ingredient in kombucha tea. It is not actually a mushroom, but a combination of yeasts and bacteria that resembles a flat pancake and is usually about 6 inches in diameter. After it is combined with black tea and sugar, the original culture is left to ferment. After about a week, the original yeast culture forms another culture on the surface of the tea, which resembles a small mushroom. When the original mushroom turns black and goes bad, the new "baby" mushroom can be used to make more tea, or it can be passed along to others so they can start their own kombucha tea.
Yeast Culture and Fermentation Process
Kombucha cultures contain different types of yeasts and bacteria. According to the American Cancer Society, commonly used bacteria include Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconicum, Bacterium xylinoides, Bacterium katogenum, Pichia fermentans, Candida stellata, and Torula species. Originally, kombucha tea was brewed with seaweed tea, which is the meaning of its name. In Western countries, kombucha is usually combined with black tea and sugar. During the fermentation, chemical reactions create a variety of substances, including alcohol, glucuronic acid, lactic acid and heparin, as noted by
Kombucha tea is promoted for a variety of health benefits, including improved immunity, cancer prevention and better digestion and liver function. Other purported benefits include treatment of baldness, insomnia, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis and AIDS. Other users claim that kombucha can detoxify the body of harmful toxins and other substances that may contribute to chronic disease and other health problems. These claims are based on kombucha's antioxidant components, which are said to eradicate free radicals from the body and even reverse the effects of aging.
Despite its many purported health benefits, many health experts are skeptical of kombucha's effectiveness. According to, kombucha tea has not proven effective for any of its supposed health benefits and may even cause unwanted side effects, like nausea and allergic reactions. In 1995, two residents of an Iowa town who obtained kombucha from the same provider both experienced severe health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the women died due to an unexplained illness, and the other experienced severe respiratory distress and cardiac arrest. However, laboratory analysis of the kombucha tea consumed by both women did not reveal any dangerous pathogens or other substances. In 2009, a man experienced the same symptoms, which doctors believed were linked to high levels of lactic acid that could have been caused by kombucha consumption.

Design by Free Wordpress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Templates