This article discusses the side effects of Kombucha tea. It is promoted as an effective natural cure for a number of ailments.
Kombucha is a fermented type of tea, which is reported to have a lot of medicinal uses. Currently, there is no established research to back its reported healing ability. However, it is commercially available in many countries now.
Kombucha Tea Brewing and Benefits
This tea can be brewed at home through fermentation, by a symbiotic set of microorganisms, collectively called a Kombucha culture. It is made by adding a culture of pancake-shaped patty (which includes the culture), mixed with black tea. Sugar is added and it is left to ferment. The earliest reports of this type of tea being used, are from Eastern Asia and the Soviet region. A home-brewing package contains many different cultures, coupled with organic acids, active enzymes, and polyphenols. It has been checked and approved by the US Food and Drug administration for consumption.
There are various claimed health benefits of this tea. They include constipation relief, sharper eyesight, improved skin condition, and increased energy. It is supposed to contain several antioxidants, which help in detoxifying the body.
Reported Side Effects
Here is a compilation of the reported side effects of this concoction. These have been documented over the years, since the tea has been made available as a herbal remedy for many diseases.
Some people prefer home brew of this tea. There have been reported cases of cutaneous anthrax contamination, through such home-brewed tea servings. The risk of contracting cutaneous anthrax is indeed a deadly side effect. It is a particularly dangerous form of anthrax, which affects the skin. It causes swelling, as well as ulcers on the skin. This may be caused by dormant spores of Bacillus Anthracis in the tea.
Aspergillus is a type of mold, which can grow in Kombucha tea, causing toxic side effects, if consumed. There have been reported instances of allergic reactions due to Aspergillus-infected tea. It is particularly dangerous for people with immune system diseases like HIV/AIDS and auto-immune diseases.
There have been reports of lead poisoning due to consumption of the tea. The reason being the brewing of the tea in vessels, with lead-based glazing.
There have been several other reported incidents of allergic reactions. These include, indigestion, vomiting, and nausea. The organic acids in the tea can cause an allergic reaction in individuals, predisposed to acid sensitivity.
Some people have been reported to have headaches, caused due to the consumption of this tea.
Most of these side effects occur, due to contamination or growth of harmful bacteria and molds, during brewing. They can be avoided by using more hygienic brewing conditions. Pregnant women and people with immune problems should avoid its consumption. The side effects of this tea, reported here, are rare, but they have occurred. Though, it is claimed to possess several health benefits, none have been conclusively proved through research.