Kombucha Tea Benefits and Side Effects

| Modified on May 19, 2021
Kombucha Tea.

Kombucha tea is a fermented beverage from East Asia brewed from tea leaves, sugar, and an organic starter of yeasts and bacteria that drive the fermentation process and results in various probiotics with numerous evidence-based health benefits.

The combination of yeasts and bacteria creates a balance between alcoholic and acidic content so that neither becomes particularly strong.

The taste of kombucha is somewhat like a hard (alcoholic) cider, though it comes in a number of natural flavorings.

Kombucha Side Effects

Side effects have been reported including dizziness and lactic acidosis, as well as toxic poisoning from contaminated batches.

Kombucha is highly acidic and can adversely affect the teeth if it is sipped throughout the day. It is best to consume kombucha with meals. A baking soda rinse following kombucha consumption can restore an alkaline pH to the mouth as well.

Kombucha is also high in histamines. For those who have histamine intolerance, kombucha may be contraindicated.

Where to Buy Kombucha SCOBY

Kombucha starters of the yeast and bacteria "mother", called SCOBY, can be found online at Amazon. With these organic starters, you can easily brew your own kombucha tea at home.


People have been drinking Kombucha tea as an energy drink and general health tonic.

It is also said to alleviate hair loss, improve the immune system and digestive health, prevent cancer, and counteract chronic fatigue.

Continue reading to learn the ailments treated with Kombucha Tea and let us know how it has helped you!

Acid Reflux

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Mary (California) on 10/12/2015

I also drink kombucha tea to prevent acid reflux. But I also add a teaspoon of black seed oil for the extra benefits!

Works like a charm!

Acid Reflux
Posted by Shelley (Hamilton, NJ) on 07/22/2009

I started taking bottled Kombucha tea (not the teabag stuff) as an alternative to drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for acid reflux. The Kombucha brewing process is very similar (in fact, you can brew vinegar from it) and it has a similar concentration of acetic acids and probiotic organisms. I have found that, since I started drinking it regularly, my acid reflux has all but disappeared!

I find that I must drink at least 8 oz (1 cup) of Kombucha, twice a week, preferable on an mostly empty stomach. Depending on the severity of acid reflux, results may be noticeable immediately or within a few days.

Acid Reflux
Posted by Michael ( Wilsonville, OR) on 11/28/2007

I have been making Kombucha Tea for over 15 years and I have had two users of my tea who told me their acid reflux went away after a few days of drinking two 22oz. bottles of my Kombucha Tea. Made with Green, Black and herbal wild berry teas. Google "Kombucha Tea" for more info. Michael


3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Suzi (Missoula, Montana) on 03/02/2008

Kombucha Tea really can heal the planet I believe. Started brewing it 10 years ago through difficult circumstances....(cold apartment in winter, family skepticism,etc.)when I stop it for a month or so I can tell that my body starts to age! Have spread parts of the culture on face, hands and even rinse hair with it. Had significant brown spot on left hand totally disappear! Don't know if necessary, but as a precaution I rinse my mouth with warm distilled water so as not to discolor enamel on teeth. If you want to brew your own, get a bottle of "G.T. s" at health food store and remove the cap, cover with cotton cloth and rubberband, set in warm spot for about 3 weeks and a nice baby culture will grow on the top! Simply pour the entire contents in your gallon of distilled brewed black tea and sugar mixture and you are on your way!

Posted by Gaye (Lake Tahoe, CA) on 10/26/2007

Kombucha Tea has been a miracle drink for me!

The very first time I drank it, I got instant relief. I now only crave healthy foods. I havn't felt this good in a very long time. This tea has changed my life! I have been drinking the SYNERGY brand, from my local health food store for about two months now (the grape flavor is my favorite). I have also seen it at Wild Oats. I love mixing it with sparkling water, and drinking it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I drink anywhere from a half bottle to a bottle a day. It is a little pricey (almost four dollars a bottle), so I am planning to make my own, which costs next to nothing. IMPORTANT: Start off slow, only drink half the bottle to start off with. Listen to your body. I have read that you may feel worse before you feel better, and that this is your body healing itself. I also drink lots of water, cause it makes me thirsty. I would like to share two wonderful and amazing links I found while researching this amazing TEA, that has been around for more than 2000 years.


I hope this tea blesses you like it has me! Thank you sooooooooo much for this website, I would like to share more with you when I have more time. GOD BLESS!

