Kombucha: Benefits Including Gut Health, Immunity, Cancer-Fighter, and even helps with Weight Loss?

By: Catherine Ebeling 
Co-author of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

I actually fell in love with the tangy, sweet/sour, bubbly awesomeness about ten years ago, and have been addicted ever since. Barely a day goes by when I don’t pick up a bottle or pour myself a glass from my home brew. It has an amazing taste, and really does make you feel happier and energetic—almost immediately!

Kombucha has had quite a surge in popularity lately, and there are now several brands (depending on where you shop) to choose from. Depending on what you read or who you talk to, kombucha has been attributed with health benefits that range from clearing up acne to curing cancer, but many of these are unsubstantiated thus far.

Kombucha has been around for a least a couple thousand years in Asia and other countries. The Chinese called it an “immortal health elixir”. Because it’s fermented, you get billions of powerful probiotics in your system when you drink it. Kombucha comes from black and/or green tea, water, and sugar. During fermentation, the bacteria and yeast in the SCOBY actually ‘eat’ up most (not all) of the sugar and part of the caffeine, creating vinegar and other acidic compounds, with trace amounts of alcohol, and gases that make it carbonated.

The colony of friendly bacteria that ferments the tea—looking like a giant mushroom is called a “SCOBY” which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”.  While the tea ferments, the SCOBY helps create b-vitamins, enzymes, acetic acid, (found in apple cider vinegar), gluconic and lactic acid, and a ton of great probiotics!

This blob is a biochemical powerhouse that produces amino acids, enzymes, polyphenols (antioxidants), antibiotic type substances, and a whole array of phytochemicals that are beneficial to your health. Kombucha has been scientifically studied for its ability to:

  • Detox the liver
  • Increase energy (I always feel great after having it!)
  • Improve digestion
  • Boost immune system
  • Help prevent or fight cancer
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Improve mood—decrease anxiety and depression

Kombucha has also been touted as being beneficial for acne, anxiety, arthritis, eczema, hangovers, hair growth, and more, but many of these claims have not yet been backed up with conclusive scientific evidence on humans.

In research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia did say the following about the genuine health benefits of kombucha:

“It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity.”



Kombucha is known for its detoxing capabilities, especially in the liver. One study reported that kombucha could actually decrease levels of toxins known to cause liver damage. Another study of kombucha on animals showed similarly decreased levels of certain toxins that are known to cause liver damage. And one other study evaluated toxicity, anti-stress capability, and liver-protective properties on rats with very favorable results.

Kombucha can overcome ‘Bad’ bacteria and yeasts—Since kombucha contains acetic acid, similar to vinegar, it appears to have strong anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, particularly against infection-causing bacteria, and harmful yeasts, like Candida.  Some people may avoid kombucha because it contains yeast, but the important thing to know is that kombucha contains beneficial yeasts and bacteria, which help to crowd out and cut off the harmful pathogens, like candida, in the body.

Increase Energy

Kombucha has the ability to invigorate and energize people. This is one of the reasons I have always loved drinking kombucha. It’s very energizing! It is thought that this energizing effect is from the formation of iron and B vitamins that are created from the black tea during fermentation. The iron from the tea helps to boost hemoglobin in the blood, which improves oxygen in the body’s tissues, which in turn, is very energizing. There is a small amount of caffeine left in the tea, depending upon fermentation time, but generally most of this caffeine is ‘eaten’ up in the fermentation process. I personally think the energizing feeling that comes from kombucha, is from ingesting the raw cultures and live enzymes as well.


Kombucha’s high levels of acid, probiotics and live enzymes aid in digestion and are especially helpful if you have any type of digestive disorder like leaky gut, irritable bowel disease, celiac disease, food allergies, and imbalances due to things like a poor diet or previous antibiotics. Kombucha is also naturally high in live enzymes that help the digestive process. Kombucha helps to repopulate the digestive system with beneficial bacteria and yeasts protecting it from the more harmful types that may exist in the gut. One thing to note about kombucha—depending on your current health and the health of your gut, you may actually feel worse the first few times you ingest kombucha. This is because of a ‘die-off’ reaction from the harmful pathogens that may live there. This is a good thing!

