Kombucha, a fermented drink made from black tea and sugar, originated around 220 BCE in what’s now Manchuria but it’s seeing a new boom in the holistic community. And for good reason: it contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes known for their health-promoting properties.*
Antioxidants Strengthen the Immune System
Most teas are high in antioxidants, but they’re nothing like kombucha. Since it’s fermented, it contains a compound called D-saccharic acid-1,4-lactone (DSL), which isn’t present in unfermented teas. DSL has amazing antioxidant properties and has been specifically identified as beneficial for cellular detoxification, which means it’s a natural and strong way to support your immune system.
Probiotics Aid the Digestive System
This science is still up in the air on how kombucha affects digestion, but it does and it has to do with all the probiotics, enzymes, and beneficial acids found in the tea. According to Harvard Medical School, healthy guts have 100 trillion + bacterial microorganisms and keeping them in balance is what helps keep our digestive system on track. Kombucha contains billions of these beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and acids to help keep you balanced.
Iron & B Vitamins Boost Energy
During the fermentation process, black tea forms and releases iron into the drink, boosting your energy. The iron helps to boost blood hemoglobin, which improves oxygen supply to tissues and stimulates your body’s energy-producing process at a cellular level. Kombucha also contains B vitamins, which are known to help energize the body.
Gluconic Acid Detoxifies the Body
Kombucha comes packed with gluconic acid, a well-known detoxicant that combines with toxins in the body (like environmental pollutants and pharmaceuticals) to convert them into more soluble compounds. This greatly helps your liver – your body’s own main detoxifier – keep doing what it does best!
Acetic Acid & Polyphenols Promote Weight Loss
We still need more studies done on this point as well, but a study in 2005did show evidence of kombucha improving metabolism and limiting fat accumulation. This could be due to its high amount of acetic acid and polyphenols, both of which have shown to help increase weight loss.
Glucosamines Ease Joint Pain
Kombucha is a natural source of glucosamines, which have been found to naturally increase hyaluronic acid in the body. Hyaluronic acid helps protect and lubricate joints, which is why glucosamines are often recommended for joint health and to help alleviate joint pain.
Glucaric Acid Lowers Cancer Risk
Kombucha has been associated with lower cancer rates, and researchers believe that’s because of its effect on the immune system and its anticancer defenses. The glucaric, lactic, and acetic acids may be able to prevent cancer proliferation at early stages of tumor growth, and studies suggest kombucha’s anticarcinogenic effects may help fight hormone-dependent tumors. Cell studies have been done to learn more about the drink and its ability to prevent and/or treat prostate cancer, lung cancer, osteosarcoma, and renal cancer.
*Keep in mind that there are possible side effects of incorporating kombucha into your daily routine. Because of the presence of yeast, those with weakened or compromised immune systems should exercise caution when drinking kombucha. Additionally, because of the fermentation process, about 1% of kombucha is believed to be alcohol; this plus the caffeine present from the tea means women who are pregnant or nursing should only drink kombucha in small quantities or avoid it altogether.
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.