Replied by Carole
(Mpls, Mn)

Totally agree Gaye! This is the exact thing that happened to me as well drinking the bucha.. I love it; but also the last 6 months have added coconut water w/fresh lemon and maple syrup as a change to another healthy drink that I swear with the 5 electrolytes have given me energy, whiter teeth and less cravings of sugar, alcohol and make me happy!!

Arthritis, High Blood Sugar, Energy

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Regina (Atlanta, Ga) on 06/18/2012

I have been drinking Kombucha for about 2 month now. I started out by buying GT's Kombucha, which gave my tons of energy. But because this is the expensive way I started brewing my own and let it ferment for about 15 days because most of the beneficial health effects are supposed to be present only after 14-21 days of fermenting (which tastes very vinnegary). So, I decided to do the continuous brew. And this hit the nail on the head.

My degenerative arthritis is gone to 90% just after a few days, I have tons of energy again, my blood sugar went down to normal, I can sleep much better, and I feel overall very, very good.

I drink about 16 to 20 ounces a day. I had been drinking less before the continuous brew because it was too vinegary. It does what is said about it. However, obey the caution of starting out with only 4 oz. a day because you don't want the side effects of detoxifying too quickly. Also, research this on the internet. There are brewing instructions, recipes, history and health information.

Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Susan (Seattle, WA) on 03/22/2008

re: Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis/hypothyroidism. I have had Hashimoto's hypothyroidism for many years and have been under treatment by my naturopathic physician. Due to symptoms of hyperthyroidism, my doctor performed some tests and this time had no thyroid antibodies! This means that I no longer have Hashimoto's hypothyroidis! The doctor explained that the bacteria Yersinia enterolitica has been linked to the cause of Hashimoto's - apparently it has a similar protein coat to thyroid cells which provokes the immune response.

I had not been treated with antibiotics for this. The only thing I have been doing differently is to drink Kombucha tea. I just read on your site that Yersinia enterolitica is sensitive to Kombucha, so it seems logical that Kombucha was my cure.

I drink about 8 ounces per day.

Replied by Marta
(Provo, Utah)

This is a question about Kombucha tea. I have read that it might help reduce the antibodies in hashimotos. My thyroids are still ok, but my anti tpo are at 900. I have lost five babies and they think this might be the cause.

How much Kombucha tea would I have to drink? Could I do it with herbal tea instead of black or green tea? My religion does not let me drink black or green tea. Thank you very much!


Replied by Cyn_texas
(Waco, TX)

I know a lady who makes hers with grape juice. All I read said the Tea plant was needed, but no tea in grape juice. So give it a try!

Replied by Craig
(Ocala, Fl)

I read Susan's (from Seattle, WA) comment about being treated by a Naturapath for Hashimoto's. I would like to know the name of your Naturapath. Thank you.

Also, if anyone else has had success in reducing or eliminating Thyroid Antibodies, I would love to hear about it. Thank you.

Replied by Wydo
(Ventura, Ca)

Other places in EC say that tea has fluoride in it. Does anyone know what happens to the fluoride in the tea liquor after it has been fermented? This would be very important to me to know. Does the acids produced by the fermentation counteract the fluride? Maybe Ted can answer this.

Replied by Ted
(Bangkok, Thailand)
391 posts

Dear Wydo:

The fluoride in tea doesn't generally go away even after fermentation. The only way to remove the fluoride from the tea is through chelation or other standard methods in removal. Another way is that the tea from the source has low fluoride content to begin with.


Replied by Tim
(Galesburg, Il)

Susan: Can you please let me know of a link that links Yersinia enterolitica to hashi's? I have hashi's. Trying the tea but am interested in sources. Thanks.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Kombuchainsomnia (West Chester, Ohio) on 02/20/2010

Hello, I LOVE THIS SITE and wanted to report my recent experience with Kombucha tea. I purchased some at my local whole foods store to assist me in detoxing. I hadn't slept at night for the entire week. I immediately drank it and, although I hadn't eaten all day and was starved, suddenly was not hungry. Later on that evening I had some extreme detox symptoms and felt fatigued and sleepy. For the first time in a week I went to sleep and slept through the night! I would certainly try this drink. Sure it is acidic and an acquired taste but it's phenomenal. Depending upon how ill you are, I've heard that it is important to begin with 1/2 cup because of the extreme detoxing!