Immune Boosting

Because kombucha is naturally high in antioxidants and probiotics, it helps to support and strengthen the immune system. Scientific studies show probiotics’ power in fortifying the immune function, and since a large portion of immune function is a result of gut health, it only makes sense to be sure to keep the digestive tract supplemented with a wide variety of beneficial bacteria. Kombucha also contains massive antioxidants like D-saccharic acid lactone (DSL) which results from the fermentation of the tea. DSL is known for its ability to detoxify cells.

Cancer Prevention

Much has been written and studied about cancer prevention and kombucha. A study published in Cancer Letters found that consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancer in humans, as well as the antioxidant, DSL. In test-tube studies, kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells, due to its high concentration of tea polyphenols and antioxidants. Scientists theorize that the DSL and the vitamin C often found in kombucha are its primary oxidation weapons, protecting against inflammation, tumors, and overall depression of the immune system. As you may know, immune function is one of the body’s main protection systems against most cancers.

Weight Loss

Evidence shows that kombucha can improve and speed up metabolism (partially due to the small amount of caffeine it contains). Since kombucha is high in acetic acid (similar to apple cider vinegar), probiotics, and polyphenols, it can help with weight loss through various mechanisms, including through improved digestion and nutrient absorption. Some research also shows that acetic acid can help with weight loss by lowering blood sugar, decreasing insulin levels (which favors fat burning—instead of fat storing), and helps to suppress appetite.

In one specific human study on acetic acid and weight loss over 12 weeks, it was found that the subjects averaged 3.7 lbs weight loss, 0.9% decreased body fat, 0.75 inch waist circumference reduction, and a whopping 26% decrease in dangerous triglycerides!

Important to note however: sugar content in kombucha can vary widely, so be sure to check label for lowest sugar content. Home brewed versions have less sugar the longer time they ferment, and more acetic acid, making them ideal for weight loss and other health benefits.  With that said, most brands of kombucha only range from 2 grams of sugar to 7 grams of sugar per 8 oz.  This is very small compared to 30-40 grams of sugar in most soft drinks.  Therefore, there is very little blood sugar impact from kombucha, which is great.

Mood boosting

Kombucha has been known as a mood booster, helping to alleviate both anxiety and depression. Although the exact mechanism of this is not known, it is most likely due to a combination of the antioxidants in the tea, the polyphenols (green tea is known to be high in these as well), and the beneficial bacteria.

Medical research is discovering a direct link between gut health and mental health—primarily anxiety and depression. When healthy bacteria, in the form of fermented foods, are introduced into the digestive system on a regular basis, they help to restore the delicate balance of the gut microbiome.  Serotonin is a natural brain chemical that controls and stabilizes your mood and functions in your brain. Since your gut produces about 95% of your serotonin, keeping your gut healthy and ‘well fed’ with beneficial bacteria and yeasts should help boost your moods.

What about the Probiotics?

What exactly are the beneficial bacteria found in kombucha? In an article published from the Journal of Food Microbiology, it was found that the following probiotics are generally found in kombucha—although the actual amounts and types of organisms in the culture can vary widely, based on geography, preparation, temperature, climate, local bacteria in the environment, and yeasts present.

  • Gluconacetobacter- An anaerobic bacteria unique to kombucha. It feeds on nitrogen that from the tea and produces acetic acid and gluconic acid, as well as building the SCOBY.
  • Acetobacter-Bacteria that produce acetic acid and gluconic acid, along with the actual SCOBY mushroom. Acetobacter xylinoides and acetobacter ketogenum are two of the usual strains you find in kombucha.
  • Lactobacillus-A type of bacteria sometimes in kombucha that produces lactic acid. 
  • Saccharomyces–includes a number of yeast strains that produce alcohol and are the most common types of yeast found in kombucha.
  • Zygosaccharomyces-A yeast strain unique to kombucha. It produces alcohol and carbonation as well as contributing to the mushroom body.

The different types of bacteria and yeast in kombucha are what make it behave and appear the way it does, including the fizz and its somewhat unique flavor. (And if you see funky looking things floating around in your kombucha, don’t worry about it—just drink up—it’s little colonies of healthy yeast and bacteria.)

