The Kombucha Craze: Scam or Science

Radically popular is the health drink called “kombucha.” Kombucha originated in China around 2,000 years ago and has earned itself the name “Immortal Health Elixir” over the years, which, while romantic, has not yet proven to be the case. Although it may not bestow immortality upon you, kombucha is said to be a wonderful health supplement to any diet and extremely useful to your body. Kombucha also happens to be a little more expensive than your average drink. Scam or science? Let’s take a look.

 

Drinking Cooties

There’s no getting around it. Kombucha is what it is because of… well, bacteria. You’re drinking bacteria. The drink is usually made with either green or black tea and sugar which is then fermented by bacteria and yeast. After the fermentation process takes place, the kombucha becomes carbonated and additionally contains vinegar, vitamins, enzymes, acid, and probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and help your body fight infections and absorb nutrients. So, you’re not drinking just any bacteria. You’re drinking important gut-bacteria.

 

Healthy Cooties?

According to just about every organic or naturopath source you check, kombucha offers a bountiful array of benefits to your body. Most of these stem from the gut-bacteria we’ve discussed, but there are some surprising benefits that come along with the whole drink that people claim to be true. For instance, kombucha is supposed to help cleansing and detoxification, joint pain, and, of course, digestion. There has also been some evidence to suggest that kombucha may have cancer preventative traits as well. However, you’ll get a mixed bag of results when you ping more than one non-naturopathic resource about kombucha. It seems as though, much like marijuana, it depends on who you ask as to how successful this supplement actually is.

 

An Acquired Taste

Regardless of your personal opinion or research, there’s no denying that the probiotic components of kombucha do in fact positively affect your digestive system. Whether you’re trying to work against the viciously ambitious forces of a stomach ulcer or you’re just giving a new health drink a go, kombucha seems like a win. However, it tastes pretty rough. If you’re a beer lover, you may have no problem switching over to kombucha. Because of the fermentation process, kombucha contains an extremely marginal amount of alcohol- but my goodness, that’s about all it tastes like.


Wallet-Buster?

Nah. Again, whether or not you subscribe to the almighty effects of this “Immortal Health Elixir,” it’s worth giving it a trial run- as long as you can get it for cheap. You may have difficulty finding the right store that sells it for the right price, but it is possible. Visit your nearby major grocery chain and go rummaging through their health-nut section. One way or another, you should be able to find kombucha drinks for less than three dollars. Believe it. You can do it.

 

Try Not to Go… Too Crazy

As with any health craze, there are some questions surrounding how much science is embedded in all of the “research” done. It’s oftentimes difficult to decipher the truth when you’re being mostly fed ad campaigns and biased news sources. In the case of kombucha, fortunately, you’ll be able to safely bet that, while it may not make you live forever, it’ll probably at least make your stomach feel better. Oh, and, by the way- it’s “kuhm-boo-CHUH,” not whatever we’ve all been saying in our heads this whole time. Cheers to your Immortal Health Elixir dabbling.