Author Topic: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings  (Read 119408 times)

Offline English Lady

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #120 on: August 17, 2008, 02:56:49 PM »
I would appreciate your opinions on this

A freind (we both brew and drink our own Kombucha) emailed me the following articles . . . . .

What do you think??

This is a dangerous product that is being currently passed around in the Maltese islands. Please avoid it as it has resulted in deaths for certain in the USA and there is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) warning about it. In 1997, a renowned Maltese personality on tv, Gemma Portelli, recommended drinking this product to lose weight and fight arthritis. The name seems to indicate an origin from Cambodia . This thing is recommended by New Agers, so please keep away from it if you value your health. Another similar scam going on right now, is Emu Spirit oil. The FDA has determined that a pure emu oil product marketed to treat or cure a wide range of diseases was an unapproved drug. Its marketer had never submitted to FDA data to support the product's safe and effective use.
As www.altculture.com puts it, Kombucha is a "New Age fad combining the surrogate-child appeal of the pet-rock craze with chain-letter superstitions and miraculous health claims". The mushroom according to researchers is a collection of easily contaminated yeasts and bacteria. In a more recent incident, there have been cases of persons in Australia getting rashes, fever, rigors, nausea, vomiting and severe hepatitis after drinking Kombucha tea. See the last link below for more information.
People have died of heart failure or ended up in a coma and then dying because of it. Trust in God instead of this thing, ok? It is not really a mushroom or tea but is really a fermentation of various yeasts and bacteria. Many dangerous viruses may reside in the mix including Aspergillis which may result in a dangerous infection of the brain lining, leading to death. Other people may be in danger because of the alcohol produced in the fermentation, when they drink kombucha and take pills also. People mix it up themselves and this is the cause which is prone to microbiological contamination. Every home-brewed version will look different, even in colour and smell!
I have seen a kombucha site put up a disclaimer that it is not being guaranteed to provide any health benefits, so this should make one think twice. It is also worth thinking why, some kombucha sites, put up the Yin Yang New Age symbol on their pages describing this toxic mixture.
Some links to Kombucha Warnings: Critical Path AIDS Project and US FDA WARNING ON KOMBUCHA, and even more recent additions: FDA CAUTIONS CONSUMERS ON KOMBUCHA MUSHROOM TEA, Warning from the Assistant Director of the California Poison Control System of the University of California - Kombucha is a POISON which ILLUSTRATES , according to the Director Dr Nordt, the problem of obtaining medical information from the Internet, which has much misinformation on it ;
ThriveOnline on Kampucha - shows how new age meditation teachers are promoting the mixture and resulting in people ending up in emergency rooms - and now in 2001 warns that HEART and LIVER problems have been associated with the use of Kombucha, and is dangerous for those with a decreased immune system (such as people with Cancer or AIDS). The kombucha may produce, the site says, organisms including yeast, bacteria and in some cases the deadly ANTHRAX.
CDC Disease Detectives - US State Epidiemologist Dr Patricia Quinlisk's CDC Public Warnings,
Australian adverse drug reactions bulletin (1997) - NEW
Australian adverse drug reactions bulletin (2001) - NEW UPDATE

Why don't you go to a healing service (or pray to God for healing) instead of drinking kombucha tea (besides visiting your doctor)?
Gemma Portelli on tv is actively promoting kampucha or kombucha, notwithstanding the fact that she ended up in hospital in a coma, more than once, AFTER taking various amounts of kombucha. And she keeps promoting it, without even once mentioning the risks. She was the first person to mention it on Maltese tv.

Kombucha is not really a mushroom but a combination of yeasts living symbiotically with several bacteria that together produce powerful natural antibiotics that may be toxic but may also result in drug-resistant bacterial infections. But mycologists warn that in culturing the fungus the risk for contamination is high. The mold that sometimes grows on the Kombucha mushrooms may contain a fungus known as Aspergillus, which is also known to contaminate moldy marijuana. Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that attacks the brain and may be fatal in persons with weakened immune systems

Offline Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #121 on: August 17, 2008, 03:27:33 PM »
Wow, that was harsh.  The truth is that Kombucha tea could possibly be harmful if not brewed correctly and if you don't know where your starter came from. 