Other, not so beneficial organisms have been found in some cultures as well, and if you are making your own brew, you need to be very careful to keep everything touching the kombucha and the SCOBY very clean. Penicillin, Asperigillus, and Candida are common invaders, and rarely, even more harmful bacteria can take up residence, but those cases are few and far between. However, if you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, it is probably best to avoid kombucha, since some of the yeasts and bacteria may be more harmful to a weakened immune system than good.

How do you know if your home brewed kombucha has unhealthy molds? It’s pretty easy to spot. It usually looks very similar to the mold that you would see growing on bread, fruit or cheese. Green, black, or gray—and fuzzy. Just be sure to dump everything if you see mold on it, and start over with a new SCOBY.

At over $3 a bottle, buying a kombucha from the store every day can get expensive, so like me, you may want to make your own. Making it at home, as long as you adhere to very clean standards and avoid contaminating it, creates the freshest kombucha with the most active enzymes and ingredients. Commercially prepared kombuchas lose many of their antioxidants when stored for long periods of time, and some varieties have far less beneficial bacteria in them.

Here is my own recipe for basic kombucha:


4-6 black tea bags

1 cup organic granulated cane sugar

1-2 liters filtered or spring water (don’t use tap water as it often contains chlorine and other chemicals which will kill or prevent the growth of the beneficial bacteria and yeasts)

Large glass container with wide mouth (I used a large glass ice tea container)

SCOBY (you can use a starter from someone else who makes kombucha or obtain a starter from a health food store or online)

Clean dish cloth and rubber band


Be sure your kitchen and utensils are all very clean. Just to be sure, I rinse all of mine under very hot water.

Bring water to boil in a large pot. Once boiling, remove from heat and add teabags and sugar and let it steep, stirring occasionally with clean spoon to dissolve sugar.

Remove and discard tea bags after about a half hour or so. Let mixture cool to room temp—do not pour boiling hot tea over SCOBY or you may kill the live bacteria and yeasts.

When cool, add to jar with an equal amount of filtered water. Add SCOBY and cover with clean cloth and rubber band to secure it. Do not add a lid as the fermentation will build up and could explode it!

Allow the tea to sit for 7-14 days. Less time produces a tea with more sugar and caffeine. More time creates a more sour, fizzy brew, but it will be full of antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics. Much depends on the temperature and storage of the tea. Enjoy!

Here are a couple other articles on kombucha from our content partners:

Danette May:  Why you should drink kombucha daily for health

PaleoHacks:  A simple guide to the BEST kombucha

The Alternative Daily:  Kombucha tea, a powerful health elixir

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Dr. Josh Axe, Seven reasons to drink kombucha every day, Dr Axe.com, Food is Medicine http://draxe.com/7-reasons-drink-kombucha-everyday/
Cetojevic-Simin, Bogdanovic, Cvetkovic, Velicanski. Antiproliferative and antimicrobial activity of traditional Kombucha and Satureja montana L. Kombucha, Journal Buon, 2008 Jul-Sep;13(3):395-401. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18979556
Chaieb, Bakhrouf, Ammar, Antibacterial and antifungal activities of black and green kombucha tea, Journal of food biochemistry; June, 2008. Jul-Sep;13(3):395-401.
Dufresne, Farnworth, Tea, Kombucha, and health: a review, Food Research International, Volume 33, Issue 6, July 2000, Pages 409-421, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996900000673
Geary Mike, What’s in your gut? How probiotics and prebiotics keep you healthy, Truth About Abs, Aug, 2011. http://truthaboutabs.blogspot.com/2011/08/whats-in-your-gut-how-probiotics-and.html
Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM, What is Kombucha? The 10 Facts You Need to know, Global Healing center, December 2013. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-is-kombucha-10-facts-need-to-know/#7
Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM, The Health Benefits of Probiotics, May 2009, Global Healing Center, 2016 http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-probiotics/
Kondo, Kishi, Fushimi, Ugajin, Kaga, Biosci ,Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects, Biotechnol Biochem Aug, 2009. Epub 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687
Leech, Joe, Dietitian, 8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea, April 2016, Authority nutrition, https://authoritynutrition.com/8-benefits-of-kombucha-tea/
Murugesan, Sathishkumar, Jayabalan, Binupriya, Swaminathan, Yun, Hepatoprotective and curative properties of Kombucha tea against carbon tetrachloride-induced toxicity. Journal Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009 Apr;19(4):397-402. SE. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19420997
Pauline, Dipti, Anju, Kavimani, Sharma, Kain, Sarada, Sairram, Ilavazhagean, Devendra, Selvamurthy, Studies on toxicity, anti-stress and hepato-protective properties of Kombucha tea, Biomed Environ Sci. 2001 Sep;14(3):207-13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11723720
Spritzler Franziska, Authority Nutrition, We Know Apple Cider Vinegar Has Many Health Benefits, But Can It Help You Lose Weight? Eco Watch, June 2016. http://ecowatch.com/2016/06/08/health-benefits-apple-cider-vinegar/
Teoha, Heard, Cox, Yeast ecology of kombucha fermentation, International Journal Food Microbiology, 95(2), 119-126, Dec 2013. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8428104_Yeast_ecology_of_Kombucha_fermentation_Int_J_Food_Microbiol
Wang, Ji, Wu, Want, Yang, Zhang, Tian, Hepatoprotective effects of kombucha tea; identification of functional strains and quantification of functional components, J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Jan 30;94(2):265-72Epub 2013 Jul 1.
Wang, Gan, Tang, Determination of D-saccharic acid-1,4-lactone from brewed kombucha broth by high-performance capillary electrophoresis, Journal of Chromatography B, Volume 878, Issues 3-4, Feb 2010, pp 371-374.
Yan, Polk, Probiotics and immune health, Curr Opin Gastroenterology. Oct 2011; 27 (6); 496-501. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006993/ PMCID: PMC4006993

