Kombucha – A Beverage with Culture

Made of a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY)- the SCOBY eats your tea and sugar producing natural acids that have health benefits for some (not apparently for the FDA though- or they haven’t studied it enough)- this information is not intended to take the place of health advice or be used as such.  While most of what I have written here has some research behind it most of the studies are small and could be misinterpreted in their use for human health- always contact a medical professional who knows you and your history for any health advice that you may need.


ACETIC ACID: Slows or reduces the growth of many harmful bacteria. It is the primary acid in vinegar.

BUTYRIC ACID: Reduces intestinal inflammation, plays an important role in GI barrier integrity and speeds mitochondrial function.

ENZYMES: Are proteins that act as catalysts many are anti inflammatory, aide in digestion, reduce pain, reduce scarring etc…

GLUCONIC ACID: Is effective against many yeast infections such as Candida and thrush. It also acts as a delivery system for many minerals making them more easily absorbed.

LACTIC ACID: Found in Kombucha is helpful for the digestion.

MALIC ACID: Is used to support cardiovascular health, reduce fibromyalgia pain (when taken with magnesium), reduce wrinkles (when applied to the skin) and improves energy.

NUCLEIC ACID: is a building block of DNA and genetic expression in all living things.  That said it is unclear if we can use dietary sources of it in this way, but hey if it can protect our genetics seems worth a try.

OXALIC ACID: Is an antiseptic (meaning it inhibits many kinds of bacteria), acts as a reducing agent (lowers oxidation)- in large amounts can cause digestive distress.

AMINO ACIDs: A group of acids which are the building blocks of protein. Your muscular system is made of proteins.

Kombucha also contains Vitamins like B’s and C

  • Kombucha is a Probiotic– it increases biodiversity of your microbiome which may protect against a widely divergent list of maladies including; colitis, autoimmunity, allergies, mental illness, neurodevelopmental disorders as well as simple yeast and bacterial overgrowth.  Kombucha may be helpful after a course of antibiotics for this reason.
  • Kombucha alkalizes the body by binding minerals in your diet which are alkaline and helping your body to absorb them.
  • Kombucha made with tea has all of the benefits of drinking tea.  EGCG (in green tea) has been shown to reduce the rate of progression of prostate cancer, reduce the risk of skin cancer.  Research on green tea has shown increased metabolism (weight loss) energy and improved mood.
  • Kombucha is a much healthier and lower calorie and sugar alternative to soda.

A SCOBY is generally made of these yeasts and bacteria: (some of this content is poached from Wikipedia- not all of it)

Acetobacter: aerobic (requiring oxygen) bacterial species which produce acetic acid and gluconic acid. Acetobacter strains also build the scoby. Acetobacter xylinoides and Acetobacter ketogenum are two strains found in kombucha.
Saccharomyces: This includes a number of yeast strains which produce alcohol and are the most common types of yeast found in kombucha. They can be aerobic or anaerobic (requires an oxygen-free environment). Many strains of saccharomyces have been studied for use with people (and mice) who have ulcerative colitis to good effect.
Schizosaccharomyces pombe: A yeast species commonly called “fission yeast”.  It gives Kombucha some of its sour flavor.
Brettanomyces: Another collection of yeast species, either aerobic or anaerobic, commonly found in kombucha and capable of producing alcohol or acetic acid.
Lactobacillus: A type of aerobic bacteria that is sometimes, but not always, found in kombucha. These frequently colonize the human GI tract- and are a part of out beneficial bacteria.
Gluconacetobacter kombuchae is an anaerobic bacteria unique to kombucha. It feeds on nitrogen that is found in tea, and produces acetic acid and gluconic acid as well as building the SCOBY mushroom.
Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis is a yeast strain that is unique to kombucha. It produces alcohol and carbonation as well as contributing to the SCOBY mushroom body.