I learned that Kombucha fans drink kombucha because of the benefits – the kombucha side effects! If you are interested in how to brew it at home, there are many, many online resources. It’s a 7-day process and gets pretty technical when it comes to bacterial strains, Ph balance, fermentation, and quite a bit more.
You could also purchase kombucha tea at health foods stores, but those drinks cost between $4-$7 each. Luckily, I’ve got a pretty simple way to make it at home that will save you a few bucks, too.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a traditional fermented beverage which originated in northeast China (Manchuria) in 220 BC and then was spread to Russia, Germany and the rest of the world. Kombucha is sometimes referred to as tea fungus, mother, or mushroom, although the actual fermenting organisms are a symbiotic consortium of bacteria and yeasts, known as SCOBY.
Kombucha is a rich source of probiotics and antioxidants.
Kombucha Side Effects
While kombucha has been around for thousands of year, there actually isn’t a ton of research on the side effects of kombucha tea.
The most comprehensive study of its wellness properties comes from the University of Latvia, where fermentation is part of their, well, culture. This old-country practice has long been popular throughout Eastern Europe.
The study declares kombucha a keeper on four counts:
- It aids in detox.
- It provides antioxidants.
- It boosts energy.
- It boosts immunity.
“Most people notice fairly quickly that their digestion improves, too,” says Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook of the website Cultured Cook. “And in my experience, when digestion improves, overall health and specific conditions can follow behind.” A new Johns Hopkins study backs her up on this.
Kombucha side effects: Gut Health
One of the main kombucha side effects that drew me to this drink is the potential to improve your gut health.
“The gut is like our second brain; it’s very predictive of the other things that happen in our body,” says Deepa Verma, M.D., AIHM, an integrative health physician. “Eczema, rashes, psoriasis, depression, anxiety, migraines, headaches… concerns that manifest outside the gut can be linked back to it.” Source
You probably know if you don’t have a healthy gut. Bathroom issues – diarrhea, cramping, inconsistent bowel movements? Trust me, I know! If you aren’t typically a “regular” person, please understand that this drink has helped me so much in that area. I start the morning with this drink, try to eat according to the 30-day healthy living jumpstart and end the day with a detox tea.
Eating healthy and incorporating the mock kombucha and detox tea in my diet has vastly helped improve my gut health.
This mock kombucha recipe includes prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are commonly used to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crone’s disease, and Pouchitis. It goes without saying that one of the most powerful kombucha side effects is the improvement in your digestive health.
Kombucha side effects: Energy
This mock kombucha recipe is full of energy! The probiotics alone will give you a healthy jump in energy:
Over 500 bacterial species call your gut home. They are not just crashing, they’re hard at work facilitating digestion and providing nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin K, folate, and essential fatty acids. Up to 10% of your daily energy can come from the byproducts of the friendly probiotics in your tummy. Source
Fizz sticks are a magic ingredient in mock kombucha and create one of the best kombucha side effects – ENERGY!
Fizz sticks are one of Arbonne’s best selling and most famous products. They contain B vitamins and caffeine derived from a plant-based source (guarana seed extract and green tea leaf extract).
According to Arbonne’s literature:
Fizz sticks key ingredients are a proprietary botanical blend. This includes:
- Guarana supports energy
- Chromium helps support healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range
- Taurine, an amino acid, supports energy
- Ginseng root helps support physical capacity and performance
- Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant, helps support energy
- Green tea and guarana provide naturally derived caffeine
- Riboflavin helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to provide energy
- Niacin helps support energy-yielding metabolism of macronutrients
What all that means is that you’ll get a caffeine boost that is very healthy and won’t spike your blood sugar. Plus, they are so delicious and make this mock kombucha recipe even better.
Kombucha side effects: Heart Health
I can’t say enough about probiotics. Heart disease runs in my family, so this kombucha benefit hits home for me. My mock kombucha recipe includes Digestion Plus which contains prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics could potentially play a huge role in improving your heart health.
Check out this medical journal excerpt, “Potential of Probiotics in Controlling Cardiovascular Diseases.”
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is caused by a narrowing of the coronary arteries that feed the heart. It is the most common form of heart disease, affecting some 7 million Americans, and it is also the number-one killer of both men and women. Each year, more than 500,000 Americans die of heart attacks caused by CHD.
Probiotics create acids that counter cholesterol production: As probiotic bacteria absorb fiber from the intestines, they generate acids. One of the specific acids, i.e. proprionic acid, reduces production of cholesterol by the liver.
Probiotics break down liver bile acids: Bile acids assist body in digesting fats, and the liver produces these bile acids from cholesterol. The liver recycles bile acids and utilizes them over and over. Probiotics break down bile acids and, therefore, the liver has to make additional bile acids, using up more cholesterol in the progression.
Probiotics actually eat cholesterol: Probiotic bacteria have been shown to break down cholesterol and use it for nourishment.
Kombucha Side Effects: Lower Anxiety and Depression
This is another shout out to the probiotics in kombucha.
Over the past decade, studies have demonstrated a bidirectional relationship between the gut microbiome and brain function (i.e., the microbiota-gut-brain axis). Probiotic treatments and developmental analysis of the microbiome may provide potential treatments and preventative measures for depressive and anxiety disorders.
This systematic literature review aims to identify original studies linking the gut microbiota to major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. Furthermore, this review searched for original reports focusing on possible therapeutic and preventative effects of probiotics for these debilitating conditions. Accumulating data indicate that the gut microbiota communicates with the CNS through neural, endocrine and immune pathways. Studies in germ-free animals indicate that the microbiota is involved in the regulation of the stress response (e.g., hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) and in CNS development at critical stages. Probiotics attenuate anxiety and depressive-like behaviors in experimental animal models. Notwithstanding some inconsistencies and methodological limitations across trials, clinical studies suggest that probiotics may mitigate anxiety symptoms.
15-Second Mock Kombucha Recipe
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 packet Digestion Plus
1 packet Fizz Stick
Mix together with 4-6 ounces of water. Enjoy!