About The Watchdog

Mike Geary has been a Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for over 15 years now. He has been studying nutrition and exercise for almost 25 years, ever since being a young teenager. Mike is originally from Pennsylvania, but has fallen in love with mountain life and now resides in the picturesque mountains of Utah. Mike is an avid adventurist and when he’s not spending his time skiing, mountain biking, hiking, or paddleboarding on the lake, he has enjoyed skydiving, whitewater rafting, piloting an Italian fighter plane (seriously), scuba diving, heli-skiing, and traveling all around the world, enjoying learning about different cultures. At the age of 40, Mike now feels healthier, stronger, and more energetic than when he was 20... All because of a healthy lifestyle and great nutrition!

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  1. I also want more of alcohol infusions too please.

  2. Hallo Michael,

    When do you speak about Kefir?

    Gabriel in Botswana.

  3. Hello Gabriel.
    Peter here from Lake Macquarie NSW Australia.
    Kombucha tea. I got my first baby kombucha (scoby) from an old guy who used kombucha to curer his bowel cancer. I’ve been using it for 20 yrs. I use your basic recipe below, but experiment with all types of teas & fruit. Infuse green teas & other flavored teas. I add fruit and or raisins & sultanas to ferment the tea which make it a lot more bubbly. I leave the tea to ferment from 2 to 6 weeks. The longer the more bubbles, gas. When I need a pick me up, I to walk passed the fridge and grab 1/2 cup of tea, I drink it straight or 50 / 50 with water. The best result for me is a cup as i’m going to bed. If find that where I used to get up at least 3 _ 4 time a night now luck to get up once. There is a lot more to this old recipe. Cut thescoby up put it in the garden the worms love it. Enjoy.

    • Hi Peter, interesting your info that you allow your Kombucha to ferment up to 6 weeks. In the past I remember that I got the most terrible toothache you can imagine after going back on the Kombucha after many years. No painkiller gave me much of a relief but Xylitol finally thankfully help me. I stop making the Kombucha for a long time questioning myself if the tea was to strong in the first place or more likely the fermentation process to long ( back then 2 weeks).
      I,m back into “the magic” again with only 1 week of fermentation, finding the drink still to sweet.
      I read that every dentist can tell straight if his client is drinking Kombucha or lemons on a daily basis.
      Enjoying the drink with a straw seems to be a solution and also taking 1 to of Xylitol immediately after is certainly another trick to overcome those very unpleasant site effects.
      So yes, I found the answers but like to share while you,re so much interested in the topic which is great really. Bye Peter. Kind regards, Ursula

      • My goodness, I am unable to find any of my comments. Sure, I am a bit of a ‘devil’s advocate’ but I am not a troll and I happen to have decades of training, education and experience.

