Vegans can also get probiotics by eating non-dairy fermented sources of the bacteria, such as kim chi, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, and kombucha.
So called because of their shape and color, organic kombucha mushrooms are not, in fact, technically mushrooms at all.
When fermented to make the increasingly popular kombucha tea, a slimy mass forms on the tea's surface that bears a resemblance to a mushroom cap.
When aged, this is the formation of a kombucha mushroom.
People with any history of yeast intolerance should not drink kombucha tea.
There are a number of other health considerations associated with the drinking of kombucha tea and one should research thoroughly before incorporating the drink into the diet.
Kombucha mushrooms are, somewhat confusingly, both the basis for the tea and what forms on the surface after the tea has been fermented.
As the tea often contains fungi, one must be careful and sure that the kombucha kit they purchased was organic and certified, because some of the molds and fungi that form can be toxic.
Properly made, however, the kombucha mushroom yields a drink that tastes a bit like apple and pear cider and is widely touted for its supposed health benefits.
While you can buy kombucha mushroom tea in bag form, if you want the true taste of organic kombucha mushrooms, you should buy a brewing kit from a natural food store, naturopath or online from a reliable Web site.
Kombucha purveyors tout its B-vitamin content and the glucuronic acid that is said to boost the detoxification process.
If you aren't set on using organic kombucha mushrooms and still want to pursue its use for your health, it is available in capsule and extract form, as well as in commercial bag teas.
The use of kombucha, like many other homeopathic trends, should be approached with care.
Organic kombucha tea is an herbal supplement used primarily for detoxification and to boost wellness.
Kombucha is a form of bacteria and yeast, similar to a yeast starter for sourdough bread.
The most common by-product is the kombucha mushroom, which is not a mushroom at all.
A kombucha culture is fermented with assorted tea bases, vinegar, sugar, and water to create a beverage.
Kombucha tea is also referred to as "kargasok tea," "Manchurian tea," "tee kvass," and "tea wine."
As millions continue to turn to alternative health remedies, any beverage with kombucha in it garners attention.
Many advocates of kombucha highlight this heightened wellbeing as a primary reason to use it as a tea, extract, or capsule supplement.
Yogi Tea's Green Tea Kombucha is frequently found in many health food stores or where fine teas are sold.
Kombucha Wonder Drink is also available in upscale food stores or health food retail outlets.
Another popular tea is GT's Kombucha, which is mixed with fruit juice.
Here's one online retailer that often sells kombucha in a tea, tablet, or extract form: American Nutrition.
If you're interested in fermenting your own version of the tea, review the process, purchase supplies, and obtain mother cultures at Get Kombucha.
As with many herbal supplements, the Food and Drug Administration has not fully investigated the claims of extensive health benefits of kombucha beverages.
Additionally, unless you are very familiar with creating healthy strains of bacteria, it might be best to first use commercially produced versions of organic kombucha tea instead of making your own.
Kombucha danger remains a concern despite the popularity of this ancient fermented tea drink.
Since the CDC released a warning related to kombucha tea in 2006, several reputable studies and journals report kombucha danger.
Kombucha tea, also known as kombucha mushroom tea, is a fermented beverage containing tea and a yeast-fungus mixture.
Those making kombucha tea place a cake, known as a kombucha mushroom cake, along with black tea and sugar with boiling water.
The Chinese first wrote about kombucha tea in the year 250 B.C., calling it "the immortal health elixir."
Chinese physicians prescribed kombucha tea to cure a variety of ailments, especially stomach and spleen problems.
Today, you can find kombucha tea in health food stores and natural grocers nationwide.
Others prefer to brew their own kombucha tea, purchasing the starter cake at a supplement or health food store and creating the beverage at home.
Like several other nutritional products and supplements, no long term studies prove the health benefits of kombucha, but ancient populations relied on the drink as an overall health tonic and gastrointestinal cure.
According to nutrition expert Katherine Zeratsky, dietician at the Mayo Clinic, there are no peer-reviewed studies pointing beneficial effects of kombucha.
A systematic review of published literature also turns up no thorough scientific study backing up kombucha's health claims.
Preliminary chemical analysis suggests that kombucha enhances liver function, adding to the liver's ability to cleanse toxins from the body.
This may explain the strong anecdotal evidence from many kombucha drinkers that they feel better within hours or days after ingesting the beverage.
Because kombucha contains caffeine, some people report an energy boost and upbeat mood after drinking it.
Kombucha may also contain alcohol, thanks to the fermentation process, which may also add to that happy feeling kombucha drinkers report.
Kombucha tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, an acid that occurs in green tea and black tea.
If you're considering kombucha for detoxification and to help gastrointestinal problems, consider herbal supplements, a good multivitamin, and a detox diet to improve overall health.
Anyone considering adding kombucha tea to their dietary supplement regimen must consider kombucha dangers alongside kombucha benefits.
The CDC provides a report on the dangers of drinking kombucha that lists several case studies of individuals reacting badly to kombucha tea.
Allergic reactions are the most common kombucha danger.
The primary components in the kombucha mushroom cake used to brew the tea are bacteria, so the suggestion is that individuals may be sensitive to the bacteria itself.
The only other ingredients in pure kombucha tea are black tea, water and sugar or sweetener, so it seems that the likely culprit is one of the many strains of bacteria growing in the beverage.
Several people have reported jaundice or liver problems after drinking kombucha tea for prolonged periods.
The liver problems disappeared as soon as the individuals stopped drinking kombucha, and reappeared when they resumed their kombucha habit, thus confirming the doctors' opinion that the kombucha tea caused liver problems.
Other drugs that appear to interact negatively with kombucha are medications for hypertension, renal (kidney) problems, and hormone replacement medications.
In all cases reported to the CDC pointing to an interaction between kombucha and these medications, the person recovered as soon as they stopped drinking kombucha tea.
The last kombucha danger is contamination.
If brewing your own kombucha tea, be sure to use squeaky-clean containers.
One report showed lead poisoning as the culprit because someone brewed kombucha tea in a ceramic container.
Use caution and common sense when brewing your own batch of kombucha tea, and always consult a physician if you become ill, tired, or experience any adverse symptoms after drinking kombucha.
Probiotic supplements and foods (such as yogurt, kefir, and kombucha) reintroduce the beneficial flora to your intestines, simulating colonization of helpful gut flora.
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