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Overview InformationKombucha is a fermented mixture of yeast and bacteria. It is sometimes described incorrectly as a mushroom. Kombucha is made by fermenting yeast and bacteria with black tea, sugar, and other ingredients.
People commonly use kombucha orally as medicine for many different conditions, but there is no scientific evidence that it is an effective treatment for any condition.
How does it work?Kombucha contains alcohol, vinegar, B vitamins, caffeine, sugar, and other substances. Kombucha might act as an antioxidant. However, more evidence on how kombucha might work for medicinal uses is needed
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- Memory loss.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Joint pain (rheumatism).
- Loss of appetite.
- High blood pressure.
- Increasing white cell (T-cell) counts.
- Strengthening the immune system and metabolism.
- Hair growth.
- Pain, when applied to the skin.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyKombucha is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth. Kombucha can cause side effects when contaminated including stomach problems, yeast infections, allergic reactions, yellow skin (jaundice), nausea, vomiting, head and neck pain, and death.
Kombucha, especially batches made at home where it’s hard to maintain a germ-free environment, can become contaminated with fungus (Aspergillus) and bacteria (including anthrax). In Iran, 20 people got anthrax infections from taking kombucha. Kombucha is LIKELY UNSAFE in people with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS, who are more likely to get infections, as well as when it is prepared in a lead-glazed ceramic pot. Lead poisoning has been reported following ingestion of kombucha.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Kombucha is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Alcoholism: Kombucha contains alcohol. Avoid it if you have a drinking problem.
Diabetes: Kombucha might affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use kombucha.
Diarrhea: Kombucha contains caffeine. The caffeine in kombucha, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Kombucha contains caffeine. The caffeine in kombucha, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea and might worsen symptoms of IBS.
Surgery: Since kombucha seems to affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using kombucha at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Weak immune system: Don’t use kombucha if you have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or other causes. Kombucha can support the growth of bacteria and fungus that can cause serious infections.
Be watchful with this combination
Disulfiram (Antabuse) interacts with KOMBUCHA
Kombucha tea contains alcohol. The body breaks down alcohol to get rid of it. Disulfiram (Antabuse) decreases the break-down of alcohol. Taking kombucha tea along with disulfiram (Antabuse) can cause a pounding headache, vomiting, flushing, and other unpleasant reactions. Don't drink any alcohol if you are taking disulfiram (Antabuse).
The appropriate dose of kombucha tea depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for kombucha tea. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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