        Endorsements via users is just not viable endorsements. It is scary to hear people still think HONEY isn’t SUGAR! There might be some minuscule tidbits of possible nutrition but HONEY is a simple carbohydrate just like processed sugar.

        I wrote a complex comment about people using MAGICAL pills/herbs after abusing their bodies all their lives and expecting miracles. I was trying to explain that learning to cook, how to shop for healthy food at the grocery store, that growing your own vegetables/meat is almost getting to be CRITICAL if you want healthy nutrition. How to use spice, how to get off simple sugars, why complex carbohydrates should be the bulk of our diets, exercise…and my work, my knowledge I’ve worked very hard to accumulate via lots of moola to the Universities, hiring registered dietitians to educate my clients, hands on thousands and thousands of bodies. Reading that ‘if you take this stuff you will be healthier and happier’, not more knowledgeable, no scientific studies, no chemistry, nothing that would take any kind of education with which to understand. Just ‘take it, won’t hurt you, you’ll feel so much better, it is all one needs to do to be healthy’. Just crap. Might be a good SUPPLEMENT for some but with anything if one doesn’t know what their bodies need for supplements, I wouldn’t take it…NOT A MAGICAL PLANT, CHEMISTRY in any shape or form!! Us humans AND doctors are so ignorant about bodies, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, exercise and chemical companies who count on this ignorance. Kombucha might be the ‘bee’s knees’ but relying on other uneducated humans and believing their endorsements is just SILLY! DANGEROUS!

        • I am with you! I agree! Not all is good for you. I believe anything “sweet” is a sugar. Even fruits….

          One thing that is GOOD for you is olive oil. I use it on my face and neck and I am 72. I am told I look 25 years younger.

          I always believed in the Old Italian remedies. The ones for the face and the ones to help you with your health. Old “Mrs. Gropy” had all the remedies. I will always believe, she is better than any doctor…..

        • Stormy, I have irrefutable evidence that Raw, Natural, LOCAL honey CURED ALL my allergies. I consume almost ZERO sugar – white, brown, organic – doesn’t matter – almost zero. And there isn’t a single HFCS product in my house or diet. So I take 1 Tbsp of raw, local Honey once a day. Religiously! If I stop for 6 months, my allergies come back. Start taking it again and they’re gone in 6 months. I’ve proven this twice.

          You may have decades of training and education, but Stormy, you don’t know everything about everybody. And you certainly don’t know anything about the healing and nutritional benefits of Raw Honey; and I’m not going to try to educate you here or now. But I will share two things:

          One – Almost all commercially sold honey in your typical grocery stores is at least 50% HFCS. Plus, all the nutritional value has been “Pasteurized” or cooked off. So I have to wonder: what honey are you basing your knowledge on?

          Two – as long as I take 1 Tbsp of Raw Honey per day I NEVER-EVER catch a cold, flu, sore throat, cough or any other respiratory illness. (And I’ve NEVER been vaccinated for ANYTHING.) Honey is an amazing medicine that costs almost nothing and tastes really great. I’m wondering which pharmaceutical company you work for?

        • I love honey ?
          Pure honey straight from the hives is an historical cure for many ailments. It’s anti bacterial. Cures sores , cures a hangover as it’s mostly due to dehydration which means imbalance of electrolytes It cures my queasy gut . Helps with constipation that is mixed on warm water . Amazing on my face makes my skin glow .
          The sugars and carbs in honey are far better than the beans that are promoted today for a meatless diet . Check out the enzymes and vitamins in a teaspoon of honey
          Lemon and honey remains the best cure for coughs and colds
          We all consider ourselves well read on natural remedies . But as others have saiid it is an individualised recipe for personal health as our genetics make up our own physiology .

  4. Do you have a book that covers all this stuff ( info ) This is great material to have at hand !!!!!!!!!

  5. I first started to drink Kombucha tea in the middle 80’s for a couple years but I haven’t drank it since then however a aunt who turned me on to it still has some that she keeps in her freezer and she’s going to get me hooked back up so I can start drinking it again.

