Like many people here I had never heard of Kombucha before going Paleo. Seems like A LOT of people are drinking Kombucha.
But I ask... Where is the evidence of its effectiveness? I have searched the web far and wide and all I have found is anecdotal evidence and claims that it can cure everything from hormonal disorders to AIDS...
Does anyone have a link to any research that has found some benefit? I am reluctant to drink stuff that may give me yeast infections and a host of other problems unless I know that someone has actually studied this and found evidence.
If anyone has links to any research that would be great. Thanks.
A good place to start is this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=kombucha
What's interesting here is that kombucha doesn't seem to excite these researchers. Instead, the Greek Mountain Tea (Sideritis) does, and it shows major health benefits: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=sideritis And yet, the Paleo people don't know about it! Personally, that's the tea I go for, and it's herbal too, so no caffeine in it.
Here's how to prepare Greek Mountain Tea: http://eugenia.queru.com/2007/04/21/greek-mountain-tea/
I came across Kombucha long before I heard of paleo, and enjoyed it as a non-sugary, non-sweetened, non-fullocrap soft drink. I can't say I'd really bought into the health benefits at that point (and haven't done any scientific surveys on the matter either). But then I'm not likely to buy into a host of unspecified risks either.
Evidence?!? MEH. Kombucha is a frecking delicious beverage!
I used to brew my own and make it super-awesome with ginger and berries and stuff. But after I ditched gluten I developed (or discovered?) an allergy to yeast. I miss kombucha so bad. Definitely not recommending it if you have a yeast allergy. No way. But for everybody else: Yes way! yum yum yum.
This was the best I could find. Apparently no clinical trials have been done. MSK are usually very fair and thorough in their reviews of literature for complimentary therapies. http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/kombucha
For a non-scientific (but interesting) anecdotal answer:
I drank Kombucha long before I went paleo. I simply loved it, and didn't really attribute to much in the way of health benefits other than the fact that it felt good to drink and tasted delicious. I was particularly wary of the GT brand's claim that it helped his mom through breast cancer.
Fast forward to a year when I was living in Kenya and met a Russian woman married to a Kenyan man. She'd met him at university in Moscow and moved off to Kenya. Only thing she brought was a pack of clothes and kombucha cultures. She'd been brewing it there since. She was quite old by this time and had adopted the 'babushka' title - and so I called her kombucha 'babushka kombucha!'
She had never even heard of the term 'kombucha' - the Russians simply called it Chinese Tea. But, I was pretty surprised when she explained that when her grandmother was dying from cancer, the only thing her body wouldn't reject was kombucha. She drank it for a month straight and somehow miraculously recovered.
I don't put much stock into such tales, but I love the symmetry of the stories, particularly across different countries and times. What works for me is simply that it's delicious and makes my day better.
@Jake I'm in Nairobi, Kenya and a quick google search has led me to your post. Looks like people don't write much about their consuming Kombucha here. Any chance you could give me the old russian lady's contacts or anyone here in Nairobi who makes Kombucha? I'd like to start taking it. Thanks
I have tried Kombuccha 3 times, and all 3 times I did get a yeast infection, I have never had one before in my life so I wasn't exactly sure what was happening, it was the worst pain I ever felt, cried all night using garlic to ease my pain. This Is a true statement as I am not a spiteful person, I just want to let the world know that you may get a yeast infection after drinking kombucha by the next day, inspite of the reports that say you cant get one. Cyndi T from Los Angeles
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