Looking for kombucha side effects? Kombucha is a combination of bacteria and yeast fermented in a mixture of tea and sugar. Proponents of this traditional medicine tout it as a natural cure for digestive problems, a way to stimulate the immune system, and even a cure for cancer. Medical research suggests that kombucha is a good source of B vitamins and has antimicrobial properties–but also that it has some dangerous side effects.
- Contamination. The biggest side effect of kombucha is contamination. Kombucha is often brewed at home in unsanitary conditions, which allows harmful microbes to breed. Drinking contaminated kombucha can make you sick.
- Lead poisoning. Because of how long the acidic kombucha sits to brew, lead from glazed ceramic containers can leach into the tea. As a result, kombucha side effects can include symptoms of lead poisoning.
- Drug interactions. Kombucha is acidic, so it changes the pH of your stomach. This can affect how your body absorbs certain drugs, possibly making them less effective than they should be.
- Yeast infection. The yeast in kombucha can lead to a yeast infection when it passes through your system. This kombucha side effect causes itching, burning and discharge in the genitals.
- Stomach problems. Drinking kombucha can make you sick to your stomach. Kombucha side effects include nausea, vomiting and other complications.
- Immune system problems. People with autoimmune disorders such as AIDS can experience the most dangerous kombucha side effects. Kombucha has been advertised as a cure for such diseases, but in fact people with autoimmune disorders are more vulnerable to infections from drinking kombucha.