  6. I was drinking homemade Kombucha for about 6 months and started getting these sore red dots on my lower abdomen; kind of like pimples, but they never came to a head. So sore. When I stopped drinking the Kombucha, they had gone away, but do appear occasionally now (one here or there). I never had them before I started drinking the Kombucha. I tried to find any and all information on the symptoms and came up with nothing. I was hoping someone here could give me some insight into what this might be, is or if anyone else has had or gotten this from drinking Kombucha. I just want to know if this is a fluke because…I LOVE Kombucha!

    • It is possible you had contamination either from the water you used, or the mother itself… I have never heard of this reaction, but my first question would be to thoroughly examine your diet, meds, and living space…

      • Mr. Paleo,
        I thought that contamination might have happened, but no one else had this problem when consuming the kombucha I had made. I am on no meds, no mold in living space and I live a paleo/keto diet. I think I might have gotten an over growth of yeast. Not use to the amount of sugar…I am going to try the kombucha made with our raw honey. Thank you and wish me luck!

        • One of the “problems” I have encountered with clients and Kombucha, is the fact that Americans are use to SWEET, and don’t let the culture go full-term… for those people, I recommend adding sodium saccharin to their glass (NOT to the brew)….

        • I just posted something but I had a reaction where my liver enzymes shot up. and I really like the taste of Kombucha as well. But I think it is a risky thing for some people. the doctors did look up some cases where there was total liver failure. So I just stopped drinking kombucha because it’s not worth the risk for me

  7. Wesley J Betters

    There’s another fermented tea made from honey called Jun it has all the benefits of Kombucha tea with the added benefit of locally made honey

  8. bonappetitwee, I’m not sure what those spots would have been, but some additional info can be found by searching Google for ‘kombucha aldehyde’. There’s a couple articles by Wilson that come up in the top few results that I found interesting. Most website articles speak very favorably of kombucha tea. I’m not trying to start any arguments so anyone reading it has to do their own research and conclusions.

    • Porcupine73,
      Thank you for the information, I think I had gotten an over growth of yeast…not use to sugar.

  9. Mandy I Holford

    Does anyone know if you can take this tea while on diabetic and bp medications? I was told years ago that the tea will remove it from your blood stream which would cause more diabetic problems such as increased sugar in the blood.

  10. I LOVE Synergy band Kombucha drinks-especially black & raspberry chia Synergy brand, Kombucha drinks!!!

  11. I read the following on fermented foods, and I found it to be interesting:



    Everyone will not be able to tolerate everything, so it is important to consume food that will be beneficial for your own body. I find that kombucha makes me feel better, but then again I do not drink it every day because I get the store-bought kind (Raw & organic live and recently GT’s Kombucha) 1-2x a month. I would love to try to make it myself, but I’m afraid something will go wrong and I will get sick.

    • Monica, find someone you know, try theirs, and if you are ok, get one of their mothers… I have many, but don’t know what area you live in, and shipping these can be a “win/lose” situation…

      • Mr. Paleo…I have and have had some lovely vinegars that get so old they develop massive mothers. But they are commercial vinegar even so. Would those mothers be OK to propagate? Vinegar is an incredible…food/spicerupper as well as cleaner and minor medicinal uses. I love vinegar.

        • Stormy, if one lets kombucha brew too long, then it will have the taste of “vinegar”, and can actually be used in similar fashion… however, the mother is still a KOMBUCHA mother, and provided with new sugar solution, will continue to do what it does best, fermenting sugar… but always remove the mother, clean your container(do NOT use soap), and then add new sugar solution.

    • The tea is incredibly easy to make and I made it for years and hooked a relative on it too. I always kept one going. Now I am totally off sugar so I no longer make it. But do not be afraid to do so. It is the easiest recipe in the world.

  12. Monica,
    Please do it – make Kombucha – you won’t get sick. I have been doing it for years.

  13. I prefer Jun because is uses honey (I use raw organic honey) instead of sugar. Use a honey scoby

  14. I am keen to try kombucha but I have a question. How much alcohol content is in kombucha. I am a strict teetotaler and would love to get the health benefits of kombucha. Is there a way to eliminate the alcohol or is that part of the kombucha tea?

    • HEATHER…I forgot to mention this ‘fermentation’ thingy…it most definitely has alcohol, yes? Though I don’t see the need to be a teetotaler, moderation is my thingy, grins! But if you are like my mom, another teetotaler, no smoking ever, no drugs…except for what the doctor gives her and she won’t tell me…she and you must be very, very healthy! I wouldn’t think that the alcohol is any part of the benefits. Alcohol, btw, evaporates and easily distilled out of the product. I’ll wait until they answer your question! Thanks for asking this question!!