I spoke at length with Betsy Pryor (a strong Christian, by the way) who originally brought the Kombucha to the U.S., and she gave me the info for these posts:

http://www.kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/kombucha-tea-part-2-15-tips-for-making.html

OH, by the way, Betsy's Kombucha starters were FDA approved.  And no, I don't get anything if she sells more starters.  Even she encourages people to get them from friends, as long as you know they brewed correctly.

Hope that helps,
Kelly
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 03:29:25 PM by Kelly the Kitchen Kop »

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #122 on: August 17, 2008, 03:54:11 PM »
EnglishLady -
Do you have any links to these studies or reports? 

Sarah K
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Offline English Lady

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #123 on: August 17, 2008, 03:58:56 PM »
EnglishLady -
Do you have any links to these studies or reports? 

Sarah K

I don't but I'll see if I can get them for you

Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #124 on: August 17, 2008, 04:03:31 PM »
I generally disregard e-mails like this due to the following factors:

-poor grammer, spelling and punctuation
-non-working links
-generic scare tactics without citations or proof
-flawed logic ('if new-agers recommend it, it must be straight from hell' type stuff.)

Also, let's let's gain some perspective here...almost any food or drink in your fridge right now could 'possilby be harmful or even deadly'.  I think people with compromised immune systems and advanced HIV are probably very careful about what they put into their bodies, and their dietary restrictions should't apply to all of us.   
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 04:07:00 PM by hi_itsgwen »
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Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #125 on: August 17, 2008, 04:18:58 PM »
HerbFever-

That's the link!  Thanks!

Ok, I went to HerbFever's link and followed most of the links in the article as quoted there.  I recommend that you review the reports and warnings cited there for yourself. 

Sarah K
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Offline Mrs. B

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #126 on: August 17, 2008, 05:48:09 PM »
I generally disregard e-mails like this due to the following factors:

-poor grammer, spelling and punctuation
-non-working links
-generic scare tactics without citations or proof
-flawed logic ('if new-agers recommend it, it must be straight from hell' type stuff.)

Also, let's let's gain some perspective here...almost any food or drink in your fridge right now could 'possilby be harmful or even deadly'.  I think people with compromised immune systems and advanced HIV are probably very careful about what they put into their bodies, and their dietary restrictions should't apply to all of us.   
This is pretty much my feeling on this "article" also.
I find it inflammatory with very little substance behind the allegations.
The studies that are cited are easily accessed.... here's a quote I found based upon the JAMA 1998 study...
Quote
There is also one report of Kombucha becoming infected with anthrax and passing along the infection to an individual who rubbed it on his skin to alleviate pain.  Apparently, anthrax from nearby cows got into the Kombucha mixture and grew luxuriantly.
Apparently this one episode happened in Iran.

Quote
Kombucha is not really a mushroom but a combination of yeasts living symbiotically with several bacteria that together produce powerful natural antibiotics that may be toxic but may also result in drug-resistant bacterial infections.
THere may be antibiotic properties to kombucha, but garlic is has strong anti-biotic properties and I don't believe that it is the cause for drug-resistance in infections.  Personally if this was a valid claim by any reputable source there would be statistical information backing up the claim.

I also went to HerbFever's link and it appears to be authored by a site called the Malta X-Files   http://www.cis.um.edu.mt/staff/cmeli/xfiles/kombuchamalta.html  The whole thing just sounds really fishy to me, and not in the good EFA-kinda way...

Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #127 on: August 17, 2008, 06:15:01 PM »
Quote
Kombucha is not really a mushroom but a combination of yeasts living symbiotically with several bacteria that together produce powerful natural antibiotics that may be toxic but may also result in drug-resistant bacterial infections.
THere may be antibiotic properties to kombucha, but garlic is has strong anti-biotic properties and I don't believe that it is the cause for drug-resistance in infections.  Personally if this was a valid claim by any reputable source there would be statistical information backing up the claim.