Low Energy

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Amber (Portland, Oregon) on 03/28/2009

I absolutely adore drinking Kombucha Tea. First, it's very energizing. If you are having one of those days where you feel horrible and tired, or have a hangover type of feeling, and can hit on some Kombucha somewhere, certainly it's one of your best choices! It is a fermented tea that has super healing and health properties; too many for me to remember here, but there is quite a bit of information online. You can get it at health food stores or make your own. It's great anytime, but if you are feeling tired, it can improve you to about as good as you are going to get. If you are tired it also will help you to look more alive and feel more vibrant that day. It's a balancer, so it won't give you more stimulation than you can handle. In fact, I often choose it at bars when it's available, instead of drinking alcohol, and can still sleep well.

Multiple Cures

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Wellbeing1 (Ny) on 01/13/2016

I believe kombucha cured me of bacterial vaginosis (BV) 6 months ago in July 2015, but I waited some months to confirm effectiveness before posting anything.

Prior to trying kombucha, I had been fighting this situation for 1.5 years. I was always conscious of odor and other related issues.

I tried kefir for 6 months with supplements of folic acid, acidophilus, witch hazel, goldenseal and vitamin c with no cure; there was slight improvement but it was minimal. I did the H2O2 washes & vitamin C suppositories; improvements were always temporary. I knew a cure had to exist, and I thank God for leading me to kombucha. I don't think I read anyone talking about this remedy but it occurred to me as an option worth trying after kefir didn't solve the issue. At that point I figured there was no harm in trying a new remedy through an alternative probiotic route.

The odor and discharge went away within 2-3 days of drinking 8-24 oz daily (depending on my mood). I'll admit I was scared to stop drinking it because I didn't want this to just be another temporary fix. I drank 1-3 bottles/daily for 3 months. The remedy showed itself effective when I went on vacation overseas for 2 weeks; I couldn't bring enough kombucha on my travels to last that long. I drank a bottle that day that I left the country and that was that.

During vacation there was no order or discharge at all. I thank God because those problems didn't come back.

I am so free now with clothing and my body. I recommend that anyone and everyone try this remedy. Also importantly, you can brew your own kombucha at home very cheaply so feel free to try that route if you find it working but don't want to pay $4 per bottle everyday.

Kombucha floods your gut & your body with good bacteria. My skin cleared up and - remarkably - my cellulite went away. My flexibility and strength improved exponentially also. Kombucha seems to have an ongoing effect even after you stop drinking it; my skin continues getting clearer and I haven't had a glass of kombucha in at least 2 months now.

I highly recommend trying this to solve the problem for once and for all. God bless!

Multiple Cures
Posted by Sheila (Portland , Oregon) on 04/20/2010

I recently started using Kombucha tea to help my mother with acid reflux. Her doctor was very doubtful of this remedy but I decided to give it a try. My local market provided me with a "mother" and some about 8 ounces of starter and I was in the brewing business. I have since started two more gallon jars to keep it on hand. Some un-expected fabulous side-effects were discovered. I lost 10 pounds in a 2 month period and my mother is no longer complaining of symptoms. We both drink 6 ounces of our home-brew a day!!! I love my Kombucha!!!

Replied by Uralochka
(Portland, Oregon)

To Sheila from Portland: where did you find kombucha "mother" and a growing kit? Are there certain things to keep in mind when growing kombucha? Back when I was little, many households kept them for the same medicinal reasons, but it smelled very vinegary and it could go bad if not properly maintained.. I am very interested in learning to grow the "tea mushroom" as we used to call it

Multiple Cures
Posted by Rwlaw (Grand Rapids, Mi) on 01/17/2010

Been drinking Kombucha a little more than three months now and couldn't be happier w/ a cheap ( approx $6 for a 6 gal batch), homebrewed drink that's got me off Diet Dew and made me feel like a kid again (well almost lol).
I'm 56 yrs old and put my body through the ringer more than I should've. I was afraid that I was going to be a good choice for a one person group rate discount joint replacement program! Aches and pains in my body and the loose feeling in my knees are pretty much gone. Energy level is way up and it seems like even the think tank is doing better.
I do approx a qt or so a day and have changed from sugar to honey (raw, unfiltered) as I could'nt stand the sugary taste, a half pound honey per gal of tea, it also seems to ferment out a couple days quicker too.