    • Yes there is alcohol in kombucha !!
      Some brands more then others. I have tried a couple that are certified “non-alcoholic “ which means less them 1/2 %. But I still feel effects and have stopped drinking it because I don’t want the alcohol.

  15. Apple cider vinegar and Kombucha or not??? I ve been drinking the vinegar off and on for years, awesome health benefits (more on than off now). Or do I already have the probiotics covered??

  16. Thank you for the great article! I do have a question: Ordered some Latta Kombucha Green Tea via Amazon. My 12 year old LOVES it! Is it safe for her to drink? It does say “may contain a trace of alcohol”. Thank you in advance for your insight.

  17. If candida can live in this stuff, how can it kill bad gut bugs?

    • David, who said candida can live in fully-brewed Kombucha ?

    • Most ‘bugs’ are good and necessary for our bodies. The correct question is how is Kombucha so specific? Or is it? Why do we humans think we know better than what has worked for thousands of years and more? Vinegar is one of my favorite things but for gut fauna not so much, and what about the alkalinity thing for our bodies? Too many conflicting bits of information.

      Alcohol won’t hurt anyone. Totally safe as far as alcohol goes.

      I do not like the idea your are telling your daughter that there is some ‘miracle’ thing in a bottle. Best thing for both of you is to get educated about the body basics before playing around with this ‘n that. Bad mentality. Food is great. Need to be very snobby about what one puts in their mouth. Only eat when HUNGRY. I mean it. Food is a larger drug problem in this country than HEROIN. Obesity is the tantamount symptom of a group of people using food for more than sustenance, nutrition. Be a concerned mom for mom’s sake as a role model for daughter. Food needs to be put in its place. There are no miracle foods. Sorry. I know you see so many encouragements to take this or that and all the endorsements. Sorry, this is a subject I know very well and there is no such thing as a WOW, SPECIAL, MAGICAL food/drug. Not your fault. You are being bombarded with testimonies, pseudo science, and lame information. Hate to be a downer, but there it is. If someone with real scientific knowledge can explain how Kombucha is somehow a miracle thingy, please explain to me. In scientific body wise terms.

  18. And who said it kills “bad” gut “bugs” ? Do you mean microbes ?

    • Somewhere someone said something about gut micro organisms. As far as I know all micro organisms, microbes in our bodies are critical for our health. Pro-biotics supposedly ‘puts them back’. I would think Kombucha would only enhance micro organisms in our gut. I have become pretty sensitized to anything produced that claims too many great benefits. This magic in a bottle thinking is just wrong. Even if something WAS a miracle substance taking anything from a bottle without knowing more about one’s own body is just wrong. I thought I was replying to ‘Concerned Mom’…I follow you on quite a bit of stuff…

    • From what I’ve read, all the health benefits are just theories or even less than theory. Wine seems to have the same benefits until more studies are done. I’ve had people tell me how important it is to eat alkaline foods to keep our body pH in the more alkaline range. Then we have the great benefits of vinegar, highly acid foods and Kombucha is very acidic.

      Media information gives me a headache. Why oh why can’t we all just learn how to eat healthily. We actually are able to CHOOSE what we eat and we eat all this prepared crap, GMO products and then expect to take a miracle food/substance/chemical formulation and wipe out all the damage our routine eating habits have formed. Non sense. What has happened to our curiosity, our need to KNOW we know something? Why are we not more skeptical with these SUPER FOODS, MIRACLE chemicals?

      • Did early humans (hunter/gatherers) evolve with fermented foods? Maybe this is something that is missing from the modern diet and that human health suffers over time when we don’t eat (or drink) any fermented foods.

      • apple cider vinegar, kombucha, kefir, lemons are actually alkalizing once metabolized

  19. Marjorie Castellow

    I am going to start making my own Kombucha as soon as my SCOBY arrives. I have one question please. Where is there best place to store it during the process for 7-14 days?

    • For brewing Kombucha, a Fairly warm, dark place, like a closet, although if you use a ceramic container like I do, it can be on your countertop…also, leaving many mothers in the container speeds up the “brew time”.