According to Herbal Antibiotics, by S.H. Breuner, natural antibiotics do not cause drug resistant bacteria, as the compounds in them are so complex, that bacterias cannot 'crack the code'.  Simple/single ingredient manufactured antibiotics are responsible for the rise of drug resistant bacteria. 
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Offline dara

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #128 on: August 18, 2008, 05:50:30 AM »
I agree with gwen's criteria for reasearch (of course more could be added, like hearing doctors, or well known herbalists quoted, etc.), and also the statement that the FDA has called Emu oil a drug is silly. I read up a lot natural skin care, and I'm pretty sure I would have read about this from some reliable source by now if it was true. The whole thing sounds ill-informed. I would want to see it all confirmed by reliable sources before taking it seriously. Kombucha is, after all, just a fermented food, not a drug. Just my thoughts.
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Offline jenstar

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #129 on: August 18, 2008, 08:04:56 AM »
Wow, that was harsh.  The truth is that Kombucha tea could possibly be harmful if not brewed correctly and if you don't know where your starter came from. 

I spoke at length with Betsy Pryor (a strong Christian, by the way) who originally brought the Kombucha to the U.S., and she gave me the info for these posts:

http://www.kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/kombucha-tea-part-2-15-tips-for-making.html

OH, by the way, Betsy's Kombucha starters were FDA approved.  And no, I don't get anything if she sells more starters.  Even she encourages people to get them from friends, as long as you know they brewed correctly.

Hope that helps,
Kelly


Wow, thanks for the great information in a simple to follow format. It was not overwhelming but provided lots of details - I will recommend it to everyone I give starters to. :-*

Offline Momo6

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #130 on: September 08, 2008, 10:12:55 AM »
I have been brewing and drinking kombucha with good results for over a year now.  I have noticed that my legs and sometimes arms will feel a very short feeling of numbness and/or tingling going through them after I consume the beverage.  It seems to be more pronounced lately.  Is this okay or could there be a problem with my mushroom?  I am not going to consume any kombucha until I receive a response to this question.

Thanks so much!

Offline SC

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #131 on: September 08, 2008, 10:42:01 AM »
I have been brewing and drinking kombucha with good results for over a year now.  I have noticed that my legs and sometimes arms will feel a very short feeling of numbness and/or tingling going through them after I consume the beverage.  It seems to be more pronounced lately.  Is this okay or could there be a problem with my mushroom?  I am not going to consume any kombucha until I receive a response to this question.

Thanks so much!
If you've been following Betsy Pryor's instructions on Kombucha care and your SCOBY came from a source that did so as well, then I would say to investigate other reasons for your reaction and to cut back to just a few ounces per day.  :-\

If you've been brewing the SCOBY in a container with plastic gaskets or using various flavorings or using alternate feeder teas, etc. I would discontinue immediately as you may have a contaminated SCOBY.
See the above links or this link below for an attached document on brewing safety:
http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,832.msg200753.html#msg200753
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Offline tynnille

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #132 on: October 13, 2008, 07:11:09 AM »
I posted a note the other day describing how I have been getting some kind of nose ulcer for the past year or so and I think it is related to the kombucha I made. I remember getting them after I started making the kombucha and had a fleeting thought that maybe it was from it, but didn't give it much head.  I did do some research and it looks like there is a connection b/w bucha and nose ulcers. I am disappointed, becuz I don't know how ot get rid of them and wonder what kind of bacteria, virus, or fungus is causing them. I heard maybe it is strep or cancer sores.
    Unfortunately, 3 of my 4 boys have them as well. My oldest has them as bad as I do. SO as much as I love Kombucha I am not sure if I will continue making it because I don't think I will go through with being as diligent as you have to to make it.
    I was pregnant while drinking it too, but don't know what , if any effects it may have caused.
    Anyway, this is just my experience. And can't say concusivley that it was the kombucha, but the timing of both is very suspicious. Enough so that I am breaking from making it myself.
TEnnille

Offline southmom2k

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #133 on: October 13, 2008, 09:14:01 AM »
Wow, that was harsh.  The truth is that Kombucha tea could possibly be harmful if not brewed correctly and if you don't know where your starter came from. 

I spoke at length with Betsy Pryor (a strong Christian, by the way) who originally brought the Kombucha to the U.S., and she gave me the info for these posts:

http://www.kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/kombucha-tea-part-2-15-tips-for-making.html

OH, by the way, Betsy's Kombucha starters were FDA approved.  And no, I don't get anything if she sells more starters.  Even she encourages people to get them from friends, as long as you know they brewed correctly.

