The Verdict on Kombucha

“It cures cancer”.  “It helps to create an alkaline pH in the body”. “It helps to detox the liver”.

Whether one drinks the effervescent drinks because of the health claims or the taste, the questions often arise:

1) Is it Paleo?

2) Is it actually a good idea for all to consume with reckless abandon as though it were water?

No, and no.

However, that doesn’t mean the occasional bottle of plain Kombucha can’t be something you enjoy under certain circumstances.

Why is it not Paleo?  

From a technical standpoint, it’s not Paleo because cavemen didn’t ferment things.  But it does have claims to benefit health, so as long as you opt for the plain, rather than the fruity flavors that have significant amounts of sugar in them, as a beverage once in a while, and you’re in good health, it’s not likely to be an issue.

If you make your own, make sure you understand the proper methodology so that you create a safe drink, and not something deadly.  Not kidding.

Good idea for everyone?

Certain populations have to be more careful than others and may need to avoid it.

  • Pregnant Women- as a precaution, in the event of contamination, some women may prefer not to drink it and potentially risk harming the baby, similar to the way they may opt to avoid sashimi
  • Anyone in the midst of dealing with gut issues, including leaky gut or candida overgrowth.  In the latter, if you’ve already got too much yeast in the gut, the last thing you want to do is add more.  
  • Finally, some with auto immune issues may find it hard to tolerate.

As this is a food product and not a medication, it’s not likely something your GP doc will be able to advise about.

If any of the categories above includes you, I’d encourage you to investigate at least a little; seek out an ND, or even better, a Functional Med doc as well as keeping a record of how you feel if you do opt to drink some.   

Another example of how we have to use our own body as an experiment to see what works and what does not.