    • Please make sure the rest of your foods are healthy, non GMO and that you exercise. Yes? Otherwise, no amount of just one substance will help.

  20. Were would be the best place to purchase a start of Kombucha? It has been several years since I had one.

    Thank you,

  21. Margaret Melashenko

    Please unsubscribe me from your mailing list. Thank-you. Peggy Melashenko

    • Hi Margaret. Unsubscribing from emails can only be done from inside one of your newsletters, not on the blog. It’s at the bottom of any and all email newsletters.

  22. One thing I did not see mentioned was to use wood or plastic spoons and not metal spoons.

  23. How much and how often should I drink this? I’d like to have some definite directions.

  24. Best time to drink kombucha.

  25. can you make kombucha with decaffeinated tea? like treasure tea. I cannot have any caffeine

  26. John do not use wood and plastic materials. Use only glass/ceramics and stainless steel. Also everyone should be careful when disposing of any Kombucha materials, it can continue to grow inside the drain pipes and it loves to attach to plastic!

  27. A respectful note to critical thinkers, this is what I know.
    About 15 years age, I went to my doctor about a bump on the back of my head. He called it a wen cyst. I saw the surgeon who again measured it and then booked a surgury date – 11 months. 2 months later I heard about this Kombucha thing and decided to give it a test run for other benefits that I’d heard about. On the date of the surgery the surgeon came to instruct about where to shave and on inspection was perplexed to say that there seems to be nothing to operate on. He claimed it was odd because these cysts don’t dissolve on their own. He as well as my doctor didn’t comment on the Kombucha, rightfully so because they practice and adhere to the New England Journal of Medicine and you will nEver find Kombucha there! The reason is that meds require millions of dollars in studies, animal trials, human trials etc. and Kombucha is made for under two bucks at home. It will never pay off to big pharma so these scientific studies that some people depend on just will never be done with Kombucha. Doctors also don’t officially claim that raw honey is the very best antibiotic on the planet.
    I sometimes pour a little fruit juice into my glass of Konbucha. It just adds to flavour variety. Also I noticed some concerns about alcohol content. I’ve read it’s about .05%. One friend declined using it because he is an alcoholic… good on him.
    Oh, and I drink mine first thing in the morning. It energizes me and when I tried it before bed, I couldn’t sleep.
    Now I’m going back to reread this great article.

    • Enjoyed your post. So happy you did not have to have surgery!! I’m a beekeeper so I too believe in the benefits of raw honey and the other benefits of the hive. Beeswax, pollen and propolis. I want to look into making Jun too. I am a RN in a critical care unit and I know first hand how alternative medicines are frowned upon. Although you will find many nurses and doctors using non-medicinal choices to boost health.

  28. I haven’t seen anyone mention adding other fruit juices after a week of fermentation, letting the kombucha sit for a couple more days, and then refrigerating the bottles. I use ‘swing top’ bottles and love them. (They can be purchased on Amazon in various sizes.) Combing black and green teas works well for me.

  29. Great article
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  31. Ok, I have been having Candida for over 40 years. I am on an intense yeast detox diet. Can I drink Kombuchi at this time or do I have to wait till I am done detoxing. I have about a year to go. I have been having so many health benefits from this detox diet but I would love to start drinking this drink but I am not so sure about all the sugar in the drink. Not sure how much sugar is still there when you start drinking it.

  32. When I was making my own Kombucha my recipe said to never use metal utensils, only wooden or plastic. I also used to wash all my containers and utensils then rinse with a diluted hydrogen peroxide or bleach and water.

  33. I got into making the Kombucha tea a while back.Well every week I had new babies and so much tea I could not drink it all,give it away so I got out of the kombucha tea “business’. It helped me so much I will say.When I get a new residence I will consider making the tea again.

  34. I also learned (too late) that people should bring a bottle or two of kombucha concentrate (available on kombucha making sites) with them when they travel — especially overseas. It can help you with stomach issues i.e. Montezuma’s or the Pharoah Revenge.

  35. I’m extremely pleased to uncover this web site. I need to to thank you for ones
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  36. Great Article…
    Can you make your own Coby? I do not think it’s available in my country.

  37. im interested where to buy

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