Hope that helps,
Kelly



After reading what you wrote about how to make Kombucha, I think I need to change the way I make it. I mean, I use a 1 quart jar and she uses bowls and makes HUGE mushrooms ! Is there not enough oxygen getting to my tea in the 1 quart jar?
I did make one with a thin mushroom so maybe it wasn't getting enough oxygen?
Also, I have one that has black things dangling from it (the mother) is this just dead yeast cells?
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Offline southmom2k

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #134 on: October 13, 2008, 03:40:57 PM »
Bump
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Offline hi_itsgwen

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #135 on: May 31, 2009, 11:08:52 AM »
I just wanted to chime in and say that playing with probiotics and cultured foods is something that you want to be careful with.  I am usually pretty relaxed about 'germs' and following protocols, but I will be much more careful in the future with cultured foods.

I got a scoby from a friend, and made Kombucha for a while, and then passed the process on to my Mom.  We used glass and then later switched to foodsafe wine making (plastic) buckets to make our Kombucha.  We both used a mix of black and herbal flavored teas.  The scoby's have gotten thinner, and the mix has started to taste more vinegary  :P 

Also, Mom started getting little red spots on her face that keep moving and coming back, and we both started gaining weight, and noticing other symptoms of yeast overgrowth.  Neither of us has had a problem with yeast before, so this was new territory.

We've discarded the rest of the Kombucha, and she has been waiting (for a LONG time) for a good scoby from Laurel Farms.

So we're out of the game for a while.  But we're going to only play by the rules this time, and not mix in any flavored teas or ingredients.  We are going to use all glass bowls as well.  I plan on mixing in 100% juice concentrates with the Kombucha as I drink it, for added flavor if needed.

What I've learned: Kombucha is a living organism, so know the history of your scoby and pamper it properly to keep it strong.  There are good reasons for the 'rules'. ;)

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Offline Gods_child

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #136 on: February 28, 2010, 04:52:28 PM »
I just started drinking kombucha more than a week ago and I'm about 3 weeks pregnant. At first I got dizzy from it for a couple of days but that's gone now and I like it so far. I'm buying them from a health store right now but will be making my own soon. Very excited about this:)

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #137 on: March 01, 2010, 07:56:10 AM »
Quote
I have candida/yeast, should I be taking additional probiotics or will the kombucha meet all my needs with it's probiotics and yeast fighting activities???

As a courtesy to the member who started this thread and those participating in the conversation and to keep subjects more organized and easier to find, please attempt to stay on topic as much as possible.

If the conversation triggers a new subject of interest, please search the forum for a more appropriate thread for the discussion.  When one cannot be found, start a new one.

Will Kombucha alone satisfy my need for probiotics?

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Offline Gods_child

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #138 on: March 01, 2010, 12:44:58 PM »
I'm sorry! I thought I posted in this thread!!Don't know how it started a new one :D ;D

Offline boysmama

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #139 on: March 01, 2010, 01:05:31 PM »
I'm sorry! I thought I posted in this thread!!Don't know how it started a new one :D ;D
HB, moved your post to a new thread as it was off topic and deserved a place of it's own.

Offline mommyM

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #140 on: December 31, 2012, 03:23:32 AM »
Flatulence seems to be a side effect of the kombucha....

In fact, my kiddos DID NOT like kombucha until I told them not to drink too much or they will get gas...

Next thing I know, they are at the fridge getting lots of kombucha so they can pass gas....now they like it!   :P

Offline all4_mr_d8a

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Re: Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
« Reply #141 on: January 17, 2013, 12:52:41 PM »
I noticed that nobody so far has given the short answers.

If you're already drinking kombucha before getting pregnant, kombucha is safe during pregnancy.
If you have not drank kombucha regularly before getting pregnant, kombucha is unsafe during pregnancy.
Kombucha is safe during lactation if you were already drinking kombucha regularly or your "baby" gets most of their nutrition from solids or you start slowly.

Kombucha is only minorly alcoholic.  It is comparable to apple juice that's a few days old (less than 2 proof).  When people speak of getting a "buzz" from kombucha, they are actually noticing that their blood pressure is lowering.  (BTW, alcohol lowers the blood pressure, as well.)

HTH