Replied by Regina
(Marietta, GA)

Hi Rawlaw, I want to coment on using raw honey for Kombucha. Raw honey or any other raw ingredient is supposed to be a no no for making Kombucha because raw honey has its own bacteria and therefore can and often does negatively interfere with the Kombucha brew, even to the point where it is not advisable to drink it any more. The Kombucha brew is what is called a "Wild Fermentation" which means the outcome is not always controllable and can go off. Best of health to all of you.

EC: We're afraid the website meant to be enclosed didn't reach us properly, but a web search should help you track it down!

Ph Alkalizer

Posted by Lauren (Davis, California) on 08/18/2009

I was curious if kombucha worked in a similar fashion to the ACV...it has a vinegar taste and also helps to regulate your pH as well as having helpful bacteria. Also can other vinegars work the same as ACV, such as rice vinegar?

Also, I've heard that raw milk products are supposed to be much easier to digest, a heads up to everyone.

If someone can answer, this would be really helpful.

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn.)
495 posts

Hello Lauren,

I don't have the answer to your questions regarding Kumbucha tea and similarity of action to apple cider vinegar, but you can easily answer at least one of those questions yourself by purchasing pH testing strip. ACV is usally 3 to 5% acetic acid and you can quickly learn how in acidity before ingesting.

The way to determine if they are similar in action when you take them is to take one of them early in the day and check your pH about l hour after taking it. If you need more frequent information check it every hour until you take a dose of the other (kumbucha or ACV) in the afternoon and start checking your pH at the same time intervals. This will answer your question as to how they compare in adjusting your pH very quickly and permanently.

I'll answer a question you didn't ask about the kumbucha mushroom. I gave two of my nieces a kumbucha mushroom and instructions for making kumbucha tea. Later I asked if she thought it helped and she laughed and said she never got to use it. She had put it in the refrigerator and went shopping with her sister. Upon return she asked her son if he was hungry and was told that he made a sandwich with the ham in the refrigerator, thought it had tasted a little off, and had been feeling a little queasy since eating it. Knowing that she hadn't left any ham in the refrigerator, she looked and found her kumbucha was missing. Scared that she had poisoned him, she told him that he had eaten a mushroom she had in the refrigerator instead of ham and urged him to go to the doctor. He refused and was feeling better in another hour or so. So apparently eating one doesn't kill you but I don't recommend it since I can't tell you about the nutrition it may or may not have.

Side Effect

2 User Reviews

Posted by Kasey (Chicago, IL) on 01/19/2015


I began drinking GT's kombucha in 2010 and became addicted to it. I drank on average three drinks a day. I continued drinking it until 2014. I had horrible stomach aches toward the end. I stopped drinking it because of the digestive upset I experienced while drinking it. October 2014 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's. I don't know if there is a direct connection between my over-consumption of kombucha and Hashimoto's, but I will be very careful if I ever choose to drink it again (no more than one drink per month).

Replied by Marcin
(Ontario, CA)

Your problem might be caused by a yeast infestation. According to some sources, kombucha promotes the growth of yeast/candida. Here are some quotes from the article I am reffering to:

"Kombucha is brewed using a starter culture called a SCOBY. SCOBY stands for: Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Did you catch that last word? YEAST? Kombucha is a culture specifically designed to promote the growth of yeast."

"Similar to vinegar, Kombucha has an acidity level and fungal content that strongly increases the growth of Candida and other biological yeasts."

"Cornell University did a study on Kombucha and found it did indeed increase the growth of Candida (...)"



Replied by Myway
(Delaware, US)

FYI: From the sources I read about consumption of Kombucha Tea, 8 ounces a day is sufficient for digestive health.



Side Effect
Posted by Lauren (California, US) on 04/30/2014


HI Everyone....I recently heard of the numerous health benefits of kombucha tea so I decided why not try it. I loved it and felt so good while drinking it but here's my problem....I am gassy all day when I drink it...anyone knows why is this. I tested it several times to be sure and same scenario...help guys...I don't want to stop drinking this. Thanks EC....

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc Canada)

Lauren from California, US ----- you are detoxing . To benefit from drinking it, drink lots of water. I am hooked, too. Om

Replied by Lauren

Thanks Om for your response. I was jumping with joy when I saw your reply....yea this means I can keep drinking my favorite tea.....